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Location: London
Joined: 07/15/2008
Posts: 1
General Help

My name is Frank Osborne and I am an actor currently training at the CENTRAL School of Speech and Drama.

I hope that I do not put any one through anyone through any kind of annoyance by posting this new topic

I am currently researching for a show I am going to start when I return to university in October, the show is about Christopher Johnson McCandless whom I know you have heard. I am researching Moose hunting, but more specifically Moose Hunting in Alaska.

I would like to ask if you could help me soruce some infirmation about what it is really like to hunt in Alaska, any personal accounts of what it's like to be a Moose hunter, wether it's a touch and go experience, does it have its ups and down or is it a 100% love for hunting experience.

I understand that there has been a page posted about preperation for hunting, but more personal and insightful stories and experiences are what I am more looking for if any one is willing to share

If you could possibly hepl in any way I will keep everythign I recieve in the greatest respect and confidence


Frank Osborne

expatriate's picture
Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3206
General Help

First of all, you have to understand that in Alaska's interior McCandless is considered an idiot. Rule #1 in Alaska is you don't disprespect the wilderness, because it can be such an efficient killer. McCandless, like his Katmai counterpart Tim Treadwell, violated this tenet and Darwin did the rest.

Some rules for hunting up here: don't scrimp on your gear, tell people where you're going and when you'll be back, take more food than you'll need, have redundant methods of starting a fire, be ready to spend the night, prepare for hypothermia, have redundant navigation tools, and always have a lifeline like a satellite phone or a solid plan with people back in civilization so help will get to you if things go wrong. McCandless didn't tell anyone what he was up to, didn't plan ahead, didn't have the right equipment, didn't know the terrain, didn't have a lifeline, etc.

Hunting in Alaska can be a real challenge because it's a lot of hard work. In large part, this is due to its remote nature and shortage of roads. But it's also due to terrain -- particularly in moose country. Low-lying areas tend to be more prone to permafrost, and that creates drainage problems. The result is that the ground can get awfully spongy or boggy, and is interspersed with streams, creeks, ponds, and swamps. Alaska mud is like nowhere I've ever seen, because it's stringy from vegetation embedded in it. So you spend a lot of effort fighting the ground.

Any moose hunter will tell you that the fun stops when you pull the trigger. Moose are enormous animals, and Alaska law is very demanding when it comes to recovering meat. So there's a lot of effort involved in butchering up what could be a thousand pounds of animal in wet, boggy terrain -- worse if he makes it to water before dropping. If this weren't enough, you also have to keep your head on a swivel because you're surrounded by bloody meat in the middle of grizzly country.

So you can imagine how Alaskans would view a guy running naiively around the wildnerness, popping moose with a .22 without the equipment or knowledge to properly care for the meat. His death was tragic because his lack of respect for the wild made him a target for natural selection.

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