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question for all Alaska residents

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question for all Alaska residents

Old 03-02-2010, 11:24 AM
  #1  
Fork Horn
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Default question for all Alaska residents

Hey all,
I will be getting out of the service at the end of the year, and have been thinking of moving up to Anchorage, AK

I'm originally from SE Tennessee. I was wondering if anyone else has made the move up there and what your experience has been.

I'm thinking about it more for the hunting and fishing opportunities than anything else. My biggest question is how hard is it to just go out and hunt. Is there public hunting around anchorage, or will I have to get flown in somewhere?
Do you have to hire a guide if your a resident? Would it be cheaper to hunt moose, sheep ,etc... as a resident?

These are a few of the questions I was kicking around in my head before I make a decision. Any help or experience in the matter would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:42 AM
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Certainly plenty of public land to hunt, I'm not an AK resident, but have read plenty of regs...

It may depend on the area but one awesome thing I read was that say you have a game tag in your pocket, you can take an animal of equal or lesser value, ie if you have a brown bear tag, which is only like $800 as non-res, so resident fees are certainly cheaper, and IMO any resident tag anywhere is cheap!

So if you have a brown bear tag in your pocket, you see a bull moose, you can take it and tag it with your bear tag! Residents don't need guides.

I've considered the move myself, but probably unlikely for me, would love to visit/hunt there in the near future.
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:50 PM
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I have been to Alaska Several times to hunt & fish. I looked into moving up to Alaska last year just for the hunting & fishing.
I could not justify the move after I added it all up, being a resident just is not worth it for me to move there.
I plan to hunt Alaska again in the next few years for moose as a non-resident.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:52 PM
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Hi we moved here in 87, Yes it's a beautiful place and the fishing & hunting can be great. But the largest portion of the states population lives on the road system, which is limited very limited. So hunting in areas you can access will not be a wilderness experience, the game populations here are unlike the lower 48 the game is large and require large areas, no very dense. most of the state is mts, we live at about 300 ft elevation, so everywhere is up, you will find this is the case most places. One thing no one mentions on tv When you shoot a moose on a DIY hunt you are the packer and ALL edible meat must be salvaged, to do less is a crime. Even a caribou a couple miles in can be quite a pack job. Most Alaskans use ATVs boats etc to get further back so don't think your going to get away from others without spending money, even then we've been way to close to other camps , transporters make money by the number of people they move and are often not concerned with hunt quality. On one hunt we were well over 35 mi off road by ATV camped on a small knoll during the night we were nearly run over by another group looking for a place to camp, the next morning I climbed a large rock pile to glass and was shocked to see no less than 17 camps I could see from our location.If you have questions I'll be more than happy to answer any I can. You might also try The Alaska outdoor forums.Alex
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:02 PM
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If hunting and solitude are high priorities for you then Anchorage probably isn't the ideal place to be. Bear in mind that approximately half the population of Alaska lives in Anchorage and the adjacent areas of the Mat-Su. I lived in Anchorage for about a year when I first moved to AK and I couldn't get out of there fast enough. There was just too much traffic and noise and not near enough of Alaska for my taste. I moved to Fairbanks, have been there ever since, and have no intention of ever going back to Anchorage. Anchorage is closer to some of the prime fishing destinations, namely the Kenai, but that river is a frickin' zoo during the prime salmon runs. Hunting is far better in the interior, and there's plenty of good fishing within a reasonable driving distance. All that said, your best bet is to look for the area that will provide you the best opportunity for decent employment. Hunting in Alaska is generally time consuming and expensive so if your job doesn't provide the funds and the free time you're pretty much out of luck regardless of where you live.

aaalaska hit it on the head regarding hunting and the densities of animals up here. Most people think Alaska is like what they've seen on the Discovery Channel and there's huge herds of caribou and moose all over. In reality overall densities of game animals are extremely low up here. Sure you might find yourself in a massive herd of caribou, but they range so far and wide that more often than not that isn't the case. Areas up here that have high moose densities usually have fewer than 2 moose per square mile, so they're usually very few and far between.

Moving to Alaska is a huge commitment. If you've never been here I'd recommend you make a trip up and at least travel around the primary population centers and see what suits you best. You might decide that southern bbq, whitetail deer, turkeys, and largemouth bass in Tennesse aren't all that bad after all.

