Off Season

Discussion in 'Alaska Flyway Forum' started by TyrelPalmer, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. TyrelPalmer

    TyrelPalmer Refuge Member

    Messages:
    41
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2015
    Location:
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    What are you all planning for off season? Any new gear your picking up, other sports, things to stay sharp?

    I'll be hopefully getting my boat in the water early for Spring King Derby in May, need to get it running good and everything set up before then. I'm also selling my Versa Max Sportsmans and with some money I've been saving I'll be buying a Browning Maxus, so I'll be going out and shooting that at least 1-2x per week until season opens up again September 16th. Sportsman's Warehouse is having a grand opening slated for April here in Juneau so I'll probably try to get it there during the opening. Other then that I want to get into shape to hunt the alpine and try to get a couple deer before duck season opens and for my Adak hunt this fall. Going for some Caribou! Finally looking to get a good hunting jacket, I like wool but a lot of the guys here don't use it because of the 130+ inches of rain a year. So not 100% sold on that yet, but I've been looking at G Fred Asbell's stuff, looks awesome.

    How bout yall?
     
  2. Old Carver

    Old Carver Refuge Member

    Messages:
    31
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2016
    Location:
    North Pole Alaska
    Hello TP,
    I dug out all my decoys and put new strings and weights on them. Now I have the bug... All my goose decoys have been repainted now I'm sitting around watching You Tube duck hunting videos sad sigh... Thinking of ordering some more sleeper goose decoy shells. Everything is frozen solid so my chocolate partner "Ludo" and I can just play fetch and do obedience stuff for now. The pup in my Avatar is 12 mos old now. This year will be his first year hunting. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. When the water gets soft again we'll spend the summer doing his water training. For now it's a long cold winter.
     
  3. TyrelPalmer

    TyrelPalmer Refuge Member

    Messages:
    41
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2015
    Location:
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    HAHAHA, Carver I feel your pain.
    I don't have a place in my condo to store my decoys, so they are living the back of my car. HAHAHA. So I see them everyday, my decoys, new sled, my layout blind..... AND I just bought my new Maxus! So excited. I'm planning on trying to make it to the gun range abunch, try to put like 500 rounds through it before September season opener. Plus I gotta get ready to fish and deer hunt.
    My buddy has a labradoodle that is getting close to a year who we were going to start some more serious training here soon. He came out with us in December and even got some retrieves but mainly was out there just experiencing gunfire, wet, grass, smells, etc. Fun watching somebody train a dog, can't wait to get my own someday. As for decoys, I'm considereing switching out my GHG Mallards for AvianX, so I'd have to sell mine and then see where I'm at and get a dozen AvianX Mallards. We will see.... and my buddy has 30ish goose shells and I have 15 floaters, but looking at getting some silo's maybe to add into the spread. Not sure what to do, haven't had much success with the geese here. I actually haven't got a goose yet, even though I've tried hard the last two years!
     
  4. Old Carver

    Old Carver Refuge Member

    Messages:
    31
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2016
    Location:
    North Pole Alaska
    I did some field hunting out near Delta Junction using 30 shells and 6 Cabelas sandhill cranes. Got a few geese and cranes both. I've done better on the rivers. During fishing season I scout and find sandbars that have ducks or gees near them. Last year we parked the boat on the back side of an island in the river. We set up goose shells along the rivers edge and put out the goose 3 floaters I have then about 18 duck decoys. We dug semi pit blinds and covered up with burlap with willow twigs etch attached. Killed a lot of ducks and geese. They would be following the river and drop in. We let them get real real close in fact we let some land before sitting up. Most shots under 25 yds If we get them close they fall near us and we can wade out to get them. If not it's go get the boat time.
    We had 4 kids. They are grown up now and have their own kids. My daughter is a duck hunting maniac and my sons can take it or leave it (they like moose/caribou better). They sure have fun once their out there though.
    Are you hunting marshes around Juneau or on the ocean/bay?

