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Thread: Everything Kodiak Except The Hunting

  1. #1
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    Default Everything Kodiak Except The Hunting

    My wife, kids, and I are headed to the southwest end of Kodiak the second half of October to deer hunt. Tickets have been reserved (Alaska Air miles thankfully), the air taxi arrangements have been made, and the cabin reserved. The hunting part is pretty straight forward (hopefully). lol

    For all that have been to the island, or live there, maybe you can chime in with some advice? We're using this trip as a chance to check out a beautiful part of AK that we haven't seen before. We've planned a day and a half in town at the front end and hopefully a day at the end of the trip, depending on weather. What should we see and do while there? The truck is staying home this trip so we'll have to walk, use a taxi, or rent a car. I know Kodiak is small, but what would you recommend doing while there and where would you eat?

    A few other questions I have revolve around meat and antler transport assuming we're successful. I've used the search function on the forum and picked out bits and pieces of advice. If you've flown into & out of Kodiak, and were going back again, is there anything you would do differently?

    I'm planning on taking two medium size coolers that will stay with the air taxi while we're in the field. The plan is for each of the boys to take a deer and possibly my wife or I a third. We just do not need more venison than that. I'll bone out the meat just before arriving back in town and fill the coolers for check-in as luggage for the flight back to Anchorage. What has worked well for antler transport for you?

    Any other advice to optimize the trip? Many thanks.

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    We used Alaska Air Cargo to ship our deer meat and antlers back a couple of years ago, forget the price but it was cheaper than paying for excess baggage. We put the meat and antlers in rubbermaid containers and taped them closed then left them with the air transporter and they put them on the next flight out for us.

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    I did the same thing as your planning on my last trip and will do it again this October. I am flying back and forth from Texas. I put my meat and birds in a cooler and use that as one of my checked bags(you were allowed two at that time for no charge) and I mailed my duffle bag of clothes home thru the post office. It cost me $45.00 to mail my clothes home which is a lot cheaper than mailing perishable meat.

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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. They'll be 4 of us with 2 free bags each so I don't think we'll have an issue with baggage allowance.

    Any must see stuff while in Kodiak?

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    If you're going from ANC - ADQ (Kodiak), that's in-state...which means 3 free checked bags per person.

    http://www.alaskaair.com/content/tra...harges-waivers

    1st 2nd 3rd 4th
    Itinerary and ticket wholly within the State of Alaska Free Free Free $50
    Last edited by Dr.No; 09-02-2012 at 08:45. Reason: additional info

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    Member Matt83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.No View Post
    If you're going from ANC - ADQ (Kodiak), that's in-state...which means 3 free checked bags per person.

    http://www.alaskaair.com/content/tra...harges-waivers

    1st 2nd 3rd 4th
    Itinerary and ticket wholly within the State of Alaska Free Free Free $50
    True but you have to take this into account,
    "Each bag, including bags accepted free of charge, must weigh 50 pounds or less and have a maximum dimension of 62 linear inches (length + height + width) to avoid additional charges."


    Active Duty U.S. military personnel with ID Up to 5 Bags Free.
    $50 for each additional bag.
    ooooo....looks like I get 5 bags free ...who wants to go to Kodiak?? lol

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    If you are flying Alaska make sure you are flying them there and back and not one of their subsidiaries that have different baggage requirements and authorizations. That got my partner and I, but we were already so over we were shipping stuff cargo anyways so no big deal.

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    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
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    Seems like 3 bags per person x 4 people should get all your stuff home. For rough estimating, I'd plan a little more one cooler per deer to keep your cooler weight under 50lbs. If you brought more coolers that you have around the house and then didn't fill them, worst case is you have the airline ship back an empty cooler or two as checked baggage. Or if you don't have a pile of coolers, you could buy one or two more in Kodiak if needed.

    For seeing more of AK, recommend you rent a car one day to give you the flexibility of moving around. Plus, you could drive out the road to Pasagshak, Chiniak, Anton Larsen Bay, and Monashka Bay to see the four ends of the road system. Nice scenary and a chance to see more of what Kodiak looks like around the populated area.

    The visitor's center and Baranof Museum are just across the street from each other. Alutiiq Museum isn't far from the other two, and these three will give you some history of the island and native past if that's interesting to you. At that time of year you might be able to still drive up to the top of Pillar mountain where there are now 6 wind turbines. The view of the city and surrounding area is great from up there. Photo op too. If hiking trails is of interest, stop by the borough building and get a copy of the trails plan from the community development department. Some people like to walk the docks in both harbors to check out the marine/fishing part of Kodiak too. I'm sure others will have suggestions for you too.

