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Thread: DB293 Raspberry Island and SW Afognak

  1. #1
    Member ducks n' dogs's Avatar
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    Default DB293 Raspberry Island and SW Afognak

    Looking for insight as to sea conditions (generally speaking) in Raspberry straights during the spring bear season (APRIL 1- MAY 15).

    I'm trying to decide on my "hunt plan" for next spring. I have a small 18ft whaler skiff with a 60HP Evinrude. I'm fairly cretin that I want to have the option of being mobile and since I can't afford a transporter I'm thinking my best bet is to make a "base camp" and use my boat to cruise the straights glassing for bears. once said bear is located plan stalk accordingly beach/anchor the boat and set out from there.


    Any insight on sea conditions would be helpful as well as thoughts on above plan. Would you do it differently? If so, Why?

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Raspberry Straits is pretty darn protected in there, as in, your 18ft Whaler will not be stopped by much if anything. Then April/May is a farirly cantankerous time of year. I just spent a bunch of time cruising the Straits hunting Elk on Raz and the only thing that rousted it up at all was a strong NE or N wind. That was only the area up near the Shelikof so most of the straits is really nice all the time in my opinion. The wind in spring may get rippin' through there but the seas won't build beyond your Whaler's capabilities. Going out into the Shelikof now, a whole different story, be VERY careful up there. Changes rapidly and strong currents.

    I've heard that a strong NE will actually curl around into what looks like a real protected anchorage off the Raz straits( I can't remember the name of it M.... Bay) that is on the Afognak side about halfway down. And I did see that happening one night when I wanted to go in there so you might be careful leaving the skiff on a running line in there. Otherwise it is a sweet area and sounds like a good plan to me.
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member ducks n' dogs's Avatar
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    Rain,

    Thanks for the reply and nice meeting you today. If I'm not mistaken you're talking about Muskomee bay??? I figured if I stay south... south east of there I should be OK. how bout' a write up on that elk hunt

    What do you guys think about my plan VS. doing a drop camp? Also, does anyone know somone over in that area I could get fuel from?

  4. #4

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    We went over to Kodiak from Whittier and hunted out of our boat this spring: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6syAqFNUX8

    The trip over from Whittier was pretty tough. The seas were a couple feet over the projections and running at dark was uncomfortable. We hunted the last 14 days of the season. We hunted Paramanof, Foul and Malina bays which may be the permit area north of yours. The first two nights we were out we were in Paramanof and the wind coming off the mountain peaks kept us in the boat for fear of loosing anchor. The remaining 4-5 days were great weather. Coming out of Raspberry straight had some pretty good sized seas as you can see at the beginning of our video. There were plenty of very protected areas to anchor between Raspberry straight and Kodiak. The currents in Kupreanoff straight and Whale island were very strong and slowed us to about 1/2 speed. The harbor master in Kodiak said he thought we could get through and use Raspberry Straight if we went very carefully. He laid out the location in the channels to use and suggested we only try to enter the south side of Raspberry Straight an hour before high tide to allow a grounded vessel to float itself. We choose to use Kupreanoff straight even though it added hours to our trip simply because I didn't want to chance grounding our boat. It was a good hunt and a good learning experience. We only saw one other hunting party and they were flown in, hunting with a guide who preached hiking to a high spot, sitting all day and glassing as long as the wind was right (the guide was a real good guy and very forthcoming with information about the area). Even during that late part of the season we saw a couple bears still up high and coming out of their dens for only short periods. The trip back from Kodiak to Whittier was very good as we had almost flat seas and stopped to anchored at dark. My wife and dad have permits for this coming spring, but there has been talk of not going. Good luck.

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Yeah, Muskomee is the name,
    you might try Raspberry Remote Camps or something, the Lodge right in the middle of the Straits there, they are in town fairly often and maybe you could stick a few cans of fuel on with them, to stash for later, I don't know them but it might be worth a try. I've heard they are pretty cool folks.

    Also as mentioned when you were down on my boat the other day, that pass, there is a photo of it on my hunt post Sharing Elk Draw with Bear on Raz, it is very passable especially for an outboard powered Whaler, you just have to stick to the left side going north through the skinny part. It does require looking at the tide tables but I think only a Minus tide will make you nervous through there. Should be at least ten ft in the shallowest part at mid tide. I draw 4ft and went through at several different tide levels, usually with 2fathoms registering on the sounder. Saves a lot of time and potential weather vs going around Ras on the Shelikof side.

    kcedar, that's a really nice video
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  6. #6

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    I hunt ducks and deer over there pretty frequently. Muskomee is a decent anchorage and the old Muskomee lodge has a anchor bouy. One thing to remember is that in general everything East of Muskomee is Native land on both Afognak and Raspberry. Good news about that is most of the bears you will see will be on the Afognak side from Dolphin Point out to the Shelikof. Like rain said, you can make it through the narrows pretty easily. Another option would be to anchor in Onion Bay and hunt to the west of there. The weather can get a little rougher in Kupreanof though.

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