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Thread: caribou on Kodiak

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    Default caribou on Kodiak

    i know this subject has been broached before so please forgive the redundancy. i will be pulling into kodiak island for work and may have the opportunity to sneak away for a day of hunting. i know that right now the only thing available is caribou. is this a feasible "short" hunt? i have heard that the reason for the open season is that they are trying to get rid of the the caribou. but then i hear of lots of failed hunts. where do they hang out on the island? any info would be great. any reason to get away from work for a bit is reason enough for me!

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    The Caribou that I know about are on the opposite end of Kodiak from town proper and even then they can be hard to find. Spent 2 weeks looking this fall and all I found was a dead one.

    Good Luck

    Last edited by stid2677; 12-31-2011 at 13:38.
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    You'll spend a day getting to where the caribou are, unless you are flown in. But it doesn't make much sense to fly in for a one day hunt.
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    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    Kodiak ADF&G are no longer trying to get rid of them, and an air transport down there will run about $2600. Good luck

  5. #5

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    In 2010 it went to one a year and no same day airborne hunting. There are around 600 of them and they live in the Ayakulik valley on the southend, usually 5-6 miles from the salt and in the swampiest area of the island. I went along on a weekend hunt to help a friend find a goat this fall (I had already shot a billy a few weeks before). Flying around looking for goats we spotted a couple small bou heards within 1.5-2 miles of the beach so we went after them instead of the goats, since we both wanted to finish up our Kodiak slam(deer, elk, bear, goat, and bou). They are feral reindeer and rut in late August so the September bulls are decent eating. I hear they are eligible for B&C too...
    Here's my bull.


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    thanks everyone. i figured this would be the case but wanted to drop a thread and see if i might get lucky

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    TB, thats probably about the rarest photo this forum will ever see....congrats on a great critter!!
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    Thats a nice bou. Where most of the ones you saw that nice, wondering how they compare to some of the herds on the mainland?

  9. #9

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    for matter of fact only, the Kodiak "caribou" are actually reindeer that were introduced in the early 1920's, and they now number around 300 or so:

    Thirty-two reindeer were introduced to the island in 1921 to provide economic and subsistence opportunities to residents of Akhiok. In response to a lack of active husbandry, the reindeer population was declared feral and a no-limit open season was established by ADF&G in 1962. Same-day airborne hunting was authorized in 2002, but in 2010 same-day restrictions were replaced, and now hunters need a caribou harvest ticket and transport to the southeast side where caribou are scattered about.

    Nice animal TB. How'd it taste? Reindeer are said to be tastier than caribou meat, and natives from GMU 22 and 23 occasionally harvest feral reindeer mixed with the Western Arctic Herd, and they have learned to look for squatier hind qtrs and slightly lighter coats compared to main herd coat colors.


    larry

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Bartlett View Post
    In response to a lack of active husbandry, the reindeer population was declared feral and a no-limit open season was established by ADF&G in 1962. Same-day airborne hunting was authorized in 2002, but in 2010 same-day restrictions were replaced, and now hunters need a caribou harvest ticket and transport to the southeast side where caribou are scattered about.
    How does F&G have any authority over a "domesticated" species, i.e. reindeer? First they are declared "feral". Now they switch from feral to a wild species, caribou.
    Interesting idea tho. Plenty of feral deer in unit 22 and 23. Troopers won't even get involved when deer are harvested out here. Owner of deer (if that can be determined) has to take hunter to civil court. Maybe we can get F&G to magically declared deer on the Sew. Pen. as bou. HaHa!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Bartlett View Post
    for matter of fact only, the Kodiak "caribou" are actually reindeer that were introduced in the early 1920's, and they now number around 300 or so:

    Thirty-two reindeer were introduced to the island in 1921 to provide economic and subsistence opportunities to residents of Akhiok. In response to a lack of active husbandry, the reindeer population was declared feral and a no-limit open season was established by ADF&G in 1962. Same-day airborne hunting was authorized in 2002, but in 2010 same-day restrictions were replaced, and now hunters need a caribou harvest ticket and transport to the southeast side where caribou are scattered about.

