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Thread: Break up 33 miles north of the Arctic Circle!

  1. #1
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    Talking Break up 33 miles north of the Arctic Circle!

    Well boys its break up time in NW Alaska and the Sea Ice is still holding on. Spring Goose hunting is in full swing with lots of fat birds being taken. Up here we hunt animals when they arrive because regular seasons that you see in the lower 48 donít fit. In the fall the birds are gone by mid September most years because its is getting to be a lot like winter and any bird still north of the Arctic Circle will soon be dead! We are able to take duck, Snow Geese, Canadian Geese, cranes, swans and just about anything else that flies or honks! We saw our first Sanhill Cranes yesterday.

    We are now fishing for the last of the Sheefish as they are chasing Tomcod and Herring that have returned to the Kotzebue Sound in anticipation of the melt. I stopped by the rotting ice on Front Street today to watch to guys sitting on buckets not 20 yards off of shore on ice that was almost black! Really rotten ice! But they had a pile of Sheefish that was in excess of 8oo pounds or about 25 fish! Sheefish tip the scale between 25-50 pounds with most about 35-40 pounds and 35 inched in length. Good eating and a blast to catch! Stranger... Get ready the Sheefish are coming to Noorvik! Do you guys have any ice left?

    Caribou:

    The caribou are just beginning to drop calves and begin the trip over the Brooks Range for the North Slope. Most of WACH animals summer around Point Lay Alaska and will return in early September but last year we had a early fall that the critters came over in mass around mid August! I bagged 2 fat bulls August 20th and this was the first time ever that early. Take them when they arrive!

    I have a group of birders coming up in August to spend 6 days up the Noatak chasing a rare Chickadee. I guess it is only found here in Noatak National Park and over in Siberia so it is quite the find! I will be outfitting the entire group and this is a great direction for my business as they only take pictures! I guess I will not ask them how they taste! Ha!!

    Well with any luck we will be free of ice and ready to start raftng in about 7 weeks. Winter refuses to leave these parts some years!

    Take care!

    Walt
    www.northwestalaska.com
    your best bet in camps, canoes and rafts for all of NW Alaska

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    Default Break up

    Man, the way April ended and May began, I thought we'd be swimming in the Kotzebue Sound by now! At least the cooler temperatures have put a bit of a hold on the melting snow around here...seems to be under control now.

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    Default

    About time the ice is back to ist early '90's self.

    it'll still be two or so weeks befor the rivers kiss the lakes/sound.
    The ocean ice wont go untill June. Mt kids are up river today, getting wood and willows for "break up " Projects.
    The wifes scrimmed alot of Ivory Tusks this weekend, you'll see them getting sold down there soon.

    "Mix breed"Reindeer mixed in with the caribou (80,000 that ran off with the WACH in '95) are the ones having Calfs first, in May.they havve gennes that let them have babys before the Caribou. It used to be fun during calfing , when Doug Sheldons/NANA's Herd was in our spring caming area, and he would give us free gas to drive around and keep the fur off the babys.
    Caribou will start dropping calves at the start of June.

    NWA, is that the bird your looking for a "Siberian Tit?" They are up the Noatak,in the trees. Ive actuall seen and photograped a couple. I worked with some Japanese kayakers past Howarths camp, past the Kelly, and one fella knew their song from a recording and it turned out well.

    geese hunting has been OK, though not great because of fog...16 snowgeese for an overnighter this weekend, and Deering friends over yesterday, but the waters comming up, so pull up your boat!!!
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    Default Stranger

    I have no idea what the name of the bird is. I am no birder at all!

    I found a dead bayb bou or raindeer 2 weeks ago up by Goodwins camp near Hugo;s Mt. or as we will soon call it... Drakes Pit! It was frozen on a small lake curled up like it was taking a nap. Raindeer I guess.

    Local guys are headed out to the flats up the Noatak to hunt birds. The Ice is a sick gray/black. My sno-gos are parked for the year!

    Walt

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    Default

    two weeks ago?
    Could be either Reindeer or Caribou, aborted, naturally of course. That can happen when caribou are being "pushed hard" by hunters of some kind, wolves, people ect...or a bad spring....

    Our river ice is rotting,but its risen and still drivable.

    Have a good spring. Hope I havent killed this thread....LOL!
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    About an hour ago,I was comming home from the dump and stopped to a pilot who was strolling into town and he had just flown the river and stopped to strech his legs. He said that the ice around Kobuk and Shungnak have lots of openings and jams and again below coalmine and some of the shallows between here and Kiana are swelling up.....looks like I might be boating in a week or less....man, time flys......
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  7. #7

    Smile gray-headed chickadee

    hello all,

    The only place where the gray-headed chickadee lives is around a place called "Kelly Bar". Not sure if there are any in siberia. Never been there, but it would be fun to go out and see. Maybe you could take me. Suppose I would have to find the money to get out there first though.

    josh

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Default

    Birding offers unique opportunities for rural Ak. entrepeneurs. Find a species in your area that is rare every where else and you are in the money.
    Congrats Walt. Should be a money maker as time goes on.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  9. #9

    Default Global warming

    Please, Please not politically charged question just curious about opinion from folks that have lived entire life there. Do you guys see signs or have opinion of global warming happening up there? See and read the stories of the sea ice dissappearing etc. First hand knowledge would be great.

    Thanks.

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    Unhappy

    You mean like Kilvina and Shiff going under water, the large amount of ice lenses melting rapidly and causing huge bluffs to slide off into the sound or were you referring to the high activity of the thawing tundra and the increased activity of the Thermacarst lakes releasing methane?

    How did I do?

    Walt

  11. #11
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Gray-Headed Chickadee?

    Walt,

    Did a little digging online. I got interested when I heard the word "Kelly"

    It is what I thought, this is a rare bird that can be seen at the confluence of the Kelly and the Noatak. "Kelly Bar" is just that. Below is a bit from the book I found online....


    Gray-Headed Chickadee

    "The range of this mythological bird is poorly understood, and many older nonspecimen records are probably based on misidentified Boreal Chickadees. The one reliable spot that has emerged in recent years is the "Kelly Bar" at the confluence of the Kelly and Noatak Rivers. Gray-Headed Chickadees can be found in the dense willow that lines the river, in the spruce zone beyond, or in the interface between the two habitats. Most birders visit in late summer (after the chickadees have fledged), a time when noisy family groups of tits are likely to be more conspicuous. These birds are likely to be relatively quiet and secretive when nesting earlier in the summer."


    Below are two pictures from the infamous "Kelly Bar".




    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  12. #12
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    Default

    Indeed , Birding is a cool sport, and i have taken alot of folks about for the fun of it.

    "Grey headed Chickadee",also called "Siberian Tit', are the same-same.
    Cool little bird.

    I saw my first one in 92.... at that time , its rumored, less than 100 people had even seen it.
    Kelly bar was a few miles away, but hey, they fly Its the hangover I remember vividly....~~LOL!!~~

    Might add that I saw almost totaly white Gyerfalcons at the #2 dredge up my favorite creek, took a local expert/falconeer and we confirmed them as the Southern most nesting set of white Gyer Falcons. The other nester's were at Point Hope and Northward.

    Global warming is happening. Thinner ice, fewer sea mammles, Polar Bears, Seals, Walrus and Beluga.... and birds, with new, southern species comming in, and willows, shrubs starting to take over the tundra? That Global warming??
    Maby you are thinking about our Spring break up happening 2 weeks earlier and freeze up happening two weeeks later than 20 years ago......

    Global warming is happining, the only political "Thang" about it is "Why".
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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