Hunting DIY Alaska

Show Notes

On this episode of The Western Rookie Podcast, Brian talks with Justus Nielsen and Caleb Latteier about hunting America’s last frontier!

Justus and Caleb have been friends and hunting partners since middle school and have racked up a lot of adventures together. From hunting mule deer in their current home of Utah to chase big game in Alaska and everything in between. Caleb moved to Alaska for five years, and during that time got some experience as a guide and resident hunter. Brian and the guys talk DIY Alaska Moose Hunting, avoiding brown bears, and how to fit two full caribou in a Subaru! Check out the links below to see more from Caleb and Justus.

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Show Transcript

[00:00:00] You're listening to the Western Rookie, a hunting podcast full of tips, tricks, and strategies from seasoned Western hunters. There are plenty of opportunities out there. We just need to learn how to take on the challenges. Hunting is completely different up there. I've heard of some 26 big game animals.

You can fool their eyes, but you can't fool their nose. The 300 yards back to the road turned into three miles back the other way. It's always cool seeing new hunters go and harvest an animal. I don't know what to expect. If there's anybody I want in the woods with me, it'll be you.

Welcome back to another Western Rookie Podcast episode. I'm your host, Brian Krebs. And today I've got two buddies on the call, Justice Nielsen and Caleb. I'm going to say Latir. You're gonna have to correct me on that one, Caleb, but these two guys are actually heading out looking for some deer tonight, as well as doing this podcast.

How are you guys doing? [00:01:00] Living the dream. Living the dream. How bad did I pronounce your last name, Caleb? Not bad at all. It was actually... One of the best that I've heard how do you pronounce it? Leteer. Leteer. Okay. Leteer. Yeah. Awesome. So You guys are heading out. You're gonna go find a mule deer tonight. It sounds like

So I are you guys doing rifle mule deer yet or is it still archery season down there in Utah

Okay. . We're not opposed to shooting anything with a gun at all. right now. Yeah, I I think it's fun. I think it's more fun to shoot anything with a bow, but when rifle season comes around, I pick up a rifle too. Oh yeah, I'll tell you right now, based off of how our archery [00:02:00] season has been going so far, I've been kicking myself for not getting a rifle tag.

Yeah, it's October 26th, and if you're still looking for a mule deer, it looks like you've had a couple months of of some grind going on. Yeah Utah's actually super cool the way they run their archery tag. Season starts August 19th, goes until September 15th But then it rolls over into what's called the extended season.

So in Utah, you can virtually hunt mule deer with a bow from August 19th until the end of November in certain units. Oh, nice. And so then you're probably getting into the rut then too, if you can hunt into November. Yeah. So there's we've seen a little. Nothing crazy yet. I'm thinking it's probably going to be another week and a half before we start seeing any like legit rut action.

But like you can hunt mule deer peak rut with your bow here in Utah. Which does [00:03:00] that make it easier or does that just make it harder? Cause they move all day long and it's harder to put them to bed and get a stock in. Neither of us have ever hunted mule deer with our bows in But based off of what I've seen makes it a lot easier because those bucks get a little stupid Pull the does then you pretty much killed the deer.

Yeah, that certainly helps I hope you guys find one Are you guys looking for a certain size mule deer or at this point in the game? Are you just looking for a four point? I've still got a hard number that I'm trying to hit. Caleb is Yeah, I'm not that big Yeah. So what's your hard number then?

My, my number is 160 this year. The only exception to that is if it's like just a super old deer to address or just like an absolute freak. Like I'd shoot [00:04:00] either of those deer under 160. But if it's, if it's a mature buck. I'm gonna shoot a two and a half or a three and a half year old buck just to kill a deer.

Yeah, no, I hear you. That's where I'm at with mul deer. Probably not. I'd shoot a few bucks in between that two and a half and one 60 I'll, I gotta admit, but I'm at the point now where I've tried a couple, two and a half year old meal there. And a three and a half old mule deer, and I'm just, I'm tired of shooting two and a half year old deer.

I've eaten a lot of buck tags the last few years, just cause I don't want to shoot any more two and a half year olds. Yeah, and that's I don't want anyone to think that I'm like some mighty mule deer hunter. The biggest buck that I've ever killed is 160. So I'm in a position I don't desperately need to meet and I've killed enough.

They're like there's no point in just shooting a deer just to shoot a deer. [00:05:00] Yeah, like kind of the point of this extended hunt in Utah is to ag fields and really populated areas. But the whole point of that Utah has this extended season is just to keep the deer from moving into neighborhoods, these ag fields and stuff.

So it's not They're not really geared towards herd management. Yeah, trying to keep them from destroying crops and depredation and, getting on private land and just holding up on private land all winter long. Yep. That's pretty cool, though. There's some states, like Colorado, you get to seven days and that's it.

For rifle. I think archery's a little bit longer, but, once the season's over, the season's over and you can't even go back with a different weapon. Yep. Yeah. Yeah. That's right. I think both Caleb and I, we grew up in Colorado together and archery season, like Colorado runs on a five year cycle for their season dates, so right now they're in their later season dates, so archery season is September 2nd to September 30th, and if you don't kill an animal within that time frame then you [00:06:00] don't.

Your tag goes unnotched. Yeah, that's a bummer. So I was going to ask, how did you guys meet? Did you guys go to high school together? Have you been hunting your entire lives together? Because it's hard to find a buddy that's on the same page as you with Western hunting. Yeah, we so it's funny. We tease our moms all the time because our moms have known each other since we were like seven years old.

But Caleb and I became really good friends in the eighth grade. And we joke that our. Friendship blossomed from a mutual hate to an English teacher. Okay. I think it was

super cool we got


do that. Yeah, it's different for a person to become an English [00:07:00] teacher? . Yeah. Definitely different than me. I feel like the three of our interests, if you drew a circle and like an English teacher's interest that bubbled, those two bubbles just never intersect. Yeah, no. The the only English teacher I ever life.

