Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23

Thread: Knight Island help?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    AK
    Posts
    23

    Default Knight Island help?

    Glad to be on OD, I have watched this forum for years while dreaming of finding an AK job. Now I finally have something to ask the forum.

    A few friends from AK and I (an outsider) are going to have a water taxi take us to Knight Island mid September for nine days. We are going to hunt and fish until our feet blister heavily, then do some more. Our focus is deer and bear, with mildy conflicting priorities on which one. A halibut or salmon would be nice on the last few days (so they don't spoil before we get back). We are going to have a zodiac to run around in.

    What we need is a little advice on location. Our thought now is Bay of Isles, becuase it has a lot of shoreline, it is further away (so maybe less people), and there is a freshwater lake. But we think the wind will come from the South, and the deer will be up high on the leeward side, so maybe we can save a little on water taxi fees and head to the north side, like drier bay.

    We'll take any help we can get (even if it is not specific). Also, if you don't mind sharing, but don't want your honey hole immortalized online, send me a PM.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    AK
    Posts
    23

    Default

    I guess I should say East or West side of the island...instead of Noth or South...it is about at a 45 degrees

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Palmer
    Posts
    73

    Default

    I've spent a lot of time out there. PM me and we can chat.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    142

    Default

    Bay of isles gets decent pressure we stay there regularly don't see much for deer but lots of bear sign the shoreline has heavy wooded areas that are hard to hunt.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the outcome of the vote.--Benjamin Franklin

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    AK
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Sure will, having trouble sending a PM, when admin works it out I will first thing.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    AK
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chansen View Post
    Bay of isles gets decent pressure we stay there regularly don't see much for deer but lots of bear sign the shoreline has heavy wooded areas that are hard to hunt.
    Thanks, great feedback for guys who haven't been. So, would you recommend one of the smaller bays? Maybe less traffic? We don't mind walking to above treeline (if the brush allows it) for deer and bear.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,892

    Default

    Only on thing to keep in mind... Hunt high... And hunt high... One more thing hunt high....
    Do I give my friends advice? Jesus, no. They wouldn't take advice from me. Nobody should take advice from me. I haven't got a clue about anything..

  8. #8
    Member patrickL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    1,131

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sib View Post
    Sure will, having trouble sending a PM, when admin works it out I will first thing.
    You need 5 maybe 10 posts before PMing will work. Post another note and it should work.

  9. #9
    Member patrickL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    1,131

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by akmike30 View Post
    Only on thing to keep in mind... Hunt high... And hunt high... One more thing hunt high....
    What akmike said. Hunt high. Mid September the deer will be high. They only really come down once the snow starts to push them out of the high country. Also, Knight Island is very steep in a lot of places. You're going to want to do some research to find out what areas are going to be accessible or you're going to end up stuck to hunting the low country because of the steep terrain. A little research now will avoid a ton of hard work later.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    AK
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by patrickL View Post
    What akmike said. Hunt high. Mid September the deer will be high. They only really come down once the snow starts to push them out of the high country. Also, Knight Island is very steep in a lot of places. You're going to want to do some research to find out what areas are going to be accessible or you're going to end up stuck to hunting the low country because of the steep terrain. A little research now will avoid a ton of hard work later.
    Ok great! Thank you! So, have you noticed they are on the leeward side up high? Or does it matter? Are they above treeline in the rocks, or just below?

    And, I have heard bears up high, not eating fish, don't taste too bad. Are the bears high as well?

  11. #11
    Member Meanderthal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    288

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sib View Post
    Glad to be on OD, I have watched this forum for years while dreaming of finding an AK job. Now I finally have something to ask the forum.

    A few friends from AK and I (an outsider) are going to have a water taxi take us to Knight Island mid September for nine days. We are going to hunt and fish until our feet blister heavily, then do some more. Our focus is deer and bear, with mildy conflicting priorities on which one. A halibut or salmon would be nice on the last few days (so they don't spoil before we get back). We are going to have a zodiac to run around in.