    Restaurants.....plenty of choices. Just depends on your desire. I would recommend Kings Diner for breakfast (of even lunch if you want). A lot of locals eat and meet there in the AM, which should tell you something. In fact, I should go wake up the wife and get some breakfast there! It's been a little while. Henrys is popular for lunch and dinner, but there are a lot of choices that offer different cuisine. Good luck on your adventure, and remember to take time to smell the roses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by broncoformudv View Post
    We used Alaska Air Cargo to ship our deer meat and antlers back a couple of years ago, forget the price but it was cheaper than paying for excess baggage. We put the meat and antlers in rubbermaid containers and taped them closed then left them with the air transporter and they put them on the next flight out for us.
    I had a bad experience with AK Cargo, a few years ago. They left 5 boxes of deer meat sit on the apron for 5 days. When it got back to ANC, it went straight into the dumpster. I'm not saying it happens every time, but that it did happen. Having your transporter hold the meat in their cooler (assuming they have a cooler), then delivering it to the airline just prior to the flight it will go out on is the way to go. I've had good luck shipping cargo thru NAC from Kodiak.

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    I had a bad experience with AK Cargo, a few years ago. They left 5 boxes of deer meat sit on the apron for 5 days. When it got back to ANC, it went straight into the dumpster. I'm not saying it happens every time, but that it did happen. Having your transporter hold the meat in their cooler (assuming they have a cooler), then delivering it to the airline just prior to the flight it will go out on is the way to go. I've had good luck shipping cargo thru NAC from Kodiak.
    Sorry to hear about your meat loss, that really sucks. I have heard of that happening before and we got our transporter to hold onto our meat and deliver before the flight like you mentioned. Worked out well for us and saved is a bit of money instead of having top pay excess baggage fees on it.

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    Me and another forum member are heading down there as well around the same time. He drew a goat and bear tag, I am going down to help him out. Hopefully I can find a deer or two, and maybe a nice common or king eider. I am looking into just checking the meat on the plane in coolers as well. Do they require you to freeze the meat prior to checking it on? I would rather not freeze the meat, then thaw it to butcher, then freeze it again.
    Some people call it sky busting... I call it optimism
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    Definitely stop by the Best Western hotel which is right down town. One of the biggest brown bear mounts you will ever see is in their lobby.

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    Thanks for all the info guys. I thought I had remembered 3 bags per person for flights within the state, but I guess I overlooked it on AS's website. I'll definitely add a third cooler just incase.

    The tips about stuff to see in and around town was just what I was looking for.

  14. #14

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    Jake, hit the museums, Alutiiq and Baranof. Hit the new Refuge visitor center it has some cool stuff. Go over to near island and see the aquarium and touch tank at the Fisheries Research Center. They also have some neat stuff as far as marine mammals and fish on the island. Rent a car and take a drive out to Narrow Cape, should be a few silvers left in the rivers and possibly a few fresh ones. I've caught them dime bright the first week in Oct before at the mouth of the Olds. Probably a few halibut around out in the salt too.
    Dining, Henry's is good for burgers and steaks. The Old Powerhouse is one of the best sushi places in Alaska. If your not a big fan of sushi they have a decent luch with just a sample of sushi and fish and chips. Lunch at Java Flats in Bells Flats is also pretty good.Breakfast at Kings Diner or Millbay Coffee, the Shelikof has a decent breakfast too. The Chart Room in the Best Western can be good for dinner, but they are pricey.

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    If you go to the Chartroom (Best Western) go on Wednesday for dinner. Burger and Brew (anything on tap, wine, juice) for $10. There isn't a better deal in town or a better plate of waffle fries. For the same price as most places in town for dinner, Check out the Olds River Inn. Good food at a neat location, about 50 minutes out of town towards Chiniak and Passagshak.

    Definitely take the kids to the Touch Tank @ Near Island. There are a couple of neat places to hike around there as well. Go to Fort Abercrombie, if you got on a Friday you can go to the Military Museum there. Lots of old military buildings and some beautiful hikes around there with some nice trails and signs with info on the local plants. The kids would enjoy the Kodiak Refuge Visitors Center like HuntKodiak said, my daughter loves it!

    If you have time for a quick kayak trip, Wendy with Alaskan Wilderness Adventures, Kodiak's Wild Side, will get you close enough to pet humpbacks.

    Pasagshak (Narrow Cape) is certainly worth the drive especially on a bright sunny day. Beautiful surfs, beaches, and bison to view. At the end of the road there is Fossil Beach. Bring a hammer or use a rock and you could find some neat items.

