Backcountry hunting is a passion of Hunt Alaska magazine contributing editor and owner of Pristine Ventures, Larry Bartlett. Backcountry float hunting in Alaska requires some sort of transport mechanism to get you into the backcountry, and once there, mobility is usually dependent on two methods: your feet, or a raft of some sort.
Use of lightweight but durable floating craft has improved remote hunting prospects in Alaska. With the mobility provided by a lightweight raft, hunters can cover more ground and hopefully, encounter more game.
In this video, Larry provides numerous tips to help you with your hunting, including how to pack to ensure your gear can be carried efficiently in small planes like Super Cubs. Since float draggin’ is river hunting, quality dry bags are essential. Larry likes Watershed Dry Bags.
Larry takes us on a chronological look at a typical float hunt, with the intent of educating and entertaining float hunters who plan to search off the grid for backcountry hunting opportunities. Included along the way are important backcountry hunting considerations such as meat care, gear selection, low-impact backcountry camping ethics, effective hunting practices, conservation ethics, self-imposed harvest limits, dealing with wet and sometimes cold conditions, and much more.
As you’ll see in the video, when you’re talking about DIY backcountry hunting in Alaska, in real wilderness, things don’t always go as planned, and sometimes we what we find when we’re dropped off is different than we imagined; sometimes easier, sometimes more difficult. It pays to be flexible, positive, adaptable, and in good physical condition before embarking on a DIY Alaskan hunting adventure. Alaska hunting is physically demanding, and often the rewards are commensurate with physical difficulty.
During this particular hunt, the hunters passed on a small bull, and later harvested a large bull. You’ll see the attention to detail paid to field dressing, caring for the meat, and the logistics of handling the large load of meat and gear that is necessary while float hunting in remote reaches of Alaska.