Its Waterfowl Season Again in Alaska!
Alaska boasts the longest waterfowl season of all the 50 states but that's a bit misleading. Far north and interior regions of Alaska are usually covered in white stuff or at least hard water by the end of September and their season, except for perhaps a few hardy mallards remaining in the last open water is all but over.
For the coastal areas and much of southcentral Alaska where the greatest population of hunters reside the season is a bit more lucrative and often in a warm year we will see good hunting on the marshes until about mid-October. But once freeze-up occurs only the major rivers remain open long enough into winter to provide some last minute hunting and a good half of the open season has little if any opportunities.
So the old saying "Get'em while you can" is a well-worn phrase around here. The photo is from the first two days of the season, Sept. 1st and 2nd, and the location was the west side of Cook Inlet across from the Kenai Peninsula. The Klondike Kid, Wayne Mize, and Steve Tanner show off the variety taken during the season kickoff. Conditions were excellent, i.e. 30 knot winds, torrential downpours blowing horizontal, and perfect high tide timing. But geese were very rare in the area and sandhill cranes almost non-existent. So this year jump shooting the ponds was the only way of saving face and coming home with something to eat.
With dozens of square miles and only about 1 hunter per mile on average, you must learn to roll with the punches and be versatile to bag your birds. Sometimes that means covering 4 or 5 miles of walking and then start all over the next day in the opposite direction. But its good exercise if nothing else!
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