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Thread: St Paul Island

  1. #1
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    Default St Paul Island

    I'm planning a DIY on St Paul for waterfowl. Is there any special permits required for hunting the island, I believe that it is tribal land, right ?

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    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    Default what are you going for

    Puffins?
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    King Eiders in january 2011 brrrr!!!!

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    Member Waldo2382's Avatar
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    well, as much as I don't like to recommend other forums, but the refugeforums would probably be a little more helpful. The guy that has the guide service up in that neck of the woods posts a fair amount over there. Be sure to share your mounts when you're done with them.

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    Thanks Waldo but I plan on doing this DIY and so I don't think an outfitter is going to share much info. From the youtube videos I've seen and from a phone conversation from an island X hunter, most of the time the sea is too wild to take a boat out so they pass shoot them from shore. I don't feel the need to pay someone $4200 just to pass shoot. It's a small enough island that I'm sure I can figure out where their flight patterns are. Do you care to join me ?

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    Member Waldo2382's Avatar
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    I would definately like to go out there and give it a shot. Atwater from Jesse's page has made a habit of coming here for harlies, scoters, and barrow's. There are eiders around here, but I just haven't either A) had good enough weather to do it or B) mechanical issues with the motor. This year is going to be a pricey one with a trip way into the interior for a moose hunt and a fly in sheep hunt. Feel free to meet up with me in Homer, but I can't swing a trip this year to Saint Paul due to money.

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    Member rrjfish8's Avatar
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    I had a friend go out there with the guide. I ask him to try to find out how to do it without the guide. He came back to tall me that most of land it native and the kings only came by one point/spit and that was native. About a boat, he never went out in the guides boat the weather was nasty with 8 foot breakers on the beach. YOu would shoot the birds and grab them between breakers.. All in all he said he could not find out a way to DIY. I am still trying

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    It can be done DYI, you will just have to work with the locals.

    This link is for St George Island. I do not have one for St Paul, however you can probably contact them and they can provide you the resource contact person.

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    In my opinion you're wasting your time. I'm all for DIY hunts as I'm the type that refuses to hunt with a guide! I've hunted all over the US (including Alaska) and Mexico. I've shot birds from the East Coast to the West Coast, but I can definitely say that if I ever feel the need to kill my King Eider and have the funds I'd just have to suck it up and pay for the guide serives.

    I know one person that has done St Paul on a DIY hunt and even he said he'd never try it again. He's an Alaska experienced Coast Guard rescue swimmer that jumps out of helicopters into those frigid waters for everyday work. He managed to line things up for a DIY hunt while he was out there for work. He killed his king by paddling out in a kayak b/c the birds wouldn't work close enough to shore. After navigating the ice flows and breakers on the beach he killed one king drake that was BEAutiful!!!!! But again, he said he'd NEVER try it again. Logistically I think you'll be wasting a ton of time and money.

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    Thanks to all for your post, for both the positive and the negative.
    Ring King,
    That's hunting ! I'm sure that there guys that have gone on the guided hunt and came home without their King.
    I have been on 2 guided hunts in Chiuhuahua Mexico in hopes of bagging a Gould's turkey and both times I came home empty handed. For me to say that a hunt in Chiuhuahua is a waste of time and money would be a very narrow view. Most hunters get 2 birds on their hunt. My partner got 2 on the 1st day.
    A guided hunt does not guarantee a kill and they'll never post a video of those hunters with their long faces !
    I could make 4 DIY trips to St Paul for the cost of 1 guided hunt.
    I'm not afraid to come home empty handed because it'll still be an adventure.
    In 2002 I drew an AZ archery bull tag. I went DIY and never drew my bow back. I have that same tag in my pocket today and I plan on DIY again.
    I have 13 bonus points for deer in AZ and if I ever draw that Strip tag I'll be going DIY
    Happy hunting !

