Jim Shockey's Hunting Adventures

Alaskan/Yukon Moose

 

Yukon Moose HuntSpecies

Alaska-Yukon Moose, Mountain Caribou, Mountain Grizzly, Dall Sheep, Stone/Fanin Sheep, Wolf

Background

Yukon Moose Hunt

Our exclusive outfitting areas include nearly 12,000 square miles of some of the very best moose and big game habitat in the world. We are located north and east and north and west of Whitehorse, the capital city of the Yukon Territory. Hunters fly into Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon, and flown into the bush from either Whitehorse or our base camp in Mayo depending on logistics.

The moose that live in our Rogue River outfitting territory in the Yukon are the largest antlered game in the world, the mightiest of the North American moose species, the literal giant, Alces alces gigas! Tucked between Alaska and Canada’s Northwest Territories, the Yukon is a world-class hunting destination for moose, Dall sheep, grizzly bear, wolf and mountain caribou. Our remote outfitting area offers spectacular mountain scenery, fish-filled rivers and lakes, wide, timbered valleys and incredible hunting; the perfect place for serious hunters seeking the adventure of a lifetime!

The moose-to-human ratio in the Yukon is 2-to-1; there are more than 65,000 moose and only 30,000 humans living in the Yukon! Even better, very few of those Yukon citizens hunt moose! When you add the approximately 500 non-resident moose hunters who trek to the Yukon every year for the “moose rush,” the human-to-moose ratio becomes about 20 moose per hunter. In a word, the moose in the Yukon are virtually “unhunted.”

According to biologists, the Yukon moose population is stable or increasing. The 40% of the Yukon that is covered in boreal forests (and moose) is a mixture of hills, mountain slopes and valley bottoms. Much of the north-central Yukon was, for the most part, missed by the last Ice Age, allowing the giant moose of the Yukon to evolve in isolation from other moose species. Approximately 80% of the Yukon is still classified as wilderness, making for a truly wild hunting experience for truly wild and undisturbed moose. Most moose in the Yukon never see or smell a human being, and are as apt to ignore or even approach the hunter, as they are to walk away.

From our outfitting territories, we have taken several moose in the 65-inch range and many bulls that scored well enough to qualify for the B&C record book. Our largest moose to date (74 7/8” wide) was taken in 2012 and our average width for many years running is right at 60 inches! This fact is important for serious moose hunters as there are very few places left in the North America where the Alaskan moose populations have not been decimated by over-hunting and wolf predation. The Yukon is becoming the Mecca for the moose cognoscenti because of the high success on trophy bulls.

There are many hunters who feel the biggest moose in the world will come out of the Yukon. There have been reports of 80-inch-plus moose roaming our areas. That said, if you turn down a good moose on the first day, waiting for a giant moose, you are taking the chance of going home empty-handed. Remember too, width is not everything, there are some spectacular bulls that are narrower in width, but that have all the “riggin,” meaning they score great and look great but might only be 55 inches wide. Pan size is important, both length and width. Many of our bulls are filled in between the top palms and bottom brow palms. Also please understand that this is a hunt, in a remote area and there are no guarantees that you will find a bull as large as you want to take. I had one client who was quite upset that he didn’t take a bull moose with his bow, but then he showed me video footage of three different bull moose with antlers in the 45-55 inch range, all of which he turned down. As good as my guides are, they cannot absolutely show every hunter a 60 inch moose, or even a 50 inch moose upon rare occasions…but that is why it is hunting.

Also bear in mind that the body size on moose can vary significantly, making the job of judging bull antler size very difficult. One year I had a hunter he was guiding, turn down a distinctive-looking, magnificent bull that I could not say for sure would go over 60. He told him he thought it would make 58, maybe bigger, maybe smaller. In the end that hunter shot a different 57 1/2-inch bull, and the next hunter shot the one he turned down. It turned out to be a giant 63-incher! The moral of the story is, unless you are a dedicated “numbers” oriented trophy hunter, come up, enjoy the hunt and shoot the good bull when you see it and then let Boone and Crockett sort it out.

