A few years ago, we upgraded The Last Frontier’s waterfowl ranking from a C to a B. It had been middle-of-the-road because of the cost of getting there from the Lower 48, and those costs — airfare, baggage, the likelihood of hiring an outfitter, and food in Alaska — have only increased with inflation. However, if you’re looking for the experience of a lifetime, not to mention a couple of birds for the wall, Alaska should get a closer look.
The state offers king eiders on the Bering Sea, or Island X, as it’s commonly called. When not hunting kings, hunters can take their pick of harlequins, long-tailed ducks and three types of scoters. Inland on quieter waters, an array of common puddlers — mallards, pintails, wigeon and green-wing teal — are available. And now, nonresidents who receive a permit can hunt emperor geese.
Go early, say late September, and do some silver salmon and world-class rainbow trout fishing when you’re not in the blind.
— Compiled and written by M.D. Johnson
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