Advise - Kodiak Sitka Blacktail Deer Hunt

idaho-shooter

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2018
Messages
31
Likes
18
Location
Athol, Idaho
Planning a Sitka Blacktail Deer hunt for November 1 thru 7, 2019. Three hunters and gear to the south end of Kodiak, maybe Grant Lagoon, Red Lake or Olga Bay, undecided. Fly Andrews Air beaver 1200 lbs capacity. Will be coming in from Idaho. Have experience with 2 DIY Caribou hunts in the past. Both successful. Much experience with backcountry DIY hunts. No personnel experience on Kodiak Island.

Couple questions for the Rokslide forum:

* Do I specifically request Andrews to fly us to a specific location, or will they put me in a good location based on their current observations and experience ? Generally I rely heavily on the transporter to put us in a good location. I trust their judgment.

*Realistically what should my expectation be for an excellent to trophy size buck ?

All relevant advise is welcome. Please give me your thoughts !

Thanks.
 

actionshooter

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
524
Likes
0
Location
Wa
Wondering if the transporter will pick a spot since AK is very specific on the difference between a guiding and transportation. I have been looking at the same exact hunt.
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2016
Messages
58
Likes
1
Location
AK
You’ll ultimately need to decide where you’ll be put in at. Sounds as though you already have a few areas in mind, you’ll be able to talk with you’re transporter/ pilot before you fly out and they’ll be able to tell you where other hunters have or haven’t been and what kind of luck they’ve had. Then you can make your decision based on that.
 

Nick Muche

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2012
Messages
2,775
Likes
17
Location
Alaska
Personally, I wouldn’t go to any of those as they are hunted pretty hard. But, the dates you have will be awesome! I’d pick a spot that doesn’t have a name or get dropped on the beach or bay further away. That said, if you hike a good distance from any of the places you named it’ll be good. Hard to do with a base camp, which I’d recommend cause you’ll need a place to hang meat. Good luck, Sitkas are the easiest deer to hunt and kill, especially during the rut.
 
OP
OP
idaho-shooter

idaho-shooter

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2018
Messages
31
Likes
18
Location
Athol, Idaho
Wondering if the transporter will pick a spot since AK is very specific on the difference between a guiding and transportation. I have been looking at the same exact hunt.
Big difference between transporter and guide. I respect that the transporter can't cross the line. In the past the transporters have been pretty helpful the day of the fly out to get me to a good spot. Hope that is the case for transporters on Kodiak.

Thanks for your comment.

- - - Updated - - -

Personally, I wouldn’t go to any of those as they are hunted pretty hard. But, the dates you have will be awesome! I’d pick a spot that doesn’t have a name or get dropped on the beach or bay further away. That said, if you hike a good distance from any of the places you named it’ll be good. Hard to do with a base camp, which I’d recommend cause you’ll need a place to hang meat. Good luck, Sitkas are the easiest deer to hunt and kill, especially during the rut.
Thank you Nick this is great advise. Finding a location that isn't well known is my challenge at this time. As I research this hunt more, hopefully I can identify a couple of perspective little known locations. Generally the little known locations have not been picked over and hold mature animals.

Any other thoughts you have a welcome.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Messages
1
Likes
0
Planning a Sitka Blacktail Deer hunt for November 1 thru 7, 2019. Three hunters and gear to the south end of Kodiak, maybe Grant Lagoon, Red Lake or Olga Bay, undecided. Fly Andrews Air beaver 1200 lbs capacity. Will be coming in from Idaho. Have experience with 2 DIY Caribou hunts in the past. Both successful. Much experience with backcountry DIY hunts. No personnel experience on Kodiak Island.

Couple questions for the Rokslide forum:

* Do I specifically request Andrews to fly us to a specific location, or will they put me in a good location based on their current observations and experience ? Generally I rely heavily on the transporter to put us in a good location. I trust their judgment.

*Realistically what should my expectation be for an excellent to trophy size buck ?

All relevant advise is welcome. Please give me your thoughts !

Thanks.

