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Thread: Air Charters to Montague Is.

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    Default Air Charters to Montague Is.

    Im truly thinking of going after some deer on Montague and Im looking on some info there hunting wise etc and most of all any good Air Charters from Valdez.Thanks for any help fellas.Daniel

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    Member AkGreg's Avatar
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    Default Air

    Don't know about Valdez outfits but Trail Ridge Air out of Anchorage is a great transporter and I know they go to PWS with a Beaver and a 206....

    Greg

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    Not Valdez but, Natron flies there and he does a great job. I would recommend him highly. He flys an aircraft with a larger than normal payload.

    Good Luck

    Steve

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Nothing

    No air charters in Valdez.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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    I've hunted the south side of the island near Patton Bay and had to cancel this year because of the weather and booking issues with Bear Lake Air out of Seward. Bear Lake is by far the cheapest, but this is two years in a row that I couldn't get out with him. In '06 I flew out with Homer Air. They did a good job, but the price is too much for me because of the long flight time to do it again.

    Your best choices are Natron, anybody on wheels out of Lake Hood that knows the country, or to take the ferry to Cordova and fly out of there.

    BTW.. a couple of the cabins that are accessed by air to the beach are located right next to Native land. You will need to contact Dave Philips at Chugach Alaska Corportation at dphillips@chugach-ak.com or call (907) 563-8866 with questions regarding their permits for hunting on their land.
    Last edited by AKDoug; 09-04-2009 at 18:46.

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Whats wrong with taking a water Taxi to the Island?? could haul more gear too.

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    Hey all not new to the site just don't post anything.
    I spent 2 1/2 years logging out there & the company I worked for mostly used Jay Hawk out of Merrill Field for the supplies from Anchorage & getting crews back & forth & they did a very good job.
    Also flew with Ketchum in a beaver once as well as Jim Air out of Lake Hood a couple times & both did a good job as well.
    Back when I worked there a charter 1 way was $500.00 for a 185 or 206 so who knows what it is now.
    The logging there has been done for about 10 years now but do know the roads we're taken out as well as the bridges so getting around may be a little tough in there.
    A float plane can get into McCloud Harbour easy enough & it's a good sheltered bay but not sure what happened to the landing strip that iwas in there located on the SE corner of the bay there, so if it's still there you can use a wheel plane.
    The weather there can get really ugly so be prepared to possibly stay a few extra days & there we're lot's of brown bears in there as well.
    I second what AKDOUG said about getting ahold of the Native Corp to see about hunting in there.
    Depending on where your wanting to going but there are a few sandy beaches in spots as well.
    You could always take a boat but that also depends on weather.
    My 2 cents worth anyway.
    G-man

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    Kaha- water taxi is certainly an option. Although you wouldn't be able to hunt the outside of the island due to the surf- but there are plenty of great spots on the inside a person can get deer on.

    The Mcloud harbor strip is still there and is heavily used.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I hunted the area that G-Man talks about in '06. There is some great hunting there, but it's fly in only to the strip on the beach with anything bigger than a cub. Charter prices, the last time I checked were a minimum of a $1000 each way for a 206...but prices did vary amongst the different air taxis. The cabins book up fast and you have to hit the tides right or you can't land on the beach. The same people every year tend to book the cabins so it's tough to get a foot in the door.

    Water taxi won't work on the Pacific side of the island.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I had no idea there were strips out there - I always assumed that air access to Montague was by tailwheel airplanes on the beach. So...I could feasibly take a 172 out there? Hmmm...season opens August 1st.

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    You could have landed a DC-3 on the beach that is in my photo above. You have to watch the tides, but if you pick an appropriate lower high tide you probably could leave your plane on the beach at Patton Bay for a full tide cycle...I'm not sure I would risk it though. If you picked a time when the tide was heading out at the right time in the morning you could squeeze into the beach then hunt all day since same day airborn hunting of deer is allowed.

