Hunting the big game and big land of Alaska is the ultimate dream and often a once in a lifetime opportunity for many outdoor enthusiasts. But unfortunately, for many hunters, that dream never becomes a reality due to several factors, including the perceived high cost of an Alaska adventure and the seemingly overwhelming task of preparing for such a trip. Where does one even begin with planning the Alaska hunting adventure of a lifetime? Well my friends, I’m here to help answer those questions and get you on the right track. In this seven-part blog and video series, we’ll explore the topic of planning a do-it-yourself Alaska hunting adventure, including some ideas about how to do so on a budget.
If you’re new to this website, allow me to briefly introduce myself. My name is Joe Classen and I’m an author, photographer and videographer, guide, and a lifelong outdoorsman. I grew up hunting and fishing in the Midwest and from a very young age, I developed a thirst to explore the Great Land of Alaska. In my early twenties, I began to quench that thirst and I started fishing and hunting all over Alaska until I eventually moved there in 2011 and later started working as a guide on Kodiak Island. Seeing and experiencing the wild beauty of this incredible place is something that I simply never tire of and I love sharing it with others.
Throughout my 20 plus years of exploring Alaska, especially in the early days, I didn’t have a whole lot of extra cash just lying around to spend on wild Alaskan fishing and hunting adventures. In fact, I still don’t! So let me be clear, while either a resident or nonresident DIY Alaska adventure will be somewhat expensive, there are lots of ways to cut costs dramatically. And if I can do it on my limited budget, so can you.
For starters, make no mistake, there’s a lot involved in preparing and planning for a dream hunting trip in Alaska. From deciding on what and where to hunt, how to get there, where to stay, all the way down to the issues of what gear to pack and what to eat, every detail of such an adventure must be carefully and methodically researched and decided upon well in advance. Now if money isn’t an issue and you have the thousands of dollars necessary to hire a guide or go on a fully outfitted hunt, then things will naturally be much easier for you. You’ll simply need to decide on what and where you want to hunt, start researching reputable guides and outfitters, and buy an airplane ticket. Your guide or outfitter will provide most of what you need, have the specific hunting location picked out, and handle all the hard work and fine details. All you’ll have to do is be in good enough physical shape to handle yourself in the mountains or on the tundra, have some high-quality gear, and be able to shoot straight.
However, if you can’t cough up the $5,000 to $30,000 (depending on the animal and location) for a fully guided/outfitted hunt, as well as a few thousand more for round trip airfare to and from Alaska, bush plane services, or raft rental (if applicable), processing and shipping fees for meat and antlers, and a few other odds and ends…along with the mental and physical currency you’ll spend by doing the actual hunting, camping, field care and packing-out yourself…then it may seem like such a dream hunt will remain only a fantasy. And, to be honest, if you’re not willing to put in the necessary time and Alaska-sized hard work in regard to research and planning, and in-the-field rigor, then it will, indeed, only remain a fantasy. If you don’t have the time or energy for all the research and legwork, then I’d recommend saving yourself the trouble and turn back now. But, if you are ready for the ultimate challenge in planning and carrying out a DIY Alaska hunting adventure, then stay tuned. There will be six more blogs and videos in this series which will help guide you through the process. So be sure to subscribe to the newsletter as well as our YouTube channel so you don’t miss out. Check out the video below to see more…