    Nice animal TB. How'd it taste? Reindeer are said to be tastier than caribou meat, and natives from GMU 22 and 23 occasionally harvest feral reindeer mixed with the Western Arctic Herd,


    larry
    Hmmm I'd been led to believe that genetically speaking, caribou and reindeer are the same species. in the States the difference in what you call them determines hunting regs for the most part. Reindeer are farmed and caribou are wild. Wouldn't imagine that those living in the same area would taste differently as they'd be eating the same food.

    I've seen the "reindeer" on Kodiak in the Bumble Bay area which is on the Southwest tip of Kodiak West of the Ayakulik River. I have a couple sheds somewhere I found right above the bay. Saw some real nice Sitka bucks there too.
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    I was told by an old timer in Dillingham that the "old caribou" of pre-reindeer herding days were larger and darker than the caribou we have today. The admixture of thousands of feral reindeer from many herds along the coast into resident herds have caused the gene pools in some herds to produce smaller, lighter colored animals. If you look at pictures of the animals that are in Lap country and Siberia you will see reindeer that are fairly short legged and some are almost white. Historically Eskimo seamstresses on the Bering Sea coast traded for white reindeer skins to do fancy insets in parkas and mukluks.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    TB, thats probably about the rarest photo this forum will ever see....congrats on a great critter!!
    Thanks Brwnbr, pretty happy to get him considering I was just going along to help pack out a goat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mavsmuk View Post
    Thats a nice bou. Where most of the ones you saw that nice, wondering how they compare to some of the herds on the mainland?
    The two herds we saw only had cows in them. Buddy shot the biggest out of the first herd of 15 thinking it was a bull, but it ended up being a cow. Actually spotted the bull all by himself up a side valley while boning out his cow. Here's me with his cow.


    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Bartlett View Post
    Nice animal TB. How'd it taste? Reindeer are said to be tastier than caribou meat, and natives from GMU 22 and 23 occasionally harvest feral reindeer mixed with the Western Arctic Herd, and they have learned to look for squatier hind qtrs and slightly lighter coats compared to main herd coat colors.


    larry [/SIZE][/FONT]
    It tasted fine, not much flavor at all. I haven't had caribou in 7 or 8 years so I'm a bit of a novice on eating them.

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    That's a cow? Wow....

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    We watched this one for several days while bear hunting. He kept getting closer each day. We shot a bear one evening and went the next day to skin it and he was in close proximity to the bear. My partner looked at me and asked "should we shoot it?" I replied "I think we have to, it's a sign."

    Something put him through the ringer. One side of his antler main beam was broken off which was about the diameter of my wrist. He also had a green pus ball, that looked like green pudding thing going on in his hind quarter. We cut around the pus, the rest looked fine, the meat was delicious, very tender and no gamey taste. It was on the west end of the island, South of Karluk.

    Attachment 56306

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    Member hntr's Avatar
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    Try this again
    Attachment 56318

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    Here is a little more info.

    SOme local pilots will dispute the estimates made by the KNWR surveyors.

    http://www.fws.gov/FWSJournal/regmap.cfm?arskey=28908

    http://alutiiqmuseum.org/files/Ed%20...%20Herders.pdf

    http://saltonstall.blogspot.com/2007...-reindeer.html

    somewhere I have a picture of over 700 on a hillside in Bumble Bay in 1966 and by some accounts they once numbered around 3000

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    Big difference between the two Reindeer FLY...
    Nice bou/deer

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    Member Jeff U's Avatar
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    I hunted them 5X, all in the Ayakulik Valley or close to it. Twodux and Sayak are spot on. Ferals are tamed reindeer, if left to roam free, they are Caribou. Regardless what you call they, they are all the same species, with intermixed genes combined with environmental factors such as food, weather, terrain, etc.
    They horn configuration is different that of mainland Bou's, in that they rarely have palmated tops, but there points are much longer, and the variation is much greater. The biggest I've seen and measured was a bit over 400", mine was 349 6/8", both were bow shots.
    Years back there were alot more of them, as you could shoot as many as you wanted, then F&G changed it to one. I heard, third party, it was because of an incident from locals gunning down alot of them and didn't have the means to take them out of the field.
    Yes, they are excellent eating, better than mainland variety, IMO.
    Because there are alot less of them these days, I wouldn't go over there solely for them, but to hunt deer and if you happen to see one, then go ahead.

  20. #20
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    That's a nice bull, and that cow would have fooled me for a bull as well. Haha.

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