    The wind blows like a son of a gun out there and I don't know if I'd risk parking my plane on the beach to hunt though. The wrong wind direction and you won't be going home when you plan to...big trouble since 172's don't float

    I don't have any good pics of the beach, but here is one showing a stretch of it by Beach River. Notice the logged out areas that G-Man spoke off. The stumps make great butcher blocks.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default 172

    You could easily get a 172 in and out of a few different beaches, as well as the strip in Mcloud. The trouble with a lot of the beaches is knowing how soft the sand is- most of the beach hunting I have done on Montague has been on very solid beaches (as far as firmness goes). The problems are the steepness of the beach, and as Akdoug pointed out- the wind.

    My dad and I were hunting on the outside once- on a steep beach, had 4 deer in the plane + us, and there was a howling offshore crosswind- it was literally lifting the up beach tire off the ground because of the wind getting under our wing as we were back taxing to take off.

    There are deer out there, but you will definitely not be alone. If the weather is decent an air-traffic-controller is almost necessary because of the number of planes flying the beach!!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    OK, so the strip is in good condition and would be safe to park at for a bit? I don't mind company, and I assume I would have less of it since I want to hunt early August when the bugs are bad and the deer are high. How long and rocky is the strip? Until I walk some of the beaches to get a feel for them, I'd rather stick to the strip and leave the beaches for later.

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    I do want to thank everyone so far witht he help,and I see Brian it might help you out as well,seems to have been a good post.
    Im just trying to figure out If I can squeeze my 1st deer hunt in or some other type of hunt before my wife gets stationed back down in the states or gets deplyoed to Iraq,so fellas once again thanks for the insights and information.Daniel

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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Charter prices, the last time I checked were a minimum of a $1000 each way for a 206.

    Is that for the plane or per person. How many people will a 206 hold?

    Last time I went there it was $400 per person round trip.Two of us went and we brought back twelve deer as my buddy had a proxy tag. This was a while back.

    A couple years ago I was calling around and was quoted 1650 per person and we could bring back two deer each. So two guys and 10 deer would be 1650x3 for an extra trip to bring back deer. NNNOOOO WWWAAAAYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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    Brian-

    The strip isn't rocky at all- its hard packed old beach. I couldn't tell you the exact length but I bet you're looking at 1000' give or take a hundred feet. Its a two way strip, and the approaches are easy.

    You shouldn't have a problem leaving your plane there for awhile- in '98 we had to leave my dad's cub there for 3 days due to an "incident" we had in another part of the island- flying over PWS with a dinged up airplane isn't too fun- we were out there with another guy so we piled in with him, got the necessary supplies (we had to replace part of a wing spar) and went back and fixed it-

    I've hiked up to the top in August and there are deer to be had- and there is a TON of country to work, even if there are other people around you shouldn't have a difficult time getting your own valley/bowl.

    Hope the info. is helpful.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Great info, sockeye, and very helpful. It may not happen this fall, but I'll certainly try it out at some point. Thanks!

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    Default Cordova Air

    I have flown with Cordova Air, not to Montague but they picked me up in Valdez and it was still real reasonable.

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    Default Beach River

    There is a gravel strip near the Forest Service cabin at Beach River. Jay Hawk took my party in there in a 206 several years ago. He used the strip when he dropped us off but used the beach for the pick up. The drop off day was calm and clear while the pickup day was real crap.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    That strip grew in with alders until it was only cub useable. When I was out there in 2006 it was being cut back by somebody, but it wasn't 206 usable yet. Unconfirmed reports say that it is now cut back long enough for a 185. It's pretty much a one way strip, though. The trees get tall really fast off the easterly end. I also believe the strip is on Chugach Alaska land so you'd better check with them about landing there. The Beach River cabin sits on 40 acres or so of Forest Service land, the rest of the surrounding land is Chugach land. The Beach River cabin is dang near impossible to get in Oct/Nov, but you never know until you try.

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