We offer two different types of hunts, fixed camp hunts and float hunts. We are happy to book whichever type of hunt you like and would be happy to discuss the pros and cons of both with you. These hunts are based on a minimum of two people and, except for the Extreme Remote Float, are on an 11-day schedule with day 1 and day 11 being fly in/fly out of the bush days, with 9 full days of hunting. There are also black bear, wolf, and wolverine in the area and can be taken at no additional charge (tags must be purchased before the hunt.)
Our most popular hunt is our fixed-camp hunt. We drop you off on a stretch of river where we can take off and land with a full load. You set up your camp and hunt from that spot with a boat and motor that we provide. You can realistically hunt approximately a five mile radius from that spot. There are a lot of oxbow lakes and sloughs off the river that are excellent hunting and water is always close, making your packing much easier than carrying moose meat out long distances on your back.
What makes this hunt popular is that you are in one spot long enough to find where the moose are frequenting, and spend time hunting and calling them and figuring out their patterns. You also only have to set camp up one time. You can hunt until dark every night and come back to a comfortable camp. You can also leave camp at daylight without having to break down camp before you leave. Additionally, we can often land there, before your hunt is over, and pick up your moose. That is what we are famous for; our service and ability to do more than just drop you off and pick you up.
The second type of hunt we offer is a float hunt. A float hunt starts at one point and ends at a designated pickup point downriver. Between the two points we are unable to land and check on you. The advantages of a float hunt are that you are able to hunt much more area and sometimes an area that is more remote and less hunted. The disadvantages are that you have to set up and breakdown camp several times, usually in the dark. You are on your own for the entire hunt. We are not able to land and take out your moose when you kill it. You must haul it with you for the entire float. Moose floats are 60-120 river miles.
Floats can be very rewarding, but you must be able to stop and hunt for a couple of days when you see good moose signs; not just float all the time hoping to float up on a moose and kill it from the raft. But if you want to hunt this way, you must break camp in the dark and be floating at daylight; then float only a couple of hours, camp during the day, and start floating again about 2 hrs. before dark and float until it’s too dark to shoot. Then set up camp in the dark. This is an excellent way to hunt, but it is not for everyone as it can be very physically challenging.
Willow Air is doing a limited number of extreme remote float hunts. Our normal float hunts are in very good areas and by offering an extreme remote float I do not want anyone to get the idea that our normal floats are not remote. For the most part, they are just as productive if not more productive than our extreme remote floats. What makes these extreme remote floats different is they are either extremely hard to access, very long or require the use of a Supercub to access some areas.
All floats are much harder than our boat and motor fixed camp hunts due to the fact you are constantly moving camp and you have to get to a pick up point before we can pick up your moose. These extreme hunts are even more difficult. You might be hunting a river with very low water levels that requires unloading a raft to get through some low spots or it might just be an extremely long float that requires extra days to complete. Either way you must be in good physical condition for this hunt and be able to work hard.
Whenever I have done these type hunts in the past they have been very productive with around 80% success rate. All our normal hunts are 11 days with 9 days of hunting but these extreme remote hunts are usually a couple days longer due to the logistics of these locations. These areas are hard to access and over the years there has been little to no hunting pressure from anyone else. The chances of seeing anyone else in the first 75% of your float are very slim. No one else hunts these areas. When you get closer to your pickup point you could see someone but by then you should have your moose and be done hunting.
This is truly one of, if not the best self-guided moose hunts in Alaska; but with the remoteness and the logistics of getting in and out it is a very expensive area for us to do, especially if we keep the hunters to a minimum. Most outfitters would bring many more hunters into this area but we believe that would hurt the trophy quality of the animals and the quality of the hunt. Since parts of this hunt are accessed with a Supercub you must pack light and pack only in small dry bags no totes and no hard coolers.