Anyone here? 33 days

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Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Black Brant » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:30 pm

Just wondering if there are any Alaskans looking at this site. I know there are a few scattered around DHC but this doesn't seem to be the X. Down to 33 and a wake up, all fired up here just awaiting the opening bell.
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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Erich_870 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:35 pm

I've been hanging around. :hi:

I just got my waterfowl catalogs from all of the major mail order places so my blood is beginning to pump again for ducks next month. :yes:

Where are you located Black Brant?

We don't open up until Sept 15th here so I've still got ~45 days. I'll be hitting the silvers hard between now and then :thumbsup:

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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Black Brant » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:29 pm

I'm in Cold Bay, no silvers yet, lots of reds though. Still need a little halibut for the freezer, then done fishing and nothing but waterfowl. Our silvers usually don't show up til last week of August, don't normally mess with them. Many birds in SE?
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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Erich_870 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:27 pm

Black Brant wrote:I'm in Cold Bay, no silvers yet, lots of reds though. Still need a little halibut for the freezer, then done fishing and nothing but waterfowl. Our silvers usually don't show up til last week of August, don't normally mess with them. Many birds in SE?


Cold Bay, nice! :bow:

We have a fair number of birds stop through the Juneau area, but nothing like Cold Bay. A good number remain throughout the season. I tend to focus on sea ducks as the weather gets colder.

What size spread do you hunt over?

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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Black Brant » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:39 am

Size depends on how far I have to tote them. On foot across the tundra, usually about a dozen brant floaters, or a dozen duck with a couple of brant. On the tundra for geese a dozen shells and a couple dozen silos. This year have access to a boat so I carved a couple dozen brant, foamers, so will use about 3 dozen brant, 2 dozen geese, and 2 dozen ducks. I am more than ready.

Did a first ever set up for sea ducks last year, my buddies droped me off in a small boat with a couple dozen decoys on long lines while they went and pulled some crab pots and fished for halibut down wind of me. Ended up with a half dozen or so Old squaws and black scoters, it was fun, just wish they were better tasting. Kinda hard to dig into them when there is fresh crab and 'but on the table.

Have a buddy that flew for ERA down there a couple of years ago and said opening day sounded like war.
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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Erich_870 » Sat Jul 30, 2011 2:48 pm

Your spread sounds about as big as mine. I hunt out of a Marsh Rat most of the time, so I take 2 dozen dek's max.

Your buddy is right, it sounds like the Russians are attacking on opening day. Makes me proud to be an American! :yes:

Thankfully the crowds die down pretty fast. I still have to work to get away from everyone though.

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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Black Brant » Sat Jul 30, 2011 4:24 pm

When I first got here 1988, if I heard a shot I knew who fired it. Now there are 3 guides so often hear shooting at least early in the season. After mid October pretty quiet most days. As I get older my ability to get farther from the crowds gets less, that's why using the boat this year will be nice.

Have you ever been out here?
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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Erich_870 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:01 pm

I've never been that far west. I'd love to set up a trip some day and bring my Dad and brother. We're all die hard waterfowlers! :grooving:

What size boat are you running this year.

Erich
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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Black Brant » Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:49 pm

It's about 18 feet by 6 foot flat bottom/john boat type. This is Cold Bay, so we cobbeld some odds and ends, used boat, used mud motor long tail, and used trailer. We got it this spring and during the float test I had rotator cuff surgery so I have not driven it. Did go along for a ride, it ain't real fast but we don't have to go very far, will be a great help in getting decoys to the water.

If you want to head out this way let me know, I only have two more falls, I retire in 12. It is a good place to hunt, but pricey to get here.
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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Erich_870 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:54 pm

Sounds like a good set up. You'll have to post some pics of the boat in action this season! :thumbsup:

I don't think I'll make it to Cold Bay any time soon, not with little ones at home and this economy. Someday though, someday... :biggrin:

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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Randy Johnson » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:39 am

It been about 5 years since I visited Cold Bay. We had a great time. It is amazing place.
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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Black Brant » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:09 pm

Randy, it truely is something out here. I'm sure we crossed paths out here during your visit, kinda hard not to with 65 people and 3 roads. Did you hunt on your own or with someone?
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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Randy Johnson » Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:27 pm

Black Brant

PM Sent
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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Erich_870 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:59 pm

Looks like the ducks are starting to arrive in town now. I drive by the local wetlands everyday and always have to work to keep the rig on the road as I gawk looking for birds. :lol3: I haven't seen any until today. There were about a dozen teal and a few mallards hanging out at culvert outlet.

Almost time! :hammer:

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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Black Brant » Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:06 pm

No new birds yet, should be in about 10 days, we have some black scoters nest here along with some teal and the odd mallard and pintail. Do have some non-breeding scaup also. Been shooting clay birds and killing fish, down to 22 and a wakeup.
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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Erich_870 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:07 pm

Hey BB,

How wide are the tidal swings in Cold Bay? Do you have to plan your hunts around high tides or can you hunt most any time you like?

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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Black Brant » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:14 pm

Tides are about 3or 4 feet. No super minus usually less than-1 and a high generally around +4 or less, lots of weired ones though, hold overs and other stuff. The birds usually move on the high tides, geese come in to feed, on the tundra berries, brant work into flooding eelgrass beds. Geese and ducks hit fresh water ponds on the high also, so day in day out if you can only hunt a couple of hours go for the rising to high tide. Me, I am somewhat demented, if I am off work I am usually out there, this is part of the reason most people don't hunt with me and those that do know to take their own truck. I don't kill many birds during the low tides but I have never killed a bird from my couch and with only 107 days to hunt got to make the most of it. One of the funny things about out here is the weather, our best weather is the last couple weeks of August and the first couple weeks of September. Just the opposite of what I want to hunt in, and when we do have ducking weather it is usually on the days I work. Not complaining I love it out here and wouldn't change a thing. :beer:
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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Erich_870 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:28 pm

I'd love to see geese feeding on tundra berries, that would be so cool! :thumbsup:

We have serious tidal swings here -5 to +21 and the highest are during the storms in the fall. It makes for some great hunting as the birds love to get into the rarely flooded spots, but you have to watch your timing so you don't get stuck or have to spend the nights on some of the islands you can usually walk to. :wink:

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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Randy Johnson » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:18 pm

The constant hum of the calling birds was the most amazing thing to me.
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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Black Brant » Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:45 pm

Don't know if you heard it but as they are getting ready to migrate, late October, they do their "training flights" when a flock of a few thousand picks up the combo of their wings and calls sounds like bees. I am talking about the brant now. still none here about a week should do it for the first ones.
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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Randy Johnson » Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:27 am

I didn't see any of the Brant flights. I tried to hold the beach against the invading geese, I failed. :smile:
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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby vertical_edge_800 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:57 pm

Randy do you hunt the valley area much? I will be back there in october...
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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Randy Johnson » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:54 pm

I haven't hunted the valley that much. I'm going to drive the Denali Hwy the first part of September for Waterfowl and some ptarmigan. I usually try for crane in the Delta Junction area when I'm sharptail hunting there. The Sharptail number have been down the past few years. I love to watch the flight of crane go over, they are just amazing. I try to advoid crowds at all costs, I guess I'm antisocial.
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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Black Brant » Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:58 pm

Randy the first time I saw the cranes in Delta was 85, and it was a jaw dropper, I had just moved up from Montana and the only cranes I had seen up to that point were so high you needed a spoting scope to see them. I enjoyed hunting the barley project back then, access was easy, don't really recall seeing another hunter. Season was short but did enjoy getting those long legged rascals in the decoys. :beer:
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Re: Anyone here? 33 days

Postby Randy Johnson » Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:28 pm

A few years back while I was hunting sharpies a dozen cranes came over the trees in the windbreak I was walking along. They were only 20-25 feet over the top of me. All I had was my SxS 28 gauage with lead shot. It sure would been a good shot if I would been there with the right gun and non-toxic shot.

They sure thump when they hit the ground next to you. I would hate to have one fall on me. I was talking to a guide up there a few years ago and he used his lab to retrieve them. I asked him if he was worried about a injured crane pecking his dog's eyes out. He said he didn't worry about it. His dog never slowed down when he went to retrieve them. He hit the crane a full speed and knocked them over and brought them back. I don't think I would send any of my dogs after one.
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