ALASKA MOOSE HUNTING GEAR INFORMATION
When hunting for moose in Alaska it is very important to have the right gear. This can make the difference between a fun trip and a miserable one. You need to be prepared for whatever the weather throws at you during your moose hunt in Alaska. It might snow for days with temperatures in the single digits and you will be glad for the extra layers of clothing that you brought along on the hunt. During some Alaska moose hunts it will rain nearly every day and you will be glad that you have the right gear to keep you as comfortable as possible during these days. On other trophy Alaska moose hunts it will be sunny and warm and you will shed the layers as it gets warmer during the day. When I pack my gear for an Alaska moose hunt I always pack for the worst weather conditions possible then head out there and enjoy every day! It is important to pack clothing made of synthetic materials that will dry quickly. One sure way to be uncomfortable during your moose hunt in Alaska is to have clothes that stay wet or damp all day long!
I have covered the basic gear for Alaska moose hunting and tried to point you in the right direction for a comfortable and enjoyable moose hunting trip in Alaska. Please take a look at the detailed gear information as you pack for your Alaska moose hunting adventure.
HIP BOOTS OR WADERS
Each hunter should have a pair of ankle fit insulated hip boots. In Alaska’s wet terrain, these are one of your most important pieces of equipment. Alaska moose hunters often wear these from sun up to sun down every day whether they are wading streams, climbing mountains, breaking brush or hiking across tundra. Trophy Alaska moose hunts are almost always in areas where there is a lot of water. Your rain pants should fit over your hip boots and allow easy comfortable unrestricted movement. Rain pants over your hip boots makes you essentially waterproof from the waist down. Be sure your boots have no leaks and are comfortable before your Alaska moose hunt. You will be spending a lot of time in these and do not want wet feet, blisters and hot spots to ruin your moose hunting trip in Alaska. I recommend the rubber LaCross hip boots with 600 grams of thiosulfate in the foot and airbob soles. These are the quietest hip boots that I know of. Please don’t bring those waterproof fabric ones because they are very noisy and moose pick up on it fast! The key to keeping hip boots as quiet as possible is to not have them rubbing together at the knees with every step. It is also important to have a hip boot with good aggressive tread and not the standard slick bottoms. It can wreck a morning of your Alaska moose hunt when you step on a muddy beaver slide and find yourself landing in the river!
Do not get cheap when it comes to rain gear. Staying dry can be the biggest factor in the success and enjoyment of your moose hunt in Alaska as well as your health and safety. Do not show up with plastic or ponchos. I recommend Gortex or other breathable, waterproof raingear for your moose hunt in Alaska. It is to your advantage to have rain gear that is as quiet as possible for your moose hunting adventure. This could make the difference between going home empty handed and having that trophy Alaska bull moose to show off to your friends and family! Combination systems with zip out liners are very functional, eliminating the need to pack several different coats and tops. Rain pants should slip easily over hip boots and allow for ease of movement during your Alaska moose hunt. It is nice if your rain pants have a zipper on the legs so you can put them on without taking your boots off. Rain tops should allow plenty of room to layer warm clothing underneath. What ever you
bring needs to keep you dry and must be able to dry out quickly if it gets wet during your Alaska moose hunt. Stay away from any cotton lined gear for this reason. Also, rain gear that has velcro as it is extremely noisy for moose hunting and should be avoided.
Sleeping bags for your moose hunt in Alaska should be rated to –10 or –20 below zero. Construction should be of synthetic material. Traditional feathers, down, and cotton are useless and cold if they become wet. Pack these in a stuff sack inside your waterproof bag. Compression sacks are useful for high loft sleeping bags. It is a good idea to test a new sleeping bag out before heading out into the woods for your Alaska moose hunt. If a bag is too small and tight it can make for a miserable night’s sleep. Make sure and bring a good sleeping bag so you can get a good night’s sleep & stay warm during your moose hunt in Alaska.
FLASH LIGHT OR HEAD LAMP
Each person should have one of these along with extra batteries and a spare bulb for moose and grizzly hunting in Alaska. We have found head lamps to be the most useful, allowing for hands free use while on your Alaska moose hunt. Bring small personal use flashlights only and no big Mag-Lights or spot lights.
Alaska moose hunting guides have the appropriate hardware to skin, butcher and care for your moose meat and hides in the field. Unless you want to get personally involved in this, you may leave your skinning knives at home. Everyone should bring at least one folding pocketknife for their guided moose hunt in Alaska. If for nothing else, this will be used for your personal dining purposes. Please leave the large “Rambo” blades in the showcase at home and bring a medium sized knife, preferably with a locking blade for butchering your Alaska bull moose.
Each hunter looking for moose in Alaska should have a pair of good binoculars. If you are purchasing new, buy the highest quality you can afford. Quality optics will permit longer viewing with less eye strain. This can make a difference in the outcome of your hunt and comfort. You may be spending many hours each day behind your glasses looking for your trophy Alaska bull moose. Be sure your binoculars at least claim to be “waterproof”. Glasses which only claim to be “water resistant” will fog over the moment you enter Alaska. 8×40 are a minimum, 10X42 or 10×50 are recommended. I prefer 10×42 for hunting moose in Alaska. The higher the power is the harder it is to hold them still enough to see clearly through.
Bring 20 to 30 rounds of ammunition for your rifle. For Alaska Dall sheep and Caribou hunts a 270 or 30-06 class rifle is fine. Shot placement is more important than the size of the rifle. For Alaska Moose and Grizzly Bear hunts a 30-06 or larger is recommended, the 338 mag with 250 grain Nosler Partition Bullets is my recommendation as the best all around rifle for this hunt in Alaska. But again, shot placement is more important than the size. Also, bring good bullets not some cheap bullet.
For Alaska Brown Bear hunts the 338 is a min caliber with the 375 H&H being my best recommendation. Another good rifle for Alaska’s dangerous game would be the .416 Remington Mag, Rigby or any of the other .416’s if a hunter can cope with the recoil. Please bring a rifle that you can shoot well, and not one with recoil that you can’t handle.
The bullet type used is important during your hunt in Alaska as these should be properly constructed and of the correct weight for the type of game being hunted. The premium type bullets, like Swift, Nosler, or Trophy bonded, and other premium soft points are by far the best for your Alaska hunting trip. These bullets are expensive, but they are the cheapest part of a hunting safari and well worth the investment. Bullet placement and the right bullet are in fact far more important than the caliber.
Whatever the rifle and bullet combination that you choose for your trophy moose hunt in Alaska it is extremely important to practice often so you are proficient in your shooting skills when you are on your Alaska hunting adventure. You don’t want to miss your shot at a trophy Alaska bull moose just because you failed to practice!
Your rifle scope for hunting moose and grizzly in Alaska should be a rugged 1 1/2 to 5, 2 to 7 or 3 to 9 for most conditions. Those for low-light conditions, should have good light gathering ability, with a good quality, large objective lens, like Leopold, Leica and other quality makes. The German scopes are hard to beat for light gathering ability and quality. Scopes should be mounted as low as possible on rugged scope mounts that will allow the objective lens to just clear the barrel and bolt handle. It is important to have a scope cover to keep rain and debris off of your scope lens while on your guided Alaska moose hunt. Make sure your scope is installed using lock tite on the threads of the mounting screws to keep them from working loose during an Alaska moose hunting trip. Keeping the scope set on low settings while hunting moose in Alaska is of the utmost importance. Many of the shots will be at a close range and you want to see more than just hair when you look through your scope at your Alaska bull moose! If your trophy Alaskan bull moose is a long way off then you will have a chance to turn your scope up if needed to make the shot.
It takes a lot of pictures to get that one good shot of your Alaska bull moose so bring lots of “film”. Many expensive cameras and camcorders have been ruined when exposed to Alaska’s tough wet conditions. If you are an avid or professional photographer pack your cameras in the appropriate water and crush proof boxes for your Alaska moose hunt. If you are not an avid or professional photographer then leave the expensive photo gear at home and bring a simple camera. The simpler the camera the better for ease of use during your Alaska moose hunting adventure! Waterproof disposable camera’s are great for Alaska conditions and in unskilled hands take just as good pictures as would the expensive and heavy gear. Make sure you bring extra batteries for your camera so you can have plenty of pictures to remember your moose hunt in Alaska! Digital cameras are great for most situations and usually take great pictures. I like one that is small enough to fit into a shirt pocket for quick access in the field during an Alaska moose or grizzly hunt. With these you usually have more than enough room on the “chip” for pictures during the entire hunt in Alaska without having to worry about running out of room. Just like with any of your other Alaska hunting gear it is important to know how to operate your camera before you are out in your Alaska hunting camp.
PERSONAL TOILETRIES AND MEDICINES
It is important for your comfort to pack a small towel, wash cloth, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, package of moist towelettes or wet ones, razor, prescriptions, ibuprofen… and whatever personal things needed to make your guided Alaska moose hunt comfortable. Also, you need to be honest when filling out the hunt paperwork and let your Alaska moose hunting outfitter know what medications you are taking, whether you have diabetes or require specific diet etc… We want to maximize your chances for success during your moose hunt in Alaska while maintaining your comfort.
INSECT REPELLENT AND HEAD NET
Your Alaska moose hunting guide will have bug dope, but you may want to bring your own bottle or favorite brand. By September the mosquito season is largely over. Though present, their numbers are not overwhelming as they can be during the peak of their summer season in Alaska. The fall brings on the hatch of “white sox” in Alaska, a small biting black fly. These can be very annoying during your moose hunt in Alaska. A slight breeze will help keep these pests at bay, but if you find yourself out on a windless hot afternoon, you will want a head net and bug dope. Small pump bottles are easier to pack when hunting moose in Alaska than large aerosol cans. There are many brands and formulas on the market that seem to work with varying effectiveness. The active ingredient DEET seems to be the most effective overall. Any brand of repellent with a high percentage of Deet should work well. The increasing frequency of frosting nights all but eliminates flying pests by seasons end. Mosquito dope is a very important thing to have along on an Alaska moose hunt!
Hunting boots are either leather or synthetic and some are a combination of the two. For hunting Alaska moose either variety will be just fine as long as they are at least 10 inches high with about 600 grams of thinsulate. Water proof linings in your hunting boots are extremely important and will greatly increase the comfort on your Alaska moose hunt. The boots that you choose for hunting moose in Alaska should have a hard sole with good, aggressive tread. Your boots should be of good quality not some cheap boot. It is best if you have broken them in before your Alaska moose hunt. The last thing you want is blisters during your search for that trophy bull moose!
A coat that will keep you warm in Alaska’s freezing wet conditions is essential. 2, 3, or 4 – in – 1 coat systems, consisting of a waterproof outer shell and one or more zip in liners, are fantastic for extended moose and grizzly bear hunts in Alaska’s varying conditions. These systems eliminate the need for a separate rain jacket and additional warm tops as listed below. There are many excellent brands available on the market. If you don’t already own one, invest in a good one and it will serve you well for many seasons of hunting moose in Alaska. Also, choose one that has little or no velcro. Lots of coats have the annoying velcro over the pockets and some even have it on the zipper flap for the entire length of the coat! When you are calling moose in Alaska you want to be as quiet as possible. This will increase your odds of harvesting that trophy bull moose in Alaska and not run him off just before he decides to come in to your moose call! Nothing can be more frustrating as “working” on an Alaskan bull moose than to have him get spooked from some abnormal noise such as velcro.
For your moose hunt in Alaska you should bring 2 to 3 long sleeve tops of varying thickness and warmth. The best materials are polar fleece, wool or synthetic clothing. For your hunting shirt I highly recommend (Microtex) as this type of clothing will dry quickly if it gets wet during your pursuit of that giant bull moose in Alaska. This category includes pullovers, sweaters and light jackets that may be layered for additional warmth as needed.
For your Alaska moose hunt you will also need to bring 2 pairs of pants. Microtex again is my strong recommendation as it dries so fast while on a moose hunt in Alaska. Some hunters prefer polar fleece or wool for moose hunting in Alaska.
For long underwear, you will need to bring 1 pair (top and bottom). I recommend WoolX for warmth and comfort while hunting moose in Alaska. Click on their logo found on the home page of my website for more information. I have personally tested their products and found them to perform very well out in the field hunting for trophy Alaska moose.
UNDERWEAR AND T-SHIRTS
Bring what you feel you will need to be comfortable on your moose hunting trip in Alaska. Don’t over do it and pack too much because items can be rinsed and dried during your moose hunting trip if needed.
I recommend packing several pair of Thermax, Wool Ultimax or similar hiking socks for use during your Alaska moose hunting adventure. You should bring several pairs of varying thickness and warmth.
When the weather gets cold, you will need a warm hat to prevent heat loss through your head. A baseball cap or brimmed hat is fine for the sunny days or to wear around camp. During those cold days while moose hunting in Alaska you will want a hat that will insulate and can be pulled low over your ears.
You should pack 2 pairs of gloves for your moose and grizzly hunt in Alaska (1 light, 1 warm). I like to bring one thin fleece pair along with a pair of waterproof gloves as well. Do not bring neoprene gloves because they are terrible and your hands will be wet and cold! They are not water proof! Make sure that one of your pairs of gloves at least claims to be waterproof for your moose hunt in Alaska.
You should bring a pair of warm mittens for your comfort during those long and cold boat rides etc. You never know when you will wish you had a pair of them along for your moose and grizzly hunt in Alaska!
BANDANA OR LARGE HANDKERCHIEF
These always seem to come in handy for a variety of uses around an Alaska moose hunting camp. i.e., wash cloth, sun protection, dust mask, pot holder, napkin, handkerchief, marker, flag, hand signal, bug dope dispenser, sling, bandage, turnicate….
BOOK, PLAYING CARDS, WRITING MATERIALS
Don’t forget something to pass the time while waiting out weather or an airplane, etc… Nightly notes or a journal is a great way to help you remember the details of your moose hunting trip in Alaska.
I recommend using a 100 Percent merino wool base layer for comfort and warmth. For more information or to order some of the needed items for your hunt you can look at the home page of my website www.clearwateralaskaoutfitters.com and click on the link at the bottom of the home page to order your 100 Percent merino wool base layer. I have tested these out and they are really nice and hold up really well.