Because safety is and always will be our primary concern, all moose racks will be split for the flight out from the camp so they can be loaded inside the cargo compartment of the airplane, unless they are All-Time B&C, P&Y or Longhunter record-book animals or destined to become European mounts or if the hunter chooses to simply not have the antlers split or if the antlers can be loaded into the storage compartment of the airplane along with the rest of the cargo to be loaded on that flight. In these cases, there will be a surcharge of $400 CDN to fly the antlers out whole. Splitting the moose skull is a common and accepted practice, and any taxidermist can and will attach the antlers back to the skull for mounting. In fact, many hunters want the antlers to be removable from the mounted moose for ease of access to their trophy room.

Every morsel of moose, caribou and Dall sheep must be brought in; nothing is wasted or left to the scavengers except the offal. Your moose meat will be given to the local First Nations Elders and needy Yukon families who are very appreciative of the meat. There is a possibility of taking some of your meat home as well, however it requires a fair amount of advanced planning, money and potentially a fair amount of extra time. Although this can be accommodated with advanced planning, we prefer that you enjoy some of your meat in camp and donate the rest to local needy families.

Combination Hunts

When you hunt with us, you will have tags for all of the animals listed below in your pocket, and if you happen upon a male grizzly bear during your moose hunt, you can go after it, provided we still have grizzlies left on our quota (this changes annually and is dependent on the specific area you hunt – please call us for more details if you are interested in learning more about this). If the quota is used up early that season, you will not be able to shoot a grizzly on your hunt. Same goes for the other species, although we do not have a quota on Dall sheep or the other predators. Our grizzlies are mountain grizzlies, some of the most beautifully colored bears to be found. Our caribou are the desirable mountain caribou species, only found in that part of North America. These are the largest of the caribou species and they have the heaviest antlers, often palmated.

If you desire to come and hunt with us in hopes that you will take more animals than just moose, there are certain things you need to know. First off, there are trophy fees for each additional species you kill (see below). All these trophy fees are applicable even if for some reason you do not kill your moose. Also, wounded animals count as killed animals, one drop of blood means the animal is wounded. Every effort will be made to recover every animal you shoot at, but should one be lost, it is considered to be dead no matter where it was hit.

Generally, moose and grizzlies are found living around the lakes and rivers, but caribou will wander through from time to time and Dall sheep are scarce close to the lakes. Black bears, wolves and wolverines can be anywhere. If you are hunting a lake and kill your moose and if we have another camp available, we might be able to fly you to another area better suited for caribou but there will be a minimum flying charge of $2,000+ to do so plus another $1500-$2000 fee to set up a new camp if required. All of this is assuming we have flight time available, guides available and a camp site that is appropriate. You might be required to “backpack” hunt for caribou or grizzlies, basically hunting on foot for day trips from a main camp. Weather, airplane and alternate camp availability will be the determining factor on whether we can move you and your guide to another area and bring the guide back to the original lake for the next hunt, after your hunt ends. There are no guarantees in this regard – plan on having a great moose hunt and consider the chance for any additional species to be a bonus if it occurs.

Be aware that you must have reasonable expectations on combination hunts. If you take a moose, you will be busy for at least two days, getting the meat, cleaning it, loading it on the airplane, and possibly caping the moose, fleshing and salting the cape. It all takes time, so accept that you might only get your primary animal and hope for the best for the rest of the animals you want. We will try to fly your green cape out to a taxidermist, so you can save one day of hunting. You can also save one day of hunting if you do not want your moose shoulder mounted, but instead want a European skull mount. I say all this because I had one hunter complain bitterly about only taking a bull moose and a wolf during his eight day hunt even though he had a pocket full of tags. Sadly he just came with unrealistic expectations. Our primary objective is a moose, then whatever else we see that we can hunt, we will, but it’s hunting and it’s big country and you most times will not shoot another animal. In a “normal” season, 4-8 of our 40 hunters take a caribou, 1-4 get mountain grizzlies and 2-6 get wolves - that gives you some idea of the odds. You also need to understand that you are expected to bring a blank check and pay your invoice for extra trophy fees to our operations manager when you come out of the bush – no exceptions

