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Thread: Tanana Flats, When, How?

  1. #1

    Default Tanana Flats, When, How?

    We are going to set up a new moose hunting area this year in the Tanana flats. It's a bit of a boat ride from Fairbanks, but it gets us well away from the crowds. We plan to set up this area to hunt for many years, so I'd like to set up a bait station and try to do my part to keep predation down and moose numbers up in there.

    From past experience, when is the optimal time to set up a bait on the Northern end of 20A? When do the sloughs and creeks shed their ice to allow for boat travel? When do bears typically start showing up at the baits?

    Also, do the bears in this area fancy a certain feast for bait? I'm thinking of going the popcorn route due to cost, but I might toss in a few other goodies. Do scent burns work out there? And finally, are the bears spooked easily out there as far as noise and scent control goes?

    I know it's a lot of questions, but I'm trying to get started on the right foot this spring. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Member Bsj425's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    North Pole, Alaska


    Good luck 20A is grizz country tons of them across the river. There are some blacks but they are far outnumbered. Also the airboat crew likes to hunt over that way so you're likely to have some company.

  3. #3


    We saw a grizz two years ago while moose hunting, so I was concerned about that. I don't plan to hit it too hard this year, but I'd like to set a couple of areas and see what is out there. We've hunted the flats for 30 years, so we have a good idea of the pressure out there. We are planning to hunt in an area where the airboats don't go, and we've seen little sign of any use. It's difficult to get into, but if you want to get away from the crowds, you do what you have to do.

  4. #4
    Member Vince's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Fairbanks most the time, Ancorage some of the time,& on the road Kicking Anti's all the time


    call me... still got my number?

    i have a lot to answer and you can share it, but am to sore to site and type long..
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  5. #5


    Got yer number Vince. I'm hooked up this week playing catch up at the office, so I'll try to give you a shout this weekend.


  6. #6
    New member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007


    I baited 20 for 25 odd years w/ mixed results. Mostly I was downriver from Salchaket, and as far as the Wood. Keep in mind the areas that are BLM land leased by the Army, you'll need an access permit prior to going out just to be safe. With the amount of ice this spring you might make it over on April 15 to get things established and let it sit until breakup.
    Typically I planned on running the Tanana on May 15 every year. If I could get out the 8th I felt lucky. Back sloughs tend to break up later if there is not much water coming down them.
    Bait how'd you bait anyplace. I think the more scent the better, so yes on the burns. Careful w/ the dry spring conditions, we had a burn get out of control one year. That was scary.
    If you've been moose hunting there, I'll assume you've checked almost every nook and cranny for signs of bear baiting. Salchaket and those creeks are hard hit normally, so is the Tanana up by North Pole. Just hate for you to go to that much effort and find you are impinging on somebody else that has been in the same place for years. I know you would not like that conflict.
    FYI I never had any grizzly issues. I never saw one, nor ever saw sign I had them on my bait. That is not to say they don't pass through the Tanana corridor of 20A, I just never had a problem. Bear size tended to run small compared to where I am at now, and the total numbers were up and down year to year. Other guys have had other experience. I know of some nice bears coming off the flats.
    Good luck,

  7. #7


    The new area we are going to head into doesn't have easy access, and our scouting last fall showed no signs of use by moose hunters or bait stations. We definitely don't want to infringe on somebody's area. We have seen multiple bait stations along the river, and even one a couple of miles from where we are headed, but they all looked pretty weathered. I plan to get in there this spring and poke my head in on them just to see if they are in use. Most of them are only a hundred yards or less from the sloughs. We are headed inland.

    We aren't so concerned with size, we just want to keep the bear numbers in check for our new hunting area. Thanks for the input.


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