Alaska Waterfowl Numbers?

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Alaska Waterfowl Numbers?

Postby Beluga » Sun Oct 23, 2005 9:36 am

Last year I heard a lot about what a poor duck year it was and that the season would not be very good. The reasoning behind this was supposedly that it was too dry of a summer and the nesting of the birds was affected. It certainly was a dry year last year, but I thought the hunting was good (on Kenai Peninsula). This year seemed wetter during the summer than last year, but it looks to me like there are less ducks around and a LOT less Geese where I hunt. Im hunting pretty much the same areas at the same times as last year. I know there is some variations in how the birds move and whatnot, but I just didn't see the goose numbers. What has everyone else been seeing this season? What about different areas of the state? Im very curious. Thanks.
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Postby AlaskaRedneK » Sun Oct 23, 2005 2:56 pm

I dont have a real foundation to base it on, but I have noticed the same thing yer talkin bout...

There didnt seem to be as many ducks and geese.... but there were still many around.


Did you have luck w/ any of them honkers? I never have gotten one, so if you did, can you tell me anything about it.. mabey even a pic :salude:


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Postby AK Ducks » Sun Oct 23, 2005 3:07 pm

I didn't see very many ducks last year. this year I've seen a lot but haven't gotten a lot.
there other factors that effect how hunting in your area will be like weather and hunting presure I seen it this year where I hunt the ducks will pick up and fly to a lake( can't hunt it :thumbsdown: ) about 15 min. before shooting light. I belive this is because hunting pressure here has doubled in the last two years.
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Postby AlaskaRedneK » Sun Oct 23, 2005 3:17 pm

AK Ducks wrote:I didn't see very many ducks last year. this year I've seen a lot but haven't gotten a lot.
there other factors that effect how hunting in your area will be like weather and hunting presure I seen it this year where I hunt the ducks will pick up and fly to a lake( can't hunt it :thumbsdown: ) about 15 min. before shooting light. I belive this is because hunting pressure here has doubled in the last two years.


:withstupid: :withstupid:

Thats actually more what I meant to say.

I have seen lots of ducks, just havnt gotten many :oops: I think the hunting pressure and my crappy calling is the main reason I have not so good "luck".


Well put AK
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Postby Beluga » Mon Oct 24, 2005 8:09 am

Here's my theries on goose hunting around here. This is just me though, I am sure there are other out there with more experience.

Where I hunt, geese don't seem to decoy that well. What I mean is I may get 1's or 2's or even 4 to come in and give my spread a real look, but never more that that. Seems like the real family groups and larger flocks just aren't intrested. Could be that I'm not hunting the spots where they want to be, or my setup looks phony, or I'm not a good caller (which I am not :mrgreen: ) Larger flocks look at my spread about 1 second and then ignore it. if I get a shot off at them it's just because they are flying by too close anyway. I only use 1 to 2 dozen decoys, cause that's all I can pack. Anyomore, my goose decoys are more like conifdence decoys for the ducks, and if a lonely goose flies by they'll draw him in for a shot.

Something else I have noticed and I wonder if anyone else has noticed this around here, is that it doesn't seem to matter a whole lot whether I call for ducks or not. What I mean i they are either comin in or they aren't, and all my duck calling doesn't seem to make any difference. Most of the time now I don't call at all, and I haven't noticed a difference. I have heard this from other hunters around here too, and was wondering if anyone else has had this experience. I can only think of a couple times where my duck calling made a real difference in drawing birds in. Anyone else notice this? or does my duck calling suck too :oops:

Anyway, what does everyone else think?
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Postby Beluga » Fri Oct 28, 2005 8:53 am

No one out there has any ideas/advice/tips/thoughts to share? Us Alaska guys got to help eachother out, cause there ain't that many of us! :salude:
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Postby akbrett » Fri Oct 28, 2005 12:56 pm

Beluga - that is why I keep checking these posts :smile: I still am trying to get a good grasp on this sport. I've spent about 15 mornings sitting over the duck decoys I've purchased but, I have yet to have a duck come into them after shooting time has started (there are always 10 or 12 that come in early and set down but leave before it's legal). Every one of the 18 ducks I've shot this year have been jump shooting.

I'd love to be able to find a spot where there are geese. As I've told Stouff the only place where I know there are geese is on the #2 hole at the golf course and I doubt that I'm going to be able to set up there anytime soon. :yes:

So in the mean time, I am going to keep hoping that one of you guys posts something up here that will point me in the right direction or that I just get lucky. When it happens I'll be sure and let you know.

