Frequently Asked Questions& answers...
What is your background and experience?
Owner, Captain Jeff Wasley has worked with waterfowl in a variety of professions. Jeff’s work as a wildlife biologist working exclusively with waterfowl has given him vast knowledge on many aspects of waterfowl and waterfowl hunting. Jeff has worked for 17 years in Alaska and has hunted extensively throughout the Midwest where he grew up and went to college. Jeff often spends around 200 days a year guiding, hunting and fishing. Besides operating his own businesses, Jeff spent 6 summers as a fishing guide on the Aniak River. Jeff also is co-owner of Alaskan Eider Outfitters, offering trophy King Eider hunts in the Pribilof Islands.
When is your season?
Season: September 1 – December 16
- The first three weeks of September are best for the Cast & Blast
- September – October is great for hunting, some steelhead, a few silvers, and dollies
- November and December: trophy Brant, sea ducks, ptarmigan, plus other ducks
- A maximum of 8 guests per trip
Where do you hunt and fish?
Cold Bay, Alaska is roughly 630 miles southwest of Anchorage and access to the area is provided by Peninsula Airlines (Pen Air). Cold Bay offers some services including: bar, general grocery store/liquor store, post office and a small clinic. There are numerous roads of varying quality to access different areas near town. The Peninsula is bordered by the Bering Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. Guests will hunt a wide variety of different locations depending on what species you are targeting.
What options for hunting and fishing do you offer?
For the Cast and Blast: The first 3 weeks of September are especially good for silver (Coho) salmon. These waters also produce dolly varden in the 12- to 20-inch range. Anglers may encounter steelhead in September, as well as a small run in October. There are two small rivers and a couple of streams that can be fished from the bank.
Fly fishing works well when winds aren’t blowing more than 20 m.p.h. Spin and cast gear is also fine. We have rods for spinning, casting and fly, but we recommend that anglers bring their own. We also have flies, spinners etc. for you to use. We will process, vacuum seal, and freeze your catch for you for free. On the pier, there is some saltwater fishing available for cod, flounder and halibut.
October Peak Waterfowl: As the season progresses, October hunts offer peak numbers of waterfowl in the Cold Bay and Izembek Lagoon area as more birds begin migrating through the area. Hunters have a wide abundance of species to choose from, including: Black Brant, Canada goose, Mallards, Pintails, Green-winged Teal, American and Eurasian Wigeon, Greater Scaup, Harlequin, Black Scoter, White Wing Scoter, and Ptarmigan, as well as opportunities for saltwater fishing. Late October provides hunters with the opportunity to watch some Brant and Canada geese migrating south and observe the number of sea ducks increase. The variety of birds is never greater than in mid to late October. With the combination of Canada geese, Brant, puddle ducks, divers, sea ducks, and ptarmigan, we have had groups shoot over 20 species in a single week.
November and December Sea Ducks: November and the first two weeks of December in Cold Bay is the prime time for hunters seeking to add to their trophy collections. This is a unique opportunity to collect, all in one location, a variety of highly sought after species, including Black Brant, Harlequins, Pacific Common Eiders, Long-tailed Duck (Oldsquaw), Black Scoters, White-winged Scoters, and Willow Ptarmigan. In January of 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s surveys estimated 45,000 to 50,000 Black Brant in the greater Cold Bay area. Hunters may also have a chance to hunt Red-breasted Mergansers, Goldeneyes, Bufflehead, Mallards, Green-winged Teal, and more during this time as well.
How are our days structured?
We tailor each group’s trip according to their interests, so whatever you are interested in doing, we will make every effort to make it happen.
Wake-up is around 7:00 a.m. with breakfast being served each morning.
Snacks are packed to go as you will eat in the field most days, although some days we do stop back at the house mid-day for lunch and to warm up and regroup.
We hunt until dark on some days, although most of the hunting is more influenced by the tides than time of day. If you’ve lost days due to bad weather, you may be able to fit in half a day hunting or fishing on the day of your departure—depending on your departure time.
What about the weather?
The weather can be a major factor in your transport timing, personal comfort, and hunting success. Please keep the variable weather conditions in mind when choosing your clothing. Unfortunately, we cannot control the weather, but we are accustomed to the changing conditions and our guides will make every effort to ensure the best possible hunting regardless of the weather conditions.
