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One of the Frozen Chosen
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Hi there - I was widowed when my sons were small and while we've all been as independent and as self-sufficient as possible, hunting and fishing is one thing we've never been able to learn...and we're lifelong Alaskans!! Many of our friends have been showing their pics of the moose they got this year, how many silvers they have in the freezer, etc...and it's kind of sad to not have this possibly vital skill.
We managed to get a pretty good first garden done this year, and enjoyed learning so next year will be better...and none of us are afraid of work. My boys are both grown now but we've just never been able to get anyone to show us how these things are done.
We get along well with everyone, no shirking and no whiners -- but with no one to teach you, just how do you get to learn to fish (put the hook on the line, manage to get one hooked, bring it in, take it off the line, clean it...etc.). Or hunt (track, kill (we do practice shooting), skin, field dress, get it home, process it for the freezer...etc.).
I think I'll go ahead and shell out for a guided fishing trip next year and let the guide know we want to do the work, just need to be shown. Will that work for hunting? Any suggestions or ideas please? :D:Thanks!
 

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Are you in Anchorage?

I guess it can be kinda tough. I would start by taking a hunters safety course, then getting a guide the first time out. Explain to the guide that you want to learn as much as possible and clean your own animal etc and they will be quite happy to show you the ropes.

Other than that, i can only suggest a very very trusted friend in who's judgment and skill you have confidence in.

I'd help out if i were still up there. I'm getting a set net permit for PWS starting next year so i'll be doing summers up there soon!
 

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Hunter/Farmer
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My suggestion is to join a local fishing and hunting forums.
A search brought up this one for a start:
http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/forumdisplay.php?f=3

If they are like the ones I belong to here in Texas, the members are more than willing to help out someone new to the sport.

And yes, you can learn more in a day with a guided fishing trip than in a year of hit and miss fishing trips. A good guide is well worth the money. Be all ears, ask questions, and soak it all in.
:thumb: Filling freezers will come naturally if you do.
 
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Ask some one those friends who are showing you pictures. Let them know you are interested. Go out into the wood, anytime of year and sit there for four hours. Don't move.....at all? Observe.

Practice walking slowly and quietly through the woods. Pick out a spot 10 feet away. Walk to it.....take 5 minutes to do it. Stay there and observe your suroundings for another 5-10 minutes. Pick out a spot another 10-15 ft away. Take 5-10 minutes to get there. Stay there and observe your suroundings for another 5-10 minutes. Do this for hours. This is called still hunting. Have fun.

I agree with the other guys also. It would be beneficial to spend time with someone who did this a lot like a guide.
 

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The best possible way to learn these skills is to hire a guide and go fishing or hunting with them. I know that guides are expensive, but they are experts, and they will help you learn what you need to know.

I live in Wasilla, and I learned how to fish from a good friend who was also a fishing guide. He took me on a few fishing trips, and now I know what to do to improve my chances of catching fish in Alaskan waters.

I haven't started hunting yet, but I'm learning to shoot, and I'm going to be getting my first rifle which will be suitable for hunting small game. Once I've mastered the .22LR, I plan to move up to a higher caliber rifle, and I will learn how to hunt bigger game. Most of the people I know in Wasilla hunt, so I'm pretty sure I can get somebody to take me out and show me how it's done.

Visit your local gun shop and talk to the guy behind the counter. I'm sure he could help you find a guide or a class.
 

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One of the Frozen Chosen
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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for the ideas and encouragement all~ I'll definitely try the woodscraft practice before it snows ... and again in the winter. I got my first rifle by winning a 45-70 at the Palmer state fair this year so I'll try it carrying sometimes, just to get used to it (I always carry my sidearm). Yep, I'm here in Los Anchorage ("just 15 minutes from Alaska...") right now, but looking at land in Sutton and Willow -- One of my sons is in a forum like you mentioned so I'll ask him to look for specific help too. :thumb:
 

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Do your hunting now. In times of crisis with people running all over trying to kill anything they think they can eat is not a good idea. Fill those freezers up but keep in mind a way to keep the freezer running. Power. Guides are great idea. You also need something special sometimes when hunting in Alaska. I have family all over the state and none of them hunt or I would send you to them. Second thought, I would not do that to you under any circumstances. Ha Ha. You don't need that additional problem.

Take care. By the way do you have a rifle now? If so what kind and caliber.
 

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25 Or 6 to 4
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8,006 Posts
I suggest you get a copy of and digest your local game laws before you earn a first timer hunters, stay in the cooler. Game laws are nothing to mess around with. A game warden may enter and search a residence without a warrant in our state.

From there as yoda would say: do, or do not, there is no try.
 

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Iēsous
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while i love hunting have you considered learning how to trap game?

its easy and it works and is a quiet way to collect game.

Snares on game trails and such:)
 

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Happiness is 2 at low 8
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...I think I'll go ahead and shell out for a guided fishing trip next year and let the guide know we want to do the work, just need to be shown. Will that work for hunting? Any suggestions or ideas please? :D:Thanks!
Hiring a guide is a good idea, even experienced hunters will hire a guide when hunting in unfamiliar territory. Not only does the guide know the terrain he knows what works and what to look for IN HIS AREA. Hunting in Maine is not the same as hunting in Florida is not the same as hunting in Alaska. Same thing goes for fishing...

Is there a Rod & Gun Club in Wasilla? If so join AND go to the meetings AND let them know you're a noob and want to learn the sports.

If you do get invited to go hunting/fishing ( as opposed to hiring a guide) let me suggest with all emphasis DO NOT COMPLAIN 'cause your feet hurt, you're cold, you're hungry etc. That's the surest way to not get invited back to do it again...

Good luck...

Allan
 

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Freedom Is Not Free
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662 Posts
I'd start with your State Dept of Natural Reources. They can be a big help getting started. To echo others go take a hunter safety course.
 
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