Need info on Alaska ducks!

Discussion topics include Alaska sea duck hunting and other species.

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Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby tsamp » Mon May 12, 2014 3:03 pm

Hello! My name is Travis and I am about to get outa the USMC soon and I am debating on moving to Alaska in the future and potentially start a guide service for water fowling while getting outa the overpopulated and over hunted society that is prevalent in the Midwestern United States. Just wondering if that would be a wise move considering I know very little of Alaska. I of course would have to research where to set up shop and live according to heavly waterfowl populations before doing anything but that's where you guys can maybe give some insight to the situation! Is there a demand for water fowl guides? lil competition/ a lot of competition? Would going from northern MN to Alaska be a hard change? Is land expensive? Living costs high? These are a few questions I would like you're input on. Any other info would be a great help!

Thanks; Travis
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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby LaRedneck » Thu May 15, 2014 11:03 pm

I'll chime in with what I know. Spent 6 years at Elmendorf and as far as the amount of guide services for ducks is probably small in that area in a grand scheme of things. If it was me doing what you plan I would try to set up shop around the Minto Flats and pull military guys from Fairbanks and Anchorage. I think more guide pressure will be around the "sea duck" areas. I would of loved to kill geese/ducks in the minto area. I spent all my time local, mainly because I was spoiled by close ponds with plenty of bird action. Ak is an animal of its on....I say good luck to you sir
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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby tsamp » Fri May 16, 2014 7:52 am

Thanks man! I'll look into that area. I am still wavering on a lot of things but the idea of Alaska sounded nice. And I figured hunting pressure for birds might not be as nutty as here!
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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby LaRedneck » Fri May 16, 2014 9:24 pm

There's nutts everywhere, just maybe not as many in a closer area.
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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby tsamp » Sat May 17, 2014 2:24 pm

Well being stationed in NC has showed me how crazy hunting pressure gets. I have pulled up to boat ramps and there has been 19+ vehicles with boat trailers lining the road. And that's just at a ramp! If it's a good walk in area, you get all the Duck commander nutts that call at crows, scads of em!! haha. To each his own.
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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby LaRedneck » Mon May 19, 2014 8:54 am

Its that way there for like the first weekend or two but after the cold weather hits only the diehards are out. I used to watch the weather and take a whole month off and hunt. Usually around mid/end October and into the middle of Novemeber was the best time for the Anchorage area.
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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby tsamp » Mon May 19, 2014 2:33 pm

Yea, I bet! Haha people tend to enjoy the nice weather. I like the cold! Nothing like taking a nap after some warm soup and a morning of killing geese in 0 degree weather!
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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby AKWoody » Mon May 19, 2014 3:55 pm

I wouldn't recommend Minto. There is some good shooting there, but not enough to draw tons of folks. Plus I think there are already two operators offering cast and blast trips there. If you want to make money guiding, you are going to have to find something unique. King Eiders, Seas Ducks, etc.

The duck hunting here can be really good. You just have to figure it out. There are so many places within 150 miles of Anchorage, it took me about 5 solid years of bird hunting to figure it out really well. A jon boat will extend your season around Anchorage, but a salt water boat will extend your season to the very bitter end. Walk in areas are good, but very crowded for first couple of weeks. Oh, and get a good dog. There are some really awesome dog clubs up here.
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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby tsamp » Mon May 19, 2014 5:54 pm

I got a nice 16ft mod v big Jon, but if I did end up doing it I would most likely purchase a 19-20 foot custom sea duck boat. Would you say around anchorage would be a good place to maybe set up shop?
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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby LaRedneck » Tue May 20, 2014 4:18 pm

Anchorage isn't the best but not the worst. Hard to say where based off what you can handle, budget etc. If it was me i'd be based out the Saldotna area and have camps in places like kodiak or some island.
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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby tsamp » Tue May 20, 2014 7:24 pm

Yea I don't know! Prolly keep up the research and maybe book a hunt or two and see what it's like before deciding anything! I really have been getting a sea duck itch lately. Maybe that will spark the trip haha
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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby AKWoody » Wed May 21, 2014 6:35 pm

If it were me, I would work Homer or Prince William sound. There are good numbers of ducks that people will pay to shoot, like harlequins and barrow golden eyes.

Bring that jon boat up. Ill give you 1000 for it. Sound like the exact boat I'm looking for. That is a killer rig in the Anchorage or Mat/Su area.
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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby tsamp » Thu May 22, 2014 7:08 am

AKWoody wrote:If it were me, I would work Homer or Prince William sound. There are good numbers of ducks that people will pay to shoot, like harlequins and barrow golden eyes.

Bring that jon boat up. Ill give you 1000 for it. Sound like the exact boat I'm looking for. That is a killer rig in the Anchorage or Mat/Su area.


I have done some looking in the areas you speak, and it sounds like a decent place to be. But so does a lot of others! I am kinda looking for a place to live on the water that I can dump in on a river close to big water where I can maybe get some puddle duck action up river and then drive a ways down into big bays that it Emory's into and hammer divers and sea ducks. And as fare as the rig goes, you may want to throw another $2500 on that number hahaha!!
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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby AKWoody » Thu May 22, 2014 12:53 pm

With all the joking about the price of the boat aside, If you are looking for a place on the water, bring your checkbook. Place on on the rivers in south central are either unaffordable to the average working person, or cheap for reasons that you wont want the. Flooding being the major one. Real estate here isn't cheap. If it is, there is a reason.

