Alaska Fishing safety


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runtocover
January 9, 2012, 03:09 AM
If any of you have Read my last thread it was dark and angry but this is about fishing this coming summer in Alaska my wife and I have deiced that’s going to be the plan, even though we have not a plan yet.
So the question is bears do I need a side arm, if so can I drive though Canada with a handgun or would it be easier to buy one when we get their and sell or mail it home.
Is fishing in Alaska worth the drive from Id. Just let me know what you all think and I’m sure when summer hits full swing we will have a plan.
Ps keyboard must be dirty or broken question mark button don’t work so grammar is lacking.

New as of 1-9-12 That’s all great advice and bear spray will be a must thankyou. Still as I pack a hand gun on all hiking and hunting trips I would fell necked with out.
As to the removal of the site to make smooth entry, t/c has made a 338 Win Mag in a hand gun! With a little wits about a person and as an absolute last resort. Are you to tell me such a 225g hornady pushed by 65g of IMR wont do the trick? If so no one should be their!
As to a slugged shot gun or rifle would do the trick as good as it gets. But as your at home strap that shot gun to your shoulder grab a broomstick cast the broomstick like a good salmon pole and the first time that gun barrel pops me in the back of the head game stopper right their! At least for me.

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David G.
January 9, 2012, 04:23 AM
If you want to be protected from bears here in AK you have 2 easy choices, bear spray or traveling on the "gun runner express", aka the Alaska Marine Highway System. Traveling through Canada with a handgun is either extremely extremely difficult or impossible, depending on the handguns barrel length. You also can't purchase a handgun or have one you shipped up here transferred to you, because federal law prohibits the sale or transfer of handguns to out of state residents.

Edit to add: it is possible to bring a shotgun or rifle through Canada, and I see no reason why you couldn't buy one here as well (you should double check this for ID/AK specifics), but it would be a lot clumsier with fishing and all relative to a sidearm or spray. It has been done before though.

olafhardtB
January 9, 2012, 05:05 AM
Take a boat? Or maybe you could drive and your wife could fly up?

blarby
January 9, 2012, 05:55 AM
if so can I drive though Canada with a handgun

No. Yes, There are exceptions. NYC allegedly has CCW holders too.

Caddisflied
January 9, 2012, 05:58 AM
If you can't take a firearm,
invite someone you and your wife can both outrun.
Good fishing is worth taking a few risks!

TexasRifleman
January 9, 2012, 09:51 AM
I'm surprised outfitters in Alaska don't rent out rifles or shotguns for things like this.

tarosean
January 9, 2012, 10:46 AM
Is fishing in Alaska worth the drive from Id.


Thats one heck of a drive.

Fly and take your gun with ya....


I was in Vancouver and asked about the drive to AK and was told "5 days or so".... We changed our mind.....

Chris-bob
January 9, 2012, 10:51 AM
Depends on where you are going. Alaska is large. You can fish anywhere. Bear spray is useless, IMO. Are you coming up on a charter, or doing it all yourself? Where will you be? Rivers in the interior? SE Alaska on a boat?

Weedy
January 9, 2012, 10:59 AM
The drive really isn't that bad. The AlCan is WAY better than it used to be. The fishing and experience are both worth it. DO IT! And for you, I would second the bear spray idea. If youre not flying up, transporting weapons is too much PITA. But I do believe you can get a long gun through Canada by just declaring it at the border and paying a fee (I think about 50-100 dollars). But the last time I researched this was 8 years ago or so.

hardluk1
January 9, 2012, 12:22 PM
The guides there will tell you to buy bear spray. better a bear sprayed that leaves you alone than a wounded bear that still eats you. If you have to have a firearm hang a 12ga off your shoulder .Forget the handgun. None hit any harder than a well control full on slug. Cheaper to fly up. NO handguns allowed from the USA- read here-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_entry_into_Canada_by_land

jgiehl
January 9, 2012, 06:49 PM
CAFC 910 is what you need to fill out and follow if you take a firearm through Canada.

langenc
January 9, 2012, 09:13 PM
We used to see the recommendation that if you did get a handgun up there-be sure to file the front sight off.. That way it hurts much less when the bear jambs it home.

gbran
January 9, 2012, 09:31 PM
A few years ago I spent 10 days in AK fishing and sightseeing. I flew into Anchorage, rented a car and drove to Soldotna on the Kenai penensula, stayed in a nice cabin on a lake, used it as a base camp.

I took 454 Casull, Super Redhawk on the plane. No problem. Dad went with me and carried a 10mm S&W 610. We could carry them most everywhere without a permit. While there, we took one floatplane trip and couldn't take our guns on the plane.

