View Poll Results: Which Dates Would You Choose To Hunt Deer On Kodiak?

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  • First Two Weeks Of August

    4 6.25%
  • Last Two Weeks Of August

    3 4.69%
  • First Two Weeks Of September

    4 6.25%
  • Last Two Weeks Of September

    2 3.13%
  • First Two Weeks Of October

    4 6.25%
  • Last Two Weeks Of October

    7 10.94%
  • First Two Weeks Of November

    20 31.25%
  • Last Two Weeks Of November

    15 23.44%
  • First Two Weeks Of December

    5 7.81%
  • Last Two Weeks Of December

    0 0%
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Thread: Which time of the year would you choose to hunt deer on Kodiak Survey?

  1. #1

    Default Which time of the year would you choose to hunt deer on Kodiak Survey?

    I am trying to plan a hunt on Kodiak next year for my wife and myself and we haven't decided on a date yet, when we would like to go. I have never been to the "Rock" and we are not quite sure when we would like to go. We hunt mostly for meat, but we are also going for the adventure. Killing huge bucks would be a bonus but not a primary goal for this trip. We are not interested in a slaughter hunt, where the bucks are down by the beach and harvesting them is like shooting fish out of a barrel. But, hunting during the rut where we are seeing lots of action sounds appealing. Also, it would be nice if the weather was somewhat cooperative. Those are the parameters for what I am looking for while choosing a date to go.

    I thought it would be interesting to create a survey to see when other people's preferences are and why they chose those dates. So please take your pick as to when you would choose to go to Kodiak and an explanation as to why you chose those dates.

  2. #2
    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    I picked the last two weeks of October. I used those dates for some 20+ years and the only thing I would suggest is DONT HUNT UNDER A FULL MOON.

  3. #3
    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    I vote for the last two weeks of november, rut should be going strong, generally snow to push the deer down a little lower and make them easier to spot. I'm going down the first week of December this year as that's when AK air tickets were available on their pfd sale.

  4. #4

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    Last week of May & The first week of June.

  5. #5
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Oct has been hit or miss. Warm fall an October is a waste, weather is typically worse in oct as well. Nov rut is usually going good might have had some freezing snow to knock over the 5' tall grass and seeing deer will be alot easier. I've seen 50 degrees on thanksgiving down there and I've seen 10 degrees. But snow helps, rain hurts. Nov weather is "usually" better than oct.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roland on the River View Post
    I picked the last two weeks of October. I used those dates for some 20+ years and the only thing I would suggest is DONT HUNT UNDER A FULL MOON.
    Thanks Roland. I am curious why you like to hunt the last two weeks of October. Would you mind explaining?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Kid View Post
    I vote for the last two weeks of november, rut should be going strong, generally snow to push the deer down a little lower and make them easier to spot. I'm going down the first week of December this year as that's when AK air tickets were available on their pfd sale.
    Thanks for your input. Sounds like a good time to go. Do you mostly hunt by the salt? I am wondering if the lakes are frozen by then, and if you can get dropped off by a pilot?

    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    Oct has been hit or miss. Warm fall an October is a waste, weather is typically worse in oct as well. Nov rut is usually going good might have had some freezing snow to knock over the 5' tall grass and seeing deer will be alot easier. I've seen 50 degrees on thanksgiving down there and I've seen 10 degrees. But snow helps, rain hurts. Nov weather is "usually" better than oct.
    Thanks for your input BROWNBR. Sounds like you had lots of experience down there. I'm going to ask you the same question I asked "The Kid". When you hunted late November, did you hunt by the ocean, or were you able to fly into the lakes still? I heard that a lot of pilots discourage hunting after the first of November because the lakes are frozen.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Kid View Post
    I vote for the last two weeks of november, rut should be going strong, generally snow to push the deer down a little lower and make them easier to spot. I'm going down the first week of December this year as that's when AK air tickets were available on their pfd sale.
    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    Oct has been hit or miss. Warm fall an October is a waste, weather is typically worse in oct as well. Nov rut is usually going good might have had some freezing snow to knock over the 5' tall grass and seeing deer will be alot easier. I've seen 50 degrees on thanksgiving down there and I've seen 10 degrees. But snow helps, rain hurts. Nov weather is "usually" better than oct.
    I have one more question for the both of you. Do you find that there is an adequate amount of daylight to hunt in November? When I looked online for the sunset and sunrise tables on Kodiak, it looks like the average daylight in November is only 8 hours. Do you find that an adequate amount of time to hunt?

  8. #8
    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    I hunted mid November one year and the deer meat was horrible, the worst
    meat I've ever eaten. Everyone said it was the best meat so I killed three bucks. It was freezing out and animals were taken care of immediately and properly. The meat was musky and just awful. I'll never hunt them during the rut again.