    Out in Chiniak there are more old military bunkers. There is one that has multiple levels, with a flashlight it is pretty neat to explore. That one is all the way out past the Road's End restaurant and on a hill near some Comm. towers. If you can find the comm towers, you can find bunker hill. It sits right next to Chiniak Lake.

    Drive up Pillar Mountain (Where the windmills are), great views of Monashka Bay and the City of Kodiak there. You can hike along the ridge there for a ways as well.

    Salonie creek should have some fresh silvers that time of year as well. There has been a Sow and 3 cubs hanging around there so you could get some neat pics as well.

    Are you members of Club 49? I think that gets you 2 free checked bags.

    There is a place downtown called the Meat House that would hold on to your meat until you leave. If you get really desperate with shipping antlers, get one of those action packers and carefully pack your trophy in that. I've fedexed what ended up being a blacktail shoulder mount that way over night to MI and it was fine.

    Have fun and good luck!

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    I'll throw in a "Total Agreement," on the Fish Tech center's "Touch Tank," if you have young kids at all
    and the Refuge Visitor center,...(is right up from the Ferry dock), walking distance from anywhere downtown
    is absolutely well worth walking through

    for Restaurants, the Powerhouse is a Top of the Line Asian restaurant, (far more than just sushi, tho they are really good at all that)
    You can hardly go wrong there, kids menu, etc.
    Don't miss that one, those guys have changed the whole restaurant scene in Kodiak, really know what they're doing
    Try one of the appetizers, Black Cod,..or it may be Sablefish, on the menu,....one serrving is enough for several to get a taste
    you'll be glad you tried it there

    also I think Henry's, is a great restaurant with really fresh salads, (not common in Kodiak), and the standard North American menu
    is right downtown in the square by the Harbor
    Harborside Coffe shop, right in front of the St. Paul Harbor, uses Locally Roasted Beans, I know the Coffee Maniac who is the roaster
    it'll be one of the Better Coffees you get in Alaska (by my "espresso crazed, Bean quality manic," opinion, anyway)
    Lots of really cool Bear, Eagle, and Loaded Fishing boat photos on the wall


    There is also a new place, called something like "The Noodle Shop" that is really pretty good, and well worth getting to, but is a little more than a short walk from town,...maybe a 1/2 mile beyond the post office heading north
    Is also an Asian place, like Chinese spicing, Mongolian, etc. my boys absolutely love it,...is easy on the pocket book for Dad

    and I completely second the value of a one day rental car, cruise out to the rocket launch site at narrow cape.
    it's really a super nice drive, classic Kodiak Country, you'll see Bison near the road, out at the end,...
    really nice pavement out there for moving rocket parts,...scenic all the way out,....Blacktails on the hills etc.so it's a great drive for all
    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 !

  17. #17
    Member AKMarmot's Avatar
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    Everything you should see has been mentioned above from Ft.Abracrombie to Fossil beach. The kids will enjoy seeing the bison & you should see surfers out there as well. It might be good to have a rental for two days. There are a couple spots going towards Chiniak where you can throw out a decoy or two & have a good opp to take a couple harli's & scoters. Good dollie fishig out that way & as mentioned bells flats & the rivers have a good chance to have a bear or two hanging around. The Rendevouz bar & grill has a great steak night as well, but you need to reserve some if you want one that night. Henrys, Kings, & Chart room are all good options for the meals. This will be the start of a trip you will be making more often once you experience it. When you put the vehcile on the ferry next time you will be able to bring everything you need.

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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    Well...from everything you guys have suggested it looks like I'll have to plan another trip back to the island after this one just to cover everything. Hoipefully my wife will agree. lol

    I think the Refuge Visitor Center, Baranof Museum, Alutiiq Museum, and Touch Tank will be definite must do's this trip. Now I just need to pace it out and see if we'll have time for a drive.

    I'm really looking forward to this trip. I love seeing how much more capable my kids have have become since the previous summer/fall's hunts. However, at the same time I realize that not too far in the distant future family hunts like this will more much more difficult to pull off as college, jobs, and eventually families will pull at the kids' time with Mom & I. Hopefully they'll grow up and remember to take us on some cool adventures.

    Reading everyone's hunting posts so far this summer keep pulling at me. We've hunted the Brooks the last two summers and I've really missed being up there this year. I know I'll be back, but..... Plus, I'm missing the first couple of weeks of duck hunting due to work so the itch just keeps getting worse. Come on Kodiak!

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