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Thread: Waterfowling near Fairbanks?...

  1. #1
    Member NDTerminator's Avatar
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    Default Waterfowling near Fairbanks?...

    Guys,
    may be finally able to live a lifelong dream and move to Alaska in the near future. I grew up in southern MN and have lived in Devils Lake ND for about 24 years. I grew up waterfowling and later moved to DL as it is quite possibly the best waterfowling this side of Stuttgart, ARK. I'm an amateur gundog trainer (Labs), and to give you an idea how big waterfowling is here, my 4 year old YLF Josie (Jacie's Dakota Gold) has made roughly 600 retrieves in her first three seasons, about 85% waterfowl.

    The job I've applied for is in Fairbanks so the question is, will we still be able to get good waterfowling in that area? For that matter, how about grouse, ptarmigan, or even upland shooting preserves?

    Either way, my two girls are coming with. In addition to crafty old veteran Josie, I have an extremely talented 14 month FT pedigree BLF pup named Sunny (Gabbriella's Dakota Sunrise) who will be finished in about 3 months...

  2. #2
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    It appears that you have already asked this question on the Refuge. The Fairbanks guys didn't appear to respond too much.

    There are not many Fairbanks guys on this waterfowl forum.

    The usable season up there is short unless you can get to the Clearwater near Delta and deal with the ice. There are other pot holes with open water year around that hold mallards, but they are hard to find and folks don't talk about their location on the intertubes.

    The one thing that lots of folks don't understand about Alaska is that it is one huge swamp with water and food everywhere. This does not concentrate the birds, but spreads them out over large inaccessible areas. There are certain places that the birds like but a little pressure and they are out of there to someplace safe. The Tanana river south of FBX acts as a flyway to Canada so it has some pretty good bird migration in September and early October before freeze up.

    In FBX there are the Minto Flats to the west and several areas along the Tanana river to the east and south. If you have a river boat then you will have the birds.

    Field hunting for geese is popular in and around Delta, but the geese zip through in a couple of weeks making for a catch as catch can season.

    Back in my college days we hit the spruce hens and ruffies on Ester and Murphy Domes until the roads were too icy for my non studded truck tires. P-birds up high quite often. However, now days those same hunting spots are houses so you have to go farther afield on the back roads.

    If you are going for FBX get a hold of Corey (northernwings) and RA Coleman on the Refuge. They are both helpful guys and will work with you once you get up there.

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    Member NDTerminator's Avatar
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    Appreciate the response. Also got a couple PMs as well. Not looking to internet scout, just a general overview of what's available in that area.

    Sounds much like hunting here in north central ND, as we have thousands of sloughs & potholes so the birds are often spread out. A big controversy here is busting roost sloughs. Residents normally leave them alone and hunt the birds over fields, while NR who are used to hunting over water in their home states often hit them, pushing the birds out of the area. There are so many good spots that they just leave, and that's that...

    The best hunting we have is the Sept 1-15 Early Canada Goose Season, then the last week of Sept (Resident Only Waterfowl) and the first week of Oct (General Waterfowl). Kind of goes dead in mid October, then picks up again for a week or so when the weather sours up in Canada.

    Good to hear there are grouse available, as my labs would have upland withdrawl without some birds to flush...

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    NDT - Lots of entertainment for the dogs, 2 local retriever clubs in Fairbanks offer some fun while waiting for August 10th when the grouse season opens - Ruffed, Sharptail, Spruce hens, and Ptarmigan. Waterfowl is hot and heavy during September and there are still a few moving through in early October. After that it is time to head south to the coast to catch up with the flocks or chase some sea ducks.

    http://www.iagda.org/index.html
    http://www.fairbanksretrieverclub.org/

    Couple shots from last fall.


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    Member lab man's Avatar
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    There's not much waterfowl hunting right in or around fairbanks. You can get into geese and cranes on the tanana, and ducks in minto flats or the lakes and rivers down towards Delta. I've spent countless hours hunting ducks around town, and usually end up with about 6 ducks per season just from the town hunting, with a nice scattering of geese and sometimes cranes

    Grouse and ptarmigan are a better bet for right in town. They usually hold very tight for the dogs. My one problem with upland birds is that they hold to tight!

    Start this thread again closer to September. It's to early to think about that stuff, but at 6:01 am September 1st I'm gonna be in the blind with my lab.

    -Eric

  6. #6

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    ND TERM,

    I grew up in SD and still have buddies back there. They kill more geese then I do but it is suprising how good the duck hunting is here in the interior.

    I am still killing ducks in Nov and Dec when my buddies in SODAK are froze up.

    Goose season is about a month long, but the problem for most is gaining the access to hunt them. There are a few farms that allow hunting to most but their pretty poor for geese. They hold good numbers of cranes though.

    Everybody keeps telling you about Delta and it's not bad but our hunting isn't that great. We get over run by folks from FBKS in sept while were still holding resident birds and most end up telling me how the hunting sucks.
    Of course most don't know where to hunt and are hunting one of a few areas.

    If you have any questions shoot me a PM

  7. #7
    Member lab man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCAT View Post
    Everybody keeps telling you about Delta and it's not bad but our hunting isn't that great. We get over run by folks from FBKS in sept while were still holding resident birds and most end up telling me how the hunting sucks.Of course most don't know where to hunt and are hunting one of a few areas.
    I know you weren't specifically talking about me, but when I mentioned Delta that was just a general area. I'm usually hunting on the Tanana right across from Fairbanks, or on a lake about a half hour drive and 1 hour boat south of Delta. I guess to me an hour and a half trip seems "near" to delta.

    Minto Flats is also a great place for birds, but it's pretty remote and not the easiest place to get to. Duck hunting in the interior is hard because there's only about a month of hunting in most rivers and lake(with a some exceptions of course). We have mostly pass or jump shotting the first half of september, then the birds really seem to like decoying for the other half of the month. Then they're gone.

    -Eric

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