The nearly two year wait to hunt Sitka Blacktail Deer and Mountain Goat on Kodiak Island, Alaska finally arrived. Lynn and I traveled to Anchorage and stayed for two days to enjoy the shops and seafood restaurants. We then flew to Kodiak City for two nights to enjoy and explore the city. The trip to camp was on a Widgeon float plane. The 1946 Grumman G-44 Widgeon is sensitive to weight and balance requiring a hop on the scale with all the suitcases and equipment. The plane was then loaded with camp supplies and our gear. The 47 mile flight takes 32 minutes and is subject to weather. Fortunately, our flight was on a good day and uneventful. The Widgeon takes off from Kodiak City Airport and lands on water. The guides were there to meet us and help us settle into camp. After checking my rifle, I prepared for the planned spike camp for goat. The two guides and I then took a small boat up Kaiugnak Bay to where the hunt was to begin. The weather had changed back to what is typical on Kodiak Island. Rainy drizzle and light wind prevailed the remainder of the day. Several hours of hiking and watching for Sitka Blacktail Deer took us to a valley where we saw that the Mountain Goats were in a different location way to far away for the planned spike camp. The decision was made to return to base camp and try again tomorrow.
Day two started in early afternoon with a plan to concentrate on hunting Sitka Blacktail Deer. The hike to a good area for deer behind camp took several hours. The guides spotted a good Sitka Blacktail Deer maybe 500 yards up a slope. We closed the distance to about 200 yards and waited for the Sitka to show himself from behind some alders. When the deer moved into the open, a steady rest on a backpack frame allowed the shot needed and I had my first Sitka Blacktail Deer on the ground. The hike back to camp ended about an hