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Kodiak Island - First Hunt Reflections

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  • Kodiak Island - First Hunt Reflections

    Just returned home from Kodiak Island, and my first hunt there. All I can say is "Incredible". We hunted out of Old Harbor with Jeff Peterson of Kodiak Combos. What a hunt. Jeff is a terrific transporter and he put us in a great hunting spot. We were into deer almost immediately on day one and throughout the week. We took three mature blacktail bucks, each one called in with a doe bleat. The deer were in full-on rut. We saw bucks chasing does, deer paired up, bucks fighting, bucks ripping up the alder brush, groups of bucks chasing a doe - what a show! The bucks responded to our calling like I've never seen before. Sitka blacktails are without a doubt the most handsome deer I've ever hunted.

    My hunting partner and I also caught our first-ever halibut and my buddy landed his first-ever king salmon (I didn't get a chance at a king, but being on the boat while my buddy's first one came in was the next best thing). Simply amazing. The people of Old Harbor are super friendly, and everyone waved at us and shook our hand everytime we were out and about.

    We got lucky and had no bear issues or encounters, and only saw three bears the entire week, and each time it was from the boat. I can't say enough about Jeff's boating skills. He really knows the waters around Old Harbor and showed his boatinig prowess whenever the seas got rough, which was often during our weeklong visit.

    As a lower 48-er, this was another dream come true - to step onto Kodiak Island after dreaming about it since I was a kid. Alaska is such an amazing place, I hope I can keep coming back again and again.

    My freezer is now full of meat and fish, and I can't wait to slap some blacktail backstraps on the grill and some salmon in the smoker!

    Happy Thanksgiving all!

  • #2
    Kodiak is really one of the best places in Alaska
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.


    • #3
      Glad you had a great time now show the pictures !!!!

      I have hunted Kodiak twice so far and loved it . Will be heading over again in April 2007 for a spring brownie !!!!!

      Practice does not make perfect !!!!!
      Perfect Practice makes perfect !!!!!!!!!!



      • #4
        Glad to see the deer were in rut for you. I am scheduling my trip a week or two later this year. I got to Montague a little too early this year.
        Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem


        • #5
          Right on, Sounds like a Blast . What kind of Calls were you guys using?? Its good to hear you all had a good time . Happy Turkey Day


          • #6

            How did the whitetail hunt go for you and your friend?


            • #7
              Kodiak calls - pics coming soon

              I will try to get a few pics posted soon. Just got them downloaded and will try to get some picked out this weekend. We didn't kill any monsters or anything, just some nice, mature blacktails.

              We used exclusively the H.S. TrueTalker call. I've used it for years and really like the different sounds it makes. For us, the deer really seemed to respond to the doe bleats. They seemed indifferent to grunts, and I never heard any vocalization from any of the bucks we encountered, but they really seemed to respond to the doe bleats. It may have been simple curiosity as it seems this species is very curious by nature (at least the ones we encountered - this was my first time hunting blacktails), but the bucks really came in well to the doe bleat. We actually had a spike buck that would not leave us alone. He came in the first time, checked us out, then turned to leave and would come back every single time I called. Finally, he circled downwind to get our scent and I thought to myself "there you go buddy, that's how you'll get to be a big buck, by being smart and using the wind". But, he came to within 10 feet of us from the downwind side! As he walked away a bit more alert having gotten a whiff of humans, I called one more time (actually calling to the first buck I shot, which was raking an alder bush about 300 yards away at the time) and the little spike turned around and came right back.

              I know we got very lucky with our timing and hit the rut perfectly, but it was so cool to interact with the deer like that. We called several bucks into bow range, which was incredible. I've never had that type of reaction back home in Nebraska with whitetails. I think a decoy might have been effective as well.

              Anxious to try my first blacktail backstrap this weekend. The meat made it home frozen as extra baggage and I can't wait to fire up the grill. These are also the most handsome deer I've ever seen. My two bucks had really dark foreheads and faces, and the double throat patch is so cool. I'm getting the second buck mounted and the taxidermist is very excited as he's never done a Sitka blacktail before. He wants to use it in competitions next year since he's never seen a blacktail at a taxidermy competition.

              This is my second year in a row hunting Alaska, and I have to now figure out how to make it happen every year. Truly the most amazing place in the world to hunt and fish. Hopefully the lottery numbers will hit or something. Hah!

              Viva Alaska! ! ! ! !


              • #8
                Kodiak picture

                I promised a shot or two of our first hunt on Kodiak for blacktail. As I mentioned in the previous post, we didn't kill any monsters, but a few decent bucks. Here is my second buck and my hunting partner's first salmon. Never tried to attach images before on this forum so hoping for the best.

                Back home in Nebraska now and preparing to smoke salmon for the first time. Two giant salmon steaks have been brining and sitting for about 14 hours and will put them on the smoker this morning so that I can share some Alaska bounty with people at work. Will also try blacktail backstraps for the first time sometime this week. Yummy!


                • #9
                  I took Mark and his crew out to our Island as a "transporter" here is a shot of the buck they drug out to the beach on the first day of thier hunt. They had stories of "wolves" that day and bucks fighting they were pumped! I tried to explain that the "wolves"were fox in the silver gray phase, they said it was too big for a fox, well we have big fox. This was a fun group to have they were respectful, thankful and truly enjoyed just being here. I guess taking their first sitka, king salmon, lingcod, and halibut on their trip helped.
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