  9. #9
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    I have one more question for the both of you. Do you find that there is an adequate amount of daylight to hunt in November? When I looked online for the sunset and sunrise tables on Kodiak, it looks like the average daylight in November is only 8 hours. Do you find that an adequate amount of time to hunt?
    Darkness is one big thing to consider when hunting anything in Nov. If you want a more relaxed atmosphere then go earlier. But if the hunt requires any amount of hiking into distant areas, then either plan on bringing camp with you all the time, or learn to deal with a more "rushed" type feeling on the hunt.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  10. #10
    Member jkb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Darkness is one big thing to consider when hunting anything in Nov. If you want a more relaxed atmosphere then go earlier. But if the hunt requires any amount of hiking into distant areas, then either plan on bringing camp with you all the time, or learn to deal with a more "rushed" type feeling on the hunt.
    Great point scrambling to get to the beach with a pack full of meat before dark is not a good feeling. You learn quickly to get up before light to utilize the light you have.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
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  11. #11
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Stay away from freshwater in mid to late nov. seen to many people wave at us as we flew over....
    Daylight was never an issue even into early December. Less daylight and more activity or more daylight an less activity? I'll go for more activity thanks....
    15 years of guiding deer hunters on Kodiak and I'd choose mid to late nov. out of a hundred deer or more, only one ever had bad meat. I've shot them right after rut before rut during rut you name it. Only one was bad.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    Stay away from freshwater in mid to late nov. seen to many people wave at us as we flew over....
    Daylight was never an issue even into early December. Less daylight and more activity or more daylight an less activity? I'll go for more activity thanks....
    15 years of guiding deer hunters on Kodiak and I'd choose mid to late nov. out of a hundred deer or more, only one ever had bad meat. I've shot them right after rut before rut during rut you name it. Only one was bad.
    Great advice BRWNBR. I'd give you a rep if I could. The computer says I have to spread the wealth around some around first. Kinda sounds like Obama's economic plan.

  13. #13
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    Daylight was never an issue even into early December.
    Coming from a guide that knows the place like the back of his hand I would understand this. Coming from somebody (the op) that has never been to the island, nor intends to be guided, I'd say it's a consideration.....not so much an issue, but certainly a consideration.....imo.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  14. #14
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Ya knowin how to hunt would make you more effective with limited time. Just make a longer trip rather than go earlier. You can have a pretty bad experience on Kodiak if the grass is still up and deer aren't ruttin yet. 3 inches of snow and its a whole different island, tracks show up, trails show up, you can see antlers against the background, less bears around to worry about. And a little snow extends the use of the daylight you do have.

    Another tip, don't bite off more than you can chew. Pick a smaller area, get in it and sit and glass, alot. Deer are very very camouflaged if they aren't moving. You'll walk right past most of them if you just wander around. I love my bino's and spotter when deer hunting. Find one you like and move on him...
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    Quote Originally Posted by mossyhorn View Post
    I hunted mid November one year and the deer meat was horrible, the worst
    meat I've ever eaten. Everyone said it was the best meat so I killed three bucks. It was freezing out and animals were taken care of immediately and properly. The meat was musky and just awful. I'll never hunt them during the rut again.
    Totally agree!! I've hunted deer on Kodiak for 30+ years and won't shoot big bucks during the rut ever again. To me, a rutty buck is right down there with a rutty caribou bull, stinky and tastes awful. I like the last week of Oct thru about Nov 10th.

  16. #16
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    I don't have near the experience that BRWNBR does on kodiak. That being said, I've hunted PWS my entire life for blacktails and hunted kodiak 4 times. I've been in late October 2x, first week of November 1x and late September 1x. I'll have to respectfully disagree with some on the quality of the meat on bucks in the rut/pre-rut- its not good. Last year I was on the south end of the island late Oct/early Nov. We harvested several bucks and 1 stag (buck in velvet, no testicles). Holy cow what a difference in meat quality. Bucks were gamey and a bit tough with very little fat, stag was as good as a butterball doe from PWS on the first of October. If you're antler hunting, go durning the rut. If you want outstanding meat, go before. I've never hunted the island post-rut. My opinion based on my experiences. I will say that I am a complete wild game meat snob.
    Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes. ~Wilde

  17. #17
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    I will also admit I'm amazed I haven't ran into more rutty meat, not sure if I do something different to it or just the luck of the draw for so long. Ask my wife, one rutty buck outa 15 years and we've eaten them from all times of the oct/nov/dec season.
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  18. #18
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    I'm guessing different taste buds, you are from Mcgrath right? I am a valley boy- raised on unit 13/14 moose and unit 6 blacktail!
    Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes. ~Wilde

  19. #19
    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    I will mirror Jake's advice again, although I don't have as much of it. I went one year before the snow because a buddy had a bear tag to hunt, the grass was still up and the bucks weren't chasing the does. While I wouldn't call it miserable, a bad day hunting......well you know, it wasn't nearly as pleasurable as hunting later during the rut. The deer were still up high and very hard to spot with all the dead vegetation that was still armpit deep, most of the deer we saw, we only saw their faces and necks. We still managed to shoot some bucks and could have filled our limit if we'd wanted, instead concentrating on the bear tag and settling for a buck each, but it was certainly tough hunting.

    The first year I went during the rut, week after thanksgiving, three of us shot really nice bucks in the first day of hunting. Deer were everywhere and the bucks were on the move pushing the does around all day, the grass was pushed down so they were easier to spot as well. One of the bucks was a Booner, and the other two were mid 90s if that matters to you.

    Now as far as meat goes, I tend to be a bit of a game snob myself, I grew up eating wheat field fed whitetails and elk, and I would rate all the bucks I've had from Kodiak, never shot any does, right up there with those whitetails. My biggest buck from the island had his nose up a hot does rear end when I cut his romance short, he was excellent eating as were the others we got that trip. I think you can get a bad one in any species at any time but based on my experiences I would take a buck from Kodiak over any caribou I've ever eaten, to include pre and post rut cows and bulls from the nelchina and mulchatna herds.

  20. #20
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Ya caribou don't rate high on my list at all. Best one I ever ate was a jan bou that Jen at alpine creek lodge cooked up while we were butchering the rest, wow. Best bou I ever ate! That being said bou is all I have in my freezer cause its all I could get this year.
    Deer from Kodiak are higher on my list than any moose I ever ate.
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