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Thread: Hunting Kuiu Island

  1. #1
    Member Border Justice's Avatar
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    Exclamation Hunting Kuiu Island

    I am coming up to hunt Kuiu Island in the fall for balck bear. We plan to fish the silver run too. I wonder if anyone out there has hunted the island and what their experience was?

    I had planned to get the Kadake Cabin, but I evidently wasn't fast enough because someone reserved it ahead of me. I did get the Devil's Elbow cabin as a back-up. Anyone know anything about the cabin, the area and the bear situation that far east? Many thanks!

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    Member Skookumchuck's Avatar
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    I can't tell you much about Kuiu, but I did spent a couple of weeks on a sockeye stream in the bay of pillars. LOTS of bears. We saw between 2 and 10 bears per day without even trying.

    Never been to either of those cabins so I can't comment on them. I'd imagine any salmon stream around will have some bears.

    good luck on the hunt!

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    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    I wrote you on the other spot. Devil's Elbow is a nice cabin and the east side has many bears. No Name, Reid and Alvin Bays all will have bears in them. Watch the tide, the cabin is in a small bay that is very shallow. Bring a crab pot, the last time I was at that cabin you could see Dungeness Crabs in the grass. Be careful when going through Devil's Elbow. The tide can really whip through there. If you loose your motor you will be on the rocks before you know it. Make sure you take good gear for the boat. And above all, wear your PFDs. I know it does not look cool, but you will not be able to put it on fast enough if you need it. The waters here kill faster than the bears do. Jim

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    Member KRS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdb3 View Post
    The waters here kill faster than the bears do. Jim
    There's no smilies for it so I'll just say it... "Gulp"!

  5. #5

    Default Jims giving you some dang good advice there...

    Quote Originally Posted by jdb3 View Post
    The waters here kill faster than the bears do. Jim
    Heck, the bears and the wolves won't bug you. I've only spent a day on Kuiu but the worst day I've EVER had on a boat was crossing that Sumner Strait and Chattham- and we were in a 36 footer. Green water just burying that boat and that was only 45-50mph wind- about 1/2 of what is possible. I would gladly face down 3 guys in an alley rather than cross that piece of water with a storm brewing.

  6. #6

    Default Actually just reviewed your handle

    I hunted Cous out of Arrivaca a couple of years back. Geez that place is the wild west down there. We were bowhunting (without a backup firearm- illegal in the regs) and I can't tell you how many BP told us we were crazy. We were hunting out of a rented truck and were stopped multiple times daily- maybe there is a chance we met

  7. #7

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    Devils Elbow cabin looks way better on a map than it does in real life. The water to the south is a mud flat, and the water/bay to the north is not much better.

    Here's the cabin, and the water...



    Rocky Pass it a treacherous place to those not familiar with Coast Guard navaids and nautical charts. About 99% of cruisers and non-locals use Wrangell Narrows or Chatam Straight rather than Rocky Pass for good reason.

    The cabin itself is nice enough...



    ...probably better suited to kayakers than boat based hunters.

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    Member CanCanCase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Border Justice View Post
    I am coming up to hunt Kuiu Island in the fall for balck bear. We plan to fish the silver run too. I wonder if anyone out there has hunted the island and what their experience was?

    I had planned to get the Kadake Cabin, but I evidently wasn't fast enough because someone reserved it ahead of me. I did get the Devil's Elbow cabin as a back-up. Anyone know anything about the cabin, the area and the bear situation that far east? Many thanks!
    Don't want to question anyone's judgement or trip planning here, but just out of curiosity, why fall black bear? I've taken one blackie in the fall (lifetime) and hated everything about it. We always hunt bear in the spring... Kuiu is a great deer hunt in the fall.

    Just curious.

    -Case
    M/V CanCan - 34' SeaWolf - Bandon, OR
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Member Border Justice's Avatar
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    Default Perfect

    Not all that great of news, but I appeciate all of the input. And thanks for the photos. The fish and game biologist said that Kupreanov across the way has several good streams to hunt. Anyone got any word on them?

  10. #10
    Member Border Justice's Avatar
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    Default why Kuiu in the fall

    Why the fall hunt someone asked? Two primary reasons. It was easier for us to get there during that time (the border patrol has alot of early summer rescues and activity in the spring and I manage field ops) and it coincided with what sounded like great fishing (and we didn't have to harvest the bear meat as a bonus).