    What we need is a little advice on location. Our thought now is Bay of Isles, becuase it has a lot of shoreline, it is further away (so maybe less people), and there is a freshwater lake. But we think the wind will come from the South, and the deer will be up high on the leeward side, so maybe we can save a little on water taxi fees and head to the north side, like drier bay.

    We'll take any help we can get (even if it is not specific). Also, if you don't mind sharing, but don't want your honey hole immortalized online, send me a PM.

    Thanks!
    How big are your zodiac and motor? The bay of Isles itself would be alot to navigate with a 12 footer and a 2 horse but with a 16 footer and a 20 horse you'd be mobile enough to go anywhere on the island if the weather is good and you have enough gas. A 20 horse would still be a chore to circumnavigate the island with but doable. I would bring a hand held marine VHF radio regardless.

    I have spent a fair amount of time anchored at and fishing around Knight but I haven't tried hunting there. The island is tall enough and steep enough to deter me, at least so far. I figure that if the deer are all up high on Knight that I'd be in for more of a goat hunt than deer hunt but I might try it someday anyway.

    There are rock piles out in front of the Bay of Isles that can produce good black bass fishing. The passages between the islands at the north end can be good for salmon but I suspect you may be a bit late for that. The entrances to the passages are good spots to find halibut sometimes too. There is good fishing all around there if your timing is right and you are mobile enough to find it.

    I'm inclined to suggest that the Naked group would be better for a small party of deer hunters but the bear population there is nil as far as I know. It might be something to consider if the transport fee is similar.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    AK
    Posts
    23

    Default

    @Meanderthal, Thanks! Yep the water taxi told us 12 ft max, so we are somewhat limited on Zodiac size and freedom to move around the island.

    Thanks for the tip on the Nakeds, some folks from previous threads said the same. We had looked at all the islands in PWS, and the wildlife biologist said the big snows you had winter-before -last killed a lot of deer. She said the deer populations were highest on Knight and Montague Islands after that winter kill. We picked Knight for that reason, plus there a supposed to be a lot of bears, and there aren't any Brown bears to eat our deer. I still may take another look at the Nakeds.

    On the salmon, the biologist in Anchorage told me they would be in the bays just below the fresh water streams, but all the weir data says they should be totally done running by then. I have always gotten solid info from biologists, but the data on the state website says otherwise. Sounds like you think it will be too late?

  13. #13
    Member Meanderthal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    288

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sib View Post
    @Meanderthal, Thanks! Yep the water taxi told us 12 ft max, so we are somewhat limited on Zodiac size and freedom to move around the island.

    Thanks for the tip on the Nakeds, some folks from previous threads said the same. We had looked at all the islands in PWS, and the wildlife biologist said the big snows you had winter-before -last killed a lot of deer. She said the deer populations were highest on Knight and Montague Islands after that winter kill. We picked Knight for that reason, plus there a supposed to be a lot of bears, and there aren't any Brown bears to eat our deer. I still may take another look at the Nakeds.

    On the salmon, the biologist in Anchorage told me they would be in the bays just below the fresh water streams, but all the weir data says they should be totally done running by then. I have always gotten solid info from biologists, but the data on the state website says otherwise. Sounds like you think it will be too late?
    Based on my experience I'd say you will be late for salmon in any significant numbers. You might want to get more opinions though, I'm just trying to recall from memory what I have seen out there that time of year.

    While it is certainly worthwhile to take a 12 footer it will probably be cumbersome to fish in and slow to travel in. I think you will find that 3 guys with hunting gear is a tight fit. Four may be possible but I haven't done it. You'll probably get a little wet if there are any waves at all as well. I would advise you to bring life jackets even for short trips. I'm bad about that myself but I'm trying to get better because it is the smart thing to do.

    Yes there was a big deer kill off in the winter of 2011-2012 and populations are way down right now. I really don't know if survival on Knight was any better than other islands but I'd defer to the biologist on that. From experience it seems that Knight gets less hunting pressure per acre before snow pushes them down but I bet some folks go hammer them on the beaches there after the snow forces them down. I've never killed deer on the beach myself but I've heard stories about guys going out there and killing a bunch and returning on the same day.

