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Thread: DIY Kodiak Island Sitka Blacktails

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    Default DIY Kodiak Island Sitka Blacktails

    Hello, I'm from Olympia Washington and am trying to put together a hunt on Kodiak Island next year for deer, was wondering if any of you could help me out on a lot of questions I have. I have searched the internet and can't find what I need. My plan was to fly into an area within the wildlife refuge and get dropped off, set up a base camp then spike out from there, but the cost of flying all my supplies for the base camp might be too much or too much of a pain. Does anyone know of a drop camp service? I'd like to stay away from the lodge type hunts both because of money and atmosphere. Maybe someone can chime in with something they have done in years past that has worked well for them.

    Thanks for any help

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    When you talk about all of your supplies for a base camp, what are you planning to bring? It is entirely doable to bring everything you need in 50-60 pounds, which shouldn't be any problem at all for flying in. You could reasonably bring much more depending on whether you're flying in a Beaver or a smaller aircraft, but of course you need to budget for meat weight on the way home. That being said, what does a base camp look like to you? Perhaps a few creature comforts could be left behind to pare the weight down to a workable amount?

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    Well there will be 4 of us and I would like a week long hunt, so basic tent, sleeping pad/bag, some form of heat... I don't know I was just thinking all the food, cookware, etc it would just be too much. I could do a back pack style hunt and 50-60 lbs would be enough I just thought the comfort of a decent base camp would be nice.

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    Seahawk air service in Kodiak charges by the weight in the plane and the distance from the City of Kodiak. if you guys weigh an average of 200 apiece and you take 400 pounds of gear, which should be plenty to include a comfortable base camp, its not bad. http://www.seahawkair.com/
    The harder paert might be getting it up here to Kodiak.
    Some form of heat? When are you coming?

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    A base camp would probably suffice. If I'm doing an extended camp/out hunt, I prefer a wall tent, especially with 4 guys. What time of year are you planning on being there? With 4 guys, you can probably figure on two trips to bring you, your gear, and your deer back to Kodiak if you are reasonably successful. But don't overlook getting dropped off by a boat. With a large group and gear and deer, the cost of a boat drop off can compare favorably with an air charter. And on top of that, in certain weather, a boat is more likely to be able to pick you up at the appointed time and get you back to town on schedule.

    Send me a PM. I live in your area, but have a lot of experience camping and hunting on Kodiak. Lived there six years.
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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    With four people the cost is for the plane empty or full. If you bring it in full you will need two planes to get your gear and meat out.

    Think light. There is no need to spike it when deer hunting out there. You can if you want, but it is not required to be successful.

    A Beaver will carry six and a max load of 1250 pounds. Plenty of room for four hunters, pilot and a weeks worth of gear. However with three deer each that might require a second plane if you have too much gear to start with.

    If you are flying in consider it much like a backpacking trip. Only bring what you can carry. Then add some food coolers which you will fill with meat for the trip home.

    Also consider that you will be paying some huge air freight charges to get all that gear up here from WA, so you want to leave home light to start with.

    have you considered the public use cabins?

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    That was my main concern is getting it from Seatac airport to Anchorage then to Kodiak, but I'm sure its do-able, just takes money. I was thinking I would head up there around the 1st week of November. The heat would be mainly for drying off clothes (guessing its gonna rain) etc. I was thinking a drop camp type hunt might just be a little more comfortable, since we wouldn't have to sacrifice as much, although I'm not too worried about the comfort part. Also since I have never been to the Island before, I have no idea where I would want to fly into and camp. Believe me I would much rather do this all on my own without having to pay someone to borrow their gear or rely on them to make my hunt successful.

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    I second the public use cabins. Used them one year and sure helped out on the Logistics. Just be willing to walk a bit to fill your tags. That was my experience anyhow. Take what personal hunting items you need with you on the plane and get the rest at Kodiak. Cabin runs about 450 +/- wk and has a meat cache. You can make reservations on line. Lots of great people on the Island and willing to help you out. Any of the air carriers that you book with will be a wealth of info. That is my 2 pennies worth on your question. Warning the Island is highly addictive, have fun and plan smart.

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    Here is a Kodiak option for ya, was going to post this in the thread for the father and his kids looking for a good hunt. Dad and kids check this out! I have stayed at the floating cabin on Afognak owned by Seahawk air. I went with friends looking for elk. Cost is $300 per night I believe sleeps up to 8 though 4-6 is a good number. Add on transportation in the beaver. Anyway it was cozy and well worth it. Deer hunting was good and the possibility of elk helps. Duck mania there as well. Only issue was our 5 day trip turned into 11 due to weather. Ran out of food, booze, and tobacco for the group. Boy was it a blast! Ate LOTS of deer and ducks, played lots of poker, had a great time. Shot foxes as well.

    One thing to keep in mind is winter kill though. We shot a dozen deer I think, 1 good one the rest small 2 and 3 point dinks but there were quite a few deer. Only hunted the first 5 days, didn't want to be away from thecabin after that in case the beaver showed. One of my buddies told his military friends about it and what a good time we had and they booked to go back. Same week the following year they saw NO deer in 7 days. From the reports I have gotten they're back now pretty good. Pray for an easy winter.
    Mike
    www.coffmancoveak.com
    Prince of Wales Island

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    1st week of November...bears still out. 4 guys, a light camp, deer meat all around, 14+ hrs of darkness, sounds like a meal to me. Bring a fence.

