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Raspberry Island elk and deer?

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  • Raspberry Island elk and deer?

    My wife and I along with another buddy are headed to Raspberry Island the end of October for an elk/deer hunt. We are going to be staying with Raspberry Island lodge and I was hoping for some recent reports on how the deer population is doing there. Anyone have any recent reports from a hunt this year or from last year. I hunted Kodiak the year of the big die off and we had a great hunt due to the fact that just about every deer on the island was on the beech, but I have not been back since. My wife and I drew the cow tags and my other buddy is hoping to bag a few deer while there and if we cant find the elk I'd like to come home with a few deer as well.
    Also I know some people on here have drawn the elk tags in the past so if anyone has any other pointers besides hike high and far they would be most welcome. We are really looking forward to the hunt and I just sent off the remaining check to Birch and Tiffany and made the ferry reservations this afternoon. All is set and paid for now all we have to do is get there.
    I'm not sure since they are just transporters if they can tell us areas where the elk hang out or not so if anyone has info on where to start it would be much appreciated. It looks like from reading past posts that Onion bay is a good start point.
    Thanks guys

  • #2
    Nobody hunts Raspberry island??


    • #3
      There was the same topic posted on 10-12 days ago. Look for that.

      Not much dark timber, but more brush the further N and W you go. Elk don't hang in the native Land to the E so don't buy the permit.

      Use you vantage points to glass.

      Onion bay has elk occasionally but you have to go up and get out of that drainage for a better chance. Problem w/ Onion is best anchorage around for boats and main place air transporters drop off. So it gets pressure constantly.

      The lodge will have a pretty god idea based on previous weeks clients. A lot will depend on weather where they can safely go with the boat.

      Good luck it is an awesome place to visit!


      • #4
        Email Birch and ask him. Raspberry is a steep price of ground. I hunter there for elk and deer 6 yrs ago. Didn't find the elk until late Thursday so. No chance to hunt them. The lodge is top notch as are the owners.


        • #5
          Call the biologists that handle that island and they should have a lot of info on herd numbers and where they hang out and where they will be at whatever time of year your going.


          • #6
            I know it sounds very obvious and I am sure you have heard it before, but with Raspberry, be ready to climb. A very common access point is here:
            58.099721 -153.196557. Head up that valley, and get on the mountain to your right, heading for the peak at 1500 feet. Run that ridge to the northeast ending up here 58.12007 -153.249151, and then if you don't see them at that point continue to here 58.125931 -153.293534. I don't feel bad putting coordinates here on the internet because 1) these are some pretty obvious locations and 2) I know the effort involved in getting to these locations. The reason to go all the way to that last waypoint is to see into that very last hidden bowl to the north and slightly east of that point.

            The elk seem to like that NE corner of the island, but one time I did see them West of onion bay. I have also seen them in the valley to the south of that initial access point. Be prepared to put on miles every day. As a general rule, the elk are not tough to see, and stick out like sore thumbs when you find them. But they do move, and while it seems goofy to redo the same brutal hike you did the day before, there is a good chance the elk might be there the next day. Also, again this should seem obvious, but don't leave elk or deer meat on the ground on that island. Odds are it will not be there in the morning. None of this info will be news to Birch, and I would fully trust his advice while out there.

            My best advice would be to go in the best shape possible. The ridges you want to be on are deceptively steep to get on top of, and are over 1000' up. Be prepared for salmonberry canes, alders, wind and wetness as well. I love that island.


            • #7
              I hunted Raspberry Island for deer last December. Three of us were new hunters but all of us did well. I took my first two black tailed deer and six ducks. Birch and Tiffany have a great establishment and be prepared to gain a few pounds! Tiffany is a nurse and her children are the best behaved kids I've met in a long time. And Birch has a wicked sense of humor!
              We went with a guide and he did spot some elk on one of his trips with one of the other girls. Birch is always keeping tabs on who sees what. He is not a guide, cannot really give advice other than general. But if he can get his boat in the right bay, he'll get you there and back. Bears are always an issue, big ones! Fortunately, we found the deer to be high, but plentiful and veeeery fat! I shot a big doe with Gobs of fat, several inches thick on her hind quarters. Must have cut off another 5 lbs when I finished butchering the hind quarters. But something significant that my guide stated was, "people don't realize how much these deer are alpine oriented". I found most of mine in the open meadows over 1500 ft up. The alder sucks!!! It's steep terrain and hard bushwacking through the alder. I felt like a small bug caught in a very large spider web! I lost two trekking poles plowing through the alders. They were just ripped off my wrists as I fought my way through.


              • #8
                I've known Birch since he was too young for kindergarten, top notch kid, and runs a straight up (pun intended) operation. Pretend you are sheep hunting and you will do great. Bring your shotgun and duck stamps for the off days from deer hunting, you won't be disappointed.


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