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Thread: Annual SE AK Blacktail Hunt Summary

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    Member Steven_JR's Avatar
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    Default Annual SE AK Blacktail Hunt Summary

    Hi All - I'll keep the report brief and let the photos do the talking, but I just got back from the annual Thanksgiving/hunting trip with my wife and her family on Admiralty Island.

    Overall, we found great success. The weather was cold most of the time, but fairly docile and made for great hunting and meat processing conditions. We hit some old favorite spots as well as explored new country. We certainly worked for the deer we killed, hiking in from the beach each day into either timber or meadows, depending what we felt like for the day. My wife and I both limited out for the first time, filling our freezer with a lot of delicious meat! I also ended up taking my largest buck to date. Based on the tracks we saw, and deer we didn't shoot, the population seems quite healthy in the area!


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    Member Steven_JR's Avatar
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    Sorry about the rotated pictures, not sure why they did that!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

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    Excellent! Those are some nice, fat looking deer!

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    Wow, thx for posting, awesome trip!
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    Nice work!!! That looks so rewarding. Amazing!!!

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    Thanks for sharing. I always enjoy hearing about your trip. Hard to beat adventure with family in that beautiful country.

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    Man that looks like fun. Between this post and finnadictís I wanna go hunt deer in the timber!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven_JR View Post
    Sorry about the rotated pictures, not sure why they did that!........
    Nice pics, even if I had to twist my neck to appreciate them! Congrats on a wonderful hunt.

    Looks like you and your wife are shooting a Remington and Tikka? Nice looking rifles! What calibers?

    The pic of the deer through the scope is interesting! I've always wondered about classic rifle scopes in relatively thick woods. I carry a rifle with a Scout scope when I know I'm hunting below timberline. Do you find yourself needing the higher power settings on your scopes down there?

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    Member Steven_JR's Avatar
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    RTaylor - Even with a twisted neck your eyesight it spot on.

    I shoot a Rem Mod 7 SS in .308 with a Leupold 3-9x40 Vari-X II on top. Right now I'm shooting 165 Nosler Partition handloads, although I'm thinking I may change to the 150 Barnes TTSX in the near future. My wife's is the Tikka T3 Superlite in 7mm-08. It has a Leupold 4-12x40AO VX-2 on top and shoots 140 Barnes TTSX. I put that rifle together for her as an anniversary/birthday/birth of our first son gift. I like her rifle more than mine, and even used it to kill two of my deer this year....haha!

    As for power settings, we typically keep them on the lowest setting in case a deer comes in quick/close. Usually the deer come in close enough that we don't need to crank the power up in the timber, but for at least a few of the deer we end up using the higher power, especially when hunting meadows. The rifles are multi-purpose as we use them for nearly all our hunting (deer, black bear, caribou, sheep, moose), so its nice to have that upper end magnification available.

    I was just having a bit of fun with the deer in the scope. It was the last day and I only had one tag to fill. I was looking for a buck, so we ended up passing on something like 10 or 15 does before we called that small 3x3 in. The doe in the photo hung around for about 10 minutes, just standing still watching us. Pretty awesome to just watch deer being deer!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven_JR View Post
    .......I like her rifle more than mine, and even used it to kill two of my deer this year....haha!......
    Well, of course! Gottaí use it on occasion just to make sure itís in perfect shape and tuned properly!

    Iím sure your heads are on swivels calling deer in the Fortress of the Bears. Ever have Mr. Trouble respond to deer calls?

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    Member Steven_JR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTaylor View Post
    Iím sure your heads are on swivels calling deer in the Fortress of the Bears. Ever have Mr. Trouble respond to deer calls?
    Neither my wife or I have had a brownie come into the call, but there have been enough encounters and a couple DLPs within the family in the past to keep the thought fresh in our minds. In all likelihood, its a matter of when, not if. We carry the locking tag and RB077 permit for just such an instance. We figure, if we have to go through the effort of skinning and packing the hide out, we might as well keep it! Plus, it adds some comfort knowing that we can legally and safely shoot the bear if it breaches our level of comfort, without having to wait for it to turn into a justifiable DLP situation.

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    Awesome hunt report there Steven.

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    Great stuff....family, tradition, and some of the best eating wild game in my opinion....and a great hunt as well....love the pic's....as a Michigander I love the deer hunts in snow....ours was a wet one, lol....thanks for sharing....

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    Member Mammoth Hunter's Avatar
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    Excellent Pics! Hunting with the wife is always a good time. Mine doesn't care for the roughness of Kodiak but a hunt with the RV and she's all in. Congrats on your recent adventure.

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    Steven;

    Great post & pics. You hunted about a week ago, since maybe Dec. 1? Were the bucks still in rut? Pretty cool. By "calling in" I'm assuming you are using the fawn bleat - distress call, attracting does with curious bucks following? Lots of questions :-)

    This year I finally called in a buck that followed a doe and was able to take the buck. The rut seemed late, light and drawn out this year. Had lots more fun than packing moose!

    My wife called in a buck before I did and we two had some fun hunting together. Really like your pics!
    That country was so hungry even the ravens were packin' a lunch.... HUNGRY I tell ya'!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan Woodsman View Post
    Steven;

    Great post & pics. You hunted about a week ago, since maybe Dec. 1? Were the bucks still in rut? Pretty cool. By "calling in" I'm assuming you are using the fawn bleat - distress call, attracting does with curious bucks following? Lots of questions :-)

    This year I finally called in a buck that followed a doe and was able to take the buck. The rut seemed late, light and drawn out this year. Had lots more fun than packing moose!

    My wife called in a buck before I did and we two had some fun hunting together. Really like your pics!
    Congrats on your successful hunt!

    Our hunt was roughly between Nov 17th and Nov 28th. We didn't hunt everyday, rather closer to every other day. Yes, we use a "fawn in distress" type call that brings both bucks and does in with equal success it seems. I don't remember the scenario for everyone else's deer, but for the eight my wife and I got:

    #1 (Wife): Button Buck - Came to call solo, 65 yd shot
    #2 (Me): 3x4 - Came to call fast and loud solo, about 2 minutes after #1 was shot (different direction), 35 yd shot (big, stinky, rutting)
    #3 (Wife): Doe - Spotted along edge of meadow with another doe, ~100 yd shot
    #4 (Wife): 3x3 - Drawn into vicinity by call, but circled around, 40 yd shot. We think it was already in the area based on some noise we heard before calling. (mildly rutting)
    #5 (Me): 2x3 - Came to call, walked in at a leisurely pace from about 200 yds away, 15 yd shot (mildly rutting)
    #6 (Me): Doe - Came to call quickly, 10 yd shot (was as close as 5 yards, but had to let her turn and walk away so I could pick up my gun)
    #7 (Wife): Doe - Spotted feeding along coast, 40 yd shot
    #8 (Me): Small 3x3 - Came to call quickly and quietly, came in with a doe, 15 yd shot (no rut smell)

    I don't think I have enough years of experience down there to really say whether the rut seemed on time or not. We typically hunt the same week every year. Overall I'd say the deer were coming into the call fairly well, but I would agree that they didn't seem to be uniformly charging in with the authority that they have in years past. We are equal opportunity hunters and will take a doe just as regularly as a buck. Lately we seem to be having some extra luck with the bucks however, so there are no complaints from us! They put more meat in the freezer

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