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Thread: Kodiak Deer Hunt Timing

  1. #1
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    Default Kodiak Deer Hunt Timing

    Hey there, new to the forum, I've been really impressed by the wealth of information on here...

    I am looking for some opinions on timing for a deer trip to the south side of Kodiak this fall. Due to scheduling issues with the people in my group, we can either head down the last week of October, or the last week of November. I hunted the pillar lake area on afognak last fall in the first week of October with a buddy who had an elk tag, and it seemed a little early for deer, mostly due to no snow and a lot of really challenging terrain for spot and stalking. We worked our butts off for one buck, saw a handful of does. When we left, I told myself that next year I would wait until November when there was some snow to drive them down and close up some of the terrain. My questions for people who have experience on the island are:

    1) Will the deer still be rutting in the last week of November?
    2) If it was your hunt which timeframe would you pick?
    3) We are planning around the Akhiok area, last year we rented a zodiac to get from one end of pillar lake to the next, would you put a 13' zodiac in the salt for beach cruising?

    Any info you guys could share would be greatly appreciated, cheers 🍺

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by finsandskins2135 View Post
    Hey there, new to the forum, I've been really impressed by the wealth of information on here...

    I am looking for some opinions on timing for a deer trip to the south side of Kodiak this fall. Due to scheduling issues with the people in my group, we can either head down the last week of October, or the last week of November. I hunted the pillar lake area on afognak last fall in the first week of October with a buddy who had an elk tag, and it seemed a little early for deer, mostly due to no snow and a lot of really challenging terrain for spot and stalking. We worked our butts off for one buck, saw a handful of does. When we left, I told myself that next year I would wait until November when there was some snow to drive them down and close up some of the terrain. My questions for people who have experience on the island are:

    1) Will the deer still be rutting in the last week of November?
    2) If it was your hunt which timeframe would you pick?
    3) We are planning around the Akhiok area, last year we rented a zodiac to get from one end of pillar lake to the next, would you put a 13' zodiac in the salt for beach cruising?

    Any info you guys could share would be greatly appreciated, cheers 
    Here is a thread I started a couple years ago that might be helpful.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...tober+december

    I've only hunted Kodiak once so my experience there is very limited, but if it were me I think I would choose the last week of October. It probably really depends on the weather and where you are going though. I know there are some small lakes on the south end of Kodiak that are really good hunting but they start freezing up by November. Sounds like you are going to stay in the salt so you might be okay going into November. Of course you also have to consider the lack of daylight in late November.

  3. #3
    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    +1 for last week in Oct. Odds are there still won't be snow though.
    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM2K7sV-K74

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Many hunts around Thanksgiving weekend on Kodiak. Bigger bucks will be dropping racks when you shoot them or go to drag them. Cool weather, chasing does, no bugs and less bears.
    Lots of bucks down low, also foxes. Drop crab traps with deer parts for bait, king crabs eat good!

    Bk

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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    I hunted in the same general area you are talking about (Deadman Bay) 3 years ago (the year following the heavy snow & dieoff). We went in mid-October. The weather was fantastic with below freezing temps at night and sunny, cool days. However, there was no snow and we did not see a single deer in 5 days. A boat would have helped tremendously I think. Unfortunately, the 4 of us with gear about maxed out the weight limit for the Beaver. We didn't have the budget for another flight just to add a boat.

    I vowed if I went back that it would be later after the snow mats the tall grasses down and hopefully pushes the deer lower. We still had a great trip.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Always went on a vessel based hunt with Al Cratty out of Old Harbor.....highly recommend him!!!!!
    Moves often, great cook, great memories and trophies!
    Bk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    Here is a thread I started a couple years ago that might be helpful.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...tober+december

    I've only hunted Kodiak once so my experience there is very limited, but if it were me I think I would choose the last week of October. It probably really depends on the weather and where you are going though. I know there are some small lakes on the south end of Kodiak that are really good hunting but they start freezing up by November. Sounds like you are going to stay in the salt so you might be okay going into November. Of course you also have to consider the lack of daylight in late November.
    That's a great thread, thank you! Maybe one of these days I will figure that search function out!

  8. #8
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    1. No
    2. Last week of October.
    3. Without snow, bucks will still be high. Rather than cruise the beach, climb to a lookout point & glass.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    I have seen deer mounted up last week of October and last week of November. However I'm not convinced rut is the best time to hunt. I'd rather go late with some snow and be able to tell what caliber a buck is at two miles thru the spotter and go get him.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    I have seen deer mounted up last week of October and last week of November. However I'm not convinced rut is the best time to hunt. I'd rather go late with some snow and be able to tell what caliber a buck is at two miles thru the spotter and go get him.
    That's kind of what I'm thinking right now, having the visual advantage is huge. It's a give and take though, with the day light that time of year. Were gonna be at about 7-8 hours of daylight at the end of November, so we definitely gotta take that in consideration as well.

    Thanks for all your guys input, it is much appreciated.

  11. #11
    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    I've hunted Kodiak a fair amount over the last 10 years (twice last year) and, my favorite time of year to deer hunt is early to mid Oct. I've been down there earlier than that and fought through a lot of tall grass, etc. (this can be a tough hunt). The latest I've been down was last Dec. 14-21, which was too late IMO. Very short days (expected) and the deer had pretty much gone nocturnal. Maybe it's just the luck that I have but every early Oct. hunt I've done has been exceptional, even Oct. 2012 after the big '11-'12 winter kill.

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