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Thread: No goat, but my son's first deer.

  1. #1
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Default No goat, but my son's first deer.

    We flew down to Kodiak last week to goat and deer hunt. We had an excellent trip that resulted in me not being able to goat hunt, but we did go deer hunting and my son scored on a nice buck.

    Some things I discovered in Kodiak..
    • Don't ship food, the store prices in Kodiak are cheap enough that it's not worth shipping from Anchorage. They have an AC, Safeway and Walmart.
    • Don't ship Mnt. House food or small propane bottles. Mack's Sporting Goods has them both for as good of a price as Sportsman's in Anchorage.
    • The Shelikof and Russian Heritage hotels are the cheapest in town. The Shelikof has clean rooms and deals with hunters all the time. Rooms were clean and comfortable, but nothing special. They have a free shuttle to the airport. Both are right next to McDonalds, walking distance to Subway and a couple real restraunts. Both are right next to Cy's and Mack's Sporting goods stores.
    • The only laundramat is next to Spenard Builders and is quite a hike from anywhere.
    • Budget and Rent-a-Heap have good car rental rates.
    • Ship your meat home with ERA aviation. It has the cheapest rate and they partner with Alaska Airlines in Kodiak..which means your meat is in a freezer and stays that way when it gets to Anchorage. Northern Air Cargo does not have an opperational freezer in Kodiak.
    • You CANNOT ship normal ice on Alaska Airlines or ERA. Only the meat may go. No big deal because they put it in a freezer for you if you lable it FREEZE.
    We flew out with SeaHawk Air. They were excellent. They have a free shuttle from the airport to your hotel. They will come and get you before your flight. Amazing service. They treat you like a client from the moment you hit the ground in Kodiak until the minute you leave.

    There were only a couple lakes available to hunt that weren't frozen in my goat area. Andrews Air and Seahawk Air had hunters on both of them so I decided to just go on a deer hunt. Roland picked a great lake for us that he charged significantly less for me to fly into vs. my goat hunt. It was a good decision and we had a blast. I'll never regret putting my son before me on this hunt. I hate to eat a tag like this, but my son's first deer is more than worth it.

    Here is a pic of Roland's newly rebuilt Beaver and their office behind it. It is a beautiful plane inside and out.
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  2. #2
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    That pic above was the sunniest day we had. We flew in to the lake and set up camp. The lake was at 1800' and there were still snow patches around the lake. The next day we ventured up to the snowfield behind camp and my son just had to sled in his Impertechs.
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  3. #3
    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default First Deer

    Congratulations to you and your son. A "first" anything beats a ???? goat for we older folk.

    Roland's plane looks LOTS better than when I saw it 2 years ago. That was shortly after it was turned over.

  4. #4
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    Default Congrats

    Would love to see a pict of the deer! I have been wanting to plan a trip next year for my Daughter. She will be 9 and I think it would be time to get her a deer. ( her first) I was thinking about driving my truck over on the Ferry and road hunting!

    Congrats
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

  5. #5
    Member cusackla's Avatar
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    Default Lake 1702?

    Maybe! Looks like my old stomping grounds, of course I don't think I have ever seen in that green. Is this the area? DG477 Lake 1702? I have taken some nice goats out of that area! I would love to see a pic of your sons deer.
    Congrats!
    Louis

  6. #6

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    Doug, great choice on going for the deer hunt versus trying to hunt up from the beach through the alders! Sounds like you had a great time with your son. I'm sorry you had to eat the goat tag, but I believe in karma, and you're due a big batch for putting your son's hunt first.

  7. #7
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Default +1!

    Great job, Doug and son! No shame in eating that tag if it's a wonderful deer hunt with your son. The memories of that experience will last for your and his lifetime!

    We ended up taking some fine deer when we were goatless one year; plan B can be a good thing.


    Frank
    PS...Roland runs a great outfit...

  8. #8
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    The bear fence you see above was made from the poles from a UDAP fence kit, a 4- D cell fence charger I got from my neighbor that he used for his goats, and a roll of wire from Alaska Garden and Pet. I used bamboo tomato stakes to hold up the intermediate lines. It was only challenged once in the middle of the night. Something went crashing away from the fence ..deer or bear??

