A wide range of trips throughout Southcentral Alaska.
Anchorage: 55°/71°/Partly sunny
Fairbanks: 55°/86°/Intermittent clouds
In his classic work, "A Sand County Almanac," Aldo Leopold called the sportsman of his day a "gadgeteer." He said that hunters were more concerned with technology than woodcraft. And while that may apply to some degree today, taking along the right equipment on an Alaska big-game hunt -- and especially a backpack-type hunt -- will not only help you find success but also help keep you safe.
Big-game hunting in Alaska is a science involving planning, strategy and refined backcountry skills. Ultimately, however, the heart of the hunt, the part that defines its success or failure, is a hunter's ability to find and get within range of the game.
My friend Mike Stitzel and I had climbed most of the morning, and our legs were feeling it. Now we were bumping along the top of the mountain, playing "sneak and peek" as we peered over the edge from time to time in search of the bedded billies we'd spotted earlier. When we found one of them, he was basking in a sunbeam without a care in the world.
Alaska's big game -- especially moose, bison and elk -- can be pretty big. How much weight can a successful hunter expect to have to pack out of the wild?
Moose and bear are the state's biggest game
Fabled for its bears and moose, Alaska is a top spot on many hunters' lists.
Hunters are required to have an Alaska hunting license (perhaps a hunting-fishing combination). Big-game hunters who don't live in the state are required to have a guide.
Some hunting is available along the road system, but often hunters are airlifted or boated to remote areas. Only two of Alaska's national wildlife refuges -- Kenai and Tetlin -- are accessible by road.
Because of the state's size, traditional uses and variety of habitats, elaborate regulations govern the taking of game. Regulations can be downloaded in PDF format.
Regulations, tips and general wildlife information can be found at www.wildlife.alaska.gov/hunt_trap/hunttrap_home.cfm, a site of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Bowhunting is allowed during any open season, the state says, and there are some bow-only seasons. Bowhunter certification may be required for big-game hunts.
Here's a quick list of some of the Last Frontier's game species: