We have spoken at length about Dall sheep and everyone has commented about how much I write about the Grizzly Bears. Today though, I thought I would share with you another perspective and this time on the best Combo Hunt of Alaska.
Master Guide Terry Overly asked what type of interview this one was to be and I told him that we needed the real skinny on the best combo hunt of Alaska and he immediately responded that he would be happy to share with you all exactly what made the Alaska-Yukon Moose and Grizzly Bear Combination Hunt the hunt of choice for so many Big Game hunters of Alaska.
Why would a Combination Hunt be the hunt to choose when coming to Alaska to hunt?
~ Simply, a Combination Hunt would afford a hunter the biggest bang for the buck for the opportunity to maximize their time spent in the field.
Why would one choose the Combination of Alaska-Yukon Moose and Grizzly Bear over any other combo?
~ The Alaska-Yukon Moose and the Mountain Grizzly Bear inhabit exactly the same area as a rule in our area. What this means for a client is that the entire time he (or she) is in the field, that client will be in exactly the right place to hunt either.
Why would one choose the September 1st-10th time-frame (or the first time-frame this combination is available)?
~ Usually, the weather will be warmer on the first September hunt than later on in the month, which surprisingly a lot of hunters prefer. Grizzly Bears roam all over our area, from the glaciers to the river bottoms and throughout the timber where the moose live and hang out.
There is little chance of broken horns on the Alaska-Yukon Moose due to fighting over cows on this hunt and for those who wish to take their meat home with them, or even simply a portion of it; the meat is perfect with no hint of the rut that comes later. The moose horns will also most often still have velvet on.
Why would one choose the September 10th -20th time-frame (or the second time-frame this combination is available)?
~ This time-frame appeals to many for the same reasons as the first, except that the Grizzly Bear’s fur will be a bit longer and fuller.
The moose will be very much the same as the first hunt for this combo, with even less velvet. They maybe a little fatter and depending on the temperature and weather may be moving around a little more which helps to make the bulls more visible.
Why would one choose the September 20th -October 3rd time frame (the last time-frame for Moose and Grizzly)?
~ This last hunt Combination hunt for Alaska-Yukon Moose and Grizzly Bear is a good hunt in many ways. The pre-rut action steps up substantially most years and as a rule you will see more cows, small bulls and larger bulls.
There is always the chance that the bull you spotted “yesterday” when it was just too dark to harvest surely, will have broken points or even, though rarely, an entire palm broken off when you see him next from fighting.
For those that wish to take their moose meat home with them, or a quantity of it at least, the meat is not as good (tasting a bit rutty) as those moose taken on the earlier hunts.
On this hunt we do offer a bonus for those who wish to sincerely focus on their trophy moose while the season is open (the Alaska-Yukon Moose season closes September 30th). If you have by chance not harvested your Grizzly Bear and have the inclination to stay a bit longer, you are invited to do so and continue to hunt for your Grizzly for a few extra days.
How do you hunt Alaska-Yukon Moose? Grizzly Bear?
~ As I said earlier, in our area the moose and Grizzly Bear inhabit the exact same area and terrain. We go out hunting every day, (and this is very important to remember and keep in mind), anywhere and everywhere we go, as we go, we are in their country. We are inside the exact place they are.
We have had Bull Moose walk through the yard and Grizzly Bears ram-sack the saddle barn on a highly regular basis. We are inside their stomping grounds.
Within our Guide Area we have access to 3 totally separate Moose populations. Weather is a significant factor in choosing which camp we will hunt from. There are no roads in the entirety of my area. We are in the Wrangell and Nutzotin Mountains.
Another factor that plays into choosing which camp we will hunt from is our client’s physical capabilities to have a successful hunt without compromising the quality of experience had with us. We have the area and capability of being very diverse as far as camps and areas to choose from.
We hunt by the spot and stalk method and may ride for hours or sit and glass for hours depending on which camp we are hunting from and the advantages to each. As the moose become more active and the rut comes closer to being fully on the bulls we also call and scrape for their attention.
As always, patience is what is required of a Grizzly Bear hunter and it never fails to apply the same to moose hunting. 60” Alaska-Yukon Moose are our primary target.
What do you think your (Pioneer Outfitters) weakness is?
~ Communication. I have to admit, that communication is my weakness. I hate to feel as if I am being a nuisance. I never mind chatting on the phone and often chat for hours when someone calls, but when it comes to me actually calling others, I feel as if I may be intruding.
I am constantly being reminded to call my clients and even my guides, during the off seasons, so I endeavor to improve on this as hard as it seems for me to overcome.
What do you say to the negative reports about your outfit from the last couple of years, that I have heard rumors of?
~ The last two Big Game Hunting Seasons for Pioneer Outfitters have been incredibly challenging, to say the least.
Our clients come to us most often for a variety of reasons and in good faith because of our reputation of success and professionalism as well as our Team’s unique bond with one another and a shared deep love for what we do as Professional Guides.
However, very much like the critters that live in this land we are very much at the mercy of the environment.
Two years ago the Chisana Glacier began melting at an unprecedented rate. The effects of this were cataclysmic due to flooding. The horrific forest fires and heat of 2013 added to the mess and unnatural hardships Mother Nature had inflicted upon us. Trails were washed away, airstrips destroyed, visibility was hindered and tempers rose as the bogs became death traps for the unwary.
Safety, for our clients, our guides and our horses are always our primary concern. Increased air support and eliminating river crossings both helped keep our people and horses safe while it also caused disappointment and frustration to mount.
We got caught with our Pioneer Outfitter-pants down because this had never happened before. It has been a terrible blow not simply to have to endure all the fallout but to stand and see that there were simply no options in place to balance almost 90 years of experience that had no common ground.
Small comforts, but there are now options in place and effect to be exercised at a moments notice, if ever need be again. We are still the unequaled best at what we do and we will always put safety first. We will take care of you, even when it earns us a punch in the face.
What is your Mission Statement?
~ Pioneer Outfitters Mission Statement: To Walk the Talk, every day in every way. To provide the ultimate wilderness experience, safely and ethically to each guest and client of Pioneer Outfitters.
It is always fun, first trying to out-maneuver the Boss with these interviews and next, getting straight answers that can be less than book-length. They are always worth it, though. There is nothing that compares to getting the facts right from the proverbial “horse’s mouth.”
I hope you enjoyed and found some answers that you may have been searching for. If you would like to hear more from the Boss, the following posts and personal page on this website may enlighten you further. If you would like to visit the Big Game Hunting pages here on this website, start here.
- Master Guide Terry Overly