    Ron
     
  5. TyrelPalmer

    TyrelPalmer Refuge Member

    Messages:
    41
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2015
    Location:
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    NICE! Me and the guy I hunt with we have a good spread between us. I have 2 dozen ducks, dozen GHG Mallards, 3 AvianX Widgeon, 3 AvianX Pintail and 6 AvianX Green-Winged teal. Then I've got 15 floaters, a mix of AvianX, Final Approach and Cabelas. My buddy has about 3 dozen shells, plus he has a dozen mallards and 6 teal. He has 3 mojos and I have 1. So we can get some pretty good spreads going, and we've been sitting in the path of the geese, but honestly the few times we've been out together with all our stuff birds haven't flown. The geese having been getting in REALLY late here I feel like. 3 and 4 years ago it was in November, last 2 its been mid December. Early season is Teal, Widgeon and Pintail with Shovelors and Mallards mixed in. Mid and late season is mostly just mallards but I did triple on Pintails last year the 3rd week of December (bald eagle stole the prettiest drake before I could run and collect all 3 :mad:)
    We hunt the Mendenhall Wetlands, its a state game refuge. Its a tidal channel/marsh system. GREAT for ducks, we know one guy who got 76 last year, buddy got 42 and I got 25 last year. But geese, people don't get to many geese here. We want to rig up my skiff and try to do some ocean hunts this year, Seaducks and Geese. But for now its just the marshes. How bout you? Where you hunting at?
     
  6. Old Carver

    Old Carver Refuge Member

    Messages:
    31
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2016
    Location:
    North Pole Alaska
    We have several strange ways of duck/goose hunting. The biggest is the wheat field down in Delta. I'm looking at getting a few more shells for that. My daughter works with a guy who's family owns a large farm. She got us permission to hunt there. Mainly geese and sandhills heading up the Tannana and on toward Tok in their migration SE into Canada. Our other fun is a series of sloughs near our home. My son goes down with his camoed up canoe and puts in at one point. My daughter takes a small batch of dekes and sets up at another. I have a small batch of dekes and set up at another. My son cruises around jump shooting with the canoe. What he jumps and doesn't get fly further on down the slough system and land in either my daughters area or mine. Were all a couple miles apart but a three pronged approach (three hunters doing 3 things in separate locations) has worked for us a lot better than 3 people hunkered in one blind waiting for a few birds. Our other option is island sand bars down on the Tannana. Some are quite large and have a lot of willows on them so setting up the dekes on the gravel bar and digging blinds near the willow line has worked. I may get ambitious and buy an Avery khaki layout blind for the wheat field and the sand bar. I can camo it up accordingly. River lasts the longest since birds follow it til nearly freeze up.
     
  7. TyrelPalmer

    TyrelPalmer Refuge Member

    Messages:
    41
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2015
    Location:
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Nice, my kids aren't really old enough to do the type of hunting we do. My eldest daughter will be 7, then 3 boys, then my youngest daughter is 3 months. I've taken the 3 older kids out the last two seasons, and my 4ths first time was this year.
    We set up along the sloughs and we go near the main flyways and we have ducks pass by us a lot. Unfortunately we can't dig in or anything because its a Wildlife Refuge. You can't "alter" it. So we find cutbacks, little channels off the main slough, and we sit in those. Our best spot we did great in, shot probably 95% of the birds we shot this season off the same point, I found it last year and it was the spot I had the best success last year. Opening day (September 16th) we limited out in an hour. It sucked because we had taken the day off work! We ended up going into work and not wasting the Time Off.

    That sounds slick. I've got a skiff but we've been looking at trying to make a duck boat. my buddies dad had a jetskiff they would use to get into the backwaters and then paddle around at the high tides, worked great for them. So we've been looking at a duck boat of some sort. We generally all sit together, but like you said we haven't had a dog so we've had to be careful where we hunt to make sure we can retrieve our own birds. His dog did do some retrieves end of the year which was AWESOME, and he is going to keep training him right till season. He'll be about 17 months I think in September. I've tried to hunt some of the fields (dry wetland flats) but I don't have the decoys for it and the birds really don't go anywhere but the water, they honestly don't really have anywhere else to go down here. Mountains to town, town to wetlands, wetlands straight into the water..... We will see. This year I'm planning on doing some more scouting for some good spots, and I'm going to try to get my skiff ready to go out farther and hunt some other spots on the surrounding islands. These geese are also hard because they will get off the wetlands before daylight and fly to Auke Lake which is the last body of water to freeze round here and then the fly back after shootin time. SO DANG FRUSTRATING!
     

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