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Thread: Canoe - Looking for advice

  1. #1
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    Canoe - Looking for advice

    Lets say you were drawn for the MN moose hunt and began looking at the zone you are located in and realized that you could potentially kill a 1200 pound + animal 20 miles + into the BWCA and need to pack this thing out.

    I am looking for advice from anyone that knows canoes and understands the challenges I am going to be up against, to help make a recommendation. Assume many portages, and assume that I will be in the back country for 15 days and need to pack in all my gear. When I leave (with a moose hopefully) I plan to skin, de-bone, etc, so I am only packing out meat and hopefully a big bull moose head.

    At this point, we will probably take two canoes. What would you canoe experts recommend for material, length, etc...

    Thanks in advance...

  2. #2
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    RE: Canoe - Looking for advice

    I believe in the old days they used to just tie rope on them and float them back to the main camp and then butcher them up and pack them out.

  3. #3
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    RE: Canoe - Looking for advice

    My 17' glass boat (70#'s) is rated to 1100 pounds, so even 2 boats rated about the same will not get it done.

    That said

    I rented a 22' kevlar one year 43#s and it was rated to carry 1700#'s so rent one of them and a regular boat you should be all set.

    The big one handles like a pregnant whale, and wandered like a drunk'n sailor but it worked well enough.

    You might get a deal on the rental as well depending on your season dates as BWCA traffic is way down by October.

    my 2 cents

  4. #4
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    RE: Canoe - Looking for advice

    Just about any two canoes will do what you're asking. It's a matter of how much weight you want to carry around. Boned out, you'll likely get about 1/3 of the live weight in meat, which will generally put you at 400lbs +/-. Split that between two canoes and it's no different than having another passenger (albeit one that doesn't paddle). If you want to keep your weight down to make the portages more manageable, you'd be wise to stick with a kevlar hull. With the cost of these it would be hard to justify the purchase of one for limited use, but they can be rented all over northern MN. As far as length goes, I guess that depends on how many people are going to be in each canoe. Too big can be difficult if there's just one person in the boat. Assuming that there will be two, something in the 18' range would be a good compromise of size versus weight.

  5. #5
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    RE: Canoe - Looking for advice

    You need to consider the conditions you will be in. Many canoes have a surprisingly high load capacity but the closer you are to capacity, the lower they ride, the more water you will take on in a heavy chop and the worse they will handle.

    And you need to think worse case in terms of weight. Three years ago, my brother in law in Alaska drew a trophy only tag. The boned meat from that bull was almost 800 pounds. Huge bull and not likely in BW but still, something to consider.

  6. #6
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    RE: Canoe - Looking for advice

    When shopping for a Canoe they will tell you two things how much they weight and how much weight they can carry.

  7. #7
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    RE: Canoe - Looking for advice



    First of all do your homework and find out where the moose are and choose your routes with as little portaging as possible. If it's warm out you'll want to get the meat our ASAP. Try not to go to far in. Often the best hunting is not that far off the beaten path up there. Call outfitters and ask them where they have been seeing moose. Call float plane operators and ask them the same thing.

    I would not recommend a kevlar canoe for hunting moose. An aluminum will allow you to bang up on shore wherever you need to and not worry about damaging the hull. It will make it easier for to load, unload and hunt like you mean it. Kevlar is nice but they are really made for touring/camping and take special care which I don't like to mess with.

    I deer hunt in and around the BWCA. We use a 17'square stern with a 3 hp motor on it where motors are allowed. Obviously we paddle where they are not. The square stern is stable and hold lots of gear. You can shoot out of them easier than with a smaller aluminum or Kevlar.

    Anyway, have fun, I love it up there hunting in the fall.

  8. #8
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    RE: Canoe - Looking for advice

    Josh,

    Sent you a PM.

    -Chris

  9. #9
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    RE: Canoe - Looking for advice

    I spend a lot of time duck hunting out of mine each fall/winter. Many times loaded heavily. 15' aluminum. Most times on the Puget Sound and some times in heavy seas.
    Couple things: 1st-Kneel in it. Sittin is ok when ya wanna stretch your legs. Kneel when you're paddling. 2nd-Get a dbl ended kayak paddle. I made mine. I little bit longer than a standard kayak paddle with bigger blades. I can travel much faster and in a straight line without feathering my strokes. You simply paddle harder on whichever side requires it. 3rd-Balance your weight so the front is barely lighter than the back. Too much weight in front and it'll bow steer constantly on ya. Too much weight in the back and the wind will blow the front sideways on ya.
    Good luck hunting.

  10. #10
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    RE: Canoe - Looking for advice

    I talked to my friend who shot a moose up there and he did confirm that as long as don't gut it they do float and that is what he did drag/float the moose behind the boat as far as they could then gut it and de-bone. That is if it is already in the water, you sure as hell are not going to drag it very far on land. I watched a hunting show on tv where they shot a huge moose up on land, then came back with a 4 wheeler in a boat and had to chain saw a trail from the lake to the moose for the 4 wheeler to pack out the meat. I guess the moral of the story is if you shoot one it best be right near the lake shoreline.

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