I'm a longtime reader but rarely post since this fantastic forum has so many really knowledgable folks on it.
Here is the situation. We live adjacent to the Susitna Flats on Pt MacKenzie. in 2016, we will be building a guest cabin for our friends who visit. What I would like to have more knowledge about is whether there are any duck hunters who might also desire to stay with us, for a fee of course, in order to have a different and hopefully more desirable hunting experience. This would help defray our cabin expenses and make it more comfortable for all. I think there are some significant obstacles to this idea (insurance, for example) and perhaps you can help me to determine whether we should explore this idea any further, or not.
Cabin: The cabin will be immediately adjacent to the flats, but not in them. (literally, 50' away) We own about 25 acres in the flats. The cabin will be small, about 12x12 outside, with a 4' covered porch facing the flats. On a clear day, you can see forever. On a good duck day, you can see the flats and that's about all. We will be able to sleep 2 and possible up to 4 if some are kids and wives who can share a bed. Family hunting is strongly encouraged. We can provide a one burner gas stove, lights, maybe a small refrigerator, maybe a gas grill, and charging for cell phones. Probably no other electricity. Outhouse only. Cold water into the cabin sink. Beds will be bunk type, with mattress or thick foam pads. Woodstove for heat. You will need to bring your own food, bedding, and ice to keep game cold.
Access: Access is by wheel plane to our 1700' airstrip. Parking available. When we fly, it costs us $400 to $500 round trip from Lake Hood Airstrip, with commercial carriers. If you have a plane, so much the better due to the above costs. There is land access if you have a tracked Argo. 4 miles. No wheeler access due to their tearing up the wetlands you have to cross to get to us. Yes, you can boat across the inlet, but tides rule everything and you will still have to walk a mile across the flats with stuff. I think this is not practical, at all, but your mileage may vary.
Game: Varies every day and every year. For the last two years we have had 50 plus cranes feeding on our property. Ducks and geese in the area, but not nesting there. Opening day in 2015 had skies in the area full of waterfoul, but some years, not so much. Hunters within 3/4 of a mile, zero, typically. You can build a blind anywhere. Water, varies with tides and rain. No ponds on our property, but a 1/4 mile walk from the cabin will get you to water in a typical year. No other hunting is available from this location.
Dogs: Welcome, but brings up a question that I need to have answered. While I know all of your hunting dogs are well trained, how do or would you deal with them inside a small cabin, without causing wet dog damage to things?
Cost for cabin is anticipated to be $100 to $150 per night depending on number of people. Length of season will vary, depending on how long we stay. We would stay longer if there was a demand. Likely not after Sept 30, due to onset of winter conditions. I would anticipate a 5PM checkin/out time. Please comment on that if you have a better idea.
All comments are highly disired, even if totally negative. We need to know if there is a market, how large, and if there are other things we could do to make a more enjoyable experience. Or if it's just a stupid idea. Yes, you can just watch the birds if you want, we do that also. Prior visits to check out the situation would be encouraged.
Thanks in advance for any comments/suggestions you can give us. Believe me, there is no comment or criticism that would not be useful to us. I'll answer questions if you have them. I don't know if I can receive PM's or not, but you're welcome to try. email is favored method of communication. PTMAC