canoeWhen planning a hunt in Alaska, most hunters expect to either fly, walk or drive to a hunting destination. However, there is another alternative. Take a canoe.  That’s right, Alaska has one of the largest wilderness canoe trail systems, the Kenai Canoe Trails.

The Kenai Canoe Trails are located in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. The Kenai Canoe Trails website claims: “This is an area of over 1.3 million acres of unspoiled wilderness. The area contains thousands of lakes, at least 199 species of amphibians, birds, and mammals, and 106 miles of trails linking 70 jeweled lakes in a network of interconnecting passages.” Even though these trails attract many sightseers and hikers, they are also a great way to get to untouched hunting spots as well. 

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, hunting is available year-round in the refuge. Starting in mid-August you can use the trails to look for moose, Dall sheep and caribou.  There are also brown and black bear, wolf, lynx and birds at different seasons. If you do decide to use the canoe trails for hunting, remember that there restricted and closed areas. These include the Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area, the Sterling Highway Corridor and the headquarters/visitor center complex and adjacent trails. When planning your hunt, check with refuge staff and consult the State of Alaska hunting regulations.

Don’t forget, that canoes mean water.  Fishing is what many canoers use the trails for.  If you go, bring your rod and feed yourself with prime Alaskan salmon and various cold-water trout on your hunt. 

Why hunt by canoe? The canoe is not just a stealthy way to sneak up on unsuspecting game, but it is a great way just to get around in a land that is extremely light on roads.  In the deep wilderness where these particular canoe trails reach, you would have to fly in to get to where you want to be.  Canoeing is a versatile/cheap way to access areas you may not be able to get to without spending a fortune.

In addition to saving money, a canoe is also a portable form of transportation.  You can throw the modern lightweight canoes on the top of just about any vehicle, drive to an access point, and carry your canoe from place to place if necessary. A canoe is also a good shelter if you need one, or want to travel light.

The Kenai Canoe Trails are the all-around hunting destination. Not only can you hunt and fish to your heart’s content, you can enjoy world class scenery, wildlife and nature. You may not want to leave.