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Thread: Afognak Elk hunting

  1. #1

    Default Afognak Elk hunting

    I just want to hear the good and bad or pros and cons on where to go or who to go with for a great Elk hunt. I have a ether sex permit for the remainder of unit 8. Can anyone help?

  2. #2
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    Default Bears

    Be well aware of the bear problem on Afognak. If you get an elk and are camping out, make sure you get your meat up high, and even that may not help.

    A couple friends hunted there two years ago and got their elk early. Three bears started showing up each night and made their nights miserable. Even though they took precautions, the bears got half their meat. They said it was pretty eerie laying in their tents listening to the bears eat and growl and snap bones. One told me, if he ever hunts elk again, it will be in Wyoming.

    I think there was a story on here last year or the year before about someone taking their morning constitutional when a bear appeared. Can't remember the details tho.

    I know lots of people who have surrendered deer to the bears on Afognak and Kodiak, including Brwnbr who video'd the bear packing his deer off whole.

  3. #3
    Member Mkay's Avatar
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    Default Afognak pain

    Hunted there 3 years ago for elk,deer,bear. In 10 days saw 3 elk, 1 deer, 1 bear. If I ever go again I would shoot the first legal thing I saw and call myself ahead. The clear cuts we hunted were near impassable. Can't spot and run or you will break a leg or ankle. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    here's some afognak elk... Make sure to get your trespass permit.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  5. #5
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    Default permit

    Depends on what part of the island you're on, whether or not you need a permit. Also, when it comes to bears, the later you hunt, the less of a problem they are, from what I've read and have been told.

  6. #6

    Default

    I had a successful elk hunt on Afognak. Here's my take on your requested pros and cons:

    Cons:
    Bears. Already mentioned above. We hung our meat out of range of bears, but had bears frequently visit our camp. Consider an electric fence.

    Weather. Be prepared for storms. The kind of butt-kicking storms where you might be tent-bound.

    Location of animals. You might have to work very hard for your elk. Where we hunted, the elk were in the alpine - take it or leave it. We sucked up and took it, then spent the next 2 days hauling knee-buckling loads of meat back to camp.

    Pros:
    Afognak is beautiful, with varied terrain, and we saw no other hunters in 10 days.

    In addition to elk, you can take deer.

    We caught cohos, big Dollies, and steelhead. Yes, fresh grilled salmon on Day 8 was wonderful.

  7. #7

    Default Elk hunting

    Thanks for the replies! So far they have been just some of the things I thought about before I applied for the permit. So if you have some insight on boats and captains, air services and pilots or areas to hunt. Or if you have permit and want to share costs of a trip I would like to hear as much as possible before its time to start booking the trip. I havenít heard of any hunting camps or lodges in the area ether so whatever info you might have would be a big help.

    butt-kicking storms!!! yes they can big can't they and always great when there over. knee-buckling loads of meat!! been there a few time myself, you gotta love the things we put ourselves through in the name of a good hunt. I still haven't talked myself out of spending days or weeks of hard work to fill a permit when Iím lucky enough to get one ether. So letís hear what you've got to say.

  8. #8

    Default Afognak

    I was on Afognak at the Laura Lake cabin a few years ago. Actually at the same time as the guy squatting to do his constitutional...The story goes that he was wearing a brown fleece type shirt/jacket....heard a noise as he was squatting, and just barely missed a swat from a brownie. The bear did get him, but not that bad as he said...across the back shoulder. He and his partner shot at the bear and it ran off. It would seem as though the bear mistook him for a deer, as he was squatted down.
    I had multiple encounters with bears on my trip, and was storm bound for 2.5 days. Didn't see a single Elk, and we hunted hard. Shot some deer, caught lots of fish. I went in the early October hunt; doing it again I would go much later in the year. I saw all sorts of winter Elk sign in the area we were in, but not much for summer sign.
    There aren't any lodges - Afognak is primarily uninhabited. There are some camps sporadically, but nothing commercial.
    As for air taxi - I totally recommend Roland at Sea Hawk Air. He saved my butt coming in during a break in the storm and getting us the heck outta dodge.
    I would also recommend taking a bird gun as there are lots and lots of duck there - depending on when you go.
    As another person noted, the clear cuts are just implorable - fallen logs everywhere covered over with brush...you can't see them. Easy way to break and ankle or leg.
    I would take a sat phone for certain, and there is only one sat phone service that works on Afognak - Iridium. Don't take globalstar, you will be sadly disappointed.
    I did, by the way, end up spraying a bear while there...and now swear by the Udap bear spray - it works, and works good! Took the bear 2.5 hours to recover, and gave our camp a wide berth when it went to amscram after recovery. Afterward, we never saw that bear again (I sprayed it on it's fourth visit to camp). There will be nay-sayers that might respond to my words here - but I would bet $100 they have never used the stuff.
    If you are camping in a tent, I would also highly recommend the electric bear fence. While I have never used one, I have seen video's of them in use, and they amazingly keep the bears out. Simple but effective design as well. Those that I do know that use them, have never had a bear get through the fence, and have seen bear sign all around the fence.