Yukon_Dall

Lodging and Food

Our accommodations are the finest in “Wilderness Classic,” cabins, wall tents and pop-up tents. Food is standard guide-prepared fare in the remote camps. Your guides are the best there are, most personally trained and hand picked by myself and Brian Wojo. They will do their best to provide you with the service and expertise you need to make this a successful hunt but you need to keep in mind that this is a wilderness hunt, not a lodge hunt with a staff of people to cater to your every whim and desire. The guides will be working long hours each day to make sure you are successful on your hunt so don’t necessarily expect 5 star dinners from them at night – it will be good camp food, not the Ritz Carlton. Any help you choose to give the guide in terms of cooking, camp chores, etc. is completely at your discretion but rest assured it will go a long ways towards your enjoyment of the experience and the guide’s ability to focus on his primary objective – getting you a trophy moose! The guides are also outfitted with the latest in Satellite telephone equipment, and will be in touch with our command and control office should problems arise. Safety always is and always will be our primary concern.

Terrain and Hunting Style

We hunt these monster moose either by boat or ARGO and depending on your camp and the movement of the moose you may not have to walk far or you may have to walk for miles each day. If you have a physical condition that prevents you from walking far, please make us aware when you book a hunt and we can put you in a camp that generally doesn’t require as much physical exertion. Normally each hunter has his own base camp and hunts directly from there; but where it is feasible, the hunter might spike out with his guide. In most cases, the main camps are situated on the shores of lakes or rivers.

Generally speaking all hunts up to September 8 are spot-and-stalk hunts. The big bulls are relatively easy to locate prior to September 8th; they are in the high basins where they spend the summer, growing their antlers. The biggest bulls begin shedding their velvet around August 25, but even though they are covered in velvet prior to that date, they are pretty much “hard-horned” from August 10 on. The velvet is easy to strip off after that date, and the stripped antlers can be stained by any good taxidermist. By September 1st, virtually all the big bulls have stripped their velvet off and are starting to think about the rut.

The rut hunts start on or about September 8-12 and run through late September. The strength and intensity of the rut and the calling success during this period depend on the weather and, of course, this varies year to year. Some years the rut is strongest early, and other years it is later - there is no way to predict this ahead of time. The bulls will also be moving at this time and new bulls will filter into each hunter’s area as the rut progresses.

Boat hunters will arise early and work the lakeshore, watching for bulls and listening for their calls. Your guide will call, using bull “grunts” or cow “moans.” Bull moose can move all day at that time of year and thus you will typically be hunting all day unless it gets really warm. Hot weather slows diurnal movement for these largest of the deer family, as it does for any deer species. The better physical shape you are in, the higher your odds of success. That said, we can still normally find good moose for hunters in less-than-average condition, but if you are able to hike the hills for better vantage points or able to go after a bull you see that isn’t coming to a call, your odds will obviously be higher

Clothing

Temperatures can range from just above zero to a balmy 70 degrees - hopefully your hunt will occur during the former and not the latter. It can snow, rain, sleet, blow, boil and be calm all on the same day, so you must be prepared for anything. Once you book the hunt and send in your deposit, an equipment list will be forwarded along with a contract. Please be advised that you are limited to 60 pounds of gear, including your rifle, when you fly into camp.

Travel

Most customers will fly into Vancouver, BC and then connect onto Whitehorse (which about a 2 hr flight). Clients can take a shuttle or cab to the High Country Inn (867-667-4471) when they arrive in Whitehorse if one of our employees is not there waiting for you. There is a courtesy phone to call the shuttle in the baggage area or you can simply hail a cab at the curb – it is only about a 10 minute ride, so the cost for a cab is minimal. You MUST arrive by 1:00pm the day before your flight into the bush or you risk losing multiple days of your hunting trip. Do NOT arrive on the 7:00pm or 11:00pm flight the day before you scheduled to go into the bush as you may not only be missing luggage, this does not allow our drivers the time we need to get our clients to base camp safely driving in daylight. If your connections do not allow you to get to Whitehorse by 1:00pm the day before your scheduled time into the bush, come an extra day early and relax in Whitehorse. It is an interesting town with a lot of history and it doesn’t hurt to get there early and have an extra day to relax before your big hunt. The majority of the clients will stay overnight in Whitehorse one night (possibly two if you need to come in early to make the 1:00pm deadline) and then depart for our base camp in Mayo the next morning. However you may leave for base camp the same day you arrive and overnight in one of our cabins in Mayo. The specifics of your trip will be changing right up until the last minute depending on weather, logistics and a number of other issues, so please be flexible and work with us. All clients should book a room for the night at the High Country Inn – if you end up going straight to base camp on the day of your arrival, we will cancel the room for you and there will be no charge. It is about a four hour drive through the most beautiful wilderness country left on this planet. Weather permitting; you will be flying out to your camp sometime during the morning/early afternoon on the day you are scheduled to go into the bush.