    Whatever you do please post the experience on here afterward. Some pictures would be good too.

  14. #14
    Charterboat Operator
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Anchorage AK.
    Posts
    1,057

    Default

    agree with the above post of "GO HIGH", when you get above the goats, you will find deer!

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    AK
    Posts
    23

    Default

    So we're back. First, we took the advice and went to Naked instead of Knight in hopes for a better chance at deer, and some chance of bear. In short, we got neither. My two friends each shot at one decent buck, moving at 200 yards. And one of those friends got antoher jump shot at a little buck. We did catch some Rockfish and tiny ling, and hooked into some halibut, but didn't land any halibut.

    For those who aren't experts at PWS, here are some notes from a one timer (may not be facts) to a DIYer who hasn't done this before. Experts will find this painfully obvious, I'm sure. 1. First, nearly everyone hunts deer after the snows have pushed the deer down to the beaches. Without much thought, I assumed it was out of convenience. I now think it is out of necessity. Naked Island is so lush, it even has dense undergrowth in the tall trees, so much so that the deer as browsers never need to leave cover. We did see a few deer beds in meadows, so we think they must come at night (we had a full moon during that week). It is also too thick to walk slowly (still hunt) in the forest, I really tried. Despite missing the salmon, getting the freezing spray, and getting higher seas, wait until there is snow. 2. Buzz bombs work great with a little hearing oil tag for rockfish, but may loose halibut because the hooks are too small. We had fished some rockfish, then drove out a little ways to a shoal. As I was cutting off the head of a rockfish to rig onto a circle hook, we dropped our lines in for rockfish for a few minutes. We both got bit by halibut. I lost mine immediately, and my friend reeled for ~20 min before it spat the hook. We also had only salmon rigs since our one halibut rod broke. 3. Do a little research on your garage sale halibut rod before you take it out. We hooked into a halibut, and while setting the hook, the rod broke in half since the rod blank only went about 1/2 inch into the reel seat, not through the whole handle. 4. Eshamy Bay water taxi was great! I'll use them again in PWS. They also have a floating cabin that would have been nice, we didn't use it though. 5. Goretex is inadequate, GOOD raingear is a must. After a few days of being wet Goretex leaks water through, plus, even with a hot stove a night, it takes days to dry. I bought $20 coleman raingear, it tore some but made it through a week. My friend bought $10 raingear and tore it while getting it on the first time. Buy a real rain slicker suit. 6. Surprisingly, Naked Island has a cell tower, so it has good service and so does some of the rest of PWS. Don't waste money on a sat phone like we did. 7. This year, the salmon run ended just before we got there (Sep 14). The ADFG assured me there would be runs going on, but we only saw rotting salmon. 8. I don't think there are any bears on Naked at this time. Don't count on it any way. Bears swim to different islands, so it could happen, but we didn't see any sign at all. 9. Bring a tent with a stove. If it is a canvas wall tent, buy a dozen silicone spray cans and treat your tent. Our's had water dripping on the inside from the days of rain on the outside and drying wood and clothes on the inside. 10. Bring good firestarters, everything is wet. We used egg crates filled with dryer lint and cover with wax cut into single "eggs". They worked well. Vasaline coated cotton balls didn't burn long enough. 11. Everyone said hunt high, this is just one trip, but we saw just as mush sign low, and the two deer that were shot at were on and near shoreline. Maybe because I originally asked about Knight Island and instead went to Naked. Naked is not high enough to be above treeline. Knight might have been different since the deer can go above treeline. 12. Outside Bay has oil spill response ships running 24/7. They are very loud, and can be heard from almost any high poin on the North end of the island. I wouldn't plan on camping there. 13. Tarps tarps and more tarps...and parachute chord. You can't have enough. One big enough to go over your entire tent is a must (ours was way too small, see #9). One under your tent. One as a "front porch" to your tent would be nice. One for firewood and gear would also be helpful. And an extra, you'll find a use. Harbor freight has them cheap.

