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Thread: Where are all the ducks?

  1. #1

    Default Where are all the ducks?

    any guys up north have any insite into this? They are as heck are not in anchorage right now. last weekend was amazing but now?????????????

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    Member AK375HH's Avatar
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    Saw a few this morning. Shot 3. Pretty slow.
    It's not skybusting if you fold em'.

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    I got to hunt duck lake for the second time this morning. After last time I had high hopes, but we only had 2 mallards and 2 goldeneyes come in. I only managed to hit one goldeneye, but it was awesome how they came in and worked my brand new Bluebill decoys. I was happy seeing the northern lights on the way in.
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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    They are all sitting in places where they are not being bothered. Saw a few up the Knik on Saturday morning, but they were all well educated and only gave brief looks at long distances before heading for someplace else. Also keep in mind that at this time of year any low pressure system with the wind in the right direction will push birds out of here for the season.

    The only thing the ducks liked were live swans pulling up weeds. Need to work on an all swan motorized decoy rig I guess.

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    Member AK375HH's Avatar
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    The ducks will be here for a few more weeks even with a pressure system. Last year froze up this time of year and there were still a lot of birds on the susitna flats when I went last weekend in October 2010. I have a feeling there's going to be a push of birds into south central soon. I think they're sitting just north of here as I havent seen any flocks large enough to be hightailing it out of the state...they havent been the big migrating flocks...just my humble opinion.
    It's not skybusting if you fold em'.

  6. #6

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    yea i dont think we are done either but i sure wish they would move some lol

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    Just FYI...for the diehards...but my best hunts have been when the sheet ice up to 1/2 or maybe 3/4 starts to build up out on DL... Me and AKDuckman have had some great hunts and were the only ones daring this over the past years....cut a nice size hole with your boat...bring a salmon net to scoop up the smaller pieces and push the larger pieces under the remaining ice....drop 2-3dz decoys in and watch the majic..best time of year IMO out there.....usually all to yourself and the birds are looking for anything open..two things to go along with that is...the slought can be tough to get down in or back in due to tide and chunks of ice the size of cars...so be careful.. I have busted ice half way to DL before..but it was always worth it. Second...only for aluminum boats....dont think the wood boats would do it... I would recommend installing an ice wedge or take a 55gal trash can..cut it in half..remove the round bottom and make a sheild for the front of your boat....beat mine up one day out there pretty bad. Great times are ahead for you guys..hang in there.....OH...and dont forget about the knick back water sloughs north east of the bridge..(Main one) back towards Eklutna Tailrace..great float hunting all back in there after the lakes lock up...look at google earth and do some scouting...there will be birds working those areas.

    Have fun
    DH
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    IMG_0091.jpg

    Found a few on my way home today, too bad they were in my neighborhood. But it made a nice picture.
    Some people call it sky busting... I call it optimism
    "Swans are a gift" -DucksandDogs
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    I havn't seen the low temps in Bristol Bay yet, where it igets a hard freeze and closing out the ponds and lakes there, that will send the ducks here until it freezes hard here,

    I've been on the Knik in the middle of a ice flow, don't do it with a jet, the ice chunks makes the jet inoperable, clogs up bad. My defibulator had a "event" that day also, only one I have had. Duckhunter01 I'd like to know more about your experience in the ice. Once I went down the slough and got stopped by ice we could not get though, tried hunting a small open area but nothing. Bud
    Wasilla

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    Member AK375HH's Avatar
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    On my hunt this morning there was a skim of ice on top of some of the water...I don't like that lol
    It's not skybusting if you fold em'.

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    lol, I hiked WAY back into a remote lake with a creek and beaver dam runnin through it. litterally half the lake was covered in duck so thick I couldn't even see the water. sucks they were all about 100 yards away and my 2 decoys didn't seem to make em want to come closer so I didn't get any. this was late at night. 2 days ago. hoped to get out there this weekend but didn't get the chance
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    out on dl today. would have taken a pictuer with my limit but was not able to retrieve any of them.......just kidding we only had 2 commit to the decoys and we got them both. pretty sparse shooting on the lake.
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    Bud..seriously it is tough going at times..but you guys are going to see a good push of birds in no time...as many know, the temps up north will lock everthing up..they will come to DL and other surrounding areas..the slough will remain open longer due to current and provide you with a probably two weeks of great hunting out on DL before it locks up bad in the slough and lake. This to me..is the best time of duckhunting out there...I have never gone out during this timeframe and not had the opportunity to get a limit of divers or greenheads etc...mostly goldeneyes..buffleheads, scaup, and mallards. There is almost always a hole somewhere on the lake left open and usually because of the wind direction or by the birds...the southwest corner is usally open and the middle toward the piano blind. If you are lucky when you get out there in the dark..listen for the birds on the water....go to that sound..push them out and set up....you willl have an awesome shoot.. I have also just gone in to one of three spots I hunt on the lake and just drove the boat around in a cirlce cutting a hole about 20x40yards in diameter...got the ice out..set up the decoys and had some awesome hunts...I usually take about a dozen or at least half of my G/H Full body Canadas and place them on the edge of the ice and water..with a few floaters in it as well...great magnet and helps with visibilty. When the birds come..hardly any calling is needed on this set up..they will come in hard and locked up in your face..lol 10-20 yard shots are common..no nead for pass shooting as you can expect.

