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Thread: Elk Alaskan Style

  1. #1

    Default Elk Alaskan Style

    Well before I begin I want to just state the we were very lucky on this hunt. And before you start putting some hard earned change away to do this just remember most elk hunts up here are a lot harder and are a lot less successful. I almost didn't post this hunt because I don't want to encourage people to spend a lot of cash for something that is equvilant of starting with a 2, 6 in poker and trying to pull a 3, 4, 5 out of the blind. This was my third elk hunt and on the other two I saw a total of 1 bull and 6 cows, not to mention they were in one herd heading over a far mountain....
    Anyway this hunt almost didn't happen because the boat had to leave Wed night to get ahead of a storm that was pushing 18 foot seas. I had a meeting Thurs morning as did my other buddy. We were able to get a charter flight out Thurs afternoon (after it had been postponed to Friday due to weather) so it was a rush to get to the plane while there was a break in the weather. We flew up through Raspberry straights and cut across the penninsula to Malina bay where the boat anchored up. We spotted the main herd of 90+ elk dead center and were a little concerned that they were too far from the ocean to access. Luck was on our side (pulled the 6, 7) and as we were decending into Malina we spotted 5 bulls about 2 miles from the salt. The landing was a little exciting, but we made it to the boat.
    Friday morning had us on the beach a little before first light and the brush wacking began. We spotted the bulls a little further in and worked our way up the mt towards them. They were feeding out in a little grass area surrounded on 3 sides by spruce and the fourth by alder. One of the guys and myself made our way out into the alder and I got lined up on the only bull visible (the 4x4) while the other two went around the spruce to see if they could spot the bedded bulls. We had agreed to only shoot if we had at least 2 bulls in sight. The 4x4 went up into the spruce and not moments later things got exciting as the other bulls busted the other guys. The 5x5 came out and I lined up on him and my buddy lined up on a big spike, 2x2, that came out next. We were shooting out of the alders about 200 yards uphill, the elk were moving across the grass meadow but were somewhat covered by alder tops. We both fired and the herd took off. Things weren't looking good as there weren't any elk on the ground, but the bulls had went up valley then crossed over to the other side. We regrouped and just watched them.

    They slowly made their way up over the top and once they were out of sight we busted @ss down through the alders and up that mt. When we crested they were below us about 150 yards. I was in the middle left so that had me lined up on the busted horn bull. I drilled him in the spine and the guy on my left dumped the 4x4. One guy was shooting backup and the other was lined up on the big bull and I think he hit it in the guts or hind, but it was still moving out. I put one through its shoulder and another guy smacked it in the rear quater as it went over the rise. That 5x5 is about as big as they get, and it was kinda cool that it was a group effort bull. Here's the carnage.
    Old busted horns

    The big boy

    The 4x4

    We cut up the 5x5 and hauled that out hoping the bears wouldn't move in over night. We spotted one bear at about 500 yards on our way out that ran towards us at the warning shot but then veered to the right at the next shot.

  2. #2

    Default

    The next day we got up there and I fired one out across the valley, not seeing anything we moved down into the alders. Things got a little exciting when we got to where the 4x4 was "supposed" to be. We put another shot in the air and sure enough there was crashing over the hill from us. We lined up waiting for the charge, but the sow and 2 cubs popped out of the alders about 200 yards out heading away from us. At the same time the brush exploded below us about 150 yards away and a nice chocolate boar about 9' went tearing out the bottom and up the other side of the valley.
    This is what an elk looks like after a bear has cached it.

    We figured the sow had drug off the carcass of the one we butchered and the boar had drug the other two down the hill about 100 yards from the kill site. Anyway he only tore out the guts and ruined a little neck and rib meat so the quarters and backstraps were fine and the other one hadn't been burried yet. Got them cut up and boned out.
    Looking up valley from the kill site.

    About a quater mile from the kill site after coming out of the valley, you can see the boat anchored out in the bay.

    We knew the weather was going to turn on us so we went out very heavy so we wouldn't have to come back (not to mention the bears would be back to clean up anything we left). I had 2 fronts and a rear quarter in my pack and it took two guys to lift it on my back (the others were carrying similar loads). I was about half way out when I felt a snap (more like a whip across it) in my calf and went down. After a little stretching and 4 Ibuprophin we were able to tell that it wasn't my achiles tenden and probably a soft tissue tear so I was able to hobble the rest of the way out just grinnin and bearing the stabbing pain and the 150+ pound pack. We had one bear let out a moan/growl down in the brush but never saw him and we made the beach at dark. It was a little over 2 miles to the kill site from the beach and 1,080 feet of elevation.
    While hunting we saw a total of 90+ elk (the main herd moved into veiw on our pack out, but still another 2 miles in), saw 8 bears, and 2 deer. Saw another bear and about 7 deer on the boat ride in.
    Just living the dream on the rock...


    Obviously some of you Kodiak boys that asked why I hadn't posted this hunt need to sign up. I feel like a lone duck out here waiting for the mainland boys to sky bust the h$(( out of me. Not to mention I didn't realize that many guys knew who I was or that I posted hunts on here. Makes me want to go back and re-read some of my posts... : )

  3. #3
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    Wow, that is just fantastic! Congratulations on what sounds like a spectacular experience!

  4. #4
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default

    Excellent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Great post that gives a true feel for hunting in AK.

    Weather, logistics, risk, athletics, ect......

    Well written and much appreciated. The only thing that could make it better is having a few backstrap steaks from one of those bad boys.

  5. #5
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    Default Enjoy

    Enjoy that elk meat cause you surely earned it! Great pictures and a nice story. Alaska elk are a real trophy.

  6. #6
    Member AKGUPPY's Avatar
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    Was that on Afognak Is.?

  7. #7
    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
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    Congrats on a fine hunt .
    That is one tough Island to hunt . I have been ther for deer and the devils club was insane !!!!

    RR
    Practice does not make perfect !!!!!
    Perfect Practice makes perfect !!!!!!!!!!


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  8. #8
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Very nice!

    Thanks for the post! Beats the heck out of reading some of the cabin fever stuff I've been reading lately. Nice pics, too!

    Thanks!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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  9. #9

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    Nice TB, nice....you are definitely cleaning house out there. Not too bad for an old WI boy!

    Go Pack!

  10. #10
    Member 4x4's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I am much jealous! Nice job!

  11. #11
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    Default

    Good story and pics!

  12. #12
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    Default Good job!

    Thanks for posting your story. I hunted Raspberry a couple years ago. The odds are definitely against you on a hunt like that. Good to see all the planets lined up for you guys. That is one tough hunt. Now you got some good stories & lots of good eating ahead of you. Elk roast is the best!

  13. #13

    Default Elk

    Cool story! So you did end up losing one elk to the sow? I've always heard that the bears are pretty rough on the elk hunters. Congrats.

  14. #14
    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Nice photos and story, Id like to get an elk someday.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finley View Post
    Cool story! So you did end up losing one elk to the sow? I've always heard that the bears are pretty rough on the elk hunters. Congrats.
    No she took the carcass of the one we cut up the day we shot them. The boar took the two whole elk but we got those back with minimal damage. Very lucky.

  16. #16
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    HAHa your the man TB nice work. they don't grow them elk small up here do they!
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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  17. #17
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Default

    Good job on your elk hunt talk about some hard earned elk! You guys got lucky that boar didn't do more damage or come after you all.

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