Cold weather duck hunting

BMhunts

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We are planning on heading out this Sat and heard reports of snow. In another thread I read there was already thin ice on the lake/marsh. Does the ice negatively effect the hunting. Do most people just bust it up and throw out their decoys in the broken up area? Should I break up the area I want the ducks to be aiming for as they're coming in? What about the slough headed in, does it stay open longer because of the moving water?

Any other cold weather tips or tricks are greatly appreciated.
 

tons0fun

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I'm in the same boat been on the slope and wanna get some last minuet ducks and a goose if I'm lucky never hunted in freezing temperatures or thin ice.
 

Jr hunter

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Went out this morning just busted up the ice have some motion in the spread so it keeps the water moving. If not it starts to freeze over. Just walk around in it every do often.
 

akblackdawg

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Unless the temps take a sudden quick dive to mid 20's or lower (high daytime temps, not lows at night), should be fine til mid Oct normally. Ice around the edges won't hurt anything. If ice over the hole you hunt, break it up. When it gets a little thicker, wade in a circle and break it up in a circle then shove the big O in the middle over the surrounding ice sheet. Some hunt well into the cold weather, most quit when it gets cold. Last year it seemed to stay fairly warm all Oct but the birds headed south befor the ice came. Other years, hunting in the ice can be the best hunting of the season, find a open area or make a open area and the ducks will fight to land in it. Differs from year to year. Bud
 

Furudak

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I always figured it was good to give the birds some water incentive, and would wade out waist high, do the dolphin, sending waves across the pond breaking up the surface ice. Seemed to work well for me: the only ice-free pond happened to have a blind and a 12ga shotgun on standby :)
 

Duckhunter01

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Little trick: Take a small hatchet or use the butt of your trusty gun. Walk a circle and slide the ice under the lake or marsh ice. This will leave a more natural hole. IF you just break it up and drop decoys..they will freeze in place in about 10 mins...no action means fewer birds. Looks more natural and will increase the 'Oh look there is open water" factor for the birds...;)

I always carry a small trout net and scoop the remaining ice floating in the hole and throw it out.
 

akblackdawg

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They are calling for 23f by monday. More cold nights next week also. If it gets icy, and the ducks are forced down at the same time, they will move right on through without a stop over. Or it could warm right back up for a week or two, making for decent hunting on northern birds. Bud
 

Duckhunter01

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As much as this thought hurts.....Bud is on the money. They could just pass us by. Skeeter would be pissed..;)

They are calling for 23f by monday. More cold nights next week also. If it gets icy, and the ducks are forced down at the same time, they will move right on through without a stop over. Or it could warm right back up for a week or two, making for decent hunting on northern birds. Bud
 

AK flyster

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I hunted across the inlet this morning and there really were not many birds around. It was pretty slow and we had to work for the two ducks we got. The other birds were quite decoy shy as well. I was expecting more action, but it was slow.

We did see several dozen swans.


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bkbaker

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Saw my first couple of groups of swans yesterday also. Bunch of new geese arriving in the ACWR last night. Hope they all stack up and stick around for a month.
 

HFT_AK

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Spent yesterday out on the river. Not a lot happening. Had a group of 5 come in, dropped 3. Before my dog could get the third one a eagle swooped in and picked it up! Kinda cool to see.
 

AK flyster

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Was that on the Kenai river?


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TriIron

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We're heading across the inlet for a couple of days of hunting and hope that we can improve these reports... Sounds kinda slow. Had a buddy who was in Nome last week and he said the Cranes were moving through by the thousands...Would hope that some of this cold weather would push some more birds our way. I'll report back next week....
 

Birdstrike

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I went south today for the first time in a few weeks. There are more birds around but definitely not loads of them. The birds that are around were in bigger groups and definitely not decoy shy, there were lots of swans passing through, and a large flock of geese was trying to find their way over Portage Pass. There were more birds in both the Girdwood ponds and Potter Marsh. I would say the migration through the Anchorage area has begun. There was also a low flying Cessna 172 flying around trying to avoid the low ceilings and potential icing. Not a day I would have been sightseeing. Lol
 

Jr hunter

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Went to the flats got two mallards. After packing up lots more started showing up. Tons of cranes out as well.
 
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