Cause she she understood football and enjoyed football and that was the only thing we would ever talk about. That's funny. I was going to say, but one of my favorite teachers was a Spanish teacher, but he was also our linebackers coach and he loved hunting. So I hung out with him at practice. We hung out in the weight room.

The dude was like huge and freakishly strong. He's just super fit, like a hulking, like he looks like the Rock, but from the Midwest, not Hawaii or Samoa. And and yeah, he's a Spanish teacher, just a bro I got along with him way better than like all English teachers combined. Yeah, that's good.

But yeah I was, the next question I was gonna go with, we were talking about like how the Colorado seasons are st... [00:08:00] Kind of constricted. If you draw an archery tag, you can't hunt rifle. If you draw a rifle, you can't go with your bow. If you don't shoot one in the timeline, you're done.

Is that a part of the reason why you guys moved to Utah or something else bring you out to that state? No, actually, I'll be honest. I just based off of this year, I much prefer hunting in Colorado, Utah. And it's nice. So like in Colorado, if if you have a rifle tag, you can still hunt with a bow on.

But if you have an archery tag, you can't hunt with a muzzle loader or rifle or a crossbow. Do you have to hunt in the same season though? Like the same seven days? Yep. Yeah, so you're still constricted those season days. Yeah. Which I don't know, it bugs some guys. It doesn't really bug me much.

Yeah, Colorado was definitely a, Like fantastic state to grow up in. It's one of the [00:09:00] best western states to hunt in my opinion. Yeah. It was, it didn't play any role in moving to Utah. I actually moved to Utah originally to go to flight school. And then I got a job with King's Camo. I'm the social media manager for King's Camo.

And so doing that full time now. And Caleb is in school. Yeah, I moved here for school, but it's not a bad place to be.

I actually moved from Colorado when I was 16. I moved to Alaska,

and that is the best western state. Yeah, that's that's a huge jump. Especially at 16. Was that like your whole family moved to Alaska? Because not many 16 year olds are moving across the country by themselves. Yeah, not many. It's been my dad's dream.

Oh, nice. So [00:10:00] is I assume he's still there then? Yeah, my family's still there. Okay. Oh, that's like the, that's like the best of both worlds because now you can go and have a resident guide, right? So you can still hunt basically anything in Alaska without having to go get an outfitter. Yeah, exactly.

I used to have to pay the non-resident prices with clothes, but a lot cheaper than hiring a guy for sure. Oh yeah, of course. So what's a moose tag? A non-resident moose tag cost in Alaska right now. Like 1200 bucks? Yeah, I wanna say 1200 bucks. Okay, so $1,200. I've heard rumors that if you want to go to the Primo Yukon outfitted hunts, like basically Jim Shockey's outfitter, it's $60,000 now for a moose.

Was that number 60,000? It's not quite that, Steve. You can do a good moose hunt for about 25 to 30. Oh, [00:11:00] okay. But is that like prime Yukon moose or is that just anywhere in Alaska? Yeah, I'm talking just, I'm not, I'm talking just about the moose. I'm sure like 60 grand. Get an all inclusive watch and they'll cook you meals.

They'll stay in a really nice place. But as far as like killing a trophy, moose goes, you can't do it for around 30 grand. Yeah. That's the yeah, so you got a huge advantage there. I was recently looking at the non-resident self-guided units where you can hunt moose as a non-resident without hiring an outfitter or having a nexus.

Resident that takes you out and I know it's going to be hard and I know it's still not cheap to fly to Alaska, hire a Bush plane, all the gear, but I could still do that probably at least six times before I get to the cost of an outfitter. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. That's pretty popular. My, I actually worked for a hunting outfitter a little bit while I was up there and [00:12:00] we would sell a lot of packs, like DIY packages where we just we'll fly you and we'll give you a tent.

Always the stuff you need and people have had a lot of fun doing that. I had a lot of success, a lot is just so game rich that it's hard to match up hunting in Alaska. Everything except the game, rich grizzly bears or brown bears. Yeah. So when you were doing the guiding stuff or the outfitting stuff in Alaska, or just when you were up there in general hunting, how obviously you have to be bear aware everywhere, right?

It's Alaska. It's just like hunting, outside of Yellowstone or up by Glacier in Montana. There's grizzly bears there. You gotta be bear aware. But like, how often were you seeing bears or having sketchy encounters with bears? You shot a moose, and then a bear showed up, and then you're like, Oh, great.

Now I gotta, whatever, haze this bear off or leave the moose. How often did it actually happen where there was a problem?[00:13:00] Me, personally, I've never had a sketchy bear encounter when I wasn't hunting bears. And actually, hunting bears themselves, I've never really had a sketchy encounter.

I've had, Justice has had one when he came up to Alaska. We were hunting different areas, but he can tell you about that. But, honestly, they keep their distance. People tell stories. It's popular, but... Personally, I've never had any super threatening experiences. Yeah, but you're seeing them, right? Like you're seeing brown racing.

Oh yeah. You're seeing them all the time. Yeah. Every time you go out, pretty much you see them better. That's crazy. And so I, I assume it was, that was gonna be the answer. So probably not something you want to do solo or A lot, most people probably don't want to be doing it solo low, strength and number.

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If something happens you got four people, like there's four cans of pepper spray and, four shotguns. Yeah. Yeah, we always carry a 10 mil on our chest when we go out.

I got a 45 70. If I'm not the one hunting, I'll just carry the 45 70. Yeah. I was bigger than a 10 mil, right? Yeah. 10 mils great. If you have to carry a bow or a rifle. Yeah, but I would switch to a, so that's a shot I don't know, 45 70 versus a 12 gauge slug or buckshot. That would be a tough one.