In any case, the exact bush flight schedule will be determined by myself on site and safety of our pilots, guides and clients will always be the first priority. Typically clients will stay overnight at the hotel for one night in Whitehorse on the way out, but again this may change depending on circumstances. In any case, all expenses for hotel rooms, meals, etc. (regardless of how many days are required) are the responsibility of the hunter – overnight stays at our cabins at base camp are not charged to clients on the rare occasions they occur.

Once they have their moose down, many of our hunters choose to fly out early before the scheduled end of their hunts. Last season approximately half our hunters chose to do so. Changes in scheduled flights will cost the hunter $2,500 USD extra for floatplane trips and $3,500 USD for wheel plane trips. This is the cost regardless if there are two hunters or more sharing a flight. We will make every effort to fly you as soon as you tell us by satellite phone that you would like to fly out early, but the exact time and day will depend on whether our airplane is available and provided the weather cooperates. This applies to any early or late departures and/or arrivals and any airplane flying out to a camp will be filled with materials, parts, gear, etc. on the flight out to camp. It’s entirely up to you, but on the later hunts, we recommend flying out early once you get your bull. Winter is usually right around the corner at that time of the year and flying when the weather allows is always a smart idea when bad weather is around the corner.

 

Everyone entering Canada by sea or air, beginning Jan. 8, 2007, including US Citizens, will need a passport. All American hunters, planning to hunt in Canada or elsewhere in the future, should apply for a passport right away if you don’t already possess one. Also, please note that Canada is fairly strict about allowing non-citizens into the country if they have past criminal records or game violations (Canada shares game violation data with Fish and Game agencies in the USA). If you have any legal issues in your past, regardless of how long ago they occurred or the nature of the offense, it is wise to look into your prospects of successfully getting into Canada before booking your hunt. Much of the info regarding this process can be found at:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/inadmissibility/conviction.asp

Guns and Ammunition

Firearms in .300 - .338 caliber magnum are ideal for moose and bears, larger guns are wonderful, and smaller guns will work. We strongly recommend premium, bonded bullets such as Nosler Accubonds or Partitions. Gun hunters should be prepared to take shots from 25 to 250 yards. Archers should use a premium fixed blade broadhead and be practice shots out to 40 yards although we will generally try to call them closer. We had one bow hunter who shot his moose at six yards! Just having one of these beasts walk up to you will be one of the most exciting and memorable moments of your hunting career! They can stand nearly 10 feet to the top of their antlers and can be 10 feet long. Anyone considering hunting with muzzleloaders or archery equipment would do well to book a rut hunt.

Please be advised that if you choose to hunt with a bow and arrow or even a muzzleloader, you are thereby also choosing to reduce your odds of getting a big bull. We will do our best and we are good at what we do but that in no way guarantees you will take a big bull with a primitive weapon. Please seriously reconsider using primitive weapons if you are not in good physical shape or have problems such as bad knees that will affect your ability to hike.

Gun Importation

To bring your gun into Canada you will want to get a US 4457 form filled out in advance (this is available at any airport which has US Customs offices and can be stamped for approval by a customs agent when you bring them your rifle to verify the serial number). Once you arrive in Canada you will need to fill out a firearms declaration form and pay $25 CDN to temporarily register your firearm for your trip. Please note that handguns are not legal in Canada and cannot be brought in and also be aware that you cannot fly with muzzleloader powder or primers.