    Sorry this thread got stopped. I was at work and had to get back to work

  9. #9
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Sorry folks... as soon as I finally got time to sit down again I had to respond to an emergency call (I'm a volunteer fire and rescue guy) Three guys flipped a john boat on lower clear creek into a sweeper. I didn't go to the actual scene, but our EMT's, Steve Mahay and JJ from Mahay's Riverboat got there and saved them. Two were trapped under the boat for quite a while breathing the air under the boat. All were very, very lucky and should survive.

    Back to the story....

    Most of the time it rained. When the rain stopped the clouds rolled in and fogged us in totally. I've never seen fog like that..an honest 30' of visibility for most of two days. I read four novels, a moto-x and an ATV magazine...played 14 million games of Go-Fish and Crazy 8's. When the fog cleared we hunted. We climbed at least two climbs over 1000' and logged some serious miles without seeing anything but does. My son started calling them black tailed goats because most of the deer we saw were in the steep stuff. We did pretty good for both of us being pretty over weight.

    On day 4 Justin gave up. We were fogged in really bad and he'd had enough. We called Seahawk and they said they couldn't pull us out for another two days unless it was an emergency, but to check in the next day. That day we simply went exploring in our chest waders and played in the lake..we figured we couldn't get lost that way. We found out that we could cross most of the lake this way and the walking was super easy on the sandy bottom.

    The next morning dawned more of the same. Fog and rain. We slept in and then called Seahawk for an update. They gave us a late pickup the next day. At this point we figured we would go play in the lake again. Getting our gear on Justin saw some deer up on the ridge on the other side of the lake in an opening in the fog. We boogied and put on our chest waders, stuffed our leather boots in our packs, slinged our rifles and started cutting across the lake. We had to detour around some deep water but pretty much went straight at the deer. There were two bucks in the group and 6 does. They were about 600 vertical feet up the ridge and weren't too concerned with us. The fog rolled back in and I pushed Justin to get into position on the lake shore before they spotted us again.

    When the fog cleared the rear most buck had bedded down while the others fed. I ranged him at 326 yards and it was really steep. I stood up and the bedded buck stared right at me and stood up also. I dropped back down and within seconds the buck relaxed and re-bedded. At that point I knew we weren't getting closer. I set my big pack down and got Justin in a solid prone positions. We discussed the shot and decided that he would look at the deer through the scope and see how he felt without a round in the chamber. He took a couple mental shots at the deer and then told me he could do it. He could only see the upper half of the deer and the head. Justin asked where to hold and I decided that a hold right on top of the spine right above the shoulders would do fine. He was either going to kill or hit dirt. Justin said for me to get ready with the binos and then squeezed off the shot. In the binos I watched the deers head slam into the hillside and then flop towards us. No twitch, no kicking, nothing...poleaxed..dead as a doornail... He hit 6" right of where he was aiming and spined the deer in the lower neck. It was a shot that I would have never let him take had he not been practicing at that range..coupled with the fact that the deer was bedded and Justin had a solid rest..I felt comfortable having him do it.

    It was a good climb up the hill to the deer on our hands and knees in the wet grass. After a couple pics I pushed the deer out of his bed and he slid down the hill nearly to the lake.

    Here are pics of Justin with his first deer and a view from the deer looking back to the edge of the lake where he shot from.
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  10. #10
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Here are pics of Justing removing his first back straps and one of him nearly back to camp hauling his deer head in a bag. That deer actually went home as 70# of boned out meat. We were stunned at it's size. By far the biggest black tail that has went in our freezer. We hauled snow from the snow field and iced down the whole deer in 1 gallon zip lock bags in my cooler. Not one ounce of deer lost to dry skin in a game bag
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  11. #11
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    A pic of camp where we had to make a tarp tent off the front to cook in and change our clothes. Believe it or not that tarp survived some serious wind, but we did end up taking it down one night when the wind got going pretty good. We used our walking poles to hold up the ends and lots of parachute cord to guy it off. We used a K2 XT Eureka tent for our main tent. I can highly recommend this tent. It didn't move in the wind and was totally waterproof. It has huge amounts of available venting and it didn't condensate one bit inside. The other tent (blue) is an old North Face that we use as a gear tent.

