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Thread: Cantwell or paxson?

  1. #1
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    Default Cantwell or paxson?

    Lets say you've got a 3-day weekend with some buddies and sleds. Would you say go to Cantwell (up the Denali Hwy) or to Paxson (again, Denali Hwy) for some ptarmigan? I'm well familiar with the areas both, but just recently acquired snow machines. I'm leaning toward sledding in from Paxson because I know I can get on birds quicker there. Any suggestions?

    Also, how about finding those wintery pearl birds up near Lake Louise? Anyone had any luck with sno-go's up there?

    Any info is appreciated. I'm new to the whole snowmachine thing...

  2. #2
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cast&Blast View Post
    Lets say you've got a 3-day weekend with some buddies and sleds. Would you say go to Cantwell (up the Denali Hwy) or to Paxson (again, Denali Hwy) for some ptarmigan?.........I'm leaning toward sledding in from Paxson because I know I can get on birds quicker there........Also, how about finding those wintery pearl birds up near Lake Louise?.......
    My experience is that this time of year they're found at 3,000' (treeline) and above in willow thickets. I've never seen them around Lake Louise.

    I've never bird hunted the Cantwell end. I think it's hit harder than the Paxon end, and just never fooled with it. Maybe it's time I checked it out.

    I've seen great hunting nearer the Paxon side and near the middle of the highway.

  3. #3

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    Lets say you've got a 3-day weekend with some buddies and sleds. Would you say go to Cantwell (up the Denali Hwy) or to Paxson (again, Denali Hwy) for some ptarmigan? I'm well familiar with the areas both, but just recently acquired snow machines. I'm leaning toward sledding in from Paxson because I know I can get on birds quicker there. Any suggestions?

    Also, how about finding those wintery pearl birds up near Lake Louise? Anyone had any luck with sno-go's up there?

    Any info is appreciated. I'm new to the whole snowmachine thing...
    Guess you weren't kidding about your "close call" thread sending you straight! Straight to the snowmachine store

    We moved our hunting trip for ptarmigan and rabbits to the 1st of January and have been pondering this same question. Go in on sleds, camp out overnight and chase critters but can't decide to base from Cantwell or Paxon.

    Anchorage to Cantwell 153
    Anchorage to Paxon 236

    Extra hour-half driving to Paxon but probably would put you on birds quicker. I know a couple hunters in the Glennallen area that are hunting nuts. I'll ask them and report back if I find anything good.
    Tim
    Alaska Outdoors Television ~ Outdoor Channel

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    Default Two LONG LONG weeks

    I've got some time coming up in 2 weeks that will allow me to run north in search of those pearly birds and bunnies. After talking to various people of Cantwell vs. Paxson, I've concluded that it shouldn't matter. I'll watch the highway weather reports and base my run off the road conditions/forcasts. Hopefully I'll be posting some fun pix in a couple of weeks. Good luck to everyone!

  5. #5
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdelarm View Post

    ....Anchorage to Cantwell 153...
    Do you know of a shortcut that I dont??

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    LOL...no kidding, 153 miles puts you just north of the Veterans Memorial at Byers Lake. Try 210 miles or so.

    The biggest flock of Ptarmigan I have ever gotten into was about 1 mile west of Summit airport in Broad Pass, . Which also just happens to put you outside of Ahtna lands and just outside the park .

    BTW..I had Ptarmigan on the highway in front of the store the other day.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  7. #7

    Talking My bad

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tdelarm

    ....Anchorage to Cantwell 153...


    Do you know of a shortcut that I dont??
    No. But apparently Google maps doesThought the number was off...that's what I get for being lazy and not double checking.
    Alaska Outdoors Television ~ Outdoor Channel

  8. #8
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdelarm View Post
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tdelarm

    ....Anchorage to Cantwell 153...




    No. But apparently Google maps doesThought the number was off...that's what I get for being lazy and not double checking.
    I did it off google maps for double checking also and it said 210 on the nuts...

    From Houston-152 miles.

  9. #9
    Member polarisblake's Avatar
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    Well despite the mileage agrument. I would go for Cantwell. I have hunted both areas and I can say based on my experiences you will do far better in and around Cantwell. I would suggest going down the Denali Hwy then just go find an area with alders. Pretty good bet you will start to see some sign. Then just ride around till you flush one. If you have more time closer to Gracious House which without using google earth is about mile 52 would be your best bet. Every time I have been there myself and my buddies have got our limits (hunt_AK has pics). You may also get lucky and get a fox or coyote!!! Good luck either way.

  10. #10
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    Default Cantwell/Paxson

    What about the issue of 'native lands' on the Cantwell end? I thought that one needed to travel quite away out to get to public lands. That is all one needs to do is to think that they were not on native lands and loose their machine because they were trespassing.
    It almost getting to the point of being silly, native versus non-native.
    Even though it might be a little longer drive I kow that I can get to public lands quicker.
    Either way be safe and have fun.

  11. #11
    Member polarisblake's Avatar
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    Ahnta has decent maps on their website but I believe past around mile 20 on the denali you don't have to worry (don't quote me on this) However if you are really concerned about it I believe you shoud be able to get a "use" permit to at least cross their land.

  12. #12
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    Default Cantwell/Paxson

    Does one still need to go to their headquarters in Glenn Allen to get permits?

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    I have to vote for paxson, as I am here right now!! haha. I have heard of some pretty good flocks of birds up on the denali if the wind isnt blowin too much, and I mean IF the wind isnt blowin too much. I know Steve out at tangles would love to get some visitors, and its a pretty easy day trip to cruise on up there from here. If you end up comin to Paxson stop by the lodge and ask for Henry, if im not out on my line I will be around.

  14. #14
    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    Default

    besides the fishing is better on the paxson side as well. three whole days, you got to drill some holes

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