My advice would be to look at either Homer or Valdez as a place to live. Both are on the road system and have pros and cons. Valdez may be easier to find a job, but there are less places to shop and such. Its the opposite with Homer since you are only an hour from Soldotna and Kenai. You also may want to inquire with ADG&G about your guides license. I know there are basic requirements for a hunting guides license, but I'm not sure how that applies to waterfowl guides directly. Also, so you know. You WILL have competition. AND, you will likely need a real job during the rest of the offseason. The cost of living here is outrageous, and the further you get from Anchorage and the road system the more expensive it gets.

If you move to the Anchorage area, shoot me a message on here, and I'd be happy to pint you in the right direction.

As far as the boat price goes, you're breakin' my balls here. I'll go 1300!! :hi:
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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby tsamp » Thu May 22, 2014 3:01 pm

Well I sure thank you for the info! All things I will keep in mind if I end up making the choice to relocate! I guess Alaska ain't all you see on TV haha. But I didn't expect it to be, I know it will be hard and costly, which is a big risk cuzz I'd prolly have to sell all I own back home! It will take a couple years of looking and research I'm sure before I jump on the wagon and head north haha! And if you put me on some king Eider and I shoot a double Banded drake with a neck collar and a tracking device on his back, I may sell you the boat for $1300 haha!!
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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby 0321Tony » Sat Jun 21, 2014 2:12 pm

Alaska is nothing like you see on TV. If you are wanting to guide ducks you are going to want to look at sea ducks, biggest reason is it is a long ways to come up here and shoot brown ducks. We have a lot of ducks but they don't congregate like they do in the lesser US. We have roughly 300,000 square miles of suitable waterfowl habitat so the birds are scattered. Homer as stated before would be a good place to set up shop there can be some good puddle duck hunting and there is really good sea duck hunting and as far as I know there is only one guide down there but could be wrong. I live in Soldotna and hunt Homer a lot for late season sea ducks.

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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby tsamp » Sat Jun 21, 2014 2:23 pm

Well I kinda want to move to Alaska to live more than hunt, but I have been waterfowl hunting since I was lil and I started trapping at a young age, so those would be a couple options for me to make a living. But i think I might try and free lance it a couple years a little bit first and feel it out before anything.
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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby 0321Tony » Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:08 pm

tsamp wrote:Well I kinda want to move to Alaska to live more than hunt, but I have been waterfowl hunting since I was lil and I started trapping at a young age, so those would be a couple options for me to make a living. But i think I might try and free lance it a couple years a little bit first and feel it out before anything.

Alaska is a great state, the greatest, but I don't think you'll be able to make a year round living guiding ducks, you'd definitely have to have another job. If you want to make a go of it look for a slope job and work a 3 and 3 schedule and guide on your time off. I think you could do it and make some money at it because even the locals like to get out and sea duck hunt but many don't have the boat to do so. Right now there could be a need for such a guide as I have herd rumors that the one guide I know of out of Homer isn't going to be doing it much longer.

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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby tsamp » Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:52 pm

Yea I know I would have to get another side job. The wife would be working too and hopefully in health care field so that would create a lil extra. I got a great boat for rivers and small lakes but this would be the sea duck boat I'd get if I was to do it, or something close and it would be about 18ft or 19ft. Maybe get a couple layouts.



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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby 0321Tony » Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:43 pm

Well whatever you decide if guiding waterfowl is what you want to do I'd pick a costal town, Seward, Homer, Valdez, etc if you are looking at the South Central area. The puddle duck hunting can be good but it really is a short season because of the early freeze up. Kodiak has great duck hunting both for puddle ducks and sea ducks but there is a few outfits and you would have to compete with outfits doing deer/duck combo hunts and I don't know if your wife would like the weather there, stormy and wet.
Homer is a decent sized town with a hospital and other medical facilities so I would start there.
BTW Semper fi
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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby tsamp » Sun Jun 22, 2014 6:56 am

I appreciate it man! Hope to talk more in the future. And semper fi to you brother!
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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby 0321Tony » Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:27 pm

If you make it to the Kenai peninsula look me up I've got all the toys to get you out duck hunting or fishing. It's always nice to meet up with a fellow devil dog.

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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby tsamp » Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:26 am

Most definitely! If don't do a Canada trip next season I'll be looking to travel and try getting some birds in an unfamiliar land! Would be a great trip I'm sure! But stay in touch buddy and maybe we will work something out down the road!
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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby AKWoody » Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:39 pm

0321Tony wrote:
tsamp wrote: I have herd rumors that the one guide I know of out of Homer isn't going to be doing it much longer.

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Ooooh. Thanks for the tip. I may have to book another trip sooner than later!! If you are ever looking for a late season hunting partner, hit me up. I have everything except the boat.
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Re: Need info on Alaska ducks!

Postby 0321Tony » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:53 pm

AKWoody wrote:
0321Tony wrote:
tsamp wrote: I have herd rumors that the one guide I know of out of Homer isn't going to be doing it much longer.

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Ooooh. Thanks for the tip. I may have to book another trip sooner than later!! If you are ever looking for a late season hunting partner, hit me up. I have everything except the boat.

Where are you located at?

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