I went late June/early July, the best time for salmon. I took 2 halibut trips also. I came home with 250lbs of fillet. I caught 4 halibut (2 per trip limit). One was 75lbs, the smallest 50lbs and a lot of salmon.

Saw lots of wildlife, actually fished out of a boat 50 feet from the bears, Other than that, I didn't see any bears close up.

I live in CA and the trip cost me about $4,500 including lodging, airfare, car rental, etc,

NorthBorder
January 9, 2012, 09:52 PM
CAFC 679 is the form for restricted firearms and a handgun is a restricted firearm if it doesn't meet the description for a prohibited firearm. Google up Canada Firearms Center, then go to Forms. Just talked to CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency). They said it takes about 3-4 months to get authorization, so plan on 5. Also, before you go into Canada (if you are driving), stop on the U.S. side and declare the firearms you are transporting.

Shadow 7D
January 9, 2012, 09:55 PM
You also can't purchase a handgun or have one you shipped up here transferred to you, because federal law prohibits the sale or transfer of handguns to out of state residents.


can you send it to yourself? or is that just rilfes (and by mail I don't mean USPS)

Secondly, most suggest that the slide be lubed with seal oil first, as it doesn't freeze, but whale blubber is an acceptible substitute, so it hurts less when the bear shoves the gun where the sun don't shine.

That said, you will see the following avice repeated time and time again

first, LEARN AND PRACTICE BASIC BEAR SAFETY
you are in their house, messing with their food, OH, and yes, the Wildlife Troopers Do have nothing better to do than bend you over investigating the shooting.

Oh and as Kodiak and Caribou have pointed out, the head, hide and claws (that must be turned in to be destroyed by troopers) weights about 200 pounds.

Next, Bears spray works, and it works better on Brown (grizzly) than it does on black bears, and it works really well on back bears.

finnally, most Alaska carry a shotgun or short rifle like a Marlin Guide lever action
there's lots and lots of reasons why rifle or shot guns is better, but here's the two big ones 1. accuracy 2. penetration, Oh and range, but if you have that, you don't need to shoot, you need to move and avoid the proctology exam the troopers will give you.

Finally, Bear spray works, actally works statistically as well or better than firearms
you can buy it anywhere, carry it most anywhere (no forgetting to take it off)

And most importantly, it puts out a CONE of PAIN, a large, continuous stream that you don't have to worry about hitting a silver dollar bobbing at 30mph.

That is a very good thing when your fine motor skills are shot, because you just got a MASSIVE hit of adrenalin.

Shadow 7D
January 9, 2012, 09:58 PM
CAFC 679 is the form for restricted firearms and a handgun is a restricted firearm if it doesn't meet the description for a prohibited firearm. Google up Canada Firearms Center, then go to Forms. Just talked to CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency). They said it takes about 3-4 months to get authorization, so plan on 5. Also, before you go into Canada (if you are driving), stop on the U.S. side and declare the firearms you are transporting.

Don't for get about the boarder patrol/BAFTE personal export and import paperwork you will need to leave and then reenter the US

If you want to carry guns and take a car, take the ferry, it's just a bit more than driving (depending on gas prices) AND the same 'cruise' that 3 or 4 major cruise lines offer up the inside passage.

hang fire
January 10, 2012, 01:57 PM
I lived in Alaska for seven years. (1969-76) When it came to bear protection and after using a .44 mag on a large moose, I was totally unimpressed with it. Know they now have much more powerful handguns today.

What I carried when fishing was a over the shoulder slung, 18 1/4" barreled two row 12 loaded with triple ought buck in 3 inch shells. One could carry slugs, but at close range, I wanted to be able to take out all a bears sensory apparatus with one front on shot. To include it's sight, hearing and smell, never had to test the theory, for which I am thankful.

KodiakBeer
January 10, 2012, 03:25 PM
There isn't anywhere in Alaska that you can drive to where there is truly good fishing. Fishing on the road system pretty much means the Kenai Peninsula which is deluged by both tourists and locals from Anchorage, who are all well armed. You'll be fishing in crowds and camping in crowds.

If you want good fishing, it's probably cheaper to just fly up to a destination off the road system. I regularly fly Kodiak to Seattle (off the road system) for as low as $500 round trip. I watch for the specials and snap them up. If you fly, you can throw whatever guns you want in your luggage and declare them. You can rent a car anywhere or even an old rent-a-wreck pickup or jeep to get you around.

The best time to fish is August. The salmon runs are peaking and the offshore fishing for halibut, etc, has moved inshore.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
January 10, 2012, 05:08 PM
The best time to fish is August. The salmon runs are peaking and the offshore fishing for halibut, etc, has moved inshore.

Some of the best Salmon fishing on the planet in August.