As safety is one of our top priorities, we will not boat in unsafe water conditions, but you’ll still be able to hunt most days by walking to hunting areas near the road system. The weather in Alaska is often extreme and unpredictable which may cause delays.
We do not reimburse clients for lost days, delays in flights/transfers, or any expenses due to weather. If room is available, we will accommodate you at the camp at no extra charge if you are delayed and unable to fly out. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Can I bring my dog?
Yes. We always welcome well-behaved dogs in our home.
We have our own Labrador Retrievers at the lodge, but you are welcome to bring your own pup if you wish.
Please bring your own food or treats that your dog needs.
If traveling with your dog for the first time, please contact the airlines for their requirements and be sure that your dog’s travel health certificate is good for the entire length of your trip.
Can I take my fish and birds home?
All birds will be frozen, packaged and tagged for you to meet federal migratory bird shipping regulations.
All birds are frozen either whole, or skinned, and tagged for shipping. You should bring a medium-sized cooler as a part of your baggage. (A detailed packing list is included in your confirmation packet.)
How physically fit do I need to be for this trip?
You’ll need to be moderately fit for this trip. In order to access the prime locations, you will need to be able to walk for extended periods over uneven and challenging terrain and varying weather conditions. We do boat to as many areas as possible, but when weather is unsafe for boating, walking is often required for access to alternate locations. Individuals with cardiac, leg, back or hip problems that compromise their mobility may find this trip difficult.
Four Flyways Outfitters will make every reasonable effort to accommodate individuals with mobility limitations, but advises that these conditions may not enable guests to access the most productive locations and to adjust their expectations accordingly.
Firearms, Ammo & Equipment
Can I bring my own gun?
Yes. All guns must be transported in approved hard lockable cases.
Make sure guns are unloaded and that no ammunition is in the gun case. Please check with your airline to see what their policy is on the amount of ammunition that you can check in your baggage.
We do offer gun rental if you don’t want to travel with your gun.
*Tip: If two hunters are traveling together, then travel with both guns in one case if possible. Airlines only allow two guns per case.
What equipment do you use?
We use a variety of boats to access prime hunting areas including large aluminum skiffs in addition to inflatable boats to access prime hunting locations on the Lagoon and beyond.
We have a large variety of quality decoys for all the different types of waterfowl hunting available and are constantly updating our decoy inventory. Our custom painted Black Brant decoys are extremely effective and have had 100% success on every trip.
Four Flyways Outfitters prides itself in using quality gear to help ensure safe and successful hunting.
What kind of gun and ammunition should I bring?
We recommend that hunters only bring high quality shotguns that you are confident with, in regards to reliability.
Most of the areas we hunt are saltwater, making gun maintenance very important.
We have guns for rent as well as backup guns in case of a malfunction.
We encourage hunters to contact us about shotshells specific to their hunting goals, time of year and species desired. We suggest quality steel loads for most of our hunting, put those seeking Pacific Eiders should bring a minimum of 20-30 rounds of Hevi Shot #4 or Kent Matrix #3. They are the toughest ducks in North America and the largest; we want you to have the best ammo possible to prevent cripples being lost.
Where / how do I buy hunting licenses and tags?
We highly recommend getting all licenses and stamps 30-60 days before travel. You can purchase them online: www.adfg.alaska.gov.
This is mandatory since local sources are highly variable and not reliable. Purchase your Alaska small game license ($60.00) along with Alaska state duck stamp ($10.00) online. Federal stamps can be purchased at U.S. Post Offices and a variety of other locations.
IMPORTANT: Please do not show up without all of your proper licenses. If you do and none are available locally, you will not be able to hunt. For hunters who also want to fish, please also purchase online the 7-day non-resident license ($70.00).
How do I get there?
Guests will be responsible for their round trip airfare to Anchorage and from there to Cold Bay. The round trip flight from Anchorage to Cold Bay was around $950.00 p.p. in 2016. Alaska Airlines does have some specials from the Lower 48 all the way to Cold Bay from certain cities, including Boston, DC, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Seattle. The Alaska Airlines mileage program can help you get very reasonable flights.
Cold Bay is serviced by Peninsula Airlines (Pen Air), a travel partner with Alaska Airlines. Reservations can be made directly with Pen Air at 907-771-2640 or 1-800-448-4226 or with Alaska Airlines 1-800-252-7522. Pen Air has daily flights to Cold Bay Monday through Saturday. Average flight time between Anchorage and Cold Bay is approximately two hours and twenty minutes.
