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Old 05-06-2009, 07:20 PM
 
65 posts, read 236,757 times
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Hello All,

I and family will be moving up to the Anchorage area this summer and I would like to start hunting up there when the season starts. I know the license rule but need the best advice on guns, both pistol and rifles.

Would like to hunt for big game if possible. What is the best and recommended weapons?
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,388 posts, read 42,701,155 times
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What do you want to hunt? Offhand a good bolt-action 30-06 is a good place to start, it's good for anything in North America (And before the Magnum guys start in, I'm saying it's good, not necessarily excellent, OK?)

There are plenty of hunting experiences available in AK that are not really "Entry Level".

The Marlin 45-70 or 450 Marlin lever guns are good too, they fill a different niche.

I"m going to assume you already have a .22 and say a 12-GA shotgun.

Probably the minimum handgun that works for serious or semi-serious use in AK would be a .44 Mag revolver, lot of different options out there.

Full disclosure - I have not had the chance to hunt in AK so far. Would love to though...but the above is pretty much middle-of-the-road thought, gleaned from many years of reading a lot of gun and hunting literature.
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:06 PM
 
65 posts, read 236,757 times
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My dream hunt would be a moose. I have hunted in Eastern Washington for big mule deer and used 30-06 bolt action and that was just fine. I think the deer in washington are bigger then most up there but moose are damn big! And bears.....

Last edited by tomcat6369; 05-06-2009 at 08:59 PM..
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
16,171 posts, read 27,421,913 times
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As Mitch said, all depends on "what you want to hunt."

For example, the most popular all around cartridges in Alaska are the .30-06, .300WM, and .338WM. These three are used by most Alaska hunters to hunt deer, caribou, moose, and other large game. My oldest son uses a .30-06, and has a .45-70 he would like to use on moose one of these days, while my favorite for all my hunting is the .338WM.
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
16,171 posts, read 27,421,913 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomcat6369 View Post
My dream hunt would be a moose. I have hunted in Eastern Washington for big mule deer and used 30-06 bult action and that was just fine. I think the deer in washington are bigger then most up there but moose are damn big! And bears.....
A .270 or .30-06 are perfect for moose, and for black bears. But a lot of larger bears have been hunted with the .30-06, although I would prefer a .338WM for these. I don't hunt bears, mostly moose.
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,388 posts, read 42,701,155 times
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It's not just about the rifle either - probably the biggest issue is to hunt well, get close enough, know your animal anatomy well enough to know where to aim, shoot well enough from field positions to hit close enough to the point of aim (5 shots offhand all on a regular size paper plate at 100 yards is a reasonable standard) use an appropriate bullet, premium ammo or premium component bullets don't cost, they pay..

From what I have read, the 30-06 220 grain load is a good one for moose, at the same time if you want to use a moose hunt as an excuse to buy a .338, or a 45-70, nothing wrong with that either.

Sounds like you are an experienced guy so I guess I'll just say I envy you getting "up there". Enjoy the hunt!
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Bethel, Alaska
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My dad has a old .257 Roberts bolt action, he swears by it!
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Palmer
2,518 posts, read 5,871,034 times
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Get a 3006. You won't be sorry. You can add to your collection later, but the 3006 will be the goto gun for a lot of things.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:55 PM
 
Location: Seward, Alaska
2,739 posts, read 7,640,460 times
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Almost any high-powered rifle will take Alaskan game...even the "lowly 30-30". (and yes, I admit to owning one)
It's just that some calibers make the job easier. Everybody has their favorites, and this to a large degree is determined by what kind of rifle you prefer: bolt, lever, pump, auto, etc. I'd say anything from 270 Win on up is just fine. 30-06 is perhaps the most versatile, but I'd use 180gr bullets, not 220...the 180's are completely adequate and won't drop as much at the longer ranges. Use the 220's on large bear, if you don't have a larger rifle. I used a 375 H&H on a moose one year, but it was because I was hunting in brown bear country, and might just as easily have run into one of them instead of a moose.
If I had to pick just one gun for Alaska deer/goat/black bear/sheep/caribou/moose it would be a 270 Win, 280 Rem, or the new 270 Win Short Magnum) They all are very flat shooting, highly accurate, and hit plenty hard. Best of all, the recoil won't knock your dentures out. I once owned a 7m/m Rem Mag, which was accurate and somewhat more powerful than the 270/280, but the recoil was fast and sharp...affecting how well I could place my shots...personally...I wouldn't get one.

Brown bear and grizzly are kind of in a class by themselves...I would say a 30-06 with premium bullets is the bare minimum to consider. I once had a 338 Win Mag and was very impressed with its accuracy and long range, and manageable recoil. I would have no qualms about using one on a brown bear. Ditto for the 375 H&H and 375 Ruger. The Marlin 450, (and 45/70 with modern high power loads) are good in brushy terrain, but both are pretty hard kickers. There was a story in the Anchorage Daily News last fall about a guy in Eagle River who killed a brown bear with one shot from a 45/70.

If you're not sure what to get, then you can't go wrong following Marty's advice: get a 30-06. It may very well be the most versatile cartridge ever invented. It just seems to work good no matter what kind of hunt you are going on. Recoil, although noticieable, is not severe, meaning most hunters can shoot it fairly accurately. Covers just about all Alaska large game well. Not perfectly, but pretty doggone well.
(and yes, I have one now)

The only sidearm I carry in bear country is a 454 Casull, and I am hoping I will never have to use it. Don't want a bear, but if it comes down to a "him or me" scenario, well then, the bears' gotta go. Yes, I know, there are bigger handguns available now, but they are huge and heavy. I can just manage 5 shots with the 454, then I have to put it away for the day. Leaves your hand numb and feeling like somebody has beat on it with a ball-bat...

Bud
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:17 AM
 
Location: The Woods
16,454 posts, read 21,465,702 times
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Well, my 30-30 Winchester 94 (pre-1964 ) would definately take a moose (and the previous owner took some with it) and I've heard a lot of people use 30-30's in AK, but, I'd definately go with a 30-06 with some nice hot loads. Not really because of the moose (they're not hard to kill) but because of what else you could run into. I like my 8mm Mauser with some hot European ammo (S&B, Norma, or if you can find it RWS, it's equal to the 30-06) but go with the 30-06 since it's common. A 45-70 Marlin lever gun would be excellent too...

I'm envious that you'll be in Alaska and able to moose hunt, I still have never gotten drawn for a moose permit in Vermont...I'm cursed or something...I'm really just a meat hunter so deer is okay, but I really like moose...
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