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    Member CanCanCase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Border Justice View Post
    Why the fall hunt someone asked? Two primary reasons. It was easier for us to get there during that time (the border patrol has alot of early summer rescues and activity in the spring and I manage field ops) and it coincided with what sounded like great fishing (and we didn't have to harvest the bear meat as a bonus).
    Oh yes, I forgot about the scheduling and convenience factor. Thanks for reminding me that there's a rest-of-the-world out there beyond Alaska, and that some folks have real lives and can't just hunt, fish and play whenever they like!

    Have fun and be safe!

    -Case
    M/V CanCan - 34' SeaWolf - Bandon, OR
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  12. #12
    Member muskeg's Avatar
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    Default spring vs fall

    Nothing wrong with a fall hunt .... both spring and fall have their pros and cons .... the fall hunt does offer a combo hunt with other species and good fishing ....

    I wrote this several years ago .........

    Spring vs Fall
    That has been a long debate that will continue.

    Here in SE Alaska the spring kill is probably more than double (maybe triple) the fall kill. There are several reasons for that though. There are not many spring type hunts and it is a popular hunt to ‘get out of the office’ type thing. As the bears emerge they work their way to the open beaches and tidal flats to feed on the spring green-up. They can be hunted by spot and stalk methods during their evening grazing. Baiting is allowed in spring (by permit). The meat is more edible (salvage is required) in spring. As they start their shedding taking a rubbed bear is a concern though. Feet are usually bald from “brush or snow burn”. Many have rubbed foreheads / chins. All bear don’t emerge at the same time and late emergers offer good hides into June, when early emergers are badly rubbed. There are more boars taken in spring partly because many sows hang the den later. Also the cub is usually hanging tight with the sow and a sow with cub is easier to identify.

    Spring hides have a thick under-fur that fall hides don’t. When stretched on a taxidermists table for rugging (skin side up) a spring hide is puffed up like a pillow / a fall hide is flat. Fall hides usually have good hair down over the claws. Fall hides seem to have blacker, longer, silkier hair.

    The fall hunt is a different hunt than the spring hunt as the Bears are feeding on fish or berries at that time. The hunt usually takes place upland. Spot and stalk style hunting the low land fish creeks is very productive. The meat is not considered very edible and is not required salvage by regulation. Baiting is not allowed in fall. More sows are taken in fall. Bear usually have added weight by the fall hunt and sometimes females can be hard to tell from boars. Some sows have lost their cubs. Also the cubs are not hanging tight to the sow like in spring.

    Black Bear hunting in SE AK is good both spring and fall, just two different types of hunts.

  13. #13
    Member Border Justice's Avatar
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    Default Fall Black Bear Hunting on Kuiu

    Anyone have any other advice of locating bears on the island with a limited time schedule of just 6 days or so. This is our first Alaskan hunt. Would've liked to have gone the guide route, but just too rich for our blood. We've done alot of research, but first hand experience from folks like yourself are the best intel. Any more info on Kuiu north or east island areas are appreciated.

  14. #14
    Member Border Justice's Avatar
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    Default Seclusion Harbor and 3 Mile Arm

    Anyone ever hunt in these areas and can tell me what they look like or have a photo of the area?

    Also, if anyone knows a good tent site near Seclusion Harbor? Are the woods crazy thick or can someone tent it to get out of the shoreline weather?
    "America sleeps safely in her bed because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do her harm."

    G.Orwell

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Border Justice View Post
    Not all that great of news, but I appeciate all of the input. And thanks for the photos. The fish and game biologist said that Kupreanov across the way has several good streams to hunt. Anyone got any word on them?
    I lived down in Kake for a year, and saw black bears almost daily from the time the salmon showed up until they hit their dens. I did most of my hunting from the road system and saw bears all the time in the roads. If you're looking for silver salmon and bears, I would go to Hamilton bay. It is accessible by road or boat. Down by the ocean there is a huge flat of grass the bears love to lounge in. I would take a tree stand and get up in one of the spruce trees right on the river and glass those flats. I would almost guarantee you would see bears in Hamilton bay, but if I did that, I'm sure they would be a hundred miles away when you hunted there
    I would hit the salmon streams first because this is where the bears get their fat for the winter. You could also try using a fawn in distress call, as this will bring them in fast, especially in the spring, but I have seen it work just as well in the fall. Good luck and have a great hunt.

    CubeCove

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