Getting to the lodge: The ground transfer from the airport in Cold Bay to the lodge is included in the package. As the lodge is within walking distance from the airport, it is a very short drive.
Should I stay overnight in Anchorage?
Yes, we recommend you spend the night in Anchorage before continuing onto Cold Bay and after returning from there.
However, if you wish to condense your schedule after your trip, you may be able to make connections to Cold Bay and from Cold Bay, leaving Anchorage without staying the night between flights. Be aware that weather and airline complications can make a tight schedule difficult, so allowing extra time to spare can be convenient.
Pricing & Protection
What are your rates?
- September and October 2017 (Friday to Saturday, 6 nights and 5 ½ days)
$4,000 per person, double occupancy. (Limit 8 hunters per week)
- November and December 2017 (Saturday to Saturday, 7 nights and 6 ½ days)
$5,000 per person. (single occupancy, limited to 4 hunters per week)
What’s included in the price?
Ground transfers to/from the main airport in Cold Bay, lodging, meals, fully guided hunting/fishing, tagging, all transportation to and from hunting and fishing areas, freezing and packaging of one box of fish, and one box of birds (two boxes total) for the trip home.
Packages do not include: airfare, hotel nights and meals in Anchorage, if necessary; roundtrip travel between Anchorage and Cold Bay, small game hunting license ($60.00 in 2017), federal waterfowl stamp ($25.00 in 2016), state waterfowl stamp ($10.00 in 2017), non-resident 7-day fishing license ($70.00 in 2017); gratuities for guides and staff; and gun rental fees and shells.
What else should I know?
Deposits and balance due: A 50% deposit is required when booking the trip. The balance for all trips are due September 1.
Gratuities: We are confident that we will provide a level of service that meets or exceeds your expectations. Our staff is committed to manifesting the best possible Alaska hunting experience for all of our guests. Gratuities are usually based on 10% to 15% of the normal trip fee. Remember, tips are a part of the staff and guide’s income and makes it possible for them to bring you the quality of hunting and fishing they do.
Travel Insurance: We strongly recommend that you purchase travel tnsurance for your Alaska hunt. Sometimes unforeseen circumstances occur that are out of anyone’s control, such as flight cancellations, weather delays, and illness. Purchasing travel insurance will give you the peace of mind that your expenses will be covered if anything unexpected should happen.
Trip Cancellation Insurance: We recommend you purchase trip cancellation insurance to cover any losses should you have to cancel due to unforeseen illness or other emergency.
Trip Evacuation and Medical Insurance is STRONGLY advised because of the remote location and high cost of medical evacuation. We highly recommend Global Rescue because they provide worldwide emergency evacuation and field rescue with your choice of destination hospital should a medical evacuation occur.
Policies & Procedures
What are your Policies and Procedures?
Four Flyways Outfitters is committed to offering only the highest quality Alaska guided waterfowl hunts. This is achieved by strictly following all state and federal rules regarding waterfowl and upland hunting. Our policy is very simple; we will not aid or assist in any lawbreaking. If you violate any state or federal laws we will immediately contact the local State Troopers and/or Federal Fish and Wildlife officers to report you. No exceptions! We take our profession very seriously and we will not risk our business for anyone. Each guest will have a signed contract outlining the terms of their trip. This outlines the hunt dates, total hunt cost and other details. We require a 50% non-refundable deposit and highly recommend travel/hunt insurance to cover any weather delays or flight cancellations that can arise on short notice. We will not be held responsible for anything until you arrive in our lodge.
Duck identification is very important and we will help you pick out exactly what you want. We will be calling the shots while hunting due to safety reasons and to prevent the accidental shooting of protected species. Hunters are encouraged to use the internet and look at google images of Steller’s Eider and Emperor Geese!! Again, you are responsible for your actions, if you are not sure, do not shoot!! All daily bag limits, yearly bag limits and possession limits will be monitored closely. No birds will be left with us or discarded, meaning that you are responsible for all your birds. We are able to gift some birds to locals that really appreciate getting birds to eat. We strictly follow all U.S. F&W rules when doing this.
All our professional waterfowl guides are licensed and insured to hunt and guide in Alaska, and if carrying passengers in their boat, are also USCG licensed Captains. While operating motorized vessels with passengers for hire, we enforce a 100% No Drugs or Alcohol Policy while onboard our hunting boats or while actively hunting during the day.