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After 16 years in the Army and 4 overseas assignments, I finally got orders to Alaska. I think I'm set or at least have a good idea about what I'll need for hunting. My concern is fishing/boating in Alaska. I'd like any advice on this subject. I'll probably live on post at Ft Wainwright and I really want to make the most of this 3 or 4 year tour with my family.

I'm married with three children, however only two will come to Alaska. We have a Honda CRV (all-wheel drive) and will pick up our new F-250 4X4 diesel while on leave and drive it to Alaska. My wife wants to do some camping and my kids almost always fish with me. I've never really fished cold water especially creeks and rivers. My eight year old son is fearless and it'll be tough to keep him out of frigid flowing water. Would it be safer to just buy a boat? We've owned several, but currently we are boatless. Are there new or used boat dealers in that area or should we buy one before we travel north? To me it seems buying a boat is the only option, because even with waders on, kids are too "light in the seat" for any type of current. We've spent plenty of time in ocean currents, so I never underestimate its power.
 

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Life-long dream, moving to Alaska soon, nee

First: Forget about getting anything with a prop, jet pumps are the only way to go here. I also believe that a tunnel is the only way to go. I use my boat in awful shallow rivers and creeks. I use a LOWE 16ft OLY JOHN, with twin 40s. Personally I recommend waiting till you get here, look around at what others are using. Sit down make a list of the things you want to do with it, then look at the capabilities of all the different types of boats that are available. Inboard, outboard, each has its advantages and disadvantages. Also decide what you want to spend, and stick with it. Seen a lot of people get more than they can afford. Not from the payments. Insurance, maintenance, and operation cost, are the greatest expense.

Compeaus.com is the web site for one of the dealers here in Fairbanks. Compeaus sell boats, 4-wheelers, and snow machines. They aren't the only dealer in town, just the only one I know the web site for.

Any more questions let me know. My wife works on Ft WW, I retired from there, 4 years ago. Rog
 

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Life-long dream, moving to Alaska soon, nee

Oh Yes forgot. The Honda CRV will do fine here. It is one of the more popular vehicles here due to it's fourwheel drive and good milage. Plus Honda makes a good vehicle. You will just have to have it winterized once you get here. That means having heaters put on the engine, and battery. Also sometimes the fluids needs to be changed to an artic type or synthetics. Depends on what yours has in it. You'll find all that out when you get here. In fact let me know when you are about to arrive, maybe we could get together at that time. Like I said my wife works on Ft WW, she is the claims examiner for the legal office so you will meet her when you get here anyway. Rog
 

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Life-long dream, moving to Alaska soon, nee

I've already ordered an oil pan heater for the CRV. I plan on having it installed before I ship it. I ordered the truck with a block heater installed. I'll buy battery blankets and things like that either before we get there or shortly after. I leave Germany on 10 Sep 05 and I have to report to Ft. WW on 10 Oct 05.

I've been reading comments throughout Graybeards and most Alaska hunters recommend pretty good sized rifles. I have a couple 30-06s and was planning on only buying a 45-70 Marlin GG, but that was just to have one mainly. Do you think the 30-06s will be Ok? I plan on doing some bow hunting anyway. Like I said before though, I really want to get out and make the most of Alaska.

So, your wife works on post. My wife works on post here too. How do things look for GS 04/05 level jobs on post. If you don't mind, just shoot me an email a PM, I have millions of ????, 'cause we are so excited about coming to Alaska.

(I edited this to read PM instead of a military email address. Got to protect our troops from the less than desireables. :roll: DITB)
 

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Life-long dream, moving to Alaska soon, nee

KP, dont much about wainwright but being the navy for over 20 yrs, the few shore stations I was at special services (recreation part) always seemed to have boats or charters you could use. I see at wainwright they have one with boats and motors (boating course required) for rent. Might get an Idea from these people or try one of their boats (not real cheap).
heres their link ifin you havant already looked at it: http://mwr.polarnet.com/outdoorrecreation.htm

Gun Runner
 

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Life-long dream, moving to Alaska soon, nee

MWR has boats and motors to rent, mostly lake boats with motors with props. They have a few flat bottom boats for the rivers, with jet pumps. The main problem is that if you rent them five times or more you could have paid for it. Plus the equipment they have is not top of the line, and is not always properly maintained. I won't rent them because I don't want to be stranded out in the bush somewhere due to a poorly maintained motor, I've known many who were.
The 30-06 is adequate for Caribou, Dall Sheep, and Black Bear. A little light for Moose, and Grizzly. The main problem is that when you are hunting Caribou, you are in Grizzly country. When hunting Moose and Sheep you are also in Grizzly country.
I hate to tell people what gun they should get, since we all have our own philosophy on what is best. But I will say this, Most Bear guides won't take clients using anything less than a .338 Win Mag. The .338 is my personal favorite, the 45-70 and the .450 are great for close work, but does not have the range for shooting above treeline, where most hunting around here occurs.
 

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KP

KP: I have been bear hunting and out to a welding class. I am now fighting a skin infection from skinning bears so I have not been typing much.

Sourdough has some good advice. I was told when I was planning on moving here the following:

Wait until you get here and see what everyone esle is using. There is probably a reason for that make or model and if you buy the same thing; someone has probably already broken it, knows how to fix it and might have the part.

On guns:

Don't hunt with a gun big enough for what your hunting; but, what might be hunting you.

When you have your arms wet with blood to the elbows and you hear a large whoof behind you, do you want a (fill in the blank with a caliber) or a .338/.375 near your side?


Sound advice........
 

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Life-long dream, moving to Alaska soon, nee

Ft Wainwrights main gate is right downtown Fairbanks. There is one Elementary School on post. The Middle school is just outside a side gate. The high school is about two miles from the front gate.
The Chena a clear water river runs through the post. The Chena is a good place to fish for Grayling and Pike. It also is a good place to canoe or raft with kids. The Chena is a slow moving, and real shallow river as it runs through the post.
I live in North Pole, 18 miles south of Fairbanks. Yes, I live two and a half miles from Santa Clause House. There is a shooting range about four miles from the front gate. The range is only 300 yards, but is a good place to shoot. If possible to get here in September that would be good if you want to hunt. You have to be here one year before you can get a resident hunting licsence. Most hunting is over at the end of September. If you arrive in October, it will be two years before you can get a hunt as a resident. Good luck. Rog
 
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