View Full Version : Would you move to Alaska?

09-05-2012, 08:41 PM
Me and two other hunting buddies are all 17 now. And we all plan on moving to AK either out of high school or finish some college first. We would be moving for the life experience and for the outdoors of course! Anchorage has around 250,000 people, so I have already decided that that is where I would want to move. Their temperatures are comparable to my home in Eastern ND. They also have some great colleges, 2 and four year schools. I am very interested in wildlife biology or law enforcement and Alaska has almost 3 jobs per thousand people for Wildlife Biologists. The next best state is CA with .8 jobs per thousand people. We would drive the alaskan highway and most likely start off with a crappy apartment and have enough money for a month or two's rent. I understand that the cost of living is extreme in AK. I don't mean to bore people. I'm just curious if others would wish they would have when they were young or just any advance you can provide. I would really appreciate it. I have a passport and have driven long drives upwards of 20 hours into Canada for fishing trips. I trap, hunt, fish, spear pike and anything else you can think of. Alaska would be a dream. I enjoy winter.

09-05-2012, 08:58 PM
sounds like you answered your own question buddy... go!!:cool: don tlet anything stand in the way of your future, sounds like you know what you want, go for it, chase it until its yours.

09-05-2012, 10:20 PM
No better time than now at your age to live where you dream to. It would be an awesome experience that I think any outdoor enthusiast would love to be able to say they have done. So do it now while your young and dont have a family or a lot of bills.

Doe Nob
09-06-2012, 07:13 AM
I'd counsel you the other way and say get school out of the way first. You have your whole life to spend time outdoors, use your college years to focus on a degree that can get you a high paying job you will enjoy. Lots of oilfield opportunities in Alaska that pay 5 times or more what law enforcement or wildlife biology makes. Both those jobs you will be broke or near it for much of your life by the time you pay off all your student loans and that's no fun. Bush plane charters are expensive to get out into the wild. Actually, that may be a good job for you if you are interested is a pilot. I'd suggest you get an engineering degree otherwise.

You could also easily work summers up there salmon fishing and make big bucks while going to school in the lower 48 . Not an easy job, but good opportunity to spend your summer in a great place.

09-06-2012, 08:04 AM
I disagree with Doe Nob. You've got to live your life while you can LIVE it. I wouldn't skip going to college, but those Alaska schools will be just as good as any down here in the lower 48. Unless you're going to an Ivy League university, it really doesn't matter which college you attend.

I had a good time in college and I got my degrees, but I feel like I could have done so much more had I considered what I could do while in college, rather than just study, chase girls and hang out in the city.

Lastly, jobs are way more about who you know than what degree you have. I have more friends working at the Post Office and call centers with advanced degrees than you could imagine.

09-06-2012, 09:10 AM
i would say go up. and go to school up there. if you like it get a degree in like ndt or something oil feilds love them i have a friend that works on north slope and he gets like a lot of time off to do outdoor stuff. always been my dream but got cought up in rat race making money than taking risks.

09-06-2012, 10:41 AM
Doe nob... really? I guess somebody needs to be the boring "voice of reason!" aka fun-hater... :confused:

Hey kid, GO NOW! Go to school up there, enjoy every minute of sleeping in crappy apartments, late night drives to hunt or fish (not all of Alaska is a roadless wilderness; in fact, you will be dismayed by the lack of solitude on the road system within 200 miles of Anchorage. That being said, there are a TON of opportunities not far off the beaten path, just like most places, not many people venture further than a few hundred yards off any road or trail.), eating anything you can find that isn't too rotten... etc. I lived in Alaska for two years and those are some of the best memories of my life. I did it when in my twenties and would do it all again in a heartbeat. You will probably never have enough money or time to do it "right" so do it now. The Commercial Fishing industry can be a great employment opportunity but making "big bucks" is not usually a foregone conclusion. I worked in that industry for two years and never made great money, in fact it was considered a success to break even by the time all the bills got paid. However, I made great and lifelong friends and a pile of memories that I cherish.

As for college? UAA, UAF, UAA Kodiak, are all great options and there are more colleges as well. Alaska Fish and Game hires college kids in the summers to man wiers for fish counting and various other ADF&G projects. Most of these are very remote and provide unlimited character building opportunities. Besides, they look cool on a resume, I can't count how many people have asked me about my "Alaska Job Experience" listed on my resume, and I'm a Middle School teacher.

