Fall Coastal Deer Hunt
I am planning on a fall coastal deer hunt from Whittier. Has anyone hunted deer from Whittier before, if so can you give me some tips on good locations, islands or coves that may be productive?
I'll hopefully be out there this fall as well. Do a search through the archives for specific locations, but in general islands are better than the mainland and the hunting gets better the farther out you go. Also, you must climb high in the fall in order to find the bucks. Better to camp out near the top of the islands than to still-hunt the timber. They move down towards the beach when the snow falls, but fall hunting is all about the climb.
Are you doing a self hunt or hiring a boat to drop you off? If it's a drop off hunt, as stated before the farther from Whittier, generally the better. If you're on your own I'd stay closer, especially if you aren't used to big water and high winds and dealing with the safety issues.
We have a 20 ft C Dory and were planning on going it ourself. Any other good tips and maybe some island, beach or cove suggestions. PM me with locations if you are willing to share.
more on deer
A 20 ft C Dory will be real iffy if you happen to be here at the wrong time in the fall. The weather can get real serious. Be sure you check the weather before you leave and that you have a good weather window for traveling.
That being said, there are deer on most of the islands in the Sound and on the mainland in smaller numbers. In fact the largest buck I saw that was taken in the Sound this last season was from the mainland near the mouth of Unakwik Inlet. A couple other real nice bucks came from the Glacier Island area. That's a pretty long trip for a 20 foot boat in the fall though. I'd concentrate on the Culross Is area, or the Perry Island area, or the Esther Island area. Esther gets overlooked, but I gillnet there in the summer and we always see deer there. Squaw Harbor on the east side of the south end of Esther Passage always seems to have deer.
I'd concentrate on finding a spot with a good anchorage for the prevailing winds. In the fall this is usually from the east, southeast, or north. The worst part of tral wil usually be when you cross College Fiord. It likes to blow down the Fiord and the seas can get ugly. There's a lot of protection in Culross Passage, but being close to Whittier, the area gets hit fairly hard. On Esther Island, Qillian Bay near the hatchery (local name Mosquito Bay) and Esther Bay (local name Bay of Isles) which is between the hatchery and the south end of Esther Passage, both have good protected anchorages. Also if you go up into the south end of the Pass, there are protected anchorages. And lastly Squaw Harbor is usually good depending on wind direction.
If you happen to get a weather window, there are for sure places where you'll find better hunting, but the problem can be, you not only need to get there, you need to get back. And like I said, 20 ft is iffy. If you want to go farther, I'd reccommend hiring someone to drop you off. The main disadvantage there is you're stuck where ever you get dropped off if it proves to be unproductive.
Good hunting and think safety!