    Afognak is one of those 'once in a lifetime' hunts. Enjoy it. I too would love to go back there one day.
    Definitely submit a 'post-Afognak' thread and let us know your thoughts!

  9. #9

    Default Photos from Afognak

    Here are some photos...
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  10. #10

    Default more photos

    more photos
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  11. #11

    Default a few more

    This fish ladder was the scariest river I have ever encountered. I was stalking along bear trails...they literally looked like four wheeler trails...there was an actual median between the trails made by paw prints. 9 foot tall alders...raging river which made hearing impossible, and I was following very fresh sow/cub tracks. I stopped to take this photo, looking over my shoulder as I did. Heart rate was racing....I know the tracks were fresh b/c they weren't on that same trail the night before....
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    Member AK LIVIN's Avatar
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    Default

    Beautiful Island, I hunted there a few years ago. I shot a 5 point late one afternoon and with the no horns before meet out rule we left the whole animal high in the tree over night about 500 yrds from kill site. Next morning the meet was gone and our packs were tore up and empty. Wish I would have taken a hind quarter out the first night.

    Point is that the elk are big and when packing there is no physical way that two hunters can pack out a elk in one day if a few miles from camp and if waiting until the next day for the rest of the meet, it would more than likely be taken by bears.

    We did end up shooting a cow a few days latter and I got charged direclty after the shot and the bear stayed in a clump of trees the whole time it was being quarterd up. we boned the meet, I got 1.5 hind quaters, and my buddy BS, TL other 1/2 hind and the next morning there was three bears on it so we had to forfit the remainder to them.

    Therefore, if I went again I'd shoot the first elk I saw, "either sex," and pack as much meet as possible hoping for some left the next day. We did have a great trip seeing 21 bears and over 100 elk and a few deer's on a 10 day hunt on the Island with not a single bad weather day stuck in the tent.

    I would definitly do it again, but for the cost of the trip for me I'd go with a bear tag in the camp.

  13. #13
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    Default Afog...

    Here's my advice...

    Sea Hawk Air
    Top quality gear
    Electric bear fence for sleep camp
    seperate food camp;
    get off the lakes, streams and set camp far from the nearest bear trails
    Lots of rope for hanging meat... HIGH! and hang it far from camp but in sight.
    TARPS... several blue tarps... When it storms it's like a buckets of water driven by hurricane winds...

    spot-n-stalk the deer in the forrest. Move slow, quite and keep your senses on high alert.

    Here is a lodge a friend of mine used. He was very pleased... But's it's spendy.
    http://www.huntafognak.com/

    Afognak is awesome... From here out I'll only hunt it if I have a bear permit in my pocket... Them bruins are some BIG Boys...

  14. #14
    Member skydiver_99654's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by akseakayaker View Post
    This fish ladder was the scariest river I have ever encountered. I was stalking along bear trails...they literally looked like four wheeler trails...there was an actual median between the trails made by paw prints. 9 foot tall alders...raging river which made hearing impossible, and I was following very fresh sow/cub tracks. I stopped to take this photo, looking over my shoulder as I did. Heart rate was racing....I know the tracks were fresh b/c they weren't on that same trail the night before....
    Haha...I totally agree. I hunted there 2 years ago and stayed in the Laura Lake cabin. That fish ladder is exactly as you described ! I've never seen bear highways like that before. Talk about pucker factor ! ! ! I swear we were being watched by Brown Bears constantly...Walking around that area my pulse probably never dipped below 150 ! ! ! Eeerily scary !

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by skydiver_99654 View Post
    Haha...I totally agree. I hunted there 2 years ago and stayed in the Laura Lake cabin.
    Did you happen to read the cabin book? Hope it is still there. We were the ones that drew a bunch of photos describing events. Had my inflatable canoe chewed on by that pesky bear. My partner was the one that shot a deer 4 times with a .450 Marlin and it would not go down!
    Really enjoyed that place! Hopefully you were succesful with Elk....

  16. #16

    Default Afognak Elk hunt

    If you are looking for a transporter I would suggest Sam Catt with Midnight Sun Chrater his # 1-907-539-1344. I used him thisSping while hunting bear on Afognak. He is a transporter and not a guide, so he can take you to you desired location each day. Also you stay with him on the boat instead of fighting the bears off. I got a 10 ft 1 inch bear off of Afognak this Spring. We saw close to 200 elk the week we hunted. This is just one of the heards we saw... Good luck and let us know how your hunt goes!!!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #17

    Default Afognak elk hunting

    Thanks for the info guys if anyone else has something to share I would love to hear it. It looks like a boat would work out better than airplane drop off from what I'm hearing anyway.

  18. #18
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    /bump

    no one has posted here in 4 years. what a shame. i drew DE715. will let you all know how it goes.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by holtsy907 View Post
    /bump

    no one has posted here in 4 years. what a shame. i drew DE715. will let you all know how it goes.
    You really should try the search feature. Lots of posts on elk hunting, including Afognak, if you just look for them. They are just not in this particular thread.

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