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Thread: Predators are just killin' me this week

  1. #1
    Member lab man's Avatar
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    Default Predators are just killin' me this week

    Well call me incompetent, unlucky, or whatever else you can think of, but I just haven't been able to connect this week. In the last three days I've been in range of a lynx, and four wolves, but I just haven't been able to make the shot. Actually, I probably could have shot an ermine that I saw, but he looked as miserable as I felt out there in the cold so I just watched him run off. I'm thinking about heading out tomorrow morning to see if I can break the streak. Knock on wood for me.

  2. #2

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    Seeing them is the hardest part of the battle. I went out today and ended up making an unplanned hike back to the pickup after the sled decided to stop running. Made a couple stands, but all I saw was a hawk.
    NRA Life Member, Prior F-16 crew chief.

  3. #3

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    Getting close to 4 wolves sounds pretty good - keep it up Lab Man!

  4. #4

    Default Seeing them is good.

    Four wolves isn't something to be ashamed of, even if you didn't get a shot. How close were you to them? Did you call them in (if so, what kind of caller/sound were you using)? I didn't have any luck this week either, so maybe now that the cold snap might be over, luck will improve. Keep after them.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

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    Member Stanly's Avatar
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    Dude, four wolves, wow. Just to see them is pretty cool. But I hear ya, puttin em down would be better. As camoman asked, did you call them in? Don't give up, it happens, but eventually it will all come together and you'll find your crosshair on fur so go gettem! Merry Christmas everybody...
    When the HOGS show up, somethins gonna DIE!!!
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  6. #6

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    There are a few members on here this season that make most of the rest of us look bad. Truth is predator calling in Alaska is tough. So true, the hard part is getting them in, second hardest is getting a decent shot w/o getting busted. Lab man, if you are calling and getting that many critters before your eyes you are having great success even without connecting. I find the most fun of calling is that initial sighting of a critter moving in on your stand. The rest is icing on the cake. For you guys getting frustrated: if you are calling in owls, hawks, and scavenger birds you are likely doing it right. It is just a matter of time and dedication before critters trot in on you. Keep in mind if you are calling in easy access spots you are likely dealing with wary educated preds that know the game. Find the prey base in a less traveled location and you will score with less stands. Good luck.

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    Member Bsj425's Avatar
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    I know how you feel man I made about 14 stands on Tuesday down by ft greely called 2 lynx (actually think it was the same one that came back) a cross fox and a coyote and put up ZERO fur I felt like Sarah Palin out there with the .17 HMR shooting over them Its time to go to the range to re check zero.

  8. #8

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    Bsj45,
    Were you out under the full moon, or daytime calling?

    I hunted predators out of state this year and can vouch that the calling up here is definitely more difficult than the lower 48. With our very limited access to the predators, combined with low animal densities, it makes it tough and frustrating.

    I've been there before and know what it feels like to see them and not get them, or simply not see anything for extended periods of time. You just have to keep on trying and learning every time you go, that's all there is to it. Try to learn something new every time you're out there is how I look at it. I'm always analyzing my gear, approach, and tactics to see if there's anything I could do better to increase my chance of success. If I come home with one new "trick" in the bag, I feel happy.

    For some reason, I'm having lots of Northern Goshawk's attack the decoy this year. I'm not sure what the reasoning is, but they're definitely interested in that decoy. Sometimes they come in low from behind and it about scares me half to death.

  9. #9
    Member lab man's Avatar
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    I called the Lynx with a snowshoe hare that I ordered with my new spitfire, and I just happened to run into the wolves while in between stands. I wish I could say I called them in, but no such luck. The lynx was well within range, but my gun jammed because of the cold, so no joy. I got within about 300 yards of the wolves, but there were too many trees and they were moving too quickly to make the shot. When I had a clear, still shot at them, they were over 500 yards away. Too far for me to feel comfortable shooting at live animals. Actually, I saw one trotting down the middle of the road, and then a pack of three a little later on. You guys are right about seeing predators being half the battle. I feel lucky any time I get to see animals, and to be perfectly honest, I'm not even that disappointed about the wolves getting away. Sure, it would be nice to be skinning a wolf or two right now, but I'll have more opportunities. I'll probably be out there again tomorrow morning to see if I can find them.

  10. #10
    Member Bsj425's Avatar
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    it was under the full moon the morning after the eclipse

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowcamoman View Post
    For some reason, I'm having lots of Northern Goshawk's attack the decoy this year. I'm not sure what the reasoning is, but they're definitely interested in that decoy. Sometimes they come in low from behind and it about scares me half to death.
    'Snow, you are seeing more goshawks because there are more right now. Like many preds, their numbers closely follow the highs and lows of the snowshoe hare. As the hare numbers crash the goshawks will too in the season or two after. Are you seeing mostly gray (adult) or brown (juvenile) colored goshawks?

  12. #12

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    Oats,
    The only one's I've seen have been adults. A few owls too, but mostly Goshawks.

  13. #13
    Member lab man's Avatar
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    Noooo!!!!! Alright guys, I'm about convinced I've been jinxed. I went out today for around 12 hours and was able to make a good number of stands. The first one was on a river by the road. As soon as I see a black object hop onto the river and head my way, a truck pulls up behind me and starts unloading their snowmachines. I don't blame them one bit. I was next to the road, and they had no idea I was there, but it was still frustrating to get busted like that. Later that evening I made a stand right around dusk, and called in a coyote. I had the shotgun loaded with buckshot though, and just didn't feel comfortable taking a shot over 50 yards. Oh well, it happens. I just wish it would happen less...

  14. #14
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    SUPPOSED to warm up this coming week LM.. things should really get moving as we approach the 0 and above weather again.. keep at it.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by OATS View Post
    'Snow, you are seeing more goshawks because there are more right now. Like many preds, their numbers closely follow the highs and lows of the snowshoe hare. As the hare numbers crash the goshawks will too in the season or two after. Are you seeing mostly gray (adult) or brown (juvenile) colored goshawks?
    I went out calling with my new foxpro and called in a bunch of goshawks too. So Oats, what exactly does this mean? Is it an indicator the snowshoe hare are peaked out, on the decline, or what? Also, what does this mean for furbearing predators? Does an increase in goshawks mean more competition and therefore less predators? I realize I am asking a lot, but you seem to be knowledgeable about this.

  16. #16

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    Hey Jack, just found your question on this thread. First off if you are having goshawks coming in you are producing the proper sounds in the proper location for other preds to respond to. However, goshawks do not use scenting as ground predators do. So you may be in the right place with the right sounds, but you still need to evaluate the setup, wind direction, concealment etc. Like everything else in Alaska, goshawk population cycles do follow the up and down of the snowshoe hare cycle. When there are a lot of goshawks there are decent numbers of hares and obviously there will be good numbers of ground preds. After the hare cycle crashes goshawks will turn to red squirrels and grouse for a bit until their numbers also get depleted then goshawk numbers will crash. Ground predators also follow this cycle. Many of the young of the year will starve their first winter and the established adults will have smaller litters or no litters in the spring. The hare population has just crashed or is declining in many places in the interior leaving a high number of preds looking for food and easy to call in. Subsequent years could be tougher calling as the pred numbers drop.

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