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    I totally agree with you that hunting is just that way. I'm not saying it wouldn't be a great adventure either. I lived in Cordova for three years and managed to figure out the ducks where I was relatively easily as everyone on this site knows. I'm all for the DIY hunter, but Alaska is a very different place that can be very cruel. My best advice would be to join the Refuge forums. I'll warn you though, if you do join, don't ask questions about a DIY hunt there on St Paul. Apparently that's some serious taboo as a close friend of mine found out. St Paul Island is a tough place just to go and hang out much less to try and score a bird on. A guy that works with me here in my shop was stationed there at the Loran Station for a year and thinks anyone would be crazy to do a DIY hunt! Just getting around on the island to some of the locations that you'll need to access may be your biggest challenge. Then there is having the right wind (on shore blow) to enable you to ethically make an "attempt" to retrieve your bird.

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    LOL
    Why do suppose it's taboo to talk about DIY on that forum and why do they call it "island X" ?
    If the wind is cranking then they won't be able to take boats out and all hunting will be pass shooting from shore. What then can a guided hunt offer you at that point that you couldn't do yourself ?

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glass_eye View Post
    LOL
    Why do suppose it's taboo to talk about DIY on that forum and why do they call it "island X" ?
    Marketing and sponsor funding. Never question a Refuge sponsor or friend of a sponsor over there. You will get stepped on. Its the whole "I pay money and you don't" mentality.

    If they let everyone know what the name of the place was then how would their marketing work for them? Have to have a mystery or who would care?

    Quote Originally Posted by glass_eye View Post
    If the wind is cranking then they won't be able to take boats out and all hunting will be pass shooting from shore. What then can a guided hunt offer you at that point that you couldn't do yourself ?
    DIY you have to go into the surf to get your birds off the rocks. When guided they go get the bird and they get soaked.

    When I had crews working out there for NOAA we learned quickly that having women in the crew worked well to garner support from the community. If you have your own women then you are not going to steal theirs.

    Two of my geologist ladies were stuck out there on 9/12/01 to 9/15/01 when nothing was flying so they made the best of it and spent a day teaching environmental science to the elementary and middle school kids. A few days later they were given free permits to go view the seal rookeries and had a free guide from the village to take them around and show them all the cool stuff that only locals know about. Then the girls were given some "art" on fur seal hides for christmas as a thank you from the class.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glass_eye View Post
    LOL
    Why do suppose it's taboo to talk about DIY on that forum and why do they call it "island X" ?
    If the wind is cranking then they won't be able to take boats out and all hunting will be pass shooting from shore. What then can a guided hunt offer you at that point that you couldn't do yourself ?
    You're kidding right? How about access to the lands (native owned), transportation around the island, knowledge of where the birds are, what beaches or shorelines are huntable (access to the waters edge for retrieving downed birds), little know amenities around the island, activities to fill the days when hunting isn't an option (there are many on St Paul), etc. etc.

    If it were me I'd look at making a late season hunt out of Kodiak and hope for a King to be mixed in with the Pacifics. I've seen them there before along with spectacled eiders. You'd have a better chance of finding transportation to rent (boat and truck), more options when the weather is miserable, and a greater variety of birds to shoot at when the kings don't cooperate as they often dont.

    Over on the Fuge it's kinda like Ray said. The Sponsors there are treated like Gods and anything that opposes them is sacrilage. A good friend of mine had the same DIY idea that you do about St Paul and was all over me to use my Coast Guard connections to try and get us set up for a hunt there. He asked a couple general questions about whether the hunt was possible on the forums and was hammered for even having the idea!

    There are a lot of "iffy" hunts that I think I could manage on a DIY level, but St Paul just isn't one of them. All my research backed up that assumption and I just finally dropped the idea. An Adak hunt for Eurasion teal and Eurasion widgeon would be ten times easier than trying to take on St Paul and the Bering Sea.

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    Haha. We sponsors are gods over on the fuge and the guy you will be dealing with is real nice to people he does not like. I know I am on top of that list.