    For what its worth, hunting Kodiak if you are flying in from somewhere else will cost you 2K to 2.5K each when its all said and done. Best hope you dont get weathered in for a few days either.

  11. #11

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    I just did this trip the other month. My stats: stayed with Steele Davis of Spirit of Alaska.Cost for a week was $800 per person for two or more or $1000 for two or less. Nobody else is there during your stay at his old cannery. He's a transporter and will transport you daily to where ever you want to go within that bay. Excellent deer hunting...right now no shortage of deer. Its still DIY self guided with the luxury of being hauled around and warm cabins to sleep/cook at night. About $450 round trip per person by beaver. He has a GREAT meat cutting shop to process/hang meat. Can't say enough how fun and successful that trip was. We'll have a TV show up by next month, you can watch the process then.
    Alaska Outdoors Television ~ Outdoor Channel

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    I am probably going to look for something like a cabin/lodge at least for my first time at doing this. Now I guess I just need to decide if I want to hunt kodiak island or Afagnak. Its going to come down to where our best odds of seeing the most deer will be. The public use cabins would be great if I could get drawn for it, but by the time the results are out I should probably have something booked otherwise if I don't get lucky enough to get a cabin I might be SOL.

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    Ditch the public use cabins! They get hit hard and there are way better locations elsewhere. Ditch Afognak as well. IMO, Pick a reputable charter service and fly into a lake somewhere south of kodiak city depending on you budget. This elimanetes all the meat fleet boat traffic. Dan Dorman runs Kodiak Kamps and is a great option for gear you might not want to lug up with you or gear like a bear fence you may not want to buy. Food and fuel can be bought here at Walmart and Safeway. Just communicate with your party to prevent duplicates of gear you won't need. Make a plan call the biologists herein kodiak( John Crye or Larry Van Daele) for conformation and go for it. If you are an experienced sportsman you don't need somebody to hold your hand here. Go make the most of it and have fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dieNqvrs View Post
    Ditch the public use cabins! They get hit hard and there are way better locations elsewhere. Ditch Afognak as well. IMO, Pick a reputable charter service and fly into a lake somewhere south of kodiak city depending on you budget. This elimanetes all the meat fleet boat traffic. Dan Dorman runs Kodiak Kamps and is a great option for gear you might not want to lug up with you or gear like a bear fence you may not want to buy. Food and fuel can be bought here at Walmart and Safeway. Just communicate with your party to prevent duplicates of gear you won't need. Make a plan call the biologists herein kodiak( John Crye or Larry Van Daele) for conformation and go for it. If you are an experienced sportsman you don't need somebody to hold your hand here. Go make the most of it and have fun.
    Thats a great reference, sounds like more what I was looking for in the first place. Thanks a lot for your input I will look into that.

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    Here's my DIY question.

    If I take my truck and boat on the ferry, can I get far enough via road/river to do a decent backcountry camping and deer hunting trip, or would I be better served to fly across the island and do something similar to what has been described above?
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinnyD View Post
    Here's my DIY question.

    If I take my truck and boat on the ferry, can I get far enough via road/river to do a decent backcountry camping and deer hunting trip, or would I be better served to fly across the island and do something similar to what has been described above?
    If your river boat can handle the salt, to get you away from town you might be ok, but expect some rough water going to/from Kodiak (town). I'm not too familar with the rivers, but with the exceptions of the Karluk & Ayakulik I don't think many of the rivers will be what you're looking for. It would be a long trip thru the salt to get to either of those 2 rivers.

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    Skinny D, how big is your boat and what kind of seas will it handle? You can launch in Anton L****n Bay on the road system and run across to Whale Is., Raspberry Is., and Afognak fairly easily. Less than an hour run in a fast skiff to all three mentioned. And that is all fairly protected water. It can get rough tho, you have to pick and choose when you run. You can also be down to Viekoda and Uganik Bays and Uganik Is in a couple hours. You'll see a bit bigger seas the closer you get to Shelikov Straits. Do-able, but you really need to be on your toes as far as weather. Check a land use map before you go tho, there are public areas and private areas in all places I mentioned.
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    Yeah that's what I was afraid of. I'm definitely not getting in the salt water. I was hoping for a river that is big enough to run upstream a few miles, then start hiking. I don't necessarily need a shipping channel, but something bigger than a creek would help. You're going to laugh... the boat is only 12' with a 8hp Nissan prop. How far out of Kodiak can you get by road?
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


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    Skinny, with all due respect just 3 words. DONT TRY IT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roland on the River View Post
    Skinny, with all due respect just 3 words. DONT TRY IT.
    Are you thinking I sound like walking bear food or a future drowning victim?

    I schemed up this idea by a cost analysis... $350 round trip from Homer on the ferry, then I would be there with truck, boat, gun, cooler, and plenty of time. I'm pretty turned off by the idea of paying someone to show me where to hunt, eat, sleep, poop, etc.

    But I appreciate the straightforward advice. I do indeed.
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


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