    In another thread I was totally against using a Mr. Buddy heater to heat a tent where a 10 mth old would be camping. I now back off of that statement. If you are able to keep the vestibule open you can actually heat a tent with a Mr. Buddy to over 70 degrees with an outside temp of 44 deg. I will NEVER go to another fly-in hunt without a Mr. Buddy..it was that nice. I even managed to dry out a pair of soaked leather boots hung over it one night. We shut it off when we went to sleep, but it was on whenever we were just hanging out.

    You can see the fog in that Mr. Buddy pic. The lake was 60 feet away and you couldn't see it.
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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    That's about it. Justin brought the skull home intact to do a European mount with. We brought home the heart and complete front leg for his science class to get him off the hook for missing the first week of school. The heart was a big hit in his class today. My two girls helped trim out all the meat the other night and were fascinated by the front leg structure, heart and skull. It's the first time they have shown interest in the butchering process and weren't at all squeamish any more. Go figure. We had back strap terriaki shish-ka-bobs with veggies from our garden for dinner last night. My wife, who dislikes wild game meat, was amazed at how good the deer tasted and thoroughly enjoyed the meal. It's a pleasure to have a meal made up of an animal my son killed and veggies my wife and girls grew

    The time spent with my son was priceless. I can't wait to do it again with him and my girls. My oldest daughter and I are researching a turkey hunt down in the states somewhere for her in the spring. Hopefully the good luck keeps coming for us.

    The fly-in thing has been very successful for us in the last 5 years. Last night we made our last payment on our two four-wheelers. We are now going to take the same amount monthly and put it in the bank to save up for hunts every year.

    I'd really like to thank some good companies for great service.....
    • Surveyors Exchange for the sat phone rental.
    • Mack's Sporting Goods, thanks Jamie for dropping everything, fitting my son for a pair of Danners, and getting us out in 15 minutes. (Justin has one boot show up missing in his bag..the only place it could have happened was TSA in Anchorage and we discovered it 30 minutes before we were headed into the field)
    • Seahawk Air for running a good outfit, willingness to run us to Mack's at the last second, and Roland for picking a good lake with deer and charging me a fair price to do so.

    One last pic of Roland coming to take us home.
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  13. #13

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    Congrats to you and your son, Doug. What unit did you draw and did you fly into the same unit or a different one for the blacktail hunt?

  14. #14
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I had DG475 and no we didn't hunt that area for deer. I'm keeping the area we hunted to myself for now

    That deer gut pile sat for a whole day before we flew out and not one bear was on it. THAT is a secret worth keeping on Kodiak...LOL.. However, that lake picture above should tell someone where we were at.

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    Member akshrop's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing that fantastic story with us. Congradulations to your and your son.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    I had DG475 and no we didn't hunt that area for deer. I'm keeping the area we hunted to myself for now

    That deer gut pile sat for a whole day before we flew out and not one bear was on it. THAT is a secret worth keeping on Kodiak...LOL.. However, that lake picture above should tell someone where we were at.
    Enough said, Doug. Thanks for the info...I too have a 475 tag and the issue of iced over lakes could throw a wrench into my plans. I still have three weeks before I depart. I'm hoping the temps will stay above 50 and the lake I am slated to fly into will thaw. Otherwise, my buds and I will likely tackle the hunt from the salt. I refuse to utilize the same two lakes as everyone else.

    Thanks again for the info...Jim

  17. #17
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    I've flown out with Roland at Seahawk air a couple of times and you are correct, they run a great operation. Had a great trip down in Kodiak in Nov. '05.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  18. #18
    Member MARV1's Avatar
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    Right on, congrats to your boy.
    The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!

  19. #19

    Default Awsome

    Thanks for the info in your post. We are going Elk hunting on Afongak next month.
    Nice Deer. Congrats.

  20. #20
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    Default Goat area

    So what area did you draw the goat tag in? How many lakes were available to land on? Congrats. Love the comfy sleeping inflatables. Nice work.

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