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Thread: Where to get black tails in PWS unit 6D?

  1. #1
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    Default Where to get black tails in PWS unit 6D?

    Thinking of trying that area out this year. Anyone know if the deer are primarily on the mainland connected parts or on some of the islands?

    Thanks,

    Mountaintrekker

  2. #2
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Both the islands and the mainland have deer on them. Montague has a good population. Just saw a couple does and fawns walking the beaches last week down that way.
    BK

  3. #3

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    I am flying out to Montague the first week of October to try that out. Never been out there before, but it sounds like a good hunt.

    Anyone know what the beach heighth is on San Juan Bay? How high can the high tides go before I need to worry about my plane? I plan on bringing a come-along and dragging up as high as I can, but any solid numbers would be helpful.

  4. #4

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    Well Montague is great , Hitchinnbrook is too, I have hunted Perry, Esther & Colross Island sure there are deer but very limited numbers and seems to have gotten worse maybe because of winter kill. Went to Glacier Island last year saw one track and no bear. Would love to get to Montague again. If my memory right SanJuan is a good and steep shore, Land at high tide would be good, make sure it's clean as a bear would have no problem opening a plane up. Bet the cabins are all books but they are nice loved the one on the North West end, Chamers ?

  5. #5

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    Do you mean landing at low tide would be good or it is steep enough for landing at high tide? Does anyone happen to have any pictures of San Juan Bay floating about by chance? Chaplinairak has pictures that I found on Google, but if I could find a few more that would be great for giving me an idea of what I am looking at.

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    The locals here in Cordova have been successful this last week getting young bucks off the beaches. This time of year the big bucks run the youngsters off as they get ready for the rut in late Oct to mid November. The does seem to chase the yearlings off too as you see lots of young deer wandering around the beaches trying to figure out what to do. It's a good time to make a meat hunt if you aren't looking for big racks. For the most part, you still need to get some elevation to find the big boys, altho once in a while you'll find one down low for a visit. But the yearlings are hitting the beaches. You don't always need snow to find them there. Same thing happens this time of year on Kodiak. But in PWS find good stretches of beach on any of the larger islands, that the deer can get to, and cruise them at the lower end of the tide to find eaters there now. Don't waste your time in areas with steep cliffs near the shoreline. And once in a while you'll find some bedded down just above the tideline at high tide.
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    As for planes and boats you want to get above the tide line, just figure that any non rocky beach that doesn't have grass growing on it will sometimes get covered with sea water. The salt kills any plants that try to grow there. An average high tide in the Sound is in the 10 ft range, so consult a tide book. If the tides are above 10 ft during the time you're out there, you'll want to take extra precaution when positioning your plane or boat. If they are in the 14 to 15 ft range you can count on them covering every thing without grass near the beach and sometimes getting up into the grassy areas. Some of the beach grasses will tolerate a little salt water. And if there is a storm, there may be a surge that brings the water level even higher than the book reading. The predominate winds in the Sound are from the east and the north this time of year. So look for hiding places with protection from winds coming from those directions. But always listen to the Marine forecast so you know what's coming. There could be a sneaky Westerly coming up. Personally, I like to find little lagoons to hide in with protection from all directions.
    An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
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  8. #8

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    Good things to know, thank you. I plan on hitting San Juan Beach about an hour after high tide or thereabouts depending on how long breakfast takes in Seward. That will put it at about +8 still when I land. A friend of mine who is out moose hunting says to come-along my plane to a tree and yank it up the beach as far as I can during the 3 days I am there, so I am hoping that works. It seems to me like this should really be the best time of year to hit the area, so I am hoping I am right. It will be my first Black Tail hunt, so wish me luck!

  9. #9

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    IM me your email address I have the Forest Service info on a PDF file can not attach, it has good info for you!

  10. #10

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    Sent the info via your email, hope it helps.


    Anyone know what the beach heighth is on San Juan Bay? How high can the high tides go before I need to worry about my plane? I plan on bringing a come-along and dragging up as high as I can, but any solid numbers would be helpful.[/QUOTE]

  11. #11

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    Got it and super helpful, thank you!

    That reminds me to print it off from here at work, too.

    I'll do a trip report when I get back.

    Matt

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I don't know what San Juan's beach looks like, but I've hunted the Beach River area and that beach gets HAMMERED at times. Water went right up to the 10' driftwood piles on the beach at every high tide I was there. No way I would have considered parking a plane anywhere there.

    This picture shows what Beach River looked like at low tide. At high tide it was flowing right up to the driftwood in the background the next night. You can see from the snow that the previous tide didn't make it that far, but left very little room to park a plane.

    Every beach is different, though. Be careful.
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    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  13. #13

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    There is an airstrip at McLeod Harbor. No tide to worry about, but there is still the bear problem. Good luck.

  14. #14

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    Do you happen to have any pics of that strip? I have heard its pretty rough?

  15. #15

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    I have heard rumors of this airstrip but the only things that I have found on the entire island that resemble a strip are so overgrown a helicopter would be hard pressed to land.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    There is a strip at Beach River, parallel to the beach just a bit inland. It's on Chugach land, so you should be paying for the access permit. I know that Cubs use it regularly.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  17. #17

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    I don't fly my 170A nearly as aggressive as some of the guys do, so Cub strips are way outta my league... I am thinking I am going to be restricted to beaches... Anyone know if San Juan is okay to land at a like a +8 tide?

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    Updater for anyone reading this thread. I just got a report that there is a damaged 180 on the Beach River strip waiting to be flown out by helicopter. Cubs only on this one, if you dare.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  19. #19

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    Good to know. I'm curious what that strip looks like? It obviously looked good to someone, but I think I will stay on San Juan beach. Call me a scaredy-cat but that's me.

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    I was gillnetting at Esther Is two summers ago and over towards Axel Lind Island I see a helicopter and a plane that look like they are racing. As they got closer, I can see a cable attaching the plane to the copter and realize that the plane is being towed. I heard later that the plane had hit a soft spot while landing and did a nose plant. No one hurt that I know of, thankfully. I'm thinking that would make for an expensive deer hunt if that happened.
    An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
    - Jef Mallett

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