Prince of Wales Basic Deer Hunting Strategies
I'll be hunting Prince of Wales from 2-15 November for deer and I've never been there before. I've hunted Montague island 5 times but the deer numbers are still low there so I decided to try Prince of Wales.
Just wanted to see if anybody with experience hunting the island had any advice on basic hunting strategies? I'm not interested in knowing your honeyhole location or even any specific roads, drainages etc. just want to verify some basics. (I have searched for other posts too.)
First, according to ADFG deer densities are highest in the central part of the island. The nothern end of the island gets a lot of snow so deer numbers are lower there but the hunting pressure is also lower there. The southern end of the island has less suitable habitat so deer numbers are lower there as well.
Since it's an old growth rainforest, I'm assuming the basic strategies are:
Hike up (3-6 hours) to relatively open clearcuts or meadows (if you can find em) to glass for and call deer
Call deer just off the road system or trails assuming you can actually find a spot to see for any distance through the trees (not interested in violating game laws by shooting on, from or across a driveable surface)
Stand or still hunt deer trails
Is there anything else I'm missing aside from using my GPS to mark my vehicle location, pre-scouting by using google earth etc. to look for meadows to hike into, using headlamps and being careful to make sure we don't step in any holes etc.
How effective are deer calls?
Any insight you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
I'd give the Fish & Game office on Prince of Wales a call and talk to the local bio there. (907) 826-2561.
i have hunted there twice and what you want to do is walk the blocked off logging roads less people and use a fawn distress call and wait. also walke the edges of the muskeg and call. you will see some driving but don't get caught up in road hunting the logging roads witch it can get easy to do. if a doe walks out in front of you wait ten or 15 minutes i have killed a lot of bucks this way.
Deer hunting POW is no different than hunting any other part of Southeast Alaska. Well except for the absurd amount of clearcut devastation. Hike into some old growth timber stands where you can see a long ways in the woods. Blow your deer call a couple times and wait. If there is anything in the area and your call sounds right; they will come.
Otherwise hike into a nice muskeg and hunker down and do the same thing. It is not necessary (and probably counter productive) to hike up into high muskegs or sub-alpine in November as all the deer are moving lower in elevation and are starting to rut. you certainly won't be hiking 3-6 hours and then glassing for deer like the summer time.
Basically nobody here 'still hunts' or uses blinds for deer hunting; unless you count sitting down in a muskeg or the woods and blowing the call for 1-20 minutes. Deer calls are incredibly effective and I want to say most bucks taken during the rut are with deer calls. I've called deer in from October through the first week of December. If nothing comes to the call, pick up and move on to the next muskeg/timber stand. Look for buck rubs, fresh poop, and tracks and you will know you're in a good deer spot.
Some people down in POW hunt the clear-cut areas, but that's not really my thing so I don't have any advice on that.
I want to thank you all for takin the time to share your knowledge. You've given me just the info I need to make the best use of my time and hunt as effectively as possible. I really appreciate it!