August vs November Kodiak deer



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  • August vs November Kodiak deer

    I am currently in the planning phase for a Kodiak deer hunt. My wife's uncle is really excited to adventure in Alaska again. They came to visit us here about 3 yrs ago for fishing/sightseeing, and now want to hunt. (famiiar story anyone? I told him that I had already committed most of my time/money this year to an arctic caribou float, but that I had always wanted to hunt deer/ experience Kodiak. He was fired up about that here we go.

    We have already been in contact with Seahawk and Andrews (in that order), and prefer a drop camp to cabins for hunting pressure concerns. We are still debating ferry w/ truck and canopy vs commercial flight. Another one of our final, major decisions is timing. Our thoughts on the upside to August: scenery of island, improved weather, floatplane to high alpine lake for improved access, quality of venison, fewer bears up high with salmon still in streams, less crowded hunt in alpine bowls, etc. November appears better for activity of bucks in rut and easier meat care.

    We are heavily leaning towards the early August hunt because of the aforementioned reasons, and because they could do some fishing on/in the peninsula/valley with me before/after the hunt. It would also allow better weather for activities around town with our young kids while they visit. Before we commit I wanted the input of those of you with Kodiak experience to reassure me on the August hunt. Or if you think that I am making a big mistake, and that the hunting is just so much better in November that we should reconsider. Please note that I have already gone through the archives/search and have found much good information. I just did not come across anything that directly compared August to November.

    Please advise and thanks in advance.

    There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace. *Aldo Leupold*

  • #2

    You have a lot of good reasons to choose August to provide your wife's uncle with a good Alaskan experience. Howver, in my opinion I feel November is a better time of year to hunt Kodiak for deer.

    One reason to consider is the grass, leaves etc. In August, the grass is high & will be harder to navigate & spot wildlife. Everyhting is still green, all the leaves are on the alders & the grass can be pretty high. You'll probably need to get to the top of a mountain to get to the deer too.

    In November, the weather can be miserable, but I always felt it was easier to spot & stalk deer. And like you said, the rut is always a good time to hunt Kodiak.

    Just my thoughts-


    • #3
      Irsh makes a lot of good points and I coudn't choose one or the other to hunt since I love to do both.
      A couple upsides to hunting in August are
      Weather is far more comortable,
      I feel meat from a early August buck can't be beat,
      Deer in the early season still have thier summer coat on so they are orangeish and can be spotted at great distances ( if they arn't in the alders),
      Also if you find a buck up high in Augest there is a good chance he is not alone since the buck are hearded up that time of year.


      • #4
        i dont' like deer in velvet and i haven't had any problems with the meet tasting weird from nov or oct.
        Nov everything is brown, grass is coming down, deer are really active, foxes are out and about, snowshoe hares are white its some great fox calling and spot and stalk deer hunting, hard horned bucks are fun to watch.
        Less climbing, more action.
        Say you get into and Aug alpine bowl and theres 2 or more carefull how many you shoot, they ain't light. one deer in your pack with the rest of your gear will still be up around 100lbs, two deer is a load. meat care is a concern if your gonna be out. i've lost meat in november in a week when its 40 degrees out. no bugs in november.
        But like you said, if your trying to combine it all with fishing, on the way'll have to do aug.
        take the ferry, it'll save you a pile of money.
        Master guide 212


        • #5
          Try late Aug

          I went once on the last week of Aug and the Deer were still in the Alpine and none of the 5 bucks we took were in velvet. Also no grass in the alpine. Meat was tasty!


          • #6
            put the velvet horns in a garbage bag with some denatured alcohol for a week or so, then hand to dry. Velvet horns can make some beautiful mounts if you do it right. I still have the first deer I shot from 16yrs ago and the velvelt looks the same as the day I shot him.


            • #7
              Zodiac To Kodiak

              For straight hunting I would go in Nov, but for a Vacation I would take the Ferry across and bring a Zodiac. I had a blast on Kodiak one summer. I caught tons of Salmon, Halibut and Crabs in Pasagshak Bay.
              Check out this 160lb Halibut I caught in my Zodiac
              Attached Files


              • #8
                hot dang thats cool! wishin' i had a zodiak laying around. ferry is the best the for all the simplicity of the island.
                Master guide 212


                • #9
                  Thanks to each of you thus far. You have all made contributions that are helpful. Will the habits of the bucks in August be so secretive that the alders and high grass will conceal most of their movements? Or if we are to get up high in the alpine above brushline can we find them moving about in the mornings and evenings and bedded during the day? Just curious to know if the hesitancy about alpine hunting in August is because they are danged hard to find.
                  There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace. *Aldo Leupold*


                  • #10
                    Late Aug

                    I'd go in late Aug. (my personal favorite time to hunt Kodiak is last two weeks of Sept to first two weeks of Oct.)

                    First off, if fishing is a consideration, there will be lots of silvers then and the big halibut will still be in close feeding on humpies. Good dolly varden fishing also. Be prepared to go high for the deer. That's where the big bucks generally are that time of year. You'll also have generally more pleasant weather to enjoy everything in late Aug compared to Nov. Your truck will come in handy for running around the road system to find where the Silvers are biting too. And don't pass up a chance to take a buck on the road system. Some of the nicest bucks I've seen on Kodiak were killed on the road system including my biggest.
                    An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
                    - Jef Mallett


                    • #11
                      when i was there

                      When I was there in late Aug the bucks were in small groups. Exactly what you said about them being out in morning and evening is correct. I noticed also that they really came out when it got sunny right after a rain. I dont know if there drying off or warming up but they really came out quickly in the that sun. Almost every deer we saw was still very high up in the alpine. I attached a couple pics from that hunt.

                      I also went in mid Oct once. It was tough. The deer were not in the alpine anymore and they also were not rutting yet. They were mid elevation held up in 8 ft tall grass and alders. We worked really hard to get our deer.
                      Attached Files


                      • #12

                        All good points but don`t forget the BUGS. In August they will eat you.Mid to Late Oct. would be my choice for a combo hunt/fish on the South end. No BUGS then. Lots of late silvers holding in the pools,most bears off picking berries, still a few halibut in the bays, no BUGS. If your planing to use an inflatablr to get around to the streams check your tide book for big day time high tides. I would not ever consider camping near a stream durring Aug.
                        If your interested I know of a sweet place with a comfortable cabin with a skiff (for fishing only) you gotta bring your own skiff for hunting (BGCSB rules). Drop me a PM and don`t forget BUGS.


                        • #13
                          August hunting can be fun, but I would never do an August hunt unless it was a day trip. I've killed about 10 bucks on those type of hunts, but would prefer not to deal with meat care on a several day August trip with multiple animals down.

                          For longer, remote hunts I really like early November since it is cooler and easier to care for meat and the bucks can really be active and fun to watch then. One downside is the short days and you risk getting frozen out of smaller lakes.

                          I do not like late September/early October. I've sometimes seen the deer act really strange then and keep a low profile.

                          Here are some pics from my last Kodiak hunt (early Nov. 2007).



                          • #14
                            man thats gotta be the yummiest looking meat rack i've ever seen. no trees where i deer hunt so i can't hang my meat....
                            Master guide 212


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BRWNBR View Post
                              man thats gotta be the yummiest looking meat rack i've ever seen. no trees where i deer hunt so i can't hang my meat....
                              You know, it's funny you said that because even though it is not a traditional "trophy" photo that is one of my favorite hunting pictures. We were lucky to find a patch of fairly tall alders near camp to build that rack.


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