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Thread: Hay Flats report

  1. #1
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    Default Hay Flats report

    Today was the worst I have seen the flats. It was 36 this morning going out, cloudy with no wind. Heard people shoot 10 mins earley. We saw more ducks before shooting time. Did not see no more than two birds at a time. Zero flocks no Cranes no Geese. We eneded up with 1 Gadwall. Two guys on the slough were skybusting and had autos that would rip off 3 shots faster than hell. They were clueless.

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    figures...so many new waterfowlers these days..go buy em a box of 3.5 shells and just blast away..optimism...my a##..No offense Duckslayer56..After meeting you...your signature is good humor..lol....wish they would donate them shells to my box..lol
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    Duck lake should be renamed Dead lake, no birds, just a single here and there, the area is in desperate need of new birds.

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    No offense taken DH01, I actually got that quote from Jase Robertson on one of the duck commander dvds I have. I thought it was a funny saying. My dad used to wack me in the head if I sky busted when I was a kid so it got me out of the habit real quick.

    I hunted the flats today, and was able to squeeze out a limit. Although I was unable to recover one of the birds I got. So I came home with 7. When I hunted Friday we got a few migrators. The last flock of mallards that came in had bright orange legs, and they were in full color. I was pretty sure the flock of widgeon that came in was a bunch of migrators too. They are starting to trickle in. I can't wait until the big push gets here, hopefully next week.
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    Things not any better at Jim Creek area this weekend either, at least for me. Went to a usually very productive set up, ready to go before shooting time, sat there 3 hours without firing a shot. A couple others on the lake only fired a couple shots all morning, however, we did hear a lot of shooting from another area and checked it out on our way out. I just sold my 14 jon and 9hp go devil to a couple guys thursday. Found them in the adjoining area, with a few mallards, they had each shot over a box of shells and thought the shooting had been great. We decided to try where they were this morning, but had difficulities, took the wrong lead off of the Knik and ended up stuck on a sandbar for a hour and a half getting my heavy boat turned around and get off, so we didn't make it till about 8, sat there a couple hours today without firing a shot also. The reports of northern birds is promising, hope they start coming in mass. Bud
    Wasilla

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    Made my first trip to the Hayflats today. We got set up just to have some guys walk in behind us and set up not 75 yards away!! Oh well, didn't matter as there were VERY few birds even seen. None came remotely close and we never fired a shot. I saw a guy walking around jump shooting but that was about it. Sure was nice to be out in the marsh again after a few year break! I am looking forward to when some fresh birds arrive and I can get my first taste of AK waterfowling!!

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    I've seen on here where 2-3 guys have had that happen to them, somebody come in after and set up very close. Maybe understandable if lots and lots of people out there, but I know its getting very little pressure these days. Do you guys ever say anything to the people who set up too close, maybe go over and introduce and ask if they would mind setting up a couple hundred yards away instead, that it would be better for the both of your setups. they might not want to move this time, but next time i would think they would look around and choose a better spot. If people don't complaign to them no reason not to do it next time, Bud
    Wasilla

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    ???? I'm at a loss guys. 9 of us killed 72 on the susitna flats saturday. Seems to be tons of fresh northern brids. I set up late at 10am and had a limit of 7 mallards 1 pintail by noon. hunted DL this morning and well it was slow there was birds around. a few 20+ bird flocks

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    We didn't say anything AKblackdawg. I probably should have, but just didn't feel like messing up such a nice morning with confrontation. If it happens again I will do what you suggested. There sure is a lot of area out there on the hayflats and I am anxious to explore!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Griffin4590 View Post
    ???? I'm at a loss guys. 9 of us killed 72 on the susitna flats saturday. Seems to be tons of fresh northern brids. I set up late at 10am and had a limit of 7 mallards 1 pintail by noon. hunted DL this morning and well it was slow there was birds around. a few 20+ bird flocks
    I heard there were a bunch of birds over on the Susitna flats last week and not much pressure. Birds get a chance to build up and stick around. Seems on Duck lake, even though pressure is down this year, seems to be hunted everyday and the birds get harrassed and head out to the ocean flats, not building up on the lake. There are a few birds on the lake, but they seem to be birds that have been around a while, I too saw a few flocks (mostly flying pretty high) but most of what I saw and the few that I shot were singles. Hopefully some new birds show up and and stick around for more than a couple days and the pressure stays down which will help the birds stick around when they do show up.
    If I had the boat to do it I would be heading over the the susitna flats.