I will think I like about the 12 gauges. It's a semi auto. Yeah. A lot of people like to carry little short humpbacks and 12 gauge just [00:16:00] cause humpbacks can never jam. Oh, I think you wanted the shotgun jammed on you. That's a good point. Yeah, that's a good point. But yeah, that's what I figured.

And so I'm like why don't you just suck it up and do it DIY? And if you just made that like your, every three year hunt and you did it ten times in your life, you'd probably end up shooting like three or four nice bulls. Oh, yeah. Oh, there's nice moose in Alaska for sure. People do it every year.

They kill 60 inch plus moose. Yeah, 70 inch. So when you, when I have a question for you, I, have you guys, have either of you actually shot a moose and had to pack it out? We've never shot moose, but we both packed out. Okay. That's a bummer. You had to do all the work without the reward. Yeah. Cause you were outfitting. Obviously people were shooting moose. How much does your average, let's just say a 50 inch moose, because that's a lot of times [00:17:00] the minimum for a non resident, or like a lot of the units have a minimum size requirement, right? Yeah. 50 inch moose.

What is your average like true hindquarter way, or your front quarter on a moose that big? A lot?

Yeah, at least a lot.

We usually up cutting the hind quarter in half. I'd say it's close 52 pounds for a hind quarter on a Oh really? So they are that big. 'cause I was gonna say everyone loves to say that an L kind quarters. A hundred pounds. Oh, on Like on a big, that's, so that's where I was going with this. I shot an eight and a half year old in North Dakota that was living on like corn.

And grain all summer long. And this thing was [00:18:00] huge as the biggest elk I've ever seen in my life. And I know they get older, there's 12 year old bulls, but I'm just saying eight and a half is pretty big. And I weighed both round quarters and they were both exactly 82 pounds. So I'm like, yeah, the Raycorn you shot doesn't have a hundred pound rear quarters.

Yeah. A lot of guys that come out with they just aren't used to packing that amount of weight. Like a lot of guys will have a 65 70 pound pack and in the stories It's always oh I had a hundred hundred Yeah, and nope they love to say that and it probably does feel like it It's just crazy because the year I had that tag I trained my tail off.

I lost like 46 pounds in six months. I trained harder than I've ever trained. I left my pack frame at the gym. I knew the owner. So I was like, Hey, can I just throw this underneath the boxing ring? And when I want to train like pack outs, I can just wear it. He's yeah, I don't care. And [00:19:00] so I'd lift weights and then I'd do cardio afterwards.

I'd go grab my pack frame and I'd just add plates. And every week I'd add more plates until the point where I was putting three 45 pound plates on a Pack frame and hitting either the treadmill or I'd do like a plate and a half and do the stair climber And so I trained for

it to do but like the other thing that a lot of guys don't realize is like

So much different than a quarter does what was that you cut out for a second? Oh, I said the thing that a lot of guys don't realize is a quarter carries so much Like a plate does, like you could put a 45 pound plate in your pack and that 45 pound plate will feel better than 45 pounds of meat will. Oh [00:20:00] yeah.

Yeah. And it stays so close to your back that it, it's like center of gravity. It's like the ideal weight to pack, but it was still like. Better than nothing. I know they there's companies out there now that make like water jugs that are shaped like moose quarters And you fill them with water and so it's supposed to be like sloshy and I'm like, all right that's pretty cool.

But where I was going with that is when I put those recorders on they felt so light I took my pack off and on the first trip out I put a rear and a front and I weighed them when I got home because I was really curious what it was gonna be It was a hundred and forty six pounds of meat The front game bag weighed 64, and the rear game bags weighed 82.

They're almost exactly the same side to side. The only thing that tells you is obviously we quartered it the same way, but then the pack frame I'm guessing weighs like I don't know a pound or two maybe three four pounds And so you round it rough figures It was a [00:21:00] true hundred and fifty pound pack out because I weighed everything and it felt so good.

It felt so light I gave my dad one of the one, I had two track and polls. I gave one to my dad and I gave the other one to my mom because they were four, they were just hanging out in the area since it was a once in a lifetime tag. But they don't like my mom doesn't hike mountains. So I'm like, here, mom, you take a trek and pull it.

Don't fall over. And then dad was carrying out the back straps for me, which was like 40 pounds, which he didn't train. So that's a lot of weight for him. And so I, I didn't even have trekking poles and I, they were like, everyone's moving slow, right? I had a bunch of weight, they weren't really, trained for the, like the, it's hills, not mountains in North Dakota, but so we were up, but I was just keeping up with them.

Fast forward a couple of years, like now when I haven't trained that hard, I put on one rear elk and I'm like, God, this kind of feels like it's a huge difference. Oh yeah, a hundred percent. I'll tell you, I need to hop on your training regimen. I've never [00:22:00] put 150 pounds on my back and been like, Oh, this feels good.

I'm not a small person to be fair. I am like I'm six two right now. I'm like six, two, two 75. So I'm a big person. So putting that much weight on me is only still half my body weight. And for you, it'd probably be exactly your body weight. So it's a huge difference. Yeah. I I'm five, nine, one six.

Yeah, so you'd be at like 95 percent of your body weight. Yeah, like the heaviest packout I've ever had. I was probably right at that 150, maybe 160 mark. And it was not fun. Yeah, especially if it's steep. My, my packout was not hard terrain. It, so you got to keep that in mind. Like I, it was North Dakota.

It was like front country. It was rolling hills, basically. Oh yeah. That's a huge plus. It was a little over a mile, but yeah, it was pretty, it was a pretty [00:23:00] easy mile as far as packing elk goes. So it, like it. I wouldn't do that with a moose in Alaska, that's for sure. Oh yeah. Alaska miles are a lot different than lower 48 miles.

Yeah. So what do you do to pack out a moose? 'cause I've heard that same rule where you can't deone. You can't do it boneless. You have to bring the bone out with the quarter. And for if you're an outfitter, yeah, maybe you have horses or maybe you have some type of all terrain vehicle, those eight wheeled, whatever they're called.

