palmer hay flats?
My buddies and I just came back from basic and are wanting to go hunting... We heard of the palmer hay flats and are wondering how to get there... Can anyone give us directions to access these flats?
You say you just came back from basic, which sounds to mean you have been a AK resident prior to leaving for basic? The hay flats are easy to find what species are you going after. From Anchorage head towards Palmer/Wasilla split just after the river that area or there abouts are the flats from what I've been told.
here ya go buddy....... http://www.palmerhayflats.org/ everything you need to know. Doesnt get much easier than that for finding out about an area.
thanks sniper and rimfirematt. yes i am an AK resident, but never took an interest to hunting until now... There have been some sparks in the past not enough to make a drive. I have a week until i leave for tech school so i thought why not now?
i'm going after rabbits, birds. i hear it's pretty overhunted... any thoughts?
Well you should be in insanely good shape so walk farther than the rest and find some animals. There are bigger issues than the hunting pressure driving your odds of success out there though. The Hare and Birds in AK run on cycles based on many things probably least of which is human predation, at least outside of isolated populations. Hunting seems simple on its face, go into woods with firearm, find game, shoot game, butcher, consume. There is far more in it though once you begin to try and actually understand the animal. In that endeavor though is an increase in appreciation for the prey you seek and a marked increase in your success in doing so.
Originally Posted by Gary808
The Snowshoe Hare in particular has is one of the more fascinating creatures in Alaska's eco system because of both it's own individual dynamics as well as it's ripple effect throughout all of our other species. First off did you know that the Snowshoe has 2 uteri? They can actually have 2 different broods of leverettes in gestation at the same time with significantly different due dates and 2 or more sires! They reproduce with amazing speed during the summer due to this genetic gift that allows them to be perpetually pregnant. They have one brood from one uterus then while rearing those leverettes that uterus ovulates and is reinseminated and begins a new "batch" all the while the second uterus is doing the exact same thing on an offset schedule!!!
Equally interesting is the effect that the Hare population has on the woody plants that it consumes during the winter or rather the effect that the plants response to the Hares browsing habits has on on the hare population in total.
Here are a couple studies to check out.
Sure at the end of the day you can just go hunt, but taking the time to learn how the ecosystem works is both fascinating and will make you more successful!
More interesting reading regarding the "ripple effect" of snowshoe hare populations on other animals.
I went out once this year to rabbit slough. I could barley find a track. My beagle found a couple though. If I didnt have a dog, Id stay out of the hayflats. But If I were to go Id hunt on the east side of the highway and get as far back as I could. There is hardly any grouse out their either. I would say I run across one per year there.
Originally Posted by Gary808
This is good advice across the board. I have hunted back there numerous times and only kicked up a single pair of grouse. I hope to have better luck if I can get my pup trained up well enough to be safe to shoot over though. 2-3 years ago I had no problem limiting out if I was so inclined. Should be great hunting out there again around 2017...
Originally Posted by rimfirematt
The hay flats are shoddy at best. If it is easy and close to hunt alot of others have been out there doing it already. I would reccommend heading out of town (perferably towards Talkeetna or around the Turnagain arm) keep going until you see good sign along the road edge from the ditch on about 40 or 50yrds out. Dont forget to get off the main road sometime as well. If you see the sign the hares have been or will be there. The more sign you see the better. I have a few hotspots now and would like to thank Rimfire for getting me started up here on hares and he and I found a real dandy of a place but that secret spot will not be let out of the bag.
Last edited by sniper3083006; 03-21-2011 at 09:27.
Sunday at the Flats was a hunting bust
I spent a few hours on the Flats on both sides of the Scout Ridge recreation area. I didn't cut a single hare or grouse track. I hiked near the ridge where there was woody-shrub cover and the beast and I also drifted out towards the brush clumps further out.
The hunting was a bust but we saw some really cool feather/feet indentations in the open areas. There was no indication of a kill site so my guess is one raven/owl-sized gender thought it may have been breeding time and the recipient thought otherwise. Slept like a baby last night too.
In 1974 I and 2 other USN types shot 60 hare in 65 minutes in the vicinity of the Knik Bridge.. We ate a lot of rabbit (hare) stew back in the day.../John
Originally Posted by LuJon
I pulled 10 hare out of the flats this year. That being said, I often come home empty handed.