For myself, I use a side arm. But most people are not as trained as I am with them and not as competent or able to hit that very small disconnect target bobbing up and down at some seriously quick speeds. Personally, I now carry a .500 S&W 4" barrel for defense. I have the long barrel one, 8+" for hunting. I used to use a .44mag SRH for defense and have had to use it twice. Once was on a spooked sow with cubs that our paths crossed and had to. The other was on a Pretty big boar that bluffed a couple times then came full on. It's not something you want to have to deal with for many reasons. Number one being the rectal exam from the authorities. Bear spray would have been completely useless in BOTH my encounters as the wind was right in my face. These encounters are quite rare and MOST times they will leave you alone. But not always. I know it's difficult to fly fish with a long gun of any sort hanging on your shoulder but many here have shown me that it's doable. I see why they say sidearms are not recommended because you really do have to be a pretty darn good shot with a handgun to effectively stop a Brown Bear before it's on you. Another thing you have to keep in mind is you have to be in real danger before you fire. In other words, that bear has to be within 20 yards and on a full run coming at you before it would be legal for you to fire. If, in their investigation, they find you were not in real danger (and they can figure those things out from the tracks) you can say bye bye to a serious amount of money and your hunting license. The best recommendation I could make would be the bear spray (pay close attention to the wind if you have to deploy it) as well as a short barrel shotgun loaded up with some heavy duty slugs.

Cosmoline
January 10, 2012, 05:15 PM
In my own experience, the best fishing BY FAR up here is on an ocean charter boat in early July when seasons for various species overlap in the GMU and you can get silvers, ling cod, halibut and some others on the same trip.

If you want lots of fish off streams and rivers, you have to know exactly where the secret hole is and you have to time it right. Otherwise you can be standing there for days on end getting little or nothing. Not that that isn't fun. Some of my funnest times here have been midnight fishing near the big Su catching nothing at all. And the little river trout are often better eating than the salmon, so there's something to be said for giving up on the big guys when they have lockjaw.

But if you don't have weeks to waste, by all means get together with some other people and rent a charter out of Seward or Homer and time it for maximum carnage. Then you can roll in and have everything sealed and frozen. It's actually hard work and pretty bloody, but there are no bear to dodge and you have all your fish wham bam in one day. Then you can spend the rest of the week hiking and whatnot.

I wouldn't worry so much about the guns. Shotgun with hardcast slugs is good, but realistically you're only going to be exposed to the danger for a very brief period and the odds are way against a bad encounter on a short visit like that. And there tend to be a different set of rules for shooting bears while you're both fishing. What would be a valid DLP shot in your back yard is NOT when you're fishing. They can come right up and eat your fish off the line. During combat fishing other fishermen will do that as well, and you can't shoot them either ;-)

Keep in mind that a lot of locals have bagged line fishing the rivers entirely and just do dipnetting. It's not available to non-Alaskans but that does give you some idea of the challenges of trying to get the salmon out of the rivers.

hardluk1
January 10, 2012, 08:54 PM
So use the bear spray on the agressive fisherman too. better buy extra can or two.

Shadow 7D
January 10, 2012, 10:33 PM
I'll second Cosmolines advice
unless you are in the fishing just for the 'experience'
pay the money and do a charter, just the halibut alone will pay for the ticket

Driving and camping isn't bad, you can do a 'RV' experience if you want to
but, then I don't have a week to spend wading in the river, dip netting, you get in there, you find where the fish are coming near the shore, you get yours and get gone.

Shadow 7D
January 10, 2012, 10:35 PM
So use the bear spray on the agressive fisherman too. better buy extra can or two.

Hardluk
the troopers would love you, the bust plenty of tourist every year doing stupid things
OH, and the guy you are bear spraying has some too, and most likely a shotgun or a marlin 336...

so that's a stupid thought

hardluk1
January 11, 2012, 12:39 PM
Shadow 7D READ cosmoline's last line ,4th paragraph. Its a JOKE ,maybe. You end up with fisherman spray fisherman stealing fish then what bullets flying in all directions and the bear getting all the fish anyhow and troppers cleaning up. HA

Shadow 7D
January 11, 2012, 12:57 PM
No, but you do end up with a hell of a brawl and people being held for the troopers

it's called combat fishing for a reason, you know that going in, being butt hurt about it takes all the fun away, pulling a weapon, is not advised, as YOU will probably be the least armed of those around you.

point is, manners go a long way, and if someone takes you fish, well, there's more, or you make the paper for a brawl.

yet another reason I dipnet, worse I have to worry there is the Korean family that doesn't like a stander when they are walking the current, but the son did give me tips (mostly to get me out of their way)

Alaska is mostly a really friendly place, but big boy rules apply.

