Bowhunting in Alaska has always been a dream of mine, and this Season, the dream became reality.

We were fortunate to meet Tom Perkins, Captain of the Eileen J, at the ISE Show in Sacramento this Season.  Tom purchased a SLIP System, and offered us the chance to stay on his fishing boat, and Moose hunt with him this Season.

We flew into Juneau on a beautiful, clear day, and the approach was breathtaking.  Seeing scenery like that really got us fired up for our upcoming hunt.

After a day of preparing the boat, and loading up the quad, we set sail from Juneau.  Bald eagles, sea otters, humpback whales, and sea lions were among some of the creatures we encountered on our way to the Southern tip of the Chillkat Mountain Range.

On September 15th, we hunted the Chillkats in the morning, without seeing a single moose.  Due to an incoming storm front, we were forced to relocate to Gustavus to find safe harbor for the boat, so we set sail, and arrived in the early afternoon.

We found moose on our first evening in Gustavus, but no shooters.  Tom, who was rifle hunting, jumped a very nice bull, took a quick rest using the SLIP System as an adjustable monopod, but was unable to see the brow tines.  Under the “Spike Fork 50 inch” rule for most of Alaska, if you cannot absolutely confirm that a bull is 50 inches wide, he must have three brow tines on at least one side.

The next day, the storms began.  We hunted mainly swamps, in the rain, for the next 8 days;  our SLIP systems were indispensible, both for probing the swamps as a walking stick, and keeping us dry in heavy rains.   We saw a total of 18 moose, and none of them could be taken under the Spike Fork 50 rule.  After our 8 day hunt, there were a total of 4 moose taken in Gustavus, all rifle kills, and one was an illegal kill (45 inches wide with one brow tine on both sides).

We did meet some great people in Gustavus, thanks to Andy for lending us a truck, and to Roger and Helene for their hospitality, and the best bear I ever ate!  We had an awesome adventure, and learned a lot about moose; I was actually able to walk within 30 yards of a bedded cow using my Elk Butt Slip Decoy as a shield, as you can see in the above video.  It was a great test of our gear.

My advice to anyone wanting to bowhunt in Southeast Alaska, is to either book with an outfitter (0ne with a good track record), or to hunt closer to October, when the bulls are responding to the calls, and the rut is full on.  Gustavus is the Moose Capitol of the Southeast, with the most bulls per acre, but also has a high number of hunters per acre, and most all are rifle hunters.   Just lettin’ ya know!

Best of luck to you, and happy hunting!

Filed under: Hunting

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