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Thread: POW Question

  1. #1

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    Guys,

    I've hunted there several times, and know a bit about the island but I've only been to the alpine once to help a friend pack out.

    I plan on renting a Kayak or Canoe to paddle to a spot, pull it up and stash it, and then climb to the top in August. The spot I'm looking at has several areas of Alpine, but I wanted to know what you guys think about following a pretty good river/crick up a major drainiage, and then make one climb up? I'm figuring there have to be some pretty good bear trails along the side of this river/crick which I can follow for about a mile, and then climb.

    What's been your experience following creeks up a valley? It looks relativly flat until I need to start climbing.

    Also, if you find a series of Alpine that seems to connect up top via ridges and spines, do you find it alot easier to just stay high to move even though it's a bit longer rather then coming down, moving, and then climbing again? I know there is nothing easy about an early August hunt and I'm trying to get some info.

    You can PM if you'd prefer.

  2. #2
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Chad- You say you've hunted there several times? I've only hunted there once, but I couldn't imagine following any of the creeks from tidewater to alpine. I did move along a couple of them and the ones that are not in logged areas weren't too bad for the parts I walked along. However, most of the creeks I saw coming out of the high country certainly didn't seem to take the easy way down. There are tons of areas you can simply get half way up there just from the road, and several areas that you are almost there by road. I know that those easier access areas might bring in other hunters, but from my research and talking to other hunters most of them aren't hunted at all in late August.

    If everything falls into place, I will be there in August to hunt the alpine. I spent most of my hunt in Nov. with my daughter road hunting the logging roads. I kept careful notes which got me where I wanted to go in August and I have a good plan. One of those areas has a huge series of alpine that will allow me to move above treeline without having to come down.

  3. #3

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    Doug,

    You bring up a good point, that being from the salt to the top, is going to be hell. Looking on the map, and google earth, it looks gentle (POW TERMS) but you never know. I'm just toying with the idea. The area I'm looking at doesn't have any roads, which I'm hoping will mean less pressure, and maybe some chubby deer.

  4. #4
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I think the adventure of it would be a blast. Going to an old growth area and moving through it would be pretty special, but it would be tough.

    The quantity of deer I saw everywhere on the road system leads me to believe that there are deer everywhere in the alpine, roads nearby or not. The lack of high alpine lakes on POW killed my ideas of hunting there in August for years. I liked the fact that I could fly into Kodiak in several places above the bears and the alders and right into the alpine. Until I made this Nov trip I wasn't sure how I was going to hunt it. Now I have a good idea of where to go. I spent a lot of time looking for areas of unbroken timber going to the top from the roads. There is no way you are going to easily climb though any of the logged areas, but moving through the old growth is definitely doable.

    I like these little deer and the places they live. They just about attract me than any other game I've hunted in AK. I really would like to shoot a mature buck as I have had to settle for several smaller bucks and does through the years. Some guys dream of a sheep hunt, I dream of a good alpine deer hunt. I hope this carrot will help me lose a ton of weight and get in shape for it.

  5. #5
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    Never hunted POW, BUT...........

    Having hunted Kodiak, Afognak, and most of the Major Islands in Prince William Sound extensively, I wouldn't recommend following a creek as the best way to reach the alpine from sea level on any island or even on the mainland, especially in August.

    Four main reasons.

    #1 is bears. Any stream you can follow is probably a salmon stream and you're more likely to have a bear encounter. Especially if you're packing fresh meat along that route. My main strategy when I'm deer hunting in Alaska (30+ years) is to not have a bear encounter. I've bumped into exactly 4 in all those years of hunting and never had one where I had to resort to shooting. My number one rule in the early season is to avoid salmon streams. I ran into one up close, 25 yards, in a salmon berry patch and we both decided to go opposite directions. Another was 40 yards away in a blueberry patch. It never saw me, and I backed out and left the area. A third was late in the year, after Thanksgiving and there was a foot of snow on the ground on Afognak. I crossed it's tracks once, then later in the day I made a big circle and found it's tracks following mine. That was a little nerve wracking as I was hunting with a bow that day, so I left the area. That one should have been looking for a cave. The fourth I was on a mountain top and watch it stalking three deer about 300 yards below me. The deer gave him the slip, but he followed them for a long ways following every switch back and misdirection they led him. The deer knew he was following them too. They'd stop at various vantage points and watch their back trail very intently and take off again when they'd see him coming.

    2nd reason is that the best way up a Mt. is usually to take a side ridge. You'll gain altitude faster and it may seem steeper at first, but with a stream, you usually meander back into a canyon, then you have a much steeper climb at the end. It's usually brushier around streams and you're more likely to have to cross a marsh where the walking will be hard as you sink in the mud. High ground is your friend and is better drained. You'll usually find a very good animal trail along the spine of a ridge too.

    Which brings us to the third reason. Packing out. It's a lot easier to pack out following a ridge for all the same reasons it's easier getting up high on the way in. Less brush, more stable ground, a more gentle slope over all.

    The 4th reason is, it's usually a shorter distance to the top just following a ridge up. Staying in a creek bottom you'll be all over the place.

    By all means if there are roads in the area, take advantage of them and save yourself some work. But if not, my best advise is find an area where some ridges come down to the salt or close to the salt and get on one of them to find your way to the top.
    An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
    - Jef Mallett

  6. #6
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Sound advice above. Make all your lateral movements above treeline. Mark your route. Go out the same way you came in.

  7. #7

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    Thanks guys. There is a big ridge that comes right down so i guess that will be my starting point for this spot.

  8. #8
    Member ACNDHO's Avatar
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    Alpine is the best even if it is a longer pack out. If I do make it back to POW it will be for alpine for a HUNT. Roads work if you want meat but get old fast. Don't get me wrong I'm all about meat in the freezer, can't eat antlers, but still going up!
    Even a jackass won't stumble on the same stone twice.

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