    Great way to do it.. I love the ice...guided in Kansas for 8 years for all game..but Waterfowl is my passion. I lived for the ice and cutting holes..heard of the tales of guys using chainsaws....that was me..lol perfect hole cut out of 3inc of ice at times...lots of work..but the clients and myself always had a fantastic shoot....rivers as well, some of the best waterfowling in the world comes from that central flyway...I miss that.

    Good luck remember to never take the ice for granted..it will tear up those boats...and gear.

    DH


    Quote Originally Posted by akblackdawg View Post
    I havn't seen the low temps in Bristol Bay yet, where it gets a hard freeze and closing out the ponds and lakes there, that will send the ducks here until it freezes hard here,

    I've been on the Knik in the middle of a ice flow, don't do it with a jet, the ice chunks makes the jet inoperable, clogs up bad. My defibulator had a "event" that day also, only one I have had. Duckhunter01 I'd like to know more about your experience in the ice. Once I went down the slough and got stopped by ice we could not get though, tried hunting a small open area but nothing. Bud
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
    http://akwaterfowl.com
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alask...78020265619952
    AlaskaWaterfowlAssociation@gmail.com
    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

  14. #14
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    Well i went out last thursday with one other person and walked out with 15, and yesterday the 3 of got lost on our way back but we did manage to knock out another 16. mostly all mallards and gadwalls. I haven't seen the big groups i had a week or so ago. The birds where im hunting have been so pressured that they are leaving the marsh an hour or so before sun up and not returning until almost dark. They are getting awfully smart also, but for my first season up here we have been doing very well.
    Saturday we had someone about 150 yards from us, they walked in around 11 and sky busted all our swings in the afternoon...it was very discouraging. But thats what ya have to deal with on public land.
    How many birds would you guys say you manage to kill by this time of the season on average. Not that im a numbers guy , but i'm just curious since im still new here.

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    Member AK375HH's Avatar
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    what area of the state?

    Quote Originally Posted by click View Post
    Well i went out last thursday with one other person and walked out with 15, and yesterday the 3 of got lost on our way back but we did manage to knock out another 16. mostly all mallards and gadwalls. I haven't seen the big groups i had a week or so ago. The birds where im hunting have been so pressured that they are leaving the marsh an hour or so before sun up and not returning until almost dark. They are getting awfully smart also, but for my first season up here we have been doing very well.
    Saturday we had someone about 150 yards from us, they walked in around 11 and sky busted all our swings in the afternoon...it was very discouraging. But thats what ya have to deal with on public land.
    How many birds would you guys say you manage to kill by this time of the season on average. Not that im a numbers guy , but i'm just curious since im still new here.
    It's not skybusting if you fold em'.

  16. #16
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    lets say the anchorage area..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckhunter01 View Post
    Just FYI...for the diehards...but my best hunts have been when the sheet ice up to 1/2 or maybe 3/4 starts to build up out on DL... Me and AKDuckman have had some great hunts and were the only ones daring this over the past years....cut a nice size hole with your boat...bring a salmon net to scoop up the smaller pieces and push the larger pieces under the remaining ice....drop 2-3dz decoys in and watch the majic..best time of year IMO out there.....usually all to yourself and the birds are looking for anything open..two things to go along with that is...the slought can be tough to get down in or back in due to tide and chunks of ice the size of cars...so be careful.. I have busted ice half way to DL before..but it was always worth it. Second...only for aluminum boats....dont think the wood boats would do it... I would recommend installing an ice wedge or take a 55gal trash can..cut it in half..remove the round bottom and make a sheild for the front of your boat....beat mine up one day out there pretty bad. Great times are ahead for you guys..hang in there.....OH...and dont forget about the knick back water sloughs north east of the bridge..(Main one) back towards Eklutna Tailrace..great float hunting all back in there after the lakes lock up...look at google earth and do some scouting...there will be birds working those areas.

    Have fun
    DH
    Tried to highlight the part about only for aluminum boats.................. I do not even have my wooden one yet... still working on all this gear. gonna have to buy a bigger yard area for all of this...

  18. #18
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    Late Bluebills and Mallards seem to be what mostly is left at DL, even out in the swamps there are few ducks like the last few weeks. The Late Mallards and Bills tell me that the Pintails and Widgeon are mostly gone. The last week of Sept was very good considering all the hunters. There will be a last push, but I don't think like other years. Someone who stayed overnite in the middle of last week said that there were lots of birds at the close but all went south that night and empty in the next morn. Many ducks leave when they detect less daily light, not the weather. Many are suprised to know that many leave in late Aug before the season even opens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ownerstate View Post
    Late Bluebills and Mallards seem to be what mostly is left at DL, even out in the swamps there are few ducks like the last few weeks. The Late Mallards and Bills tell me that the Pintails and Widgeon are mostly gone. The last week of Sept was very good considering all the hunters. There will be a last push, but I don't think like other years. Someone who stayed overnite in the middle of last week said that there were lots of birds at the close but all went south that night and empty in the next morn. Many ducks leave when they detect less daily light, not the weather. Many are suprised to know that many leave in late Aug before the season even opens.
    I agree with ownerstate. There may be a good day or two left out there if you hit it right, but with these clear nights and waning daylight the birds are on the move south.

  20. #20
    Member AK375HH's Avatar
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    you all give up too easy. It's not over til the ice is thick and it starts snowin. sometimes the first snow is the best goose hunt of the year if you go to the right place. All this "it's over" talk needs to quit.
    It's not skybusting if you fold em'.

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