- By the way: I did manage to jump one nice drake mallard last night on the Portage river.
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Postby AlaskaRedneK » Fri Oct 28, 2005 4:34 pm

Beluga wrote:No one out there has any ideas/advice/tips/thoughts to share? Us Alaska guys got to help eachother out, cause there ain't that many of us! :salude:


Very true. I try especially hard to help/share info w/ alaska hunters. But on geese... I dont think my advice will git you anymore than you already gots :laughing:


Good Luck!
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Postby AK Ducks » Fri Oct 28, 2005 4:46 pm

yah beluga alaska is huge and you can't know how to hunt it all. I can't help you on geese because I don't hunt them (I want to but my mom is kinda a hippie) but bret what you need to do is move around pick new spots scout (thats how I've found many good spots) also find someone who hunts the area and see if they won't take you. I have some tips that help for the juneau area but I don't think they would help up north.

good luck
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Postby akbrett » Sat Oct 29, 2005 12:16 pm

The problem is that I am SEEING a lot of ducks, usually between 50 and 250 a day. The problem is that they only seem to come into my decoys for about 15 -20 minutes before legal shooting time. After sitting over the decoys for 2 or 3 hours and not seeing a bird I start jump shooting the other holes that I know of where there are ducks. I always rotate between these different spots for setting up my decoys, so its not like I only set up in the same spot everytime.
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Postby AK Ducks » Sat Oct 29, 2005 7:59 pm

well you're doing good then. maybe try less decoys or maybe none. or maybe the area you hunt is just better for jump shooting. dose anyone else hunt around you if so are they getting ducks. also trying gloing out on a dark day when the clouds are thick and low and its raining maybe the ducks will fly when its light so go when it will be darker longer. (it works)

good luck



beluga- I've seen some shows on goose hunting- you need to be where the geese are going try to figure out where they fly to, then set up there
thats what I saw on TV
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Postby akbrett » Sun Oct 30, 2005 7:17 pm

I've got to find someone to go with one of these days so that I can figure out what my problem is. I must have seen 250 ducks and probably over 500 geese today not to mention the 100 or so swans. I had maybe 30 ducks check out my decoys and just keep on a truckin. Once I gave up on the decoys at about noon I finally got some shooting in.

I tried putting out 17 mallard decoys and 4 pintails. Then when nothing seemed interested I pulled all but 7 of the decoys out of the water and still they just weren't interested.
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Postby AlaskaRedneK » Sun Oct 30, 2005 9:40 pm

akbrett wrote:I've got to find someone to go with one of these days so that I can figure out what my problem is.



Id go w/ ya..... But I dont think Id be any help brinin em in... :yes:


Good Luck man.. maybe next seasn? :thumbsup:
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Postby AKcoldhunter » Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:59 am

well im new here but im just ganna get is post going again. AKbrett what shape are you setting the decoys in I had trubble getting ducks to decoy nice for awhile then I read some book and learn if the duck are not decoying right then move it into a different formation. But if the ducks aren't even looking at you then I would say move to a different hole because you cant make them land where they dont want to. Like like to use about 12 deeks so I can be mobile. and BELUGA iv heard that calling doesnt help to, but I love calling and it gives me something to do so I call at birds, last season I bagged 80 ducks for the year. If anyone Knows of somewhere to goose hunt that would be exelent, I dont care if it a 7hr drive i just wont some honkers, and i meen a secret hunting spot neather, just some ok hunting.

thanks :thumbsup:
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Postby LaRedneck » Sat Apr 15, 2006 3:11 pm

akbrett wrote:I've got to find someone to go with one of these days so that I can figure out what my problem is. I must have seen 250 ducks and probably over 500 geese today not to mention the 100 or so swans. I had maybe 30 ducks check out my decoys and just keep on a truckin. Once I gave up on the decoys at about noon I finally got some shooting in.

I tried putting out 17 mallard decoys and 4 pintails. Then when nothing seemed interested I pulled all but 7 of the decoys out of the water and still they just weren't interested.