KodiakBeer
January 11, 2012, 02:47 PM
I would just say that the Kenai and combat fishing is not Alaska. There are plenty of places you can go for much better fishing in complete solitude. You can only get to a 10% of the state by road, so anywhere you can drive to on that road system is crowded.

Fly into a remote area and rent a 4 wheel drive vehicle or an old pickup. With gas at $4 and $5 a gallon in Canada and Alaska, finding a package air deal to King Salmon, Dilligham, Kodiak, etc, is a lot cheaper than trying to drive up here.

Shadow 7D
January 11, 2012, 03:48 PM
yeah, or take the ferry, up and stop for layovers in the pan handle (or fish it) and get much more than what a cruise can provide at half the price. End in Kodiak for a few days of fishing/hunting and fly home.

KodiakBeer
January 11, 2012, 04:00 PM
That's a great suggestion, Shadow!

Shadow 7D
January 11, 2012, 05:41 PM
Should I point out that the ferry to Kodiak completely misses South Central (AKA the 'big City (thats any place with paved roads to some Alaskans)

Aaron Baker
January 11, 2012, 07:07 PM
Fly into a remote area and rent a 4 wheel drive vehicle or an old pickup. With gas at $4 and $5 a gallon in Canada and Alaska, finding a package air deal to King Salmon, Dilligham, Kodiak, etc, is a lot cheaper than trying to drive up here.

Dillingham can be a bit pricey on plane tickets, but since I lived there two years, I'd recommend it. Fly up there, rent a kayak and float down the Wood River from Lake Aleknagik to Nushagak Bay. Just make sure you time it so that you make the boat pull-out at the end of the Wood at high tide. The mud is a little thick at low tide. (Ask me how I know.)

But then, I'm not a fisherman. The best fishing I've ever done was using salmon eggs on a kiddie rod-and-reel with a bobber. But it's easy pickings--beautiful rainbows and nice silvers. You can fish the boat dock at the end of Aleknagik Road at the right time of year.

If you're fishing reds in Dillingham, though, all you're get in August is spawned out fish that are too dead to fight. Try early July.

Brown bear are a legitimate concern in this area of Alaska. If you fly, you can take whatever gun you want, and flying Alaska Air with guns is easy. I carried a short barreled AR15 in .458 SOCOM, but a pump shotgun with slugs is probably the best advice you going to get, gun-wise. Bear spray is probably advisable as well.

Aaron

The Sarge
January 11, 2012, 07:17 PM
This thread strikes a humorous cord with me.....my buddy lives in Alaska and is going to Idaho hunting and fishing. About to wet himself he is so excited.

runtocover
January 11, 2012, 07:23 PM
Shadow 7D take the ferry, up and stop for layovers in the pan handle (or fish it) and get much more than what a cruise can provide at half the price. End in Kodiak for a few days of fishing/hunting and fly home.


Shadow 7D And others Thank you that is great advice. sparking such interests I love the ferry Idea! But were do I start (Idaho is kinda dry haha.) if their was a name of the company that charters that route and anyone know it off hand that would be nice, Just typing in ferry in to Google doesnít quite bring up what Iím looking for! I donít mean to offend.

Also in Idaho a good horse, map, and GPS/compass and you can get away from people all together. Are their any reasonable outfitters that could provide the same idea?

KodiakBeer
January 11, 2012, 07:30 PM
Alaska Marine Highway System. You can catch it in Bellingham, Washington.

There are lots of routes and connections you can take - even out into the Aleutians for the best halibut fishing.

http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/

http://www.welcometoalaska.com/ferry/roadmap.gif

runtocover
January 11, 2012, 07:32 PM
This thread strikes a humorous cord with me.....my buddy lives in Alaska and is going to Idaho hunting and fishing. About to wet himself he is so excited.
This time of year, or next hunting season?

87jeep
January 11, 2012, 08:52 PM
Well for me I would save money........... Take a cruise ship (deals $500.00 last spring) to Whitter get on the train north or just take one to Steward. I like the food and good sleep vs the very overpriced ferry system. JMO

I drove my DP to AK & back in 2009 it was wonderful:D Wish I had placed a boat on top the jeep. Will not likely drive next time.

olafhardtB
January 12, 2012, 05:12 AM
There are lots of fish off of south Louisiana. I used to go out with a captian who is dead I'm sure and cartch lots of good eating fish and be back to the dock in daylight. Almost every coast in the US has great fishing. Salt water fish grow big and fight hard and ear good. I am sure the fishing is great in Alaska, but so it is on other coasts.

TexasRifleman
January 12, 2012, 09:21 AM
Interesting thread but since we don't have a dedicated Fishing forum it isn't on topic anymore.

Good information though.

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