Looking for options

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

  1. Neighbor Guy

    Neighbor Guy Senior Refuge Member

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    Jan 5, 2019
    Location:
    Central MN
    And Opinions for that matter.

    We are starting to look at some options for a trip to Alaska. A friend of mine has a box of ashes and final wishes to take care of, so some other bucket list items need to be checked as well.

    But alas, I am not a die hard big game Hunter. I would like to take a ptarmigan. But mainly need some advice on a waterfowl guide. Are there many options for waterfowl in AK or should I just tag along with the moose/caribou hunters and keep an open mind?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Not traveling this year, but 2020 or 2021 likely.
     
  2. no harm-no fowl

    no harm-no fowl Senior Refuge Member

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    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Location:
    ohio
    Been up twice, did some DIY duck and Ptarmigan hunting. Would be glad to help if you wanted to ask questions. Call if you want. Dan 937 726 5746
     
  3. AleutianKing

    AleutianKing Elite Refuge Member Sponsor

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    Location:
    Kodiak, Coldbay, Island X, Adak Alaska
    I would be more than glad to help you deliver your ashes, Contact me harlequin1111.jpeg
     
  4. Tundrawookie

    Tundrawookie New Member

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    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    You haven’t mentioned anything about your budget or what you’d like to do as far as duck hunting, but you have plenty of options.
    Since you seem interested in ptarmigan hunting, the season in the vast majority of the state runs from August 10th to the end of March. There are exceptions, but that’s a good baseline. If your budget has you sticking to the road system, then by far the best time to hunt them is in August and September because of the amount of daylight and relative difficulty in getting to them. If you’re willing to burn some gas and boot leather, you can access ptarmigan from the limited road system.
    From a duck hunting perspective, there’s plenty of road accessible hunting available, and it can be damn good too. Problem is, if you’re hunting in September, then all you’re going to find are brown ducks; mostly wigeon, mallards, and green wing teal. Duck season (in the majority of the state) opens on September 1st and goes to December 16th. If it’s sea ducks that you’re after, there are several great guides on the road system that can put you on harlequins, all of the scoters, oldsquaws, etc. problem is, nobody is going to hunt sea ducks until the beginning of November at the earliest when the birds start to plume out. Ptarmigan will be extremely difficult to get at by then because of snow, nasty terrain, and really short days.
    Sea ducks, from a practical perspective will require a guide. If you have ptarmigan and ducks in mind and want to stick to the road system, I would suggest Tim Bouchard in Valdez. There’s some excellent ptarmigan hunting available right out of Valdez, and may be the one realistic shot at ptarmigan (from the road system) any time after mid October.
    If your budget allows for something a bit more extravagant, you should consider making the trip out to Kodiak, Cold Bay, or Adak. The duck season opens later on Adak or Kodiak, (October 8th) but ptarmigan are much easier to access since they can be found as low as sea level where coastal tundra is present. I should add that the road system is extremely limited in Alaska; and while ptarmigan can be found, they’re only found in alpine tundra, which requires getting up to about 3500 feet above sea level. That may not sound like much, but it’s tougher than it sounds, and damn near impossible after heavy snow.
    Anyhow, hopefully I’ve given you some options to consider. You can absolutely hunt ducks and ptarmigan for relatively little cost in some of the most beautiful land on earth; but when it comes to Alaska, it’s best to have a firm grasp of reality. If you’d like to chat, continue the thread or shoot me a PM. Good luck!
     
    Damian Wiening likes this.
  5. PorkChop

    PorkChop Elite Refuge Member Supporting Member

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    Dec 24, 2004
    Location:
    ND
    I would say tundrawookie is pretty much spot on! There is another guide service that hunts the Delta Junction area for geese and cranes. They look like they have a pretty good success rate. Not sure what their name is off the top of my head but if you are interested I will search my FB.
     
  6. Tundrawookie

    Tundrawookie New Member

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    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Yes; goose shack guide service out of Delta Junction. Mike Lenze is a great guide. He does well with little Canada geese, specks, and cranes. Delta Junction can have some incredible grouse hunting depending on spring hatch conditions; but to get to ptarmigan will require some driving. Definitely a solid option worth considering.
     
    PorkChop likes this.

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