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Thread: Sitka Blacktail hunt report...

  1. #1
    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    Default Sitka Blacktail hunt report...

    This is a bit late but better than not at all I suppose.

    I was invited to go along on a trip to Kodiak to hunt for blacktails earlier this fall and was excited to go, as I've never been there before. We had plans and things were all set up but the air service cancelled our trip due to the owner of the cabin suddenly saying no one could use the cabin that week due to his family coming. We had several go arounds with the air service before moving on to another and finally finding a place to go kind of last minute.

    After some weather delays, we were finally able to get over to Larson Bay. We were staying with Kodiak Charters and with only a couple hours to hunt left in the day, they were willing to take us down the road and drop us for a quick hunt. So we grabbed gear quickly and off we went, climbing upward through the thick brush.

    We finally came to some openings and spotted some deer here and there. As we were looking and glassing, a forked horn steps out and Jerome, or Kotton, as many know him here, puts him down. We were pretty happy to get a deer down with only 2 hours of hunting left in the day. We got the deer down off the mountain and headed in for dinner, which was great.

    I've never gone on a hunt like this before where so much is taken care of for you. It was nice not having to worry about food at all, just concentrate on hunting!

    The next day was stormy as all get out, we got dropped off on the other side of the bay and it was starting to blow hard as we reached timberline. We had to hold up for a while cause the snow was just blinding. We finally decided to push on and move with the wind at our backs so we could at least see and then try and tuck into a side valley. The wind died down after a bit and we stopped and ate some lunch. The deer started moving as the weather subsided and we soon spotted a buck below us chasing a doe. I moved on him and was setup for a shot but I couldn't see his head and even if he was in fact the buck. No shot... So I gave chase and never could find them so I went back up to Jerome and started looking and out they came into an opening. I setup again and the shot was 240 yards downhill. I settled on him and missed with the first shot and nailed him hard with the second shot.

    Here's both of our first bucks below.



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  2. #2
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Nice bucks, few better hunts than chasing Blacktails on Kodiak with all it's challenges.

    Well done!

    Steve
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
    Founding Member
    http://www.residenthuntersofalaska.org/

  3. #3
    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    The next day I think we ended up doing some duck hunting and got a few birds but nothing fantastic. It was extremely windy and retrieving birds in this little one-man cataraft was not ideal, or safe. We I think ended up doing some deer hunting that afternoon and came up empty.

    We were back out deer hunting the next morning and pushing through the brush and Jerome dropped another forky while Angelo dropped two forkies. So we each drug one down to the bottom and got them out of there.

    That night we were back up high and Jerome had spotted a bigger buck and we gave chase and hoped to come over a rise to see them in the little bowl they'd gone into. I went around one way and he went around the other and that's when I heard a shot. I came out higher and said I'd go up and look to see if he'd hit the buck, as he wasn't sure. I got up there and sure enough, he'd dropped that deer right in it's tracks.

    With Jerome's tags filled, it was just me and Angelo and we headed across the bay. I had two tags and he had one left. We got dropped off and started our way through the thick brush. Almost immediately we spotted a couple does and a spike. I kept scanning the trees and looking up on the hill above through the tree tops. Then suddenly a new deer steps out from no where. BIG BUCK! I said and dropped to a knee and chambered a round. The scope was on him, he was at about a 100 yards. He dropped instantly at the shot and I was happy just to have finally seen something bigger than a forked horn.

    We had to drop down and find a place to get across the creek and then finally got up to him only to find that he was a 4x4 with an eye-guard on one side. He wasn't huge but a nice buck and after seeing nothing but forked horns, it felt pretty good to put a nice mature deer down.

    We took care of this guy and stashed him away from the gut pile and retrieve him on our way back to the beach later in the day. We continued to see a few deer as we moved on but no bucks. We finally reached tree line and ate some lunch as we glassed and looked for more deer. A few were about but no bucks. The sun and lack of wind was allowing for them to start moving more than they had since we got there.

    We continued up into the little valley and soon spotted a buck with a doe, he looked to be just a fork and we waited and watched some more.




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  4. #4
    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    So as we were watching, I spotted some does off to our left and across the other side. Then a buck materialized and I knew right away he was bigger than anything else we'd seen. He was chasing a doe relentlessly and I told Angelo that we needed to drop down and get on this buck. Easier said than done, right? As we got to the bottom, snow drifts up to our waist caused some serious problems, it was like being stuck in quick sand. It took a lot of extra energy and time to get through and to the other side.

    By now the buck was moving across the hillside to our right and I was hoping they wouldn't keep moving out of range. I got to the base of the hill and Angelo was coming up behind me about 30 yards back. I ranged the buck as they went into a thicket. I said to Angelo, they're 250 yards up the hill in that thicket, get ready! It didn't take long and they were coming back out. I said ok, here they come, take him when he steps out.

    So I'm watching the buck as Angelo shoots and he immediately says, I got him! The deer didn't flinch and I said, no you didn't, he's still standing there. About that time I see a different buck tumbling down the mountain. I said oh no that wasn't the big buck! So I grabbed my rifle and loaded up and got a good rest and took aim. By now the buck is at 300 and sharply uphill. I shot and thought I hit him, as he hunched up and broke off his chase with the doe. But he stood in the brush and I couldn't shoot again. Finally he moved and I was able to get another shot in him to put him down.

    We climbed up to our bucks and I found mine to be a nice solid 3x3 and Angleo's was a surprise. He actually shot a nice wide 4x2 with nice eye-guards. The buck would have been a 4x4 but broke off two tines. We rounded out the day with three bucks that were bigger than any one else in either camp had taken. We felt pretty good with the realization that our persistence and hard work finally paid off.

    We rounded out the trip on the last day with some more duck hunting. I wanted a Harlequin real bad and hoped to take one. We set up again at the same spot as earlier in the trip and the weather was much calmer. We didn't have much action but had some Harli's come in and we were each able to take a couple! Boy are they beautiful birds.

    Great trip, lot's of fun, good food, well taken care of but my only gripe is that that area gets way over hunted and there are just too many outfits pushing too many people through. They all advertise big deer but there aren't many to be found. We hunted hard every day, all day and I feel we got lucky with what we got. No one else did very well that we saw.

    Enjoy



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  5. #5
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    Very nice!! Those are some great looking bucks!

  6. #6
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Really Good Report, thanks, and Congrats on the Freezer Full of fine fare Venison

    Gettin' pretty crowded all over Kodiak these days, hopefully reports like yours will get the word out, ...

    but, WAIT,...
    not sure that's gonna work,..... looks like you guys killed 'em,....Oh Well
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  7. #7
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Yup, we've all learned here on Baranof not to talk about our bucks. They are too small and the brush is too thick for any quality hunting here. But Kodiak, that place is the Emerald Isle of world class deer hunting. It's official it beats out all of SE Alaska and PWS.

    Nice haul there guys. Those are great bucks.

  8. #8
    Member Kotton's Avatar
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    The greatest thing about AOD is the great people I've met from here,if it wasn't for this sight I would have never met one of the greatest hunting partners you can meet!!

    Nice to see a few pics again,I can't believe I didn't take one pic the entire trip!You and Angelo earned those last three bucks,man I wish I held my trigger finger till the only day it wasn't blowing 60.Next year will be a much diffrent deer hunt,I can't wait,keep them fingers crossed for the area bear tag.

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