Dates

ARGO hunts will start for moose from mid August and run into late September while boat hunts start in early September and run until the end of the month. All moose hunts run 8 full days which means you will be “in the bush” 10 days – one day in, 8 days of hunting, and one day out. Sheep hunts begin around August 1st and run 14 days. Once you book a hunt with us, we will give you the exact dates of your hunt so you can book flights.

On the last hunt in the Rogue area, you can experience cold weather patterns which can freeze up lakes and slow moving streams, making hunting problematical. This does not happen very often, but be forewarned; if you book the last hunt, your hunt may be shortened should winter come early. In that case, we will have to fly you out before freeze up and your hunt will be over with no discounts or refunds even if it did not last the full 8 days.

Yukon_Mtn Caribou

Getting your trophies home

The meat from your moose and/or additional trophies will be flown out to Mayo or Whitehorse, where we will then give it away to the local First Nations Elders or needy Yukon families or if you want to take it home, it will be dealt with as outlined in the above section.

Your antlers will be taken to a local taxidermist. It is your choice to either tell us to leave it with that taxidermist and he will mount your trophy(s) and ship them to you at a reasonable cost, comparable to having them done down where you live. Alternatively, the taxidermist will flesh, salt and dry your cape, clean and boil the skull (there can be no tissue on the skull if it is to cross the international border) and will crate the cape and antlers and ship them to your taxidermist. Once you book your hunt with us we will get you detailed information from the taxidermist which covers all of your options and their associated costs.

If you have the time, it will save you a few dollars if you drive up to Whitehorse. It is a wonderful drive, mostly along the Alaska Highway through some of God’s most beautiful wild lands (watch for moose, deer, bears, sheep and caribou on the road).

Cost (all prices in USD)

The base price for a classic boat hunt for a moose is $14,500 USD; the cost for an ARGO moose hunt is $19,500 USD.  The base price for a classic backpack Dall sheep hunt is $16,000 USD and the base price for a mountain caribou hunt is $9,800 USD. All are including the trophy fee for that one primary animal. Observers are welcome at $5,810 USD. There is a 5% government Goods and Services Tax (GST) added to all costs.

Trophy fees for any animals over and above your primary animal which includes flight costs to get cape/antlers/horns/meat out (add 5% GST to all costs):

  • Caribou - $4,850 USD (subject to quota availability)
  • Grizzly bear - $8,350 USD (subject to quota availability)
  • Black bear - $2,350 USD

Please note that if you shoot at and wound an animal efforts will be made to recover the animal, but the trophy feeand government royalty fee for that animal will be charged.

Although we have never exercised it, we reserve to right to add a “fuel surcharge” to cover extreme rises in fuel prices between the time you book and the hunt date.

Deposit

A $8,750 USD (boat hunts) or $9,750 USD (ARGO hunts) deposit is required to hold dates. The remaining balance is due May 1st on the year of your hunt. All deposits are non-refundable for any reason. Requests for date changes once deposits have been paid will only be honored solely at our discretion and are subject to a 10% processing fee.

We strongly recommend that the hunter purchase travel cancellation insurance to cover ill health, business, family or world events that may cause the hunter to cancel the hunt.

Refunds

All deposits and balances paid are completely non-refundable in whole or in part for any reason including but not limited to: illness, injury, flight delays, unforeseen loss of income, early departure, late arrival, business emergencies, family emergencies, etc. Please also be aware that any animal that is injured in any way will be considered fatal and will be charged at full price.

We will send a letter of notification regarding this final payment prior to the due date. We will not chase hunters down for this final payment. If the final payment is not received by the due date, the hunt spot and deposit will be forfeited. We strongly recommend that the hunter purchase travel cancellation insurance to cover ill health, business, family or world events that may cause the hunter to cancel the hunt.

 

To Book a Hunt or for More Information
Contact: Dan Goodenow
Phone: 248-613-7549
Email: dgoodenow@jimshockey.com

To See Photos of the Yukon
Click the following link: Yukon Photos

 

 

 
Jim Shockey Desert Golf Shootout 5
 
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