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Old 03-03-2010, 01:17 PM
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I also should have mentioned that you have to live in Alaska for a full year before you're considered a resident for hunting purposes. For the PFD (Permanent Fund Dividend) you have to live here for a full calendar year (Jan - Dec) before you're eligible for payment the following fall (not hunting related, just something most people don't understand). As a non-resident you can't hunt dall sheep, brown bear/griz, or mountain goat without a licensed guide or relative within the second degree of kindred. I'd highly suggest you spend some time reading through the regs at the links below to familiarize yourself with the law of the land.

Hunting & Trapping:
http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/index...gulations.main

Fishing:
http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/statewide/reghome.cfm
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:19 PM
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Not all doom and gloom ,if you are leaving the service that means you have vet points in the federal system and there are a lot of federal jobs in the state. If your retiring then you have a few years on you, and while it sucks getting old most places give some form of property tax relief for those over 65, and those over 60 receive a Permanent ID card that acts as a hunting ,fishing ,trapping license.
Fishing here can be the best and there is a lot to choose from, but there again most has cost involved, the best is usually as far off road as you can get, even salt water fishing gets better with a little distance, so your going to want a boat, or a friend that has a boat, if your that lucky, treat that friend well, remember he's got a lot invested. Unless your into ice fishing , fishing season is short and very busy, you can do a lot of running no matter the part of the state you choose, salmon runs vary from year to year, and river to river, Kings in late May to silvers in Sept. Oct. Pike year around Burbot tru the ice, Grayling as soon as you can find open water, and more.
Moose hunting is still open in lots of places to everyone[Till fish & game gets their way] but there are not a lot of legal moose,and there is a lot of places to look. There are lots of black bears, and some days way to many grizz, sheep hunting seems destined to go to a drawing system for the whole state, and most places goat hunts already are.Deer hunting here is restricted to the extreme coastal areas and islands. Caribou are found across the states larger areas [none in the south east, or panhandle] in herds that number from a few hundred to many thousands, but most are either very restricted or very hard to access.
One more doom and gloom, the economy here is usually about two years behind that of the lower 48 and does appear to slowing by a large factor this year [about two years behind] .
No one can answer the questions you and your family will have but you, a trip here will give you a brief look at Alaska , but only by making the move can you answer the questions. My family and moved here in April 87, for a one year trial, we found our home and have never even given a move outside a serious thought, When we leave here we really will be in Heaven, till then Alaskans as close as we've found.
Alex
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:45 PM
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SGT.H have you considered staying in the military and trying to get stationed in Alaska? I presume you're Army by your screen name, so you could try to go to Fort Richardson (Anchorage), Fort Wainwright (Fairbanks), or possibly even Fort Greely (Delta Junction). That way you can have uncle Sam pay your way to Alaska, have a steady job when you get here, try it for three years, and if you like it you can stay, or you can have the government pay your way back to the lower 48. Like Alex said above, Alaska didn't get as pounded as other areas of the country by the economic downturn, but things have definitely slowed down up here, and there doesn't appear to be much of an end in site. I'd highly suggest you line up employment before making the move. A lot of people mistakenly think Alaska is just covered in money and good jobs are easy to come by, so don't get lulled into that false sense of security.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:36 AM
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I'm actually Air Force. Getting out after 8 years. Just tired of the deployments.
The reason I was asking about AK was because they had a good VA job posted for the new clinic that is part of the Air Base. Im a Biomedical Equipment tech.

I think I may just wait on the move until I can come up and see what its all about up there. The Air Force will move me up there for free when i get out, but moving back is all on me. So, if I dont like it, its on me to move back and that I imagine will cost some serious cash.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and experiances. I plan on trying to come up this summer if I am able to get away from work. I also have a wife and kid to think about. I dont know how she would feel about it either. A long ways from home for both of us, but it would bother her more than me.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:12 AM
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I can understand you getting tired of the deployments. I have a lot of friends up here that are military (both Air Force and Army) and I don't know how they do it with families back home. If you are Air Force you'd have a few options of locations too. There's Elmendorf (Anchorage), Eielson (Fairbanks/North Pole), and Clear AFS (Anderson). As a Biomed Equipment Tech I don't think you'd have any trouble lining up employment, either private sector or government, but I would still suggest you try and have something in the works before making the plunge. Alaska generally surprises people. Most people assume there's wildlife everywhere and hunting here is easy, which is of course wrong. The other misconception they usually have is that it's a lonely wasteland. If you pick one of the larger cities there's plenty of modern convenience, and flight time to the lower 48 generally isn't that bad. Good luck with your decision, whatever it may be.
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