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Thread: Kodiak Deer Population

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    Default Kodiak Deer Population

    Anybody know how the snow this year is affecting the deer population on Kodiak? Is it deep enough there right now that it is causing a die off?

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    Member FairbanksFlies's Avatar
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    It doesn't look very snowy in Larsen Bay today
    larsen_bay_20170314.JPG

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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    I've talked with several people (pilots, Jon Cryer, etc.), on Kodiak just recently and everything that I'm hearing is that, although Kodiak has received a good amount of snow, it's not really more than normal, and the only die off that people are reporting at all, is with some of the deer that were born last spring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Troutbum View Post
    I've talked with several people (pilots, Jon Cryer, etc.), on Kodiak just recently and everything that I'm hearing is that, although Kodiak has received a good amount of snow, it's not really more than normal, and the only die off that people are reporting at all, is with some of the deer that were born last spring.
    Thanks for the update

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    Member Mel Roe's Avatar
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    Talked to a friend that lives on the west side and they said the cold is really hitting the deer hard over there. They said they found 30-40 dead in a couple miles while shed hunting and finding new ones every day. Hope the weather changes soon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Roe View Post
    Talked to a friend that lives on the west side and they said the cold is really hitting the deer hard over there. They said they found 30-40 dead in a couple miles while shed hunting and finding new ones every day. Hope the weather changes soon.
    That doesn't sound like very promising news. Bummer. I hope that it is just an isolated event and not affecting the whole island. I've never heard of the cold affecting the deer. I know I have heard the deep snow affects the deer, but not the cold.

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    Alaska Hunting Guide BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Cold is what kills them on Kodiak. They have snow free beaches almost all day long. But their bodies arent built for the cold. Hypothermia gets 'em.
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    Member FairbanksFlies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    Cold is what kills them on Kodiak. They have snow free beaches almost all day long. But their bodies arent built for the cold. Hypothermia gets 'em.
    Is that a blacktail thing or a Kodiak deer thing? I'm in the same boat as Bushwhack on this one. I was not aware that the cold would get the deer as long as they have something to eat. Whitetails and mule deer live in some pretty extreme cold.

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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    I would have to guess that it would be more of a freeze, thaw, freeze thing, where there's a good layer of ice over the top of the snow, and they can't break through it to get to food. Again, this is just a guess. But, like I said before, the wildlife bio down there told me that only last years fawns were suffering.


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    There was no snow at all in Akhiok last Friday when I was there.

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    Just got back from the island. I was there for high school region basketball. We drove parts of the south road system over two different days. The first day we saw 14 different deer, and the second day we saw 11. Temps were mild, and snow was midway down the mountains until we got 10-15 miles down the road where snow basically went to the beach, although only about 8" of crust. Population and sign around town seem healthy.
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    Alaska Hunting Guide BRWNBR's Avatar
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    The biologist down there told me once that costal deer aren't built for the cold. Since they are a transplant it's not their native habitat.
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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    The biologist down there told me once that costal deer aren't built for the cold. Since they are a transplant it's not their native habitat.
    Definitely makes some sense as they all originated from transplants off of Petersburg and POW.


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    anytime theres long cold spells the deer can take a hit, their just not built for it. this isn't the coldest winter I've seen in 30 years here but its right up there. also when the population gets big after a few very mild winters all the easy to access food gets eaten up. I've been hiking around the road system and finding lots of dead deer. one hike was over 20. not just fawns like fish and game is saying but bucks too. i was over on the west side last weekend and even worse over there. all the live deer that I've been seeing are looking VERY skinny. It needs to be spring SOON!

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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Close to two feet of snow here in northern Southeast in the past few days. Fairly cold temperatures before that. Have seen deer walking through residential neighborhoods. Not looking great right now.

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    Yup yup, Baranof has been getting pounded too. It feel like I am back in the U.P.

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    I saw over 20 deer carcasses on Kodiak last week while on a goat hunt. It wasn't just yearlings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Troutbum View Post
    I would have to guess that it would be more of a freeze, thaw, freeze thing, where there's a good layer of ice over the top of the snow, and they can't break through it to get to food. Again, this is just a guess. But, like I said before, the wildlife bio down there told me that only last years fawns were suffering.


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    I'm hearing 25% die off on the road system and worse on the west side. This photo was shared on a Sitka Blacktail group on FB and is from Cliff Point which is between Woman's Bay and Middle Bay on the road system. Appears to be a fair sized buck not a fawn.
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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    There's a few dead, but nothign I would worry about. THere's no snow down low and its warming up, shold be in the clear in a bit. The ones I'm seeing walking around look to be in good order.
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    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Every so often we get this question of "winter" die off, again it is starvation not winter. Too many deer and they show up on beaches eating kelp which, zero protein.
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