Gezz, look at those numbers seems as brett knows where the hot spots are........I know who i'm hunting with next season :yes:
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Postby AlaskaRedneK » Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:29 pm

LAredneck wrote:
akbrett wrote:........I know who i'm hunting with next season :yes:


Stouffer, right :yes:

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Postby akbrett » Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:56 pm

I can find birds, it's getting close enough to them that seems to be the problem.
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Postby LaRedneck » Sat Apr 15, 2006 5:42 pm

AlaskaRedneK wrote:
LAredneck wrote:
akbrett wrote:........I know who i'm hunting with next season :yes:


Stouffer, right :yes:

-Stouff


Yes you too. :thumbsup:

Brett seems as I need to teach you the low crawl :yes:
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Postby AlaskaRedneK » Sat Apr 15, 2006 7:12 pm

HA HA HA HA :laughing:

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Postby skybust » Sun Apr 16, 2006 9:39 am

Ha Guy

Myself and AKDUSE hunt over decoys all the time and we get the ducks to come in we hunt mostly Jim Creek area I do call but not a whole lot if the birds are coming in let them you dont need to call I think that is the biggest mistake people make. As for the duck to decoy you need to set up were they want to be a natural fly area for food area. The biggest problem I see in the area we hunt is not enough people to keep the birds moving that is why its so important to be where the birds want to be :thumbsup:
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Postby LaRedneck » Sun Apr 16, 2006 12:56 pm

I went out to the "welcome to chugiak" sign yesterday and saw five fur sure mallards but I also saw a hugh flock of about 60 birds, not sure what they were but were some kinda duck, i new they weren't geese but there was a lot of them.
Last edited by LaRedneck on Sun Apr 16, 2006 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby akbrett » Sun Apr 16, 2006 10:47 pm

Gotta love it. There were honkers all over the place today (S. Anchorage) a ton of mallards and we also saw 4 pair of pintails working a small pond by the house.
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Postby AlaskaRedneK » Mon Apr 17, 2006 12:16 am

:hammering:

I havnt seen nuthin yet...

I guess I should start lookin out the windows, lol

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Postby AK Ray » Mon Apr 17, 2006 1:20 pm

Last year was a little slow to start and then it froze up down here but not up north. That will keep the birds out. I noticed that there were not near the birds as in the previous two years.

The following are generalizations that are truths which can be proven to be false on any given day in Alaska. However, the odds are good that most of the time this things are the way things work up here.

As for geese most the birds in Cook Inlet before October are locals and won't decoy unless you are set up on a lawn. :toofunny: The softball fields in downtown Anchorage are a great place to watch geese during the season. When the migration starts you may see some more geese for a week or so in the Hay Flats, but they fly through real fast.

People that are really good callers get really frustrated up here because the ducks just don't respond that well. When our season starts they are still in family groups and are not flocking up to socialize. By late October they are starting to group up and calling can be more effective.

Decoy placement up here is critical for being in the spot that they want to be in. I have been in places that looked ducky but had nothing. I have ran by spots that would not seem to hold a single bird and jumped dozens. A lot of the guys I have boated by that were shooting more than me were all pass shooting ducks that were just giving them a look (the beaver damn at Gull lake is famous for this).

Also a lot of people use drake decoys in September. Do you see any full green heads in September? No. Even old drakes won't be greened up until october so use hens and leave the drakes at home.

Small groups of decoys work best until October. Ducks are not pairing up in September so anything more than a dozen birds doesn't look right from the air. And even in October the flocks may not be larger than two dozen birds. However, come November you will start seeing flocks larger than two dozen.
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Alaska decoying ducks...

Postby Northern Stalker » Sat Apr 22, 2006 12:13 am

Do you need alot of decoys? In my opinion the more the better.
Some situations/locations you may not see alot of birds in the spot when you scout it, but we have found that it seems birds get real curious when they see 100 buddies sitting down there...it must be a good thing!

As far as using drake decoys in September...it really doesn't matter.
And tell you the truth we hunt alot of divers and always include the drakes with lots of white, the ducks are drawn to them, this year we tried the using only hens technique and we didn't do as well as the days we used the drakes as well. i have been reading up on Pintail hunting and we see a fair number of pinnie's in the dekes in sept. I hear they are highly drawn to drake painted pintail decoys and we are going to try this using 50 or 60 drake pintail decoys in one large spread then place the mallrds geese and diver decoys.

Many of the same birds come back to the feeding places we hunt them maybe try changing up the decoys every few days, we have almost all the manufactures represented in our mega spreads and I think it helps give the illusion of a real flock since they are all abit different.

As far as calling goes, we normally let the decoys do most of the work.
in early fall you will notice the ducks are not as vocal as they are later in year, although in heavy hunting areas you don't want to call alot in the late season as the one who avoided the dinner table so far are getting smart. Hope this helps out alittle. We typically bag about 300 birds a year so are methods can't be that crazy.

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