Hello to you all. At the risk of sounding like a newbie, I must ask a few questions that I may regret. I have noticed that many (or all) of you are protective of your "spots" and that with winter approaching that those "spots" are getting few and far between. This is my third year of hunting waterfowl and I have found a few "spots" of my own but is is getting harder as the fall progresses. I have enjoyed teaching myself how to call and decoy birds and I am getting better at it every time I go out. I have had a pretty successful season and am enjoying these milder conditions that make it possible to hunt the swamps this late in the season. I have hunted mostly at the end of Turnagain arm and I feel that I have a good idea what is going on down there with the birds, ice, and weather. My "spots" there have been productive and I will be going there as long at it stays thawed. I have begun to expolre the swamps north of anchorage and along the Knik and here is the nexus of the much anticipated questions. Is there ice on the swamps that are accessible through rabbit slough or down the Knik river? Are people still going down the Knik river to access D.L.? What are the late season concerns of mooring a jet boat on the Knik to facilitate hunting either the river itself or going into D.L.? I have also noticed many cars parked along the glen near the bridges in the P.H.F. Are these folks hunting along the rivers or are they slogging into unfrozen puddles?
I also have two other questions that are not related to locations or weather. I have a 6year old black lab that will retrieve anything and everything(including beer) except warm, dead, bloody, feathery birds. Any insight into this dilemma? I was a dog owner long before I was a bird hunter. Final question I promise. I was having great luck with the pattermaster choke and #6 shot earlier in the year but I have heard that people change to larger shot later in the year. I have followed suit and I theorize that it is because the birds have more feathers later in the year and are more hardy/mature. Is this a correct theory or is there another reason that #2 and #4 have worked better for me more recently?
I know that this post will recieve some flack from some of you but thanks in advance to all of you that recognize that my passion for wingshooting is in its infancy and any advice you can supply will be much appreciated.
Can't help much
I Sent you a pm.
On your shot size if you are using standard steel shot for big ducks -mallards or pass shooting you should use #2 to BB because you need the higher velocity & pellet energy for clean kills with the thick plumage of the ducks right now. Even with the hevi-shot I would use a #2 unless you have them landing in your lap. Along with the high cost I cant get hevi shot to pattern well out of my current gun so I don't use it.
Good luck & have fun
No flak coming from this direction.
1- I live in FAI so can't help on your location info. You did ask fair questions, some of which are safety related, so hope some of your neighbors chime in to give a bit of guidance
2- I shoot 4 shot all season with 2 shot mixed in later in the year. Normally I shoot 2 3/4" shells, but if I expect longer shots always have 3" on hand. When I can find good deals on 3 shot I buy it. I decoyed birds the last 2 weekends, and even though heavily feathered shots were normally close. I only recall one duck hit that we did not retrieve as it kept flying as long as we could see it.
3- Try reposting the dog question in the gundog forum. That might get you some really good response.