Have hunted all sides of Kodiak including areas you're considering. Have had good hunting there, especially Red River area. Recently, the second week of December, I filled three tags in two days out of Old Harbor. Andrews does a great job if you're set on having them get you out. They cover a lot of areas and should be able to get you close. They'll have good recon by the time you head out and if you have them get you to a place where you can pack in just a little way (You'll most likely have to climb anyway as the deer will still be high).
 
OP
OP
idaho-shooter

idaho-shooter

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2018
Messages
31
Likes
18
Location
Athol, Idaho
Have hunted all sides of Kodiak including areas you're considering. Have had good hunting there, especially Red River area. Recently, the second week of December, I filled three tags in two days out of Old Harbor. Andrews does a great job if you're set on having them get you out. They cover a lot of areas and should be able to get you close. They'll have good recon by the time you head out and if you have them get you to a place where you can pack in just a little way (You'll most likely have to climb anyway as the deer will still be high).
Thanks for your advise Ambush66. Good to hear you have extensive experience hunting Kodiak, based on your observations of Andrews and my previous experience with transporters in other areas of Alaska, its best to work with, and listen attentively to Andrews and let them help me find a location to get dropped off. Then its up to me (us) to survey the country, set a base camp, and hike at least a few miles, and then let the optics do the work. I'm always in good shape to hike, hunt, and pack as need. That's what makes it an adventure.
 

bowuntr

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Messages
751
Likes
25
Location
Prescott, Az
I've done this hunt 5 times with Andrews. Pick a landing spot that you can hike to two or three different mountain ranges. If you only can access one range, you're limiting yourself. Also have a #2 or #3 spot because when they fly over your #1... there could be one or two camps there. I love Alaska... Ed F
 

Ndbowhunter

Senior Member
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
711
Likes
120
Back 10-12 years ago Andrews had a great reputation. Good to hear that's still the case.

Deer hunting in kodiak is variable year to year. Best to listen to the transporter. Especially if you haven't been before, any beta you get will be at best second hand and from previous years.

They know what's going on and have a vested interest in you killing stuff.

If it was me I'd go earlier and land up high and stay high.. early November means your short hunting days you'll probably have enough snow to make everything slick but deer won't be on the beach...

And dont underestimate how big and slick and thick kodiak mountains can be.
 
OP
OP
idaho-shooter

idaho-shooter

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2018
Messages
31
Likes
18
Location
Athol, Idaho
I've done this hunt 5 times with Andrews. Pick a landing spot that you can hike to two or three different mountain ranges. If you only can access one range, you're limiting yourself. Also have a #2 or #3 spot because when they fly over your #1... there could be one or two camps there. I love Alaska... Ed F
Thank you, good advise. More directions and mountain side aspects to look at and glass means more options. Will keep that in mind when considering locations.
 

TomM

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Messages
26
Likes
4
Location
Fernandina Beach
Agree with others that you are going at the right time. Snow should be pushing them down lower and the rut, great timing.

I would have a default drop off selected which I would hold mum until I heard what the transporter had to say regardlng previous hunter success.

I used to do this hunt as a resident with 3 tags, for a non-res with probably one tag...I would buy a second. By the time you invest with airfare, charters, gen license, having a second tag just makes sense IMO. Then shoot the first decent buck you see (excellent table fare), then hold your second tag for a 4-pt or better (eastern 8-10). They don’t grow crazy wide, just get heavier and gnarlier with age. Having the rear time branched is a good indicator.

Good luck, sure miss hunting blacktails up high. Be mindful of the bears and try to hunt in pairs if possible.
 
OP
OP
idaho-shooter

idaho-shooter

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2018
Messages
31
Likes
18
Location
Athol, Idaho
Thanks to all the forum members comments and suggestions. With the forum collective knowledge and several personal communications with pilots, guides, and others we are getting this hunt pretty locked down. Turns out my wife and I are going to make this hunt, she did one with me in 2013 on a DIY for Caribou in ANWR and loves the adventure. Best packer I know !
 
Top