But yeah, if you have an Argo, yeah, obviously that's different. You can drive those things almost anywhere but if you're doing it, the DIY style flying in nonresident. How do most people get that, like how do most people get the pack out? Usually they just go to hell and back to get it out. Yeah.

But also, moose and the rut are pretty easy to call, especially in a lot, when you're in the middle of nowhere in Alaska. They're [00:24:00] never really call shy. Their call is pretty simple. We would always aim to call them as close to the lake as we could.

They'll be bull moose and we'll have them well within range, but we're... Like a mile from the lake and we'll just keep calling and walking backwards walking towards the lake getting the moose to follow us And then just shoot them on the lake so that the float plane can come pick them up right off the lake And we don't have to pack them out.

We just have to butcher them Yeah, that's okay So that sounds like a way to go and then if you do have to do like any amount of packing out if you have Multiple people is the way to do it like get a log and tie a quarter to a log and then two people Like use teamwork Yeah, we would usually have enough people in our hunting camp that we could just still have pack frames and some people just stay on the carcass butchering it and we're taking loads [00:25:00] to the lake while they're still butchering the rest of it So it's just it's a grind for sure.

There's nothing easy about it. Yeah. Yeah, that's what I've heard And that's what I'm a little bit nervous about. I'd have to train harder I just have to get back into that training regimen and I'd have to get to four plates on a pack. Yeah. Yeah. So how close? Oh, sorry. Go ahead. But yeah, I didn't know that they were that callable.

So like when you're elk hunting. Usually you're like, if you can get them within bow range, like shoot now, right? You're no one is ever like getting a bull elk to follow them back down the mountain so they can shoot them by the road because that just doesn't work. They're going to get sketched out.

In theory it would work cause they chase each other around the mountains, but they're pretty smart when you're trying to call them, right? So many things can go wrong. You're not. You're not going to like risk, risk it to try to get this elk to follow you back to camp.[00:26:00] So I never really thought of that for the moose.

That's a great idea. It makes it so much easier. That does make it easier. So when there's the, a lot of the units up in Alaska for moose hunting, they have two criteria, right? Like it either has to be so wide or it has to have so many brow points, right? Or brow tines. Yeah to be legal. So obviously if you're a non resident, I think a lot of people from what I've researched really focused on The brow tines one because that's easy to make sure it's correct, Yeah, it's is this a 49 inch moose or a 52 inch moose?

I don't know Let's shoot it and find out and pay the fine, right? No one's gonna do that And so I've always heard like people talk about that Oh, is he legal or is he not? How often is someone going up there like DIY and it's like on the other end of the spectrum, like they're shooting a 72 inch moose?

Yeah, it happens. People, [00:27:00] it's really hard to judge an animal that's so big because they just look big. Even if it's like a. 60 inch moose. If it's your first time seeing Alaska Yukon Moose, I think it's a monster. Yeah, it's definitely hard to judge based off of with Yeah. I'm never gonna be good at judging moose with, I'm sure.

I'm just curious though, are moose of that caliber all over Alaska? Not like one behind every tree, but if you looked at a map of Alaska. And I said circle the area that 70 inch moose could be found. Is it the entire state, or is it just in like localized parts of Alaska? I would say most units, not all units in Alaska have 70 inch moose.

Yeah. It's probably not like the units around Anchorage that are close to town. They don't really grow big because people shoot them like crazy out there. But if you're like, if you're flying out, a 70 inch moose in your union, for sure. [00:28:00] If you're looking forward to another fall of hunting big bucks but you're tired of freezing your tail off or getting busted by does, head over to maverickhunting.

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Go to maverickhunting. com and use the code WESTERNROOKIE. That's one word to save 10%. That's right, 10 percent on your Maverick hunting bonds. Yeah, not that I would hold out. Ah, I'm gonna pass this [00:29:00] 4. 50 inch moose. Because I might find a 70 doing DIY. I'm definitely not going to be doing that. If I ever did save up enough money to go guided though, then I would probably be like let's try to look for a really nice one.

Yeah. Like 65.

I have a buddy it's hard to say he's a buddy, we're acquaintances, we're friendly, but we don't like hang out, right? That's just the bummer. But he has done the Alaskan Yukon Moose, and he shot one with his bow, and he's also not a tall person, I would say maybe more like that five, nine, five, 10.

And he has a picture of the bulls antlers on his pack sideways. And the like right antler was drew almost dragging on the ground and he was bent over a little bit too. And it was almost dragging on the ground. That's how wide it was. Yeah. I really wish I remember the number, but it was, I there's no way it was a [00:30:00] 60 inch moose.

It was, significantly larger than that. Yeah. That's nice. That's a nice. Yeah. And he went yeah. That would probably be the heaviest pack out though. If you're going to shoulder mount an Alaskan Yukon moose, you're taking that much hide, the head is huge. The antlers are huge.

It's probably wet. So the hides filled with water. That's gotta be the heaviest load. Yeah. It's not there's also people shooting 10, 10 foot Brown bears on Kodiak. You're hiking out of a whole hide on the ground there, and they got more hair, and fat, and anything else. The hide is definitely... That would be another brutal packout, especially cause you're going right through dozens of other brown bears probably.

Yeah. A lot of people will [00:31:00] cut them in half and just trust their packs that are going to sew it back together the right way. Ooh. I don't know, once in a lifetime hunt like that. I don't know if I'm going to cut the hide in half and hope my taxidermist can fix it.

That would be, that's a lot of faith in your taxidermist. I'll tell you what now, if you were a taxidermist, maybe you would be like, yeah, I know I can fix this. Let's just cut it in half. Yeah. I don't know. So I've heard, we had a guy on the podcast that shot a Kodiak bear, and, or was it a Fogniak? I can't remember.

