Blacktail in Oct.
I've been hunting Blacktail three times in Oct. and just can't find em. I've tried valleys and hills, Alpine and Muskeg. I've still hunted the thick steep stuff. I've called in the Muskegs. High and low I just can't find them. There is sign in the areas I'm hunting.
I've killed three bucks in Oct. over the years and all were super close "what are you doing here" moments?"
My theory is they bunch up together in pre-rut groups in thick and nasty and go nocternal.
What do you other Blacktail hunters experience in Oct?
What is it like on Kodiak?
November is another story..........
October is a difficult month for hunting blacktails. I've covered many many miles in search of them during October and you just don't see the numbers like early or late season. It's definatley a difficult hunt. They seem to come off the alpine down into the thick stuff at that time of year. I usually concentrate on other things during Oct and wait until Nov to start after them again.
High altitude cedar stands. This is where we look for them in October. They feed up high in the alpine muskegs. Then move through the nasty nasty brush around the cedars.. right into the big cedar stands. They hang out there, eating cheetohs, waiting out the weather, polishing up their hardwear, preparing to woo the ladies.
Big stands of red cedar on the lee side of a mountain seems to be productive.
Oct can be hard hunting ... but I have taken quite a few during this part of the season ...
I believe that as they drop down out of the Sept alpine habitat, as the pre-rut is on, they are in the thick leafed out jungle and on high alert. Especially here on POW Island where there is Wolf. Think jungle is advantage Wolf.
I also think they just don't move much and bed lots ... saving strength for the upcoming rut.
But that is behind us now as I figure Oct 20th is the start of the good hunting.
I have known some hunters that do very well in Oct and like that month the most. Mainly hunting the steep dark big timber areas. Or setting up the calling in a muskeg and waiting a long time for the bucks to respond. Also rattling seems to work better in late Oct than in Nov.
Ok, It sounds like I wasn't waiting long enough. I was worried that my call wasn't traveling well into the deep timber because of the heavy winds. A guy gets cold sitting on a wet muskeg waiting a long time.
I did find the fresh sign about the 1,500' level in the lee side and steep vegetated stuff.
Well there is always next week. I'll carry some horns with me and try rattling too. I've got a good location with lots of deer they just are not ready yet.
That is my experience on Kodiak also. October seems to be a transition period between the summer range and the rut which leaves the bucks scarce and jumpy.
Originally Posted by Kodiak Blacktails
I'm just now starting to see the young deer away from their moms. From what I am seeing here it looks like the bucks are hitting the browning beach rye at night and going back to the thick stuff about 1,500' before the suns up.I'm ready for that first light dusting
Bighorse, what kind of horns do you carry with you? do you use the plastic ones, or do you have the real ones? I am wondering if plastic horns that are sold in Sportsmans or Cabelas would be just as good as the real deal?
Originally Posted by Bighorse
I carry real bone. I've never tried the plastic.
I live on POW and I went deer hunting last weekend. We went to a remote island that has little hunting pressure. We saw 5 bucks and 3 does. There were 3 of us. 2 of us got bucks while 1 harvested a doe. It was a great hunt. Usually, I rarely see bucks during October. During this time of year, I hunt for wood. I'm really looking forward to hunting the rut.
We were surprised at how much sign we saw on our hunt the beginning of Oct because we never did see a single deer. We glassed the alpine quite a bit with no luck there. I think they were as described hanging in the thick stuff and mostly coming out at night.
We did find two spots of bare ground where it looked like it was pawed up. The areas were about 20x20 or so and filled w/ deer tracks. I wonder if this was just a normal occurrence or some sort of mineral lick. I have never found a natural lick so I honestly have no idea if that is what I was seeing in this situation. Is there anything distinguishing normally?
Blacktail deer at Afognak Island
LAst week I returned from a double cow elk hunt with two of my boys and a friend and his son. We shot four times at 3 deer I killed a buck and a doe and my friend missed the same doe twice. We covered mtns, swamps, hills, and everything in between. It seems you have to step on them in the high alders quarter to half up the mtns to move them.
We saw three deer in four days of hunting. 2 KIAs in laughing still at my friend for missing twice but it was gale force winds and rain up to nine inches that day.
We will see what Etolin Island is like tomorrow for bull elk and deer combos. As for the wolf they better be wary as I will pack a rug home for my son if I see that pack that is not scared of anyone on Etolin Island.
Great hunting to ya'll!
Here's a picture I took in early Oct. on Kodiak back in '06. By the way, no snow to be had or seen anywhere.
Ya.....I think the beach is the only spot I didn't cover.
Is that a pile of "Cum-here-dear" I see on the beach? grin!
Kind of funny, that picture was taken after I had already knocked 2 over. if you look really close you can see one off to the upper right side of the picture lying down. He was taking his final sleep
Have seen plenty of rubs ... and sighted over a dozen Deer yesterday. The big wind and rain storm had em moven ...
I knew today would be good today as the storm laid down during the night and the sun has been peeking out on and off ...
I stayed and worked around the cabin and Brian took Justin out ...
Brian called in by sat phone around noon ... from up on top … said they had a 'dandy' down.
It was last Oct actually about a year and 3 or 4 days when Jason took that B&C 112 Buck ...
I'm beginning to like this early 'rut' hunting ....
I tried rattling all day yesterday with not response ... no response to the call yet, for me.
I'm working until next Tuesday then I'll spend an entire day in the woods. I'll try getting high in elevation too.
Thanks for the encouragement. Its so close I can almost smell those rutty bucks.
I've always thought if I really want to get a big trophy Sitka I should go hunt with you. POW just has the right mix for those toad Sitka bucks.
Originally Posted by muskeg
A friend picked up a 3x4 on the island this morning, and it did come to a call.
They're starting to move.
It was yesterdays storm .... my wife Fran predicted early this morning that today would be a good hunt .... she said "the deer will be out romping around" ...
Now we will probably hunt for Bear ... that will be a challenge as many are at the den ... ... Justin is from Anchorage and enjoyed the 60+ mph willy-waas we hunted in yesterday !!!! and I think he wants a big POW Island Black Bear. I'm looking forward to the challenge.
Good luck to you Bighorse ... as if you need it by the way your season has been going ….
We have done well with 2 Mt Goat out of 3 that probably go B&C and now a possible Sitka contender along with some other really nice animals.