Several people have messaged me concerning my trip to Kodiak for blacktails so I will post the results here.
Son and I recently spent 9 days hunting on Uyak bay. After reading all the reports about last winters kill off we were very worried we were making a mistake even in going.
We flew into Kodiak via ERA Nov 19th. Sea Hawk air picked up us and took us shopping and we were the first one's out for the day. We landed at our usual spot and immediately spotted 4 deer on the beach. This was the first time in 4 trips to this area we seen deer on the beach so this was a good sign.
First day was spent setting up camp (Arctic Oven) and cutting a better trail thru the alders to assist us in our hikes out of camp everyday. A quick trip in back of camp and we glassed about 15 deer up high with 4 being really nice bucks.
First day out we shot a nice 3x3. We had climbed so high we could see water on both sides of us.
Then the weather changed, it rained, all the snow melted, and it blew, and it blew and it blew harder. One day we could not even depart camp it was so bad. If you think the Arctic Oven can not withstand high winds you are incorrect. We never once felt like our tent was in danger of being ripped or flipped.
After a few days we were up to 2 deer each and then we each held off waiting for the "big one" that never came. Since all the snow had melted we concentrated on hunting the thickets close to the beach and when stalking conditions were good we managed to sneak up on a few.
I did see one huge brownie coming off the gut pile of the first deer we shot but other than that no problems with bears at all.
Deer numbers are down but not to the point where anyone who wanted to hunt could not take three easily.
Tenderloins were eaten in camp, son and I spent 9 uninterrupted days together (priceless as the older they become the less we see of them) and we spent a day plinking .22's.
We were scheduled for a 3 pm pickup so we woke up about 9 am. Then we heard a plane outside and Roland was circling the camp! He landed and I asked what was up. His answer was we either pack up and leave now or we don't get out for another three days due to some serious weather coming in. He helped us pack and we were out of there in 90 minutes.
I have finally earned my lesson and will never again go deer hunting without a Sat Phone.
I am still drying out a ton of gear!
Some suggestions if you are planning on doing this:
Take a Sat Phone to communicate with your air charter
Air freight your gear to Kodiak via Alaska Airlines in advance and coming back. It is much cheaper than than trying to check it many extra bags the day of the flight. We shipped about 300 pounds down and it cost approximately $200 and we shipped 338 back and it cost $114. It is cheaper to ship back to Anchorage than from it.
You do not have to ship food in advance, just buy what you will eat in Kodiak.
Don't be cheap on weight! Sea Hawk charges by the pound and they have a under 800 and under 1,200 pound weight price.
We went heavy and took a few luxuries and were at about 1,000 (including our weights).