It was a coastal brown bear, and he couldn't eat it. And he really wanted to eat it, and he didn't going into it, he thought he was going to be able to take the meat, and then the guy's Oh, no, you can't eat these things. They're full of worms. And he's Really? And he goes, Yeah, cut into its meat.

Now that it's skin. And he cut into it, and it was just like, solid worms. Which he said was disgusting. Yeah. No, they're not. They're not good. Is that the same for interior bears?[00:32:00] It's a little less because they're not eating like the fish that they like decay, salmon, like the coastal brown bears are.

But they're eating rotten carcasses and stuff, so most people don't bother with the meat that's. That's gotta be, I don't know, I don't know what I think about that. Because as a hunter, I like eating what I shoot. And a lot of people, that's why they hunt. No one that goes out there to waste game.

And then for an animal like that, like it's like a huge animal, like a magnificent animal. And then to shoot it and not be able to eat it. I'm a little conflicted, but then I know what happens when you don't hunt them. If you hunt everything else, but the grizzly bears, then the grizzlies and Brown bears, their population just explodes.

And now you're seeing that with like British Columbia can think, since they can't hunt them anymore, they're everywhere. Finally just opened it back up. They did. Yeah. Cause you just can't not kill them. So it's gotta be very conflicted. [00:33:00] Yeah, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game does a good job.

They like in the reg book they talk about it how you know after and you are required to salvage meat before I think it's June 1st on bears Before they've been eating all the fish and rotten stuff when they've just come out of heaven pretty clean Oh really? Bears that people eat. Yeah, but after June 1st, you're no longer required to salvage any meat.

Department of Fish and Game has a whole thing about it And that's crazy. So I would have assumed that once a bear gets worms, it's got worms for life, but you're saying once they hibernate, it resets them. Yeah. Like during hibernation or the worms die.

That's fascinating. I didn't know that I would have assumed that they had, once you get worms, you have worms for [00:34:00] life. And, but at least, yeah, but you, most people aren't hunting Brown bears in the spring. Or do you hunt Brown? Yeah. But. Even then, most people, they still say you gotta cook the meat, you're really good like you would cook pork.

Yeah, you're not doing medium rare bear steaks. No. No. I feel like most people just make tacos with their bears. Yeah, hamburgers and tacos. Even a hamburger is a little unless you mean ground bear. But if you're... Yeah, just ground bear. Like a burger patty, that's even a little risky.

Yeah, I'm doing stews. I'm gonna cook this at 212 degrees for an afternoon. Yeah. That's awesome. So now that you're back from Alaska, do you go, do you have any plans to go back up there and hunt with your parents or is that a regular thing for you? I go back every [00:35:00] summer. I work as a fishing guide up there, so I go back and fish, and then I usually pick up a blackbird bag because they're pretty, they're relatively cheap compared to every other track up there.

So me and my dad have run Bates every spring since we've been up there, so I just usually help him run the Bates and then end up shooting a BlackRock at once. Gotcha. Yeah, that sounds like a fun summer. I've, I do want to get up there, do some fishing in the summer. I don't know why, but for some reason when I watch the Weater episodes, I just love the like shrimp pots and the crab pots.

I don't know. I don't know why I love it so much I feel like it's because like I'm really big in like investing and like having money grow when you're not doing anything And I feel like that's the same way with a shrimp pot is like you put it down And then you can go off and go fishing or you could go do whatever you want to do and you're [00:36:00] catching shrimp And then you just come back and check your shrimp pot.

And so maybe that's why, I don't know, but I it's I would want to my perfect day would be to get up in the morning, probably see a brown bear on the deck and shit my pants. And then we go out and we set a bunch of shrimp prats and crab pots and then we go fishing, whatever, I don't even care.

Salmon, halibut, rock, whatever. And then we come home and check our shrimp pots and have this delicious seafood for supper.

That's pretty much what we do up there. It's a sportsman's paradise. Yeah, that does sound it. Alaska, if you, if it wasn't so far away, like to move to Alaska is like a really change in your life there. Especially if you have a family and kids, and jobs, obviously you got to get a job in Alaska and I suppose now it's getting a lot easier since everyone's working remote, but in general, I think it's going to be a pretty hard thing to swing for most folks.

Yeah. The nice thing though about Alaska is [00:37:00] like virtually every job. Pays more in Alaska than it does in the lower 48. Really? But does that mean that everything costs more too? So you're just back to square one? The cost of living is higher, but it's cheaper than Hawaii or California. Yeah. Like it's cheaper to live in Anchorage, Alaska than it is to live in pretty much any part of California or Hawaii.

Interesting. I might have to look into this. I think it would be a great spot to get like a fishing shack. That's, Oh yeah. That's a dream of mine. Cause I think you can still get, I think it got popular and prices are probably going up, but comparatively, I think you can still get like a pretty good deal, especially if you have three or four buddies that are all like, yeah, let's buy it together.

And then we'll just figure it out. Maybe we'll all go together. Maybe I'll go this week. You go next week. Yeah. Yeah. No, a hundred percent. And that's Or you could do the the seasonal gold mining, like I was up in Gnome in August, [00:38:00] and Virtually every guy that I talked to in Gnome lived in the lower 48, but they would go up for four months out of the year, Literally just to mine for gold on the Bering Sea.

Did they find gold? Some of them, yeah, some of them, no. I talked with one guy and he said it took him 30 consecutive years before he broke even. But once he broke even, then he started making a lot of money. I think I'm going to stick with engineering. Yeah, 30 years to break even is a long time.

Yeah, no, and I don't want to be wasting my time in Alaska working. That doesn't sound fun. What kind of engineer are you? I'm an electrical engineer oh yeah. The oil field's huge up there. They got so many engineers in Alaska. I bet, yeah. Petroleum engineers up there are probably making half a million dollars.

