Prince of Wales Island deer hunt
I would like to hunt Prince of Wales Island this fall for deer. I have been looking at flying to Ketchikan, taking the ferry to the island and renting a vehicle to hunt from. I was wondering if anyone has done this and could offer any advice
You could go it your own and might be successful. To increase your odds you could get an excellent guide. One that works out of POW is Muskeg. You can find him on this forum under that name.
When are you coming? Depending on the time of year different hunting strategies should be used. As with any hunting in Alaska, getting out of your vehicle and getting away from the roads is going to increase your odds.
Hunting POW - 2009 Deer Report
You could definately do your trip via the ferry after flying to Ketchikan. There are three options for the POW hunter with varying prices -
Guided - Johnny is a great person to hunt with for sure, I met him and would recommend him anytime just as a person. Knows the terrain and work hard to get bucks.
Unguided with package - this is what I do ( www.coffmancoveak.com ) , offer truck, lodging, meals, etc. so you can have everything you need for safe, dry deer hunt.
Unguided - this is a fun way as well and how I started on POW. Rent a rig, tent it or sleep in the rig and kill deer.
All three ways are good and I would recommend POW to anyone. Guided is the best bet obviously but no guide is needed to kill deer if you're on a budget.
The deer look excellent for fall, we have seen lots of critters all spring. Went to Thorne Bay from Coffman on Monday and saw 6 bucks (including one with brows and forks) and over 40 deer on the drive. Here is a photo of a young'un we saw.
Yeah I have been there a few times bear hunting and let me say the deer are running everywhere. I would see no reason to hire an expensive guide myself if you have even the slightest idea of how to hunt you should'nt have any problem what so ever finding and harvesting deer on the island and I would go even further to say good deer. It sounds like you are going up the right road so far. You can rent a vehicle from wilderness car rental and there are numerous places to stay. I would recommend one of the B&B places on the island myself. But some of that can be effected by the time of year you are going to go? August and November are the prime times. In may we found several winter kills but the island has a very high deer population and it shouldnt affect the hunting much I would think.
I have seen this question asked before but does the season open august 1st or the 15th for most of the areas accessible by vehicle? Like the areas around coffman cove? Also how many alpine areas are within full day hiking distance of a vehicle accessible road? Seems like I read that north end doesn't have many alpine areas? Thanks.
Season dates POW
A common mistake folks make when they come here is that the season starts on Aug. 16th, not 15th. If you hunt on state land you can start on Aug. 1, but there is very little state land (and none in the alpine) . Federal lands are closed except to local residents through Aug. 15th.
Weird Isn't It
I know the dates are different for state opener versus the fed opener but why wouldn't F&G put that into the regs? It would seem to be a little less confusing for non-locals as well as non-res if it said "Open Season August 1-December 31 for qualified subsistence users' or August 16-December 31 for all other hunters"
Or to be even more clear why not just start the Season August 16th? Locals will still follow the subsistence regs and start earlier but it adds clarity and hopefully avoids some confusion with the season.
Just looking for thoughts I know people need to contact all land owners before hunting but it is a bit daunting and the F&G regs are pretty useless when it comes to that stuff besides the asterik and a few numbers. Maybe add the Tongass NP line on the Unit 2 page? I don't know it's just confusing.
Hope all is well down there, weather up in Coffman has been incredible.
Well, I thought everyone was sheep hunting during that time anyway :-)
F&G policy is to not put any specific federal regs in the state regs. I don't know exactly why or what the history/political stuff is behind it. We just put in the little asterisk and leave it up to the reader to sort that out. An August 16th opening day for non-locals makes some sense at first glance. I'll have to think about that some more.
To make it even more confusing, remember that opening day for locals isn't Aug. 1 it is July 24. Just seems not right to shoot a deer in July, but that's just me. So here's the nutshell:
July 24: opening day for qualified subsistence users
August 1: opening day for everyone, but only on state lands (extremely limited on POW) and private lands (good luck getting permission to hunt corporation land).