    Anyway, we had a great time, and thanks for all the help from this forum.

  16. #16
    Member Meanderthal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    288

    Default

    Thanks for coming back to report on your trip. It sounds like the deer population is pretty low if you didn't get one with 3 guys and 9 days. I have never hunted them after snow had pushed them down. In the past when populations were good I would expect about 1 buck every 3 days hunted which meant that with 3 guys somebody would kill something almost every day. It is tough hunting on Naked this time of year for sure. I have gotten them by patiently watching game trails for hours and by walking several miles a day but none of them came easy.

    I had to learn the difference between rain gear and goretex the hard way too. I normally bring 2 pairs of rubber (& neoprene) boots or hip waders, 2 full sets of real rain gear, and lots of extra dry clothes kept in dry bags. I also learned to bring duralogs along with regular fire wood when I go out there. I have resorted to bringing 2 tents and putting the smaller one inside the larger one too. Now I usuaully plan on keeping my sleeping bag in a goretex bivy even while sleeping in a tent. Rubber tote boxes and quality dry bags are your friend.

    As for the fishing, I'm really not suprised. It sounds like you would have gotten some halibut if you had the proper gear but fishing from a 12 foot Zodiac would have made it tough regardless. Rockfish will pretty much catch themselves if there are any around. Nearly all of the silvers should have made it into fresh water by then, and most will be fertilizer already.

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    135

    Default

    Sib thanks for doing a hunt report on what worked and what didn't

    Sent from my C771 using Tapatalk 2

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,892

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sib View Post
    @Meanderthal, Thanks! Yep the water taxi told us 12 ft max, so we are somewhat limited on Zodiac size and freedom to move around the island.

    Thanks for the tip on the Nakeds, some folks from previous threads said the same. We had looked at all the islands in PWS, and the wildlife biologist said the big snows you had winter-before -last killed a lot of deer. She said the deer populations were highest on Knight and Montague Islands after that winter kill. We picked Knight for that reason, plus there a supposed to be a lot of bears, and there aren't any Brown bears to eat our deer. I still may take another look at the Nakeds.

    On the salmon, the biologist in Anchorage told me they would be in the bays just below the fresh water streams, but all the weir data says they should be totally done running by then. I have always gotten solid info from biologists, but the data on the state website says otherwise. Sounds like you think it will be too late?
    Sounds like you had a good hunt. Duke is a great transporter. Stand up honest guy. Wish I'd known that who you were using I would have gave you more info. That float cabin it the cats ass. Very nice a warm. Can't wait till my next trip.
    Do I give my friends advice? Jesus, no. They wouldn't take advice from me. Nobody should take advice from me. I haven't got a clue about anything..

  19. #19
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,767

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sib View Post
    So we're back. First, we took the advice and went to Naked instead of Knight in hopes for a better chance at deer, and some chance of bear. In short, we got neither. My two friends each shot at one decent buck, moving at 200 yards. And one of those friends got antoher jump shot at a little buck. We did catch some Rockfish and tiny ling, and hooked into some halibut, but didn't land any halibut.