They make stupid money. [00:39:00] Geologists make a lot. Yeah. But then you you gotta live in an oil field and everyone knows that's the highest quality of life. Oh yeah, for sure. Especially in Alaska. , I suppose it's probably worse in Alaska. Yeah. I've only seen like oil fields in Western North Dakota and people talk about how sketchy it is there.

I'm sure it's worse. Everything about Alaska is probably worse. The weather's harsher more. Yeah, remote more, lonely. Nothing to do, no one to hang out with except your oil field buddies that you. Just got done chewing out because something happened on the job. I don't know Yeah, no, I

think Alaska would be a great spot to start Getting comfortable with going out there, maybe go and do a fishing trip and then maybe do a spring bear. And, once you figure out the travel and the logistics, then maybe start doing that whole non resident self guided moose hunt.

Cause I think like everyone wants to shoot a moose and there's just not a lot of good options for it, oh [00:40:00] yeah. Yeah. Alaska is definitely your best option for moose hunting. As far as like acquiring a tag. And acquiring the moose. Yep. Yeah. Like you can get, yeah, if you draw in moose tags in the lower 48.

You you're in good spot. Like you're probably gonna shoot a moose, but it's probably not gonna be that big. No. Yeah. Shiru moose shi, like Shiru moose are freaking enormous. And Alaska Yukon moose make shiru moose look small. Yeah, that's interesting. 'cause I've seen Does Montana have shira's moose or do they have Canadian moose?

They have SHIs moose in Montana. Okay, I have spent up close to some bulls in Montana elk hunting and some cows and when close 40 yards to some cows and 60 yards to a one bull in particular. He was massive I mean he was the paddles I would maybe say like [00:41:00] a 40 or 50 inch moose.

Yeah, it was a huge Shira's. I'm just comparing I don't know. Obviously I didn't get close enough to measure him, but he was at like 60 yards and I'm like, Oh, that's so cool. Me and my brother, we sneaked into a meadow and he was in the meadow, so he didn't know we were there yet.

And I have a white bow, which was a terrible decision for anyone listening. Don't buy a white bow. Because everything can see it. People will be like, Oh, hey, I saw you from two miles away because your bow was shining. And I'm like, I don't know. Anyway, I'm like, oh, you know I'm sure you look cool though.

Yeah when I was, in college Yeah, I brought my dang new cool, his bow thing. Yeah, when I graduated college and bought it, I thought white camo was the coolest thing in the world. So I bought a white bow. So then the next one's going to not be white, but I know that people from watching like outdoor TV will take like canoe paddles or sheds of moose and hang them up and I don't know what it is.

I call it waddling, but that side to side head motion and they can call like [00:42:00] decoy in moose. And so I'm like, Oh, my bow's white. You hold it on your head on, on its side. It looks like two antlers. And so I put my bow in my head and I started doing that. And we didn't think it was gonna work, but that moose looked over at us and just started coming our way And I'm like, oh shit it worked and we both ran behind a tree Yeah, no, moose call in my opinion. In my experience, in my opinion, moose are one of the easiest animals to call in. Ducks are pretty easy.

Maybe, I don't know. If moose call in better than ducks, then yeah, I'm on board with you. Yeah, no, moose are like same thing with Caleb. In my experience, moose are hands down the easiest animal to call too. Nice. That, that I've experienced. And they can hear forever too. So like you could, I've listened to podcasts and I've watched shows where like [00:43:00] people will...

Call Adam Moose that's three or four miles away and sometimes they're like, yeah, we called Adam right at last light Maybe he'll be here in the morning and the next morning. Sure enough. He's around. Oh, yeah

At least I'm not gonna hike out there Cameron Haynes would probably do it yeah

I'm not doing that. I'm going to, are not that married grind. Yeah, I'm going to do it your way. I'm going to call them down to the lake. I'm going to like, like Peter Piper and the, playing his flute for all the snakes in Ireland. I'm going to do that with the moose. And I'm just gonna, I'm going to enchant him and make him follow me down to the lake, just like you said.

Oh yeah. And it's like doing like flow hunter moves is really popular. People just flow the [00:44:00] river. And you call. Wait for a moose to sneak his head out on the bank, and you don't have to back it out at all, you just throw it in your ass. Yeah, the one thing I don't know about that plan, is I know moose love to run to water when they're injured.

And so I just would be afraid that my moose would die off in the middle of the lake or the river, and now I have to quarter this huge animal underwater. Yeah, it does happen a lot. And there's not much you can do about it. You can't move it. You can't really pull it out with the water. I've heard people that can and they die deep out in the lake.

They'll tie onto it with a boat and bring it back to shore. And maybe have a come along to come along ratchet it up onto the bank of the lake. But if it's in a river, if it dies in the middle of a river, you're just screwed, I think. Yeah. Yeah. That's true. I don't know. It's not just a bridge that you gotta cross to Yeah, like I'm obviously [00:45:00] gonna shoot the moose and hope he just doesn't I'm gonna keep shooting and hopefully he you know Hopefully I dump him right on the edge of the river Pray to the good Lord and say, keep them on dry land.

We had, when I drew the North Dakota tag, they, you had a mandatory class you had to take from the game and fish, which is hilarious, right? Cause everywhere else you don't have to, do that. But North Dakota, so many people apply for these big three tags. It's elk, moose, and sheep. They're all once in a lifetime.

And a lot of people don't even draw, which is sad. They'll apply for 40 years and they'll, they'll pass away before they even get to hunt elk in their own state. But I drew it and you had to go to this mandatory meeting. And it was for all of the elk, sheep and moose hunters.

So there's six different meetings you can go to or whatever. So you pick the one that works for you. But the reason they do it is because it's all people that whitetail hunt. That get these tags that probably have never hunted out in the West before. And so they're like, guys, this is different. [00:46:00] Like you're going to need help.

You cannot do this alone. You're not going to be able to, drive your pickup most of the time to where your elk dies or your moose dies, and then they're like, for the moose hunters out there, keep shooting your moose. We know that everyone likes to shoot long range in North Dakota, and you hate your whitetail, you don't want to spoil the meat, he's gonna die, you'll just blood trail him.

If you do that on a moose, he's gonna run a long ways, and he's gonna run out into the middle of a lake. So keep shooting. They're like, it's it was so funny, it's like hunting 101. But it's like a big deal for people that have never hunted a big game animal before and they just drew a tag because it Was five dollars to apply in their home state and also now they're gonna go from shooting a whitetail on their back 40 To shooting a 1, 400 pound moose.

Oh, yeah, it's people like white tail hunters, especially don't understand how Tough like big Western animals [00:47:00] are like it is absurd Some of the things that I've seen animals take and just act like nothing happened. Oh, I had a bull that did, I've had two bulls that did that. Those eight and a half year old bull.

I shot him and I was shooting 200 grain, 300 Winchester short makes. So a heavy bullet and a monster caliber, not a monster caliber, but a large caliber. And I shot him and the first shot he stumbled and fell and rolled down a cliff, like 30 feet. Not really a cliff, but like steep hill he rolled all the way to the bottom and crashed in a bunch of saplings And I'm like, oh perfect.

He's done and he stands back up and I'm like, oh whatever And so I just racked another shell. I was like, I'll do this. I'll shoot him again. And so I shoot him And he just imagine if you, I saw a picture of Brian Shaw on your page, imagine if you like wailed as hard, like you swung from, the back [00:48:00] 40 and tried to punch Brian Shaw and what's he going to do?

Like barely even recoil. Yeah, Brian would Brian would just laugh and be like, Oh, that was cute, buddy. And so imagine that's what that bull did. I hit him and he just hiccuped and kept walking and I'm like, okay, react another shell. And he's walking towards me. Hit him again. Boom.

These are like full body shots. They're not exiting. He just hiccup again and I'm like, what is going on here? This is a huge bullet. And it's a good bullet too. It's not like these are some hand loads that I made it. They're the Hornady ELDXs. And finally he comes in 75 yards and he turns sideways and I had to pull another bullet out of my sleeve because I only had three in the clip and I shoot and I forgot that, to adjust my height because he's getting closer.

And so I shot for a double lung and I hit him in the spine and dropped him. And I'm like, I can't believe he just ate four bullets without, or at least three bullets [00:49:00] without even barely flinching. And then the fourth one he just went down because I cut his spine. This is an insane animal. Oh yeah, no they're ridiculous.

I killed a mule deer in 2020. And I was shooting a 6. 5 PRC, 143 grain ELDX's. And, I shoot this buck at 300 yards, and just shoulder punch him, right where you want to shoot him with the rifle. And and sorry, you just saw a buck. Was it a good buck?

No, he's forky. But yeah shoot this buck, dump him. Gear down, buck stands back up, so I put another one in, and boom, shoot him again. Dumped him a second time and like he slides down the snow wraps up around this tree And I was like, oh sweet deer down for sure. And so I I walk up the hill a little ways where I have service because I was solo hunting call my dad I was like, [00:50:00] hey buck down.

And like just letting him know that I killed a deer and He's oh heck yeah, get him packed out. Let me know if you need any help, whatever And so I get back down to my bag, start putting everything away, and I had everything loaded up except the rifle. And I was like, oh, I'm just gonna take, just take another peek, just so I can get a line on the best way to walk to him.

And I take a look at the tree that he had wrapped up on, and I was like Where's the deer? And so I'm looking, can't find him. And all of a sudden I look like 30 yards up the left, up to the left on the hill. And and I see this I see this buck standing there. Like he's trying to walk up the hill.

And I was like, what's going on? I just put two perfect shots on this buck. So I hopped down on the gun and at this point I'm like, flustered, it was my first solo hunt, and I was what the [00:51:00] heck? So get back on the gun, forgot to put my dope back in the gun, and he's hard cornering away So like I just need to get another bullet in him, shoot, and this is one of those situations where it's like you hope it Never happens, stuff happen, and shoot, and I ended up, I hit him literally in the elbow of his back leg It hit him in the knee.

I was like, gosh, damn it Got myself calmed down put the dope back in the gun shot him one more time dumped him I was like, okay, like there's no way he's still alive sure enough that last shot It like he was expired and I got up to him and i'm not kidding you all three of my bullets Were within a two and a half inch circle in his shoulder like shoulder double lung and that buck lived for a solid Probably 15 minutes Before he finally expired like when I opened him up That front quarter was just dish just toast Lungs were soup [00:52:00] and I have still have no clue how that buck so much And just kept going but like

and i'm sure it happens with white tail, too but I mean they'll just hit after hit and keep going. Yeah. The, I think the deer, you gotta imagine deer in the west are stronger 'cause they're running up and down mountains. But yeah, white tails here in the Midwest, obviously they're tough too.

It's like tough stuff that they live in. I get the elk though. When you jump up to the elk and obviously moose, like everything changes. I had one in Colorado where I shot. And nothing happened. It was like a herd of 12 cows, a couple of raghorns, and then this 6x7. And I shoot, nothing happens. Okay, like not, none of the elk move.

I reload, shoot again, and now all of the cows start scattering, and [00:53:00] a calf walks in front of the bull I'm gonna shoot a little bit lower, so its head is right in front of the heart of my bull. And just stops there and so now I can't shoot and so I'm just staring and the bull's not moving. He's just looking around and it's a far shot and I'm like, man, I'm not this bad of a shot.

Reload. Finally, the cow steps off or the calf steps off. I shoot again. He's still standing. So I get a fourth shell. I shoot a last time and I'm just like, I can't, I'm like, now I'm like, okay, where did I hit him? Like, where is he bleeding out of? And all of a sudden he just tips over. He just stood there for probably two minutes while this whole thing happened, because that cow stood there for a long time in my way.

