Looking for options

Discussion in 'Alaska Flyway Forum' started by Neighbor Guy, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. JDO

    JDO New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2019
    Great information Wookie! I don't want to get too hopeful on cranes, and brant! I would not have dreamt I could have a shot at those legendary species! I hope the outfitter has some decent decoys and can point me in the right direction . . .
    Can't believe you've hunted Leadbetter Point (I usually hunt south of there at Lewis and Clark). I read a book by David Hagerbaumer about Leadbetter - brant and scaup hunting, do you know of him? It seems like hunting there could be very interesting. Here's some pics from his book:
     

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  2. Tundrawookie

    Tundrawookie New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    I don’t want to give You an unrealistic expectation regarding brant. You won’t see any staging and hanging around the Naknek. They nest, among other places, on the Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) delta and migrate south to Izembek Lagoon. As they migrate, they follow the coast. They rarely, if ever, fly over dry ground. Their migration route takes them right by the Naknek, and if you spend enough time on the beach, You’ll certainly see big flocks heading south. Given a stout West wind, some pass shooting is a realistic possibility, but it’ll be a target of opportunity rather than something You can count on. I apologize if I made it sound like a slam dunk. If you really want to target brant; a worthwhile goal, you can’t do better than Izembek (Cold Bay). The entire population spends most of September and October staging and getting fat there. Besides, a guy always needs another excuse to come to Alaska. With that said, cranes are a very realistic possibility; geese too.
    I read quite a bit of Hagerbaumer’s work and enjoyed it thoroughly. His work is really well known in that little corner of the Pacific Northwest, and it inspired me as a young man. Unfortunately for me, I was a young man (kid?) while I was there; and never had access to anything that could be objectively described as a “boat”. As a result I found myself hunting the tideline, being chased around by the tide; and hunting puddle ducks. It was certainly a great place to hunt pintails! Most of the time I was trying to pick out a wigeon or mallard from a cloud of pintails. I saw a lot of brant there as well; but the brant season in Washington was one of the most complicated, convoluted hunting seasons I’ve ever seen. There were a handful of days open in February, long after the general waterfowl season had ended. As a result, I never hunted brant until I found myself living in Alaska. They’re a fantastic bird, from the hunt right down to the grill. Seeing Hagerbaumer’s work takes me back.
    It occurred to me that I could ship gear to the lodge that You’re staying at. I’m heading out to Cold Bay on the 16th, and need to ship some gear myself. If you don’t mind coordinating with the lodge, I can get some of your heavier gear here in Anchorage and ship it to King Salmon if the folks there don’t mind picking it up for you. Depending on what airline you’re flying, they may restrict you to 11 pounds of ammo....that’s probably not enough. Air freight to King Salmon is (spitballing here) about 70-75 cents per pound. If this is an option You’d like to consider, shoot me a PM so we can exchange info and get you set up.
    By the way, it’s August now. Your trip is right around the corner!
     
  3. JDO

    JDO New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2019
    Yes! Please send down a dozen flocked crane decoys! :no
    Thank you for the offer, but I think I can get it all - I'm taking a duffel bag and a hard gun case and a backpack. It shouldn't be too much. Maybe I can buy more ammo in King Salmon, looks like there's a sporting goods store there. I'll have to give them a call before I leave.
    Nice to hear about the sprig hunting at Willapa, maybe you could give me some pointers because I certainly have thought a lot about hunting there. I've heard out on the point one can even have a shot at sea ducks . . . I enjoy Haugerbaumer's work and Worth Matthewson's, you're probably also familiar with him. I usually pick up a bunch of books from Worth, he practically gives them away, at the Oregon Waterfowl Festival every year. Good stuff to read on those rainy nights . . .
    Yes, some day (maybe next year) I hope to hunt at Izembek for brant, sea ducks or whatever . . . Looks like an awesome adventure. I hope you have a good hunt. Let me know when you get back and we can compare notes!
     
  4. Tundrawookie

    Tundrawookie New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    HA! If you can figure out how to get your hands on a dozen flocked crane decoys, we’ll sell them and split the profits!
    Cool; if you change your mind about shipping gear, let me know. I’ll send my stuff out to Cold Bay right around the 8th or 9th of September. Of course, if you can pick up ammo in King Salmon, and you’re using decoys that are already there, then you’re in good shape. For what it’s worth, pick up a box of lead 6’s for ptarmigan; they’re a riot to hunt.
    PM me for some info about Leadbetter. I haven’t hunted there for nearly a decade; but there are certainly some guys hunting there that would prefer that I didn’t post a bunch of information on the internet. There are some sea ducks to be had there; mainly harlequins and surf scoters; but Washington is really restrictive about hunting them. Regulations may have changed since I was last “in the loop”; but frankly you’re better off making another trip to Alaska if it’s sea ducks you have in mind.
    I can’t say that I’ve heard of Worth Mathewson, but if he writes about waterfowl hunting in the Pacific Northwest, I’ll have to check him out.
    We’ll definitely have to stay in touch! I’m looking forward to your trip as much as you are. As soon as I get back to town from Cold Bay, I’m headed to Wyoming for sage grouse (fingers crossed). I’ll get back to normal life on the 30th. We will definitely compare notes. Until then, I hope you have the trip of a lifetime! Take care (and pictures), have fun, and hit me up if you need a hand with any logistics.
     
  5. Neighbor Guy

    Neighbor Guy Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    189
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2019
    Location:
    Central MN
    Thanks guys. Our planning has hit a bit of a snag but we are still looking to make this trip in the next coming years. I will take down the names and recommendations and reach out to them as we get more solid on our dates.
     
  6. no harm-no fowl

    no harm-no fowl Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    621
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Location:
    ohio
    I did a DIY trip for ptarmigan and ducks, did pretty well too. Take all the shells you want with you, I did. If you fly Alaska air, they let you take whatever you need. We got limits of ptarmigan. If interested in any info, private message me. I've been up twice, first time I did a DIY trip for a King Eider and ptarmigan. Got both, the second was for ptarmigan, ducks and trout. Got all 3.
     

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