August 16th: Opening day for everyone, state and federal lands
Want something else goofy to think about? Say you are hunting the beaches in December. It is state land up to mean high tide. Okay to hunt, but you better not shoot that fifth deer (locals can shoot five, state limit is four) and you can't shoot a doe (locals are allowed one doe out of five deer on federal land).
Alaska regs can be pretty confusing, but then I go back to Oregon to visit family and pick up their regs (both hunting and fishing) and that gives me a headache.
The POW Island Deer Closure is a Federal Law not a State Law ... the State season opens August 1st ... the State Law also says that it is against the Law to kill a Doe but the Federal Law says that POW Island residents can kill Doe !!!!! (and the 5th Deer) ...
I know lots of background on this one as I was involved from the beginning when POW Island residents tried to restrict all non-island-residents from hunting Deer on the Island !!!!!
Steve it makes NO SENSE at any glance ...
Anilca Title 8 is supposed to be used during times of shortage ... Oh but that's right POW Island hunters still are saying they can't fill their needs !!!!!!
I too think that July is too early, I saw two fawns with a doe out back tonight and they were barely walking. Only 40 days to season! That said, I wish it were more clear not only for POW but everywhere fed regs trump state regs. Out in Dillingham at my rorwn bear caribou hot spot we saw a HUGE bull moose last year. Looked in the regs - OPEN season, but I called the TOgiak NWF via sat phone to be sure (he was bedded) and it was CLOSED. Good darn thing I called, he was 60 plus would have been a trip topper with our bears and bou. Good thing is it will be a great season on POW, lots of bucks this year. I would love t osee what you can do about clarifying the season dates, I sure hate for my folks to hunt Naukiti!
On a positive note I got some great photosof a HUGE boar today near Coffman in the ditch. Had killed a fawn and was loving life.
that is a cool picture. The fawn looks like it could be a fox from that angle.
It is not up to the State to clarify any dates ... it is up to the Feds as the State law says that season is open on August 1st .... not June 25th or August 16th ....
It should be up to the Feds but as we know that ain't gonna happen ....
Looks like Isitfallyet is another victim of thread hijacking. Hopefully, the info has been useful though. Gooch, don't expect the State to change anything in the regs. Like Muskeg said, it really is a federal deal. The issues between the state and the feds is challenging and looks messy at times.
The point is POW is a great place to hunt deer. It was a tough winter so there are some pockets where deer didn't fare well, but overall there are still really good huntable numbers. Put in some reasonable effort and you should be able to get a buck. Bring good raingear and get out of your truck and off the roads.
Gooch-I'll see your doe and fawn and raise you twins.
Last edited by Fullcurl; 06-19-2009 at 11:29.
Reason: Add pics
Isitfallyet, you never did say when you are coming. Time of year really dictates how and where you need to hunt. Let us know when and you'll get some helpful info. Also there are car 3 rentals in Craig to look into -
Wilderness Car rental - 907.826.5200
Shaub Ellison - 907.826.3450
POW Jeep rentals - 907.826.5337
You can hop the ferry from Ketchikan to Hollis and get a ride to Craig.
Shaub Ellison has exellent vehicles perfect for hunting and at a fair price. Book early because rentals on the island go fast. If I was a local in Craig I think I would have an extra car around to rent during the peak seasons.
Originally Posted by ibohnt
Thanks to everyone for the input! It has been helpful!
I have seen many non-resident hunters come to the Island for Deer (over many years) .... all times during the season.
Some throw the towel in after a few days ... coming out of the bush wet and looking like they have been in a Bobcat fight and lost !!!! and never seen a buck. Some end up taking a Spike or Fork never seeing a branch antlered Buck. Some just have shi*house luck and kill a 4X standing next to the road.
It can be diffacult. Some non-resident hunters return to the Island several times before learning how to hunt the Island Blacktails.
Most of the time it takes several years of trial and error for even experienced local hunters to figure out the hunt in a particular area. Some locals are Mountain hunters, some are Muskeg hunters, some are Beach hunters and some are Forest hunters .... there is quite a learning curve to any of it ...