Alaska Hunting

Discussion topics include Alaska sea duck hunting and other species.

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Alaska Hunting

Postby CrackerJackShot » Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:01 pm

Hey guys. I was just dropping by to inquiry on the bird hunting in alaska. I know the big game is supposed to be great, but my big thing is bird hunting and it is a possibility I get stationed up there within the year. What kind of species do yall get? Are there puddle ducks? How is the competition vs. the amount of birds? I'd really appreciate any extra pros and con's yall might could clear up for me. I hope yall have a good day and good hunting.
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Re: Alaska Hunting

Postby AK Ray » Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:05 pm

Where will you be stationed at? JBER in Anchorage, or up north in Fairbanks? Or are you one of the lucky ones and are in the CG?
If you are a coasty get to Cordova or Juneau. You can not go wrong at either place for bird hunting.

If you are going to be at JBER you will be in Upper Cook Inlet with half the state's population (half a million) fighting for every bird you get. The amount of competition over the last few years has skyrocketed. None of us long time users can figure it out. In 20 years an additional 150,000 people moved up here and they all appear to be duck hunters rather than moose hunters. Not a lot of goose hunting here except for a brief period of two weeks when the move through really fast.

In this area you need a boat to get to most the decent hunting or at least an ATV to get to some other spots to walk in to. Small one man marsh boat with a lite long tail work well. John boats with any mud motor work well for other spots.

If you are up north at Wainwright/Elieson/Greely you will have a shorter season by a few weeks than we do in Anchorage, but you will have less pressure and more areas to hunt in. A river boat helps out later in the season when the ponds freeze and you can get birds on the sand bars along the river.

As for species we get lots of puddlers. BW teal once in a while in the interior. Wigeon are very common. mallards all over. GW teal. Gadwalls come and go with this year appearing be a high volume year. sprigs too. No ruddy ducks yet. no black or mottled ducks.

Drivers are mostly blue bills and common GE in the lakes. Some buffies. A few canvas backs. Barrows GE on the salt with a lot of sea ducks. Lots of common mergs if you are in to that sort of thing. The last two seasons I didn't see many divers around the spots I hunt due to the low water level.

If you really want to learn about the local hunting conditions you should check out the Outdoors Directory website for more consistantly updated hunt info.
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Re: Alaska Hunting

Postby CrackerJackShot » Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:17 pm

Thanks for the great response! I am in fact in the coast guard and while I don't know for sure if I'm going to Alaska yet i'll be trying to if I can. The only places I know for sure have cg air stations (I'm going aviation) are Cordova and kodiak. From what you're saying though that really sounds like my cup of tea. Those are the birds I have hunted my whole life. Though I'm sure I can expect colder weather up there ha. I never imagined Alaska as ever being a place to worry about competition too much though, that's kind of surprising.
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Re: Alaska Hunting

Postby Erich_870 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:33 pm

CJS,

You'll have little to no competition on Kodiak or Cordova. Contact Beerswimmer on this forum. He's Coast Guard and been stationed on Kodiak and he'll know someone in Cordova. He can tell you anything you want to know. :thumbsup:

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Re: Alaska Hunting

Postby CrackerJackShot » Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:51 am

Thanks man! Youre alright. I appreciate it. :thumbsup:
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Re: Alaska Hunting

Postby AK Ray » Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:23 pm

To get a taste of what Cordova has to offer look for posts by Ring King on the Refuge or the Outdoors Directory. He spent a couple years at Cordova and his wife is from there so they make trips back there each year.

As to the competition issue, many folks don't realize that half the population of the state lives within one 100 mile radius circle centered on Anchorage. The majority of the state has little competition when off the road system, but if on a road connected to Anchorage, you are going to have to deal with a lot of people for certain activities.

As for the huge increase in duck hunter numbers over the last decade, I can't figure that out. I would hazard a guess that DU is being successful in recruiting hunters and within the local limited hunting areas that is showing as increased competition.
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Re: Alaska Hunting

Postby CrackerJackShot » Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:23 pm

Maybe this just my ignorance shining through but it feels to me that Alaska would be anything but limited on hunting areas.
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Re: Alaska Hunting

Postby JinAK » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:39 am

Dont forget Sitka! You air weenies have an Airsta there also. Really you only have Kodiak and Sitka for choices. The airstation in Cordova is a Air Det from Kodiak so i dont think there are any flight crew there permenantly. Cordova does have some amazing duck hunting though. If you get into sea ducks Kodiak and Sitka wil keep you busy. Good luck.
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Re: Alaska Hunting

Postby Paddydog1 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:23 am

Bounced between Ketchikan and Juneau for many years and you are correct cracker- there is no shortage of duck hunting areas in SE AK. The hard part is access. You really need a quality 18 to 20' skiff at minimum to get around to the bays and inlets and work the tides especially in the Ketchikan, Sitka and Juneau areas. It is some of the best hunting I have ever had but also the toughest in terms of conditions and expense in gear - a good dependable boat is essential in my book.

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Re: Alaska Hunting

Postby jballa34 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:40 am

No one's posted in over a week but I just thought I'd add that I grew up in Cordova and just recently moved to the lower 48 for school, (can't wait to get back up there). The duck hunting is amazing and you'll find lot's of friendly waterfowlers that would gladly introduce you to the area. There is a large cabin community that is used specifically for duck hunting and it is accessible only by boat or float plane. I'm pretty sure there were a few coasties that frequented the cabin's on a fairly regular basis. Good luck!
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Re: Alaska Hunting

Postby harryhyde » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:19 pm

CrackerJackShot wrote:Maybe this just my ignorance shining through but it feels to me that Alaska would be anything but limited on hunting areas.


There are tons of areas. Access is the problem. In the 100 square mile radius area that AkRay spoke of, there are 3 or 4 main marsh areas, so that's where all the bird hunters that live there will be. There are only 2 highways in/out of Anchorage. We have no grid roads to get out in the hinter boonies. If you are an avid duck hunter with your own Super Cub or 185, especially on floats, you will have virtually unlimited amounts of hunting all to yourself. But most of us can't afford one...
I have never hunted the refuge system "down south" with the drawings, waiting at the office at 4:00am for a blind, etc. but we are not near that crowded. There is definitely more people duck hunting than there used to be though, so the guys who have hunted here many years see the biggest change.
Another part of the issue is that there are more sportsmen moving here and less moose than there used to be, so many of them have shifted their focus to birds.
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