    Sent a pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ring King View Post
    You're kidding right? How about access to the lands (native owned), transportation around the island, knowledge of where the birds are, what beaches or shorelines are huntable (access to the waters edge for retrieving downed birds), little know amenities around the island, activities to fill the days when hunting isn't an option (there are many on St Paul), etc. etc.
    I think the guided hunt is for guys will more dollars than sense.
    Hunting is more than just pulling the trigger, it's about the planning, mapping, investigating and scouting on the net.
    Back in the 80's I spent a month travelling Mexico from coast to coast and all the way down to their southern border. I did that all on public transportation and I didn't speak a word of spanish. Everyone told me I was crazy to attempt it. I loved it and had a blast.

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    How much are you going to spend on your DIY hunt? Have you hunted in Alaska on your own before, and if so in the Pribolof or Aleutians Islands?

  18. #18
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Default DIY Saint Paul

    I spent two winters on saint paul back in the late 1990's.
    A real tough place for sure. I have seen winter winds sustained at over 150mph. Many days of 80-100mph winds.
    Most if not all the land is native owned. I never hunted there or even tried.We did hike around a bit. That was fun but we never bothered to check who's land it was. we were young and didn't really care.
    There are not a lot of ammenities on the island either. there was one store where you could buy food or you could eat at one of the canneries for a fee I believe. 1 of the floating canneries is gone for sure and I think the other one is not there anymore either.that only leaves the Trident onshore plant.
    Although you might do ok on a diy hunt Imho you would probably be wise to hire the guide.
    There are some very nice people on Saint Paul but, most are not all that fond of strange white people. I would guess that stems from being forced labor by the Russians and being brought to these strange islands no one lived on before.
    Good Luck I am sure you will need it to do a DIY Saint Paul hunt.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Tbduck and for sure Chen are some great resources for experienced Alaskan hunters who know the drill when it comes to out there in no mans land.

    I checked with my coworker on a couple things as well for you. The island is forty some odd sq miles and the only paved road runs from the airport to "town". The only hotel is there at the airport. The Trident seafood plant would be the place to eat. It's $20 a meal but is top shelf all the way. There is only one rental vehicle on the island and it's an old early 90s rusted out Silverado TWO wheel drive with bald tires. Once the snow season comes in you won't be going anywhere without some serious transportation. Most of the island is inacessible once the snow starts anyway. The island itself is trecherous to walk on due to the holes caused by the volcanic actions that made the island. And lastly the natives there refer to white people as the "white devils" for a reason. Lots of the may be very nice but there are those that don't want you there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ring King View Post
    Tbduck and for sure Chen are some great resources for experienced Alaskan hunters who know the drill when it comes to out there in no mans land.

    I checked with my coworker on a couple things as well for you. The island is forty some odd sq miles and the only paved road runs from the airport to "town". The only hotel is there at the airport. The Trident seafood plant would be the place to eat. It's $20 a meal but is top shelf all the way. There is only one rental vehicle on the island and it's an old early 90s rusted out Silverado TWO wheel drive with bald tires. Once the snow season comes in you won't be going anywhere without some serious transportation. Most of the island is inacessible once the snow starts anyway. The island itself is trecherous to walk on due to the holes caused by the volcanic actions that made the island. And lastly the natives there refer to white people as the "white devils" for a reason. Lots of the may be very nice but there are those that don't want you there.
    Sounds very similar to some other Island hunts that I have done DIY except for the weather. I've done DIY hunts on Lanai where most locals call whites "haole" There is only one gas station on that island and 4x4 rentals are beat up 30 year old pick-ups. Very trecherous footing on the volcanic rocks. Very few paved roads and the dirt roads are the worst that I've ever been on. I hunted for 9 days and I was gone for a total of 11 days including travel. Including roundtrip airfare, house rental, 4x4, taxis, gas, food/restaraunts, hunting lic, ferry, etc. I spent a total of $900. and my 3 hunting buddies spent the same amount. I've done this several times, I'm no stranger to DIY
    Last edited by glass_eye; 04-29-2010 at 09:40. Reason: spelling

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