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Thread: New Tok Hunter

  1. #1
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    Question New Tok Hunter

    Hi im not new to waterfowl but i am going to be new to alaska. I live im Mayland and hunt big honkers and ducks. I know what to do im just curious on how good the waterfowl is around Tok. Im willing to drive but not to far. Anyone near tok?

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    You will be in one of the waterfowling meccas for alaska on the road system. Duck hunting is pretty decent, but you have to know the right people.

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    Ill find some people. I know the buisness pretty well. How about honkers? How is the goose hunting up by Tok?

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    There are a couple of big game hunters on here that live in the area. I do not recall if they duck hunt though.

    Hunting big honkers is not something that goes on much in Alaska, or rather goes on for long periods of time. The geese leave the state quickly in the fall and head for the fields in Canada where there is better food. They follow the river valleys south and Tok is near a major route. Goose hunting can be over in two weeks or less some years. It all depends on what the birds think about the weather. One big storm and they are in Canada in 24 hours not to be seen until the spring.

    Also keep in mind that Alaska is a giant swamp so the birds have lots of places to head to once they are pressured, and without a lot of hunters to keep them moving there can be some really slow days even in good areas. You need to find an area that has decent food sources. Since there is very limited grain production up here that means natural food plants and insects.

    The basic info on hunting that area: Tetlin refuge and Tanana river.

    The USFWS-Alaska website has some good info on their Tetlin refuge.

    You will need a good river boat to get into those water bodies. Jet or surface drive. Surface drive prefered to handle the weeds once out of the river(s). The few guys I know that have gone to Tetlin set up a camp and spend a few days there moose hunting and duck hunting.

    And because Alaska is one huge swamp there are not many roads. There are lots of rivers and lakes though so you will have to change what you think about accessing hunting spots.

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    Well thank you for the info. Ill have to do some of my own research and start talking around.

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    Goose hunting is horrible in the fall. When they leave, they leave. They seem to fly high and out of range. Duck hunting is good. Gotta get out in the flats away from Tok. A ton of private land, so must know where that is.

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    Well, there is the local hunter with the local info.

    River hunting for roosting spots on the sand bars and islands is about one of the only ways to get in some goose hunting when they are hauling tail feathers to get away from the fast approaching winter.

    You might find specks/white fronts more common than canada geese. The canada geese in the interior are typically lessers and not the big honkers.

    Also keep in mind that in the interior the duck season might be 107 days long, but the birds don't know that and when they leave they are not coming back. With their food sources being water plants and insects once the water gets hard they are gone. This means that some falls your hunting is over by early October. However, Valdez is just down the road and you can go get some sea duck hunting in or head to Cordova and hunt the coastal delta and rivers there until the close of the season.

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    Where is the best goose hunting in alask? While not being to far up north.

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    If things are good like weather and population then Delta barely fields can be the best hunting. However, the migration was an over night one last year and after a week or less the outfitter canceled the reservations. You can read on here about goose hunting in Delta and learn that the farmers pretty much provide permission to the one outfitter, or family only unless they get to know you.

    Cold Bay in the fall can also be great hunting - its a major staging area for geese and Brant on their way south. You can even dry land hunt them as they come in to the tundra to eat berries. Pass shoot ridges or use a silo/sock decoy set up. One of these days I will make sure one of my projects takes place out there in the fall. The whiny geologist can just deal with it.

    Some on here might argue that Juneau is pretty good when the geese push through along the coast.

    Knik Arm next to Anchorage can be really good for two weeks in September if you can hit the timing right as the wild geese pass through. The resident geese will stay on the park grass until it snows them out in October. But unless you have a trained hawk you are not going to hunt those. That would be pretty cool though to be out in the softball field with the kids playing soccer and knocking the heads off few geese with a falcon. Pretty cool indeed.

    The best goose hunting is in the spring during the federal rural community subsistance hunt periods. You have to live in one of the federally designated communities in order to participate. Most of this hunting takes place in native villages along the west coast from Dillingham all the way around to Canada. Tok might be on that list so you should review the federal regulations. Most communities on the road system are just for big game subsistance but you never know unless you look.

    Alaska is not known for its goose hunting. There are hundreds of thousands of geese that nest up here, but there is no habitat to feed them past September when the season opens, so rather than stay and starve to death they leave to where the food is. They are in small family flocks of 5 to 10, so they are scattered all over the place. And when they start to migrate they don't mess around and get out of here.

    Anchorage did have decent goose hunting until the mid 1990's when a flock knocked a AWACS out of the sky on take off killing all 29 military folks aboard. After that the DoD and the USFWS worked to have gossling relocations and spring egg collection to get the over 10,000 resident goose population down to less than 2,000. Last time I looked at the numbers it was about 1,500 resident geese in the Anchorage area. It might be even lower. AKDuckman deals with critters on Elmendorf so he might be able to tell you more about it.

    So you have to be in the right spot during the right week for goose hunting in Alaska. The best goose hunting in North America takes place where ever grain or pea agriculture has a strong presence and provides quality food for them along with good roost water. Not much grain agriculture taking place in Alaska.

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    Thank you. Waterfowl isnt a huge term on finding where to live but I would like to keep it as I love the hunts and the community.

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    screw geese cranes are where its at!! mmmmmm they are good!

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    Iv hunter cranes on the eastern shore. The cheasapeak area gets ALOT of good waterfowl. Yes ineedy they are good. Havent had it often though.

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    StolenHonker, I live in Delta, about 100 miles up the road from Tok. I do alot of waterfowl hunting in the interior and plan to do a trip or two again this fall down in your neck of the woods. Like the others said, its fast and furious for geese. Its all lessers and specks and it can be good, real good. I duck hunt the full season, all the way to Dec 15th. Lots of Mallards winter in the interior you'll just have to check out Tok once your there.
    I grew up in South Dakota and if you had a pothole, you were killing birds. Here is there is water everywhere, so finding a concentration of ducks prior to the big push is tough.
    If you have any questions just shoot me a PM.

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    MCAT well when I finally get moved out there and hunting season comes around ill bring my decs and you bring yours and well have to go on a hunt when you come near Tok

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    You won't get the goose hunting like your used too back east. Maybe in Delta but it will be short lived. As for waterfowl in general I predict another low number year. I understand the prairie potholes have lots of water as they did last year. Also we had low numbers on base again this year with geese being real low. Good for the planes bad for the hunters. There was a day when goose hunting on the hayflats where I hunt was real good but with all the grass in Anchorage most just pass though now, sure we get some that will stop for a few days but without the grain fields, not for long. We'll have to wait and see what the fall migration brings. I know last year I hazed 300 plus out of the cemetery down town several times in September, most likely the same ones. But without anyone killing them they just come back. They could raise the limit form 4 to 10 and I don't think alaskans would kill many more then they do now.

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    well i guess i better get used to ducks. im buying a duck call right now. but hey its still waterfowl. =) thank you every1 for the help.

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    From Maryland to Tok -what a change. Thats all i got say - and on all fronts - especially the waterfowl'n one.

    Of course you will experience the most stupid ducks in the world up here. Nuthin like what you are going to be used to. That will be a please surprise for you.

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