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Thread: Sitka Blacktails!

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    Member NDTerminator's Avatar
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    Default Sitka Blacktails!

    Watched Csonka hunt Sitka Deer on North To Alaska last night. Had never really given them much thought but I love to hunt deer of any type and that looked like a doable hunt for a NR.

    It also looked like the kind of hunting where a NR like me could get in bear trouble fast.

    I noticed they didn't gut the buck he got, and seemed to hustle to get it off the mountainside & down to the beach. I presume this was to lessen the chance of a bear moving in on them to nab the carcass and maybe to give some flat & sort of open ground to work with in case one did?

    Some of those blacktail buck pics the guide showed were pretty impressive. I always thought, for some reason, they are a small racked sub-species...

    So tell me about Sitka Deer hunting, you lucky AK dogs...

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    There is a lengthy thread from this year where we all bantered and showed off this years harvest of Sitka deer.

    I consider myself luck to be able to hunt the Sitka deer. They are a hearty animal, a subspecies of the mule deer. The racks are generally small. It's a fun endeavor to seek out large racked specimens. They can lead you into high challenging country too. I've got Sitka bucks in places you'd be hunting Mt. Goats in. They are very keen most of the season to predation and maintain cover and secrecy very well. Often times the only thing you'll find is tracks and wonder where all this deer could have disappeared to.

    They are not light but can be broken down to a packable size at 50-65 pounds of boned out meat and a rack of ribs. So I consider them the backpackers deer. We subsist on them here in SE AK and they are a traditional food.

    When you go on a Sitka hunt you can really immerse yourself in the wilds of Alaska and enjoy a fantastic hunt. Climb some mountains and glass around before you shoot. If your coming up as a NR and want the full experience point your boots up any old big hill adjacent to a fairly large river valley and go find one. They are plentiful in most places and I find plenty of pleasure in figuring out different locations and scoring on a fine Sitka Blacktail.

    You can do it as a NR and have a great time too.

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    This one just came into shop last week. It was taken on Raspberry Island.
    Raspberry Island Lodge does guided and unguided hunts out there.
    Last Step Taxidermy

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by NDTerminator View Post
    Watched Csonka hunt Sitka Deer on North To Alaska last night. Had never really given them much thought but I love to hunt deer of any type and that looked like a doable hunt for a NR.

    It also looked like the kind of hunting where a NR like me could get in bear trouble fast.

    I noticed they didn't gut the buck he got, and seemed to hustle to get it off the mountainside & down to the beach. I presume this was to lessen the chance of a bear moving in on them to nab the carcass and maybe to give some flat & sort of open ground to work with in case one did?

    Some of those blacktail buck pics the guide showed were pretty impressive. I always thought, for some reason, they are a small racked sub-species...

    So tell me about Sitka Deer hunting, you lucky AK dogs...
    Our Kodiak Sitka deer hunt which we filmed but have not released yet, involved challenges with Kodiak browns charging in after the dinner bell (gun blast) went off. We lost one deer to a charging bear so it was an eye opening experience. I have no experience hunting Sitka Blacktail in SE Alaska but as Bighorse has already said, it's a very doable species for any NR to experience.
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    Member NDTerminator's Avatar
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    Thanks, I will search up that thread. I am a big buck hunter and thoroughly enjoy looking at deer pictures. Here in ND we have possibly the best deer hunting in the lower 48. We have both big prairie whitetails and mulies out in the western part of the state. Last year I was extremely sick with Swine Flu on opening weekend and suspecting I might end up in the hospital thereby screwing up the rest of the season, took a very respectable heavy racked 4 point that grossed a shade under 130 that morning when I would usually hunt every day for the entire season. Two weeks later I was better, sitting & glassing the same area, just south of my farmstead, with a doe tag in my pocket, when a 6 point I estimated at 180+ chased a little doe past me at maybe 40 yards. My neighbor got that buck this year, he grossed 190+ with a couple broken tines.

    The buck I took this year was an old 5x4 with 8" plus brows and extra 5 scorable trash points around each base. So being, we named him Trash. I got this buck a mile from my farmstead and never laid eyes on him until a couple hours before I bumped him off. Would have liked to see this guy in his prime, but even on the decline he'll be in the 150 range. This one is good and unique enough to justify the cost of a shoulder mount...

    riflebuck20101.jpg

    Can't even grasp deer hunting where a hungry bear the size of my horse showing up is just a part of the deal. I'm hoping to get to experience it though...

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    Nice lookin' buck there ND!

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

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    Congats,Trash will look good on the wall. I too would love to have a sitka buck of any size mounted for my head collection.