And then just didn't even flinch. And then all of a sudden just tipped over and died. Yeah, that's the same thing. The first first animal Caleb and I killed together, we doubled up on, we [00:54:00] had a cow elk tag in Colorado and Caleb shoots the lead cow and same exact thing. The cow that I ended up shooting.

Walked right in front of her and just stood there. So Caleb couldn't shoot his cow again. And then finally she tumbled down the hill and I got on the gun and shot the other cow. But it was probably, I don't know, two minutes of then Caleb made a long shot and that cow just stood there.

Oh, this is, all in the day's work. Yeah that's wild. They're, they are tough. They're super tough. I had one last question I wanted to ask you guys before we wrap up here. 'cause we're coming up on an hour and you guys are probably ready to go find some Boer bucks anyway, but you guys went on a caribou hunt and it was obviously a successful hunt.

I see the pictures, but the picture that I really like. Is what kind of [00:55:00] vehicle were you guys bombing around on this caribou hunt? Cause I'm looking at what looks like the back of some hatchback with two caribou in the back.

Yeah, we're we're all about the hatchback life. I have since moved out of the hatchback world. But that was a Subaru Impreza hatchback. And just for context, we're currently hunting out of a Subaru Crosstrek right now. Yeah. Subaru, if you want to sponsor us, give us a shout. But yeah, we, so that was actually one of the most run and gun hunts of probably either of our last days helping Caleb's dad on a doll sheep hunt.

Got back from the doll sheep hunt and That's cool. We came home early because it wasn't going great. Yeah, we just weren't finding legal rams, so got home early. I still had, like [00:56:00] Before I flew out of Alaska. And Caleb was like, Dude there's probably a caribou hunt going on somewhere. You wanna go hunt caribou?

And I was like 50 pound chicken big? Yeah, I wanna go hunt caribou. So ended up found this unit. It was a resident only unit. Caleb got the tag. But I was like, dude just to even be there is worth it. And they ended up, they increased tag numbers and turned it into an any caribou unit.

Caleb had two tags and and could shoot any caribou. By, I don't know, 5, 6 o'clock that night, we had the car loaded down. Oh, we were in Fresno. Yep, we were in Fresno. Oh, whatever, hours from Anchorage to Fairbank. Made a pit stop in Fairbanks slept in a gas station parking lot, woke up at I don't know, 5am, and there was a dude in the gas station parking lot with two stud bulls in the back of his pickup, so we [00:57:00] were talking to him, and super nice guy, he literally gave us a pin to the exact spot that he shot him, and he was like, yeah, this is where we found the most caribou go get em boys so whoever that fine gentleman is.

Thank you. We actually ended up, got out there and by 3 p. m. that day, Caleb had killed two caribou. And Alaska has some of the strictest wanton waste laws. So each of us had an entire caribou in our pack. It was, I don't know, probably a mile, maybe a mile and a half from the car. After we'd already driven it up.

River. Yeah. So we pull up to this river that we had to cross and there was a guy stopped at it in his Tacoma and he was like, yeah, boys. Like I, I dunno I'm just worried. And so I had my boots and my gators on. I told Caleb, I was like, I'm gonna walk out real quick, just see what the river looks like.

[00:58:00] I dunno, six. But you basically got six inches of clearance if that. Yeah, just don't slow down and we ended up, we got the Impreza across three rivers. May or may not have irreparably damaged the front bumper, but we had two caribou and an Impreza. That's incredible. And you, obviously you shot them nearby cause you have one picture with both bulls, but you said you, like each of you packed out an entire caribou in one pass?

Yeah, I was ahead of you, Packout. I was ahead. They're not massive. They're like a big mule deer. Oh. Yeah those bulls were probably 350 pounds on the hook. Okay, maybe 400. Say,[00:59:00]

say that one more time. You're probably getting like a 30 percent meat off of a carrot, like any wild animals, usually like 30 percent meat. Yes, but greater in Alaska because you're taking rib meat, neck meat, back strap, tenderloins, quarters, like you are taking every. Yeah, and the heads too. That's not factored in.

So yeah, like you're probably 150, 175, maybe even 200 pound pack out. That's a heavy load. Yeah, it was it was not fun, and Caleb is, Caleb's like 6'1 6'2 so Caleb steps much higher than I do when he's walking, and when you're walking in the tundra, you're sinking three inches, at least, with every single step.

It's like walking on a sponge. The ground may look flat the terrain may not look bad but if I were to compare an Alaska mile to a lower 48 mile one Alaska mile is like two and a half, three lower 48 [01:00:00] mile. Oh, yeah, that. The only thing I'm wondering is, like, why didn't you guys just do two trips?

Because we're not the brightest.

Okay. It was a long day . Yeah. Elevator doesn't quite make it to the top floor. We'll say that. . That makes sense. Okay, so in one day you had two caribou loaded up. Did your Impreza smell like caribou for a month after that? It smelled so bad.

Because you guys just packed it all in the backseat or the back hatch, right? Yep. That's incredible. It makes me want to do a caribou hunt, but I'm going to bring a pickup. Yeah, probably probably a good idea.

It's real popular for guys coming up to rent like a new home. Man. I've heard that because they're the same price, like they're cheaper than a car. [01:01:00] Oh yeah, they're way cheaper than a car. There's a rental car in Alaska. Interesting. Awesome. Guys, it's been a great podcast. I appreciate both of you guys having the time to hop on take some time out of your scouting, and share some of your crazy stories.

I didn't, I did not think this was going to turn into an Alaska podcast, but I'm glad it did. Yeah, no way. If you want to, if you want to do another one, go over more like antelope stuff more like lower 48 stuff, just let me know and we'd be happy to chat with you again. Awesome. Yeah, I'll have to do that.

Maybe we'll do a antelope podcast later later in the 2024, right before antelope season, yeah, absolutely. Awesome. Thank you both once again for being here and thank you for listening folks.[01:02:00]