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    A couple of years ago, I was out in the marsh all set up about 20 minutes before shooting time. About 10 minutes later, I had a hunter show up with his dog and start set up about 50 yards away from me. I just went over and invited him to hunt with me and my dog (being that I had all my dekes set out and my portable blind that I built all set up - carry everything in, carry everything out, including spent hulls!!!). He graciously accepted saying that he didn't really want to shoot right now because this was his first time taking his dog duck hunting and just wanted to see his dog make his first retrieve. Well, as the first flight came in and the ducks fell, I told my dog to hold and his went out to retrieve. He (the dog) did well that day, but lost his training collar. Boy, was he (the guy, definitely not the dog) upset! He went looking everywhere his dog had been, except behind the blind, where I found it where his dog had been napping. He (I guess both the guy and the dog) was happy all around, and so was I!

    It goes to show that all you have to do is ask!

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    Default early birds or just boards? bored?

    I know people came down the slough Sunday, Sunday, and cross the protage and go into duck lake up to 2 hours before shooting time, god only knows why, bored? then wonder why no bords.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ownerstate View Post
    I know people came down the slough Sunday, Sunday, and cross the protage and go into duck lake up to 2 hours before shooting time, god only knows why, bored? then wonder why no bords.
    just curious but why does it matter what time you go in? I would think you kick up less birds in the dark then you do 30 min before shooting time when you can see. I normally try to get over 1 hour prior. gives me time too setup and sit back 20min prior to legal time. I like to watch the show

  14. #14

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    just curious but why does it matter what time you go in?
    It doesn't.

    I am guessing that the birds haven't arrived. Normally there are lots of teal feeding in mud, probably for snails. The teal aren't fazed by anything. In fact, you can't run them out if you tried. The fact that the teal aren't there probably means that the number of ducks in general are down or the birds have shifted their migration or they just haven't arrived yet.

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    Itís interesting that it was said that someone had birds with full plumage. I seriously drought it and no pictures of course. My buddy just left the Hall road and the ducks are in eclipse. He stopped in North Pole and hunted the Tanana same story. Donít tell stories please post real info for your fellow hunters, you have some real imagination. The birds are not down as of Sunday. From aerial info they have not even started to stage yet. We get some birds from Bethel utilizing the coast. This week in Bethel there will be up to 35mph northern winds could bring in some birds. Keep inmind that Alaska ducks funnel thru all 4 flyways. My thought is we are about a week to 10 days behind last year. They will come.

  16. #16

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    while most are in eclipse some are in full plumage. You can't tell me that the mallard and scaup are not full color. the widgeon is about 75%. all brids were taken sunday on the flats.
    DSC02601.jpgDSC02602.jpg

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    You know you got a Canvasback in there as well right?

    Good hunting...


    Quote Originally Posted by Griffin4590 View Post
    while most are in eclipse some are in full plumage. You can't tell me that the mallard and scaup are not full color. the widgeon is about 75%. all brids were taken sunday on the flats.
    DSC02601.jpgDSC02602.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckhunter01 View Post
    You know you got a Canvasback in there as well right?

    Good hunting...
    hahaha oh yea, I was taking a picture of the brids with color and it just didn't feel right leaving the can outta the picture lol. had a flock of about 20 circle me 4 times at about 50 yards before they commited. I knew they were cans the whole time. none had any color to them but still nice to see/shoot

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    Me and my buddy have both shot mallards in full color this year. Just because you didn't see them doesn't mean they aren't there.
    Notice the mallard on the end of the pic. And the widgeon on the other end is almost full as well. Attachment 53104
    Some people call it sky busting... I call it optimism
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    Yeah... we got lucky in October last year and pulled a few out of there in full color..I put one on the wall at the cabin, looks great. I just finished mounting a widgeon that was in full color as well pulled in October for a guy that hunts out there. That flock of Cans will hang around the area for about a month..then pull on out. Was a blast watching them come in and commit last year..happend three times while hunting there..was special.

    Keep at em...leaving in 24 hours..going across the Atlantic...take care and see you hard core waterfowlers in 24 months(who's counting). Cant wait to retire and get back here.

    QUOTE=Griffin4590;1009368]hahaha oh yea, I was taking a picture of the brids with color and it just didn't feel right leaving the can outta the picture lol. had a flock of about 20 circle me 4 times at about 50 yards before they commited. I knew they were cans the whole time. none had any color to them but still nice to see/shoot[/QUOTE]
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
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