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    Holy Eye guards! Thats a fine deer to mount. I hope you enjoy it.

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    ND, you should definitely come up for some Blacktail Chasing. The Deer on Kodiak can get fairly heavy and I know some guys who chase Big Bucks for the Challenge and they come up with some real nice racks every year.
    They are Hard core Hunters tho, not findin 'em standing on a beach somewhere. Usually an Alpine Hunt and Fairly Tough.

    For size, this pic is of an "average nice" buck, not a huge old one, but came up at 192lbs field dressed, 65lbs wrapped in the freezer, August is a great time to find them "Tasty"



    Early on it is highcountry work for sure, tough on the legs and lungs, lots of glassing, maybe not as much of a challenge if you are in good Cardio Shape,
    But if you are up for a REAL challenge I suggest you try either Afognak Island or go over to Southeast
    and Still Hunt the Old Growth Forest country.

    It is somewhat like Hunting ghosts in that country, an extreme challenge for any Serious Deer Hunter, if ever there was.
    If you pull a Big Buck out of that country, you have accomplished something worthy of respect.
    Here's that link on SE Deer if you are still looking. Some pretty impressive Bucks taken over there by some of these Forum guys

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...r-Hunting-2010

    By the way, that thread has 34,539 views since it was started in June,.........
    in case you were wondering how we Alaskans view the Blacktail as a Worthy Hunt

    PS if those TV guys drug an animal out with out field dressing first,.....
    I'd say that is Excessive Drama on the Bear Issue,
    but you don't really have time to mess around either,
    Be Smart and Stay Aware, should be not a problem.
    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 MNViking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    PS if those TV guys drug an animal out with out field dressing first,.....
    I'd say that is Excessive Drama on the Bear Issue,
    but you don't really have time to mess around either,
    Be Smart and Stay Aware, should be not a problem.

    I agree. I didn't see an single bear on my Kodiak hunt, thank god.
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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    I think the challenge of still hunting for an out of state hunter is the scouting required to localize areas of bedding and feeding and understanding animal movements in a particular area. That takes some time and effort to cover enough country to correctly read the habitat. It's big forested country in SE and you can spend too much time hunting when you should be moving and visa versa. I'm always banking info about habitat structure and deer usage.

    The trouble with a still hunt is your not gonna often get the luxury of selecting a particular animal and making a stalk. An alpine hunt in Sept. is very ideal for the rack hunting Blacktailer. The rut makes things very exciting and unpredictable, which is in November.

    It's very true that whacking an unsuspecting buck in a stand of old growth at 50 yrds is very exciting. Often it's off hand quick reaction shooting in between lanes of obstructing vegetation.

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    use to live in kodiak. hunted kodiak, afognak area alot. we never gutted deer in the field. always waited until the beach or even the boat. more than a few times had big brown fuzzy things show up on the beach as we were making our way off the beach and out to the big boat. exciting to say the least...

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    I ALWAYS clean out my Blacktails. Most of the time I'm completely breaking em down and loading em in a drybag. I stay aware and leave some food for the interested Brownies. The way I figure if you leave em a gut pile and meaty spine and some leg bones for toothpicks they should be preoccupied for long enough for me to head on to the boat.

    There is just no way for me to haul a whole, gut in, Blacktail for any distance through a forest. It's just not gonna happen.

    Bring a good pack and a little know how when you come to hunt Sitka deer and you'll see more and better country than the rest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bighorse View Post
    I ALWAYS clean out my Blacktails. Most of the time I'm completely breaking em down and loading em in a drybag. I stay aware and leave some food for the interested Brownies. The way I figure if you leave em a gut pile and meaty spine and some leg bones for toothpicks they should be preoccupied for long enough for me to head on to the boat.

    There is just no way for me to haul a whole, gut in, Blacktail for any distance through a forest. It's just not gonna happen.

    Bring a good pack and a little know how when you come to hunt Sitka deer and you'll see more and better country than the rest.
    I'm with Big Horse - always butcher deer at the kill sight & pack out. All my Kodiak hunts were done out of a tent and though I've never had the meat pile disturbed, I did lose a buck to bears once. I'd killed a buck (about 1/4 mile from camp) late in the evening and only gutted it & drapped it over an alder tree to cool, figure I'd pack it to camp in the am. Come full daylight, I approached the kill site to find NOTHING. No deer, no guts, no blood. Its kind of an "interesting" feeling you get, standing in the area where you know you had killed a deer the night before, to find no sign of it. Finally I found a small tuft of white hair left from the gutting process. Took about 30 minutes for the hair on my neck to lay flat.
    Always try to have a partner stand watch while you are cutting on a deer when you are in bear country.
    Gary

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