    For those who aren't experts at PWS, here are some notes from a one timer (may not be facts) to a DIYer who hasn't done this before. Experts will find this painfully obvious, I'm sure. 1. First, nearly everyone hunts deer after the snows have pushed the deer down to the beaches. Without much thought, I assumed it was out of convenience. I now think it is out of necessity. Naked Island is so lush, it even has dense undergrowth in the tall trees, so much so that the deer as browsers never need to leave cover. We did see a few deer beds in meadows, so we think they must come at night (we had a full moon during that week). It is also too thick to walk slowly (still hunt) in the forest, I really tried. Despite missing the salmon, getting the freezing spray, and getting higher seas, wait until there is snow. 2. Buzz bombs work great with a little hearing oil tag for rockfish, but may loose halibut because the hooks are too small. We had fished some rockfish, then drove out a little ways to a shoal. As I was cutting off the head of a rockfish to rig onto a circle hook, we dropped our lines in for rockfish for a few minutes. We both got bit by halibut. I lost mine immediately, and my friend reeled for ~20 min before it spat the hook. We also had only salmon rigs since our one halibut rod broke. 3. Do a little research on your garage sale halibut rod before you take it out. We hooked into a halibut, and while setting the hook, the rod broke in half since the rod blank only went about 1/2 inch into the reel seat, not through the whole handle. 4. Eshamy Bay water taxi was great! I'll use them again in PWS. They also have a floating cabin that would have been nice, we didn't use it though. 5. Goretex is inadequate, GOOD raingear is a must. After a few days of being wet Goretex leaks water through, plus, even with a hot stove a night, it takes days to dry. I bought $20 coleman raingear, it tore some but made it through a week. My friend bought $10 raingear and tore it while getting it on the first time. Buy a real rain slicker suit. 6. Surprisingly, Naked Island has a cell tower, so it has good service and so does some of the rest of PWS. Don't waste money on a sat phone like we did. 7. This year, the salmon run ended just before we got there (Sep 14). The ADFG assured me there would be runs going on, but we only saw rotting salmon. 8. I don't think there are any bears on Naked at this time. Don't count on it any way. Bears swim to different islands, so it could happen, but we didn't see any sign at all. 9. Bring a tent with a stove. If it is a canvas wall tent, buy a dozen silicone spray cans and treat your tent. Our's had water dripping on the inside from the days of rain on the outside and drying wood and clothes on the inside. 10. Bring good firestarters, everything is wet. We used egg crates filled with dryer lint and cover with wax cut into single "eggs". They worked well. Vasaline coated cotton balls didn't burn long enough. 11. Everyone said hunt high, this is just one trip, but we saw just as mush sign low, and the two deer that were shot at were on and near shoreline. Maybe because I originally asked about Knight Island and instead went to Naked. Naked is not high enough to be above treeline. Knight might have been different since the deer can go above treeline. 12. Outside Bay has oil spill response ships running 24/7. They are very loud, and can be heard from almost any high poin on the North end of the island. I wouldn't plan on camping there. 13. Tarps tarps and more tarps...and parachute chord. You can't have enough. One big enough to go over your entire tent is a must (ours was way too small, see #9). One under your tent. One as a "front porch" to your tent would be nice. One for firewood and gear would also be helpful. And an extra, you'll find a use. Harbor freight has them cheap.

    Anyway, we had a great time, and thanks for all the help from this forum.
    I love reading trip reports from folks new to Alaska hunting. It sorta knocks out the cobwebs and gives you a fresh perspective. And it validates some of what we already know, while giving you new ideas and new approaches to things. Not to mention the reminder of what it was like just starting out. It's amazing we didn't kill or maim ourselves with some of the things we did back then!

    I agree with you on the tarps and cordage, but you really should replace that tent. A good tent should never need a tarp over the rainfly. The porch area is a great idea, and you can do the same for your cooking / kitchen area. There are several stake-out awnings that work great for this, but tarps work if they are well-supported and tied out properly. You might check out our Tents and Shelters section for some background and recommendations on this.

    You know now that the vegetation barrier out there is no joke, and I doubt you'll make that mistake again. It's almost impenetrable.

    All in all, a great report! Much appreciated!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,031

    Default when cell service isn't cell service

    Quote Originally Posted by Sib View Post
    6. Surprisingly, Naked Island has a cell tower, so it has good service and so does some of the rest of PWS. Don't waste money on a sat phone like we did.
    Great report from a first trip there. About that cell service, you might need to name your carrier for that to be good info. I was afield with 2 cell phones from 2 different carriers once; one lost service 30 miles back and the other 10 miles back, yet a friend that had ATT got 2 or 3 bars and was able to call his rescue crews himself (I was trying my phones in an offer to help).

    I was a bit disappointed then that the ATT repeater could not be recognized by either my MTA or GCI phones; if I'd have had an emergency to call in, I couldn't even dial 911 with a credit card (which is one condition I have seen elsewhere, when no service - but not that time).

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •