Where to hunt Sea Duck
“Sea duck hunting” refers not so much to a species, as to a place. Alaska hunting regulations define “sea ducks” as: harlequin duck; long-tailed ducks; common, king, spectacled, and Steller’s eider; surf, white-winged, and black scoter; common, hooded and red-breasted merganser. Of those, Steller’s and spectacled eiders are not legal to hunt; the rest offer a no-nonsense, rough hunt on the coast of unforgiving polar seas in Alaska.
Sea duck hunting belongs to some of the most expensive waterfowling adventures. A 5-day hunt will cost you about $4,000, give or take a few thousand dollars. However, once you realize that this price includes not only meals and lodgings, but a transfer from civilization into the wilderness, as well as the use of highly specialized equipment such as boats and decoys, the costs begin to seem adequate.
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If you don’t fancy going across half of the world to shoot a few ducks, chances are you may find ample waterfowl opportunities near your home. Of course, on the adventure scale they will not rank anywhere near a sea duck hunt in Alaska. But a humble hunt that allows you to connect with nature and harvest some meat for the table has its place, too.26 Jul 2018 Waterfowl Locally
When to hunt Sea Duck?
Waterfowl hunting in Alaska, in various parts of the state, may be open as early as the first of September, and close as late as mid-January 22. The units on the Gulf Coast tend to open and close earlier than the units on the Kodiak and Aleutian Islands. The prime time for sea duck hunting, according to most outfitters, is in November.
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Sea ducks are hunted from blinds, anchored boats, or simply by standing on the shoreline in strategically selected places. The top spots are a narrow strip of land between two bodies of water attractive for ducks, mussels beds, etc. Decoys can be used to convince the birds the area is safe, or the guides may simply rely on their knowledge of ducks’ flight routes. Sea ducks are tough; you will need a far-reaching, hard-hitting shotgun, and in choosing shot and load sizes err on the big side.
Why hunt Sea Duck?
You may get shivers just from seeing pictures of hunters standing waist-deep in near-freezing water of the Barents Sea; but if you also wish you were standing next to them with a shotgun in hand, you have what it takes to be a waterfowl hunter. Even with the help of the guides, you will have to work hard for your limit of sea ducks, overcoming not only the birds’ natural wariness, but the mighty Arctic herself. And as you come back, the pure, pristine beauty of shores, bright colors of the sea ducks, the whistle of the wings and their gloomy calls will be forever imprinted in your memory. This is truly an adventure to be proud of.
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