"There is a time and place for everything, and it is called College!" That is tongue in cheek but still true. Carpe Diem young man!

I live exactly where I want to live and do exactly what I want to do for a career AND have a full time job in the summer that I love. Teaching is NOT a high paying career but is extremely satifying for me, being a flyfishing guide pays well and is a fun way to spend the summer. LIFE is NOT all about money! At the end of your days how will you be remembered? As someone who made a pile of money and never did anything interesting or as someone who, as Thoreau said, "lived deep and sucked the marrow from life." Someone who gave back, someone who inspired others, someone who lived their dreams, someone with no regrets?

I would not trade my time in the Great Land for anything. I did it in while I was in college and am glad I did it then so I was able to "suck the marrow" out of each and every experience. If we wait until we are "established" to do the things we dream of we may never get the chance. Life, women, children, careers, and sundry other things, like not being promised another second on this this crazy ride, all place demands on our energies and time once college is over. In the words of my whitetail fanatic brother upon being asked why he picked an Iowa college... "I can get a degree anywhere, I'm going someplace I can kill huge whitetails!"

Nuff Said, Go North Young Man!

09-06-2012, 11:00 AM
Many europeans take 1 year post high school to travel etc... before starting college...

Perhaps take 1 year off and move to AK and work etc... probably would be a blast, most colleges would probably let you defer for a year if you told them you'd like to gain some "life experience" before beginning college.

could always start off at U of AK-anchorage too for 1 year...

09-06-2012, 07:10 PM
North To Alaska!!

I was fortunate enough to move to Fairbanks at 18 years old, I was there for 6 years, courtesy of uncle sam and the USAF. Best time of my life. It's a huge step but you dont want to live your life with regrets. Alaska school systems are awesome, hunting opportunities are endless. Fishing is amazing. Can't say enough good things about the Last Frontier. 1 year left in the military and I'll be North bound and down.

Go For It!!!

09-06-2012, 09:35 PM
Grizz said all that needs to be said, go for it and don't look back.

09-07-2012, 07:41 AM
GO! The only flaw I see in your plan is Anchorage, I would much rather live in a town of 250 than 250,000. The biology degree sounds like a good plan to me. You can't swing a dead cat around here without hitting an unemployed engineer. I had a plan very similar to yours 35 years ago, I wanted to go to school in Alaska but let family talk me into a local school that I never finished. It wasn't a complete wash out, I joined the Navy and never looked back. I retired from the Navy and moved back home to a boring job and relatively tame life, wishing everyday I was in Alaska or somewhere in the Rockies.

Follow your dream, don't be a should of, would of, could of. You'll regret it the rest of your life.


Kevin Root
09-07-2012, 08:45 AM
I think of this subject from time to time. One can't go back in time, and truthfully I don't think I'd want to. We can only move forward with the limited time we're given. Below are a few quotes of inspiration that stand out to me. I'm a Christian so the first is from Proverbs, one is from my former boss and CEO and another is from Ralf Waldo Emerson.

“A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.”
-Proverbs 16:9

“My favorite things in life don't cost any money. It's really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.”
-Steve Jobs

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
- Ralf Waldo Emerson

My thought is that you will take "your" path. We are all on one and there are lots of paths and trails one can take in life. They all have different challenges, consequences and rewards. Just make sure your path is the very best one for you. Make it an awesome adventure.

09-07-2012, 10:36 AM
Grizz hit the main points perfectly - I just want to stress what I think is an important point: A permanent job, a house and/or a family become anchors - not in a bad way, it's just what they are. They will limit the time, money and freedom you need to just get up and go places and do things.

So, I also vote for going to Alaska, knock out some school and live life. You can take your time doing clsses at a community college while you figure out what you want to do and by that point, you will have not only your associates done, you'll have some experience under your belt that no school will ever be able to teach you.

You might also look at the Guard (Army or Air) up there. Good training for your main specialty, college bennies, a paycheck once a month for drills, you get to travel to some cool places (besides Afghanistan) and training courses like arctic survival school.

09-07-2012, 01:15 PM
No thanks.

09-07-2012, 01:31 PM
The first time I laid eyes on the Great Land, my thought was "...If I had come here as a young man, I would have never left...". We are losing our wild places and hunting rates at an alarming rate. Go see what is there, while it is still there. Since you are getting a few advisory quotes in some of the other posts, I will add one. "He who hesitates is lost.". Do it now!

09-07-2012, 02:23 PM
Many words of wisdom in that post from GRIZZ. It's true that you may never be rich working law enforcement or wildlife biology, trust me, but it is all about the quality of life that you want to experience. I am making considerably less now than when I was in the Military, but I wouldn't trade it for the world now that I am living in the place the I want to live, and doing the job that I choose to do. Figure out what your highest priorities, and dreams are, see where they intersect and then go for it. Good luck where ever you decide to relocate.

09-24-2012, 11:43 PM
You have had some good advice already but I would like to weigh-in too. I came to Alaska about 38 years ago and have never left. I requested to be sent here while in the Air Force and they agreed to do so, lucky me. After the Air Force I joined Alaska Fish and Wildlife. I didn't need a degree then and you still don't, although it helps if you have an applicable degree. I'm retired from FWP and have worked as a wildlife survey pilot and air transporter and continue in working with Fish and Game issues and teach hunter safety.
Alaska is a wonderful place to live and for those with the ambition to work, there are jobs available. At 18 you can get seasonal work with Fish and Game which can lead to more permanent jobs later. Don't expect big money though. The oil field jobs pay more but are generally applied for online, not by coming to Alaska and walking in. Do your homework before coming up, spring is the best time since more jobs are hiring then. You can run out of money very fast if it takes too much time to get hired. Anchorage or Fairbanks are probably your best bet for finding jobs and meeting folks, but I agree they are not as enjoyable as living rural.
Check with hunting guides on the Alaska Professional Hunters Association website if you are looking for a job as a packer, many guides are looking for young strong guys willing to work. If you go this way, send me a p.m and I can try to tell you some that I would avoid or wouldn't fly with!
After 38 years I can say without reservation that it's worth the hard work and dedication it takes to make the move.

AK Hunter
10-13-2012, 01:10 AM
We moved to Anchorage when I was 7 from CA and have never looked back, this is the place to be if you like to fish and hunt. I took wild life and fisheries management in High School as as well as a taxidermy class. Got a good start on some fun jobs, but ended up driving truck like my dad, pays better and the Jet boat likes gas. Great hunting close to many towns, birds and 4 leged critters, just last weekend 40 mi from town we were duck hunting and a nice size set of brown bear tracks got out atention on the sand bar!!!!
Come up in the spring, april 1st and give it a try.

10-14-2012, 03:39 AM
I agree with the idea that you should do it now.

I have moved to Alaska a couple times once, after I got out of the mliitary on a couple year hiatus, and another time with the military. I always had a job going there, something not everyone that moves to Alaska does.

We will be moving back up when the kids are a bit older, but now having infants at -40 isn't fun.

Fishing is the best it can be in the world. No place comes close.

Hunting is all about having a means to access the wilderness; airplane, jet boat, airboat, hovercraft, or rarely horses. Hunting from the road system isn't limited, but it's the same as hunting in a over the counter area in much of the west. It's pretty tough, with tons of people.

No single place in Alaska has all species, and sometimes you may have awesome moose, but nothing else. Or awesome caribou but nothing else. Or only sitka blacktails, and brown bears are on a drawing with limited tags.

10-14-2012, 05:36 AM
As for having a trapline in Alaska, the best thing you can do is buy an established line from someone else. Traplines are a financial way of life for many in Alaska, and are sold in newspapers and on Craigs list.

I know it sounds wierd to sell an intangeble piece of property that you don't own, but thats the way of the land up there.

Colorado Cowboy
10-15-2012, 03:34 PM
If I was younger....YES! But I am 70 (71 in 2 weeks) and love it here in Colorado.

10-15-2012, 04:04 PM
In a heart beat. If certain things wernt holdin me to CA

10-17-2012, 12:00 PM
Yea, besides the Eskimo chicks are "hotties." ;)

Old Hunter
10-17-2012, 07:04 PM
Maybe he went. He hasn't been on the forum in 3 weeks.

12-10-2012, 12:57 AM
That would be awesome.. Can you imagine being 18 again. The entire world in front of you. Alaska, why not?

I've always wanted to get there.. someday