What kind of weather can I expect?
Temperatures can range anywhere from 70 to 40 degrees in August, and to below freezing towards the end of September. It can snow, blow, rain, or fog to zero visibility-expect anything and come prepared! It can also be clear and beautiful at times.
This is the Alaska weather site that we use the most often:
Where can I purchase my hunting license and tags?
Hunting licenses and tags may be purchased in Anchorage at many of the retail stores. However, they are also available on-line at www.admin.adfg.state.ak/license/ for advance purchase if you so choose. This alleviates some of the last minute paperwork that is necessary before heading out to the field.
How do I get to Nabesna?
Most often our clients rent a vehicle at the airport or their hotel. Chartering an airplane is very expensive, but it is possible. Sometimes it works out where a couple of guys can come together and share expenses, but there’s a problem if one of them fills out before the other and is ready to go home. There is a “map” on the Contact Information page. It is a 300 mile, 6-7 hour drive, so it is not recommended that you bail off the plane and get in the car if it is late flight. It makes no sense to begin your hunt in an exhausted state. Just plan to arrive at Nabesna sometime around noon or mid-afternoon on the day before the first day of your hunt, so there will be enough time to shoot your gun and complete the paperwork on your license and tags.
What should I bring?
Suggested items to bring:
- Two complete changes of hunting clothes
- Extra changes of underwear and socks
- Quality sleeping bag (to -10 degrees)
- Long underwear and wool socks
- Quality hunting boots with vibram soles
- Down or wool vest
- Light rain gear, top and bottom
- Heavy coat
- Hat with ear flaps
- Hunting gloves
- Comfortable camp shoes
- Personal toiletries
- Rifle and 2 boxes ammunition
- Day pack
- Water bottle
- Small flashlight
- Reading material
- Camera and film
Your guide will have a range finder, spotting scope, binoculars, etc., but you are welcome to bring your own along if you wish. If you own one, a satellite telephone would be helpful to bring.
If you require a particular snack food or beverage such as Coke or beer, these may be purchased in Anchorage and brought with you to Nabesna. A 6-pack or so can be taken to camp with you, and the rest left at the main camp which can be flown to you on the next check flight, as weight and space permit.
Certainly you may bring what you want, but the maximum size of the bag you take to camp should not be longer than 3 feet or weigh more than 50 pounds. What must be considered is that the airplanes we use have limited space and by law the payload weight cannot exceed the maximum allowed amount. Many times there may only be a small window of time to get your camp set up due to weather or daylight, and an additional trip just to haul extra gear may cost a day of your hunt. This is extremely important. No BIG BAGS! Two smaller bags are preferable.
Do I need to bring extra food?
You may bring any extra food you like, but, again, it is at the pilot’s decision how much weight can be loaded into the airplane. We pack up fairly hefty camp-food boxes, which include fresh and canned meats and meals, canned fruits and vegetables, breakfast foods, breads and lunch meats, and plenty of snacks such as crackers, cheese, chips, candy, cookies, condiments. Fresh homemade baked goods are also flown out to the camps when possible. More often than not, our clients complain of putting on weight while they are with us!
Non-hunting companions may stay at Nabesna, the main camp, for $100 per day. Non-hunting companions that wish to go into the field may do so for 50% of the hunt price.
How often will the camps be checked on?
A plane will fly in every 2-3 days with fresh supplies and to check on you, and can bring anything you might need additionally.
I have a metal gun case. May I take it to camp?
Metal gun cases are important on the flights to Alaska, but they do not fit into our bush airplanes. Please be prepared to leave these at the main camp or in your car, and have your shells and other things stowed in your duffel or day-pack. You can hold your rifle on the flight to your camp.
How long will the flight to camp be?
The farthest camp is about a 35 minute flight, most are from 10-20 minutes in length. This is big country; it is hard to fathom just how big, and the flight in and out of the field can be a real high-light of the trip. The camps are in extremely remote locations.
What are the camps like?
We try to make our camps as comfortable as possible, though they are not fancy. We can do only so much, having to fly everything in by airplane. Bears have been known to wreak havoc on the plywood cabins, so many have been patched and re-patched, with visqueen covering the windows. The cabins have gas hot-plates, wood stoves, bunks or cots, and a table and chairs or benches.
The tent camps consist of a roomy tent, Roll-a-Cots, Roll-a-Table, camp stools, Coleman stoves and heaters, and a lantern to make things as comfortable as possible. All camps have First Aid kits.
All food is flown in. Food consists of canned meals, meats, vegetables, dry pastas, cup of soups, pancake mix and syrup, fresh meats for suppers, breakfasts, and sandwiches, potatoes and onions, bread, condiments, and candy bars. Hot suppers are flown in when possible and home-baked goodies. If you require a special diet, please bring what you need or let us know in advance so we can have it on hand. Bottled drinking water is also provided.
What kind of physical condition do I need to be in?
Of course we ask that you be in as good a condition as possible. If you walk, jog, or play a sport you are probably in good enough shape. Try and be able to walk 5 miles a day, and climbing stairs is helpful in conditioning those muscles that are used on a sheep hunt. We try and make every hunt as short a hike as possible, but game can be unpredictable, and you need to be able to cover some country without hurting yourself. Alaska terrain is much different from what most folks are used to, so you must be prepared to traverse boulder piles, shale slides, tundra, thick brush at times, and steep inclines. Your guide will never push you beyond your capabilities, but there are times when you may have to push yourself.
What if I miss my shot?
One of the most important factors in a successful hunt is being proficient with the rifle you bring on your hunt. Another thing is to trust your guide and do what he says. However, sometimes things happen that are beyond our control, and we can try and get you set up on another hunt. But if, in our opinion, you were within a reasonable range and you had a fair chance at a good shot, then we feel we’ve done our job. Of course you may continue to hunt, but you must understand that after 10-20 shots or more have been fired, it pretty much runs off all the game in the area and ruins the camp for the rest of the season.
If you should wound your game, you may still continue to hunt, but the field will be narrowed down to that wounded animal, and everything that can be done, will be done, to locate it. By law you may not shoot another animal on your tag for that species.
Try and be able to shoot off-hand fairly accurately, preferably to hit a paper plate at 100 yards. You may need to make a quick shot with no time to get a rest set up. As a rule we don’t hunt this way, but there are times when things happen quick and you need to be ready and prepared if your guide tells you to “Shoot, shoot!”
What if I want to keep my game meat?
If this is something that you want to do, you must bring with you coolers to pack your meat in to transport back to Anchorage for processing or shipping. Once the meat is brought in from the field and hung in the meat house, and you are wanting to keep it, then it becomes your responsibility. If you wish to have your meat processed into sausage or burger, you will need to transport your meat to these companies, either in Palmer, Anchorage, or Indian Valley. or have it shipped in any other way. We do not provide this service.
What if I don’t want to keep my game meat?
If you choose not to take your game meat, we will gladly accept it. Often we do not get the time to hunt for ourselves, and the meat is greatly appreciated by our family. If you are inclined to give it to your guide, we prefer that you give it to us first, as it is at our expense that we fly it out of the field, then we of course would share with him. The same holds true of any capes that you don’t want. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this matter.
How do I get my trophy back home?
Most times clients take their sheep cape and horns home with them in their duffle bag, but this is only if the cape has had sufficient time to dry. Most of the time our clients have us take their trophies in to Anchorage after season to be shipped by D and C Expediters and Taxidermy (907) 344-9719, a reputable company that we have worked with for years. We can recommend a taxidermist located in Anchorage, Alaska, who also ships, or you may make your own shipping arrangements.