Mountain Goat Hunt Logistics Sept ‘23

bsmith

Active member
Joined
Dec 29, 2014
Messages
44
Good evening,

My wife and I are traveling to Alaska next September for a dream hunt and some vacation time for us over our wedding anniversary. We have never been to Alaska, it’s a bucket list trip for us both. We’ve done a fair amount of plane travel for Western hunts and brought meat back by plane. We are coming from the East Coast and starting to plan our trip logistics. We are hoping to hear some advice or suggestions from all the experienced Alaskan hunters and travelers on here. I’m booked with an outfitter and hunting outside of Valdez. We are planning to fly into Anchorage, rent a car, air bnb a place and stay in that area for a week or so before heading into Valdez by car a few days prior to the hunt. We are planning to have a flexible 5-6 days after the last day of the hunt to be able to hopefully handle, with any luck, meat and trophy expediting and processing. We were going to book our air bnb in Anchorage for the days prior to the hunt since that’s solid but leave the days after wide open to be able to go wherever and do whatever we need to do. My outfitter has pointed us in the right direction on some things and has been very very helpful. Besides being flexible on weather and travel days, can you guys throw us some advice or experience on the other things like rental cars, flights, air bnb, or being able to get a last minute reservation somewhere after the hunt (wasn’t sure how hard that is to accomplish in Valdez and then maybe Anchorage in late September). Our outfitter recommended Frontier Taxidermy to expedite the hide and horns back to the East Coast to our Taxidermist. It’s close and convenient to camp. My taxidermist recommendation is D & C expediters in Anchorage. Any advice on handling that? Thank you guys and girls so much, it’s a massive trip for us both logistically and financially so we are trying to do our best to research and remain flexible!
 

JColony

Active member
Joined
Aug 9, 2016
Messages
127
Location
Gilbert, AZ
Sounds like you have a lot lined up! Valdez is a small town that gets heavy tourist traffic. That said, they have a tendency to start clearing out Labor Day Weekend. I would suggest talking with the hotel you are booked with to see what their occupancy looks like around the dates you are already booked. There are a handful of hotels in Valdez, numerous Bed and breakfasts, and a couple places that rent little cabins. Anchorage has many more options and I would think finding a hotel with short notice would be doable with a few calls.

Happy anniversary!!! Can't think of a better place to spend it!
 

jimss

Active member
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Messages
358
You may want to consider timing of your hunt? It can get mighty dicey in late Sept with weather. The later you go the longer the hair but the weather generally gets worse the further into Sept.

Its way cheaper to place your cape/horns/meat in salmon boxes, freeze them, and put them on your plane than an expeditor.

I go as cheap as I can on flights. Fewer bags on flights means less $ on luggage. I gut my large rifle case that's on wheels and replace the foam with clothes and gear (fishing rods, etc). I usually fly Alaska Air. I pack my hunting pack to the hilt so it will still fit in the overheads. I also bring a large camera case loaded with cameras, binos, spotting scope. I usually carry around 70 lbs around the airport which saves me a chunk of $.
 

wllm

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
16,526
Location
Boston
Rental cars in AK are stupid expensive so just be prepared. Definitely take a look at Turo and see if there is a better price.

Not sure if your hides will be salted or green and frozen, but either way I’d carry those on the plane. Just put them in a drybag or a couple layers of trash bags and stuff them in your back pack. I’ve done this twice with bear hides.

Meat I’d freeze + skull and put it in fish boxes. Lining up freezer space on the back end of your trip is something I’d figure out. Coolers with a bunch of dry ice also works, you could then use those for transport.

Don’t fly here with big roto coolers they are dumb and impractical for this kinda trip. If you get goats just buy cheapies at Fred Myers in AK for like $30 or fish boxes.

Definitely fly AK airlines if at all possible, they handle a lot of hunting and tend to be more chill about everything. I’d sign up for the AK credit card, now. It gets you a free checked bag for each of you and a $99 companion ticket aka buy one get one free. Tickets are pricey these days so it’s well worth it, might save you $1000 all in.

As far as your travel experience it kinda sucks, but I always get red eyes up to AK. Less folks on the plane at the airport, and your bags aren’t sitting in the hot sun on the tarmac at SeaTac.

My only advice about hunting AK, it’s wet you will be wet. Just embrace it and don’t stress about trying to keep dry, you will fail and will spend way too much time thinking about it. Creek crossing, roll up your pant cuffs put on your rain pants, put your gaiters on over everything and just do it.
 

Movi

Active member
Joined
Sep 10, 2022
Messages
64
I may have the perfect setup for you. I have a studio apartment located just north of anchorage in eagle river. We offer freezer space, and an area for meat processing. We have vac packers, grinders, cuber (goats are tough) and the most important part, a place to dry your gear. Also have a pile of coolers etc laying around so you don’t have to worry about buying that stuff.

For more details email us at [email protected]

Sept in alaska cannot be beat. You’re in for a treat!
 

bsmith

Active member
Joined
Dec 29, 2014
Messages
44
Thank all of you very much! Lots of sound advice here and we really appreciate it. I’m super nervous after flying home from Wyoming last spring with guns and a Turkey in checked bags. All my stuff was lost for 2 days, bird luckily remained frozen enough to get it to the taxidermist here. I got nervous with that for the return flights for next year that’s why I was looking into expediting and processing/shipping meat. That seems like it will be about $800-1k total and definitely an extra cost compared to checking it. I’m with an outfitter as a non resident and his first week is September 18 so I’m pretty locked in on the date range. I was considering upgrading rain gear but it sounds like you’re always wet anyway. Kuiu Northridge is what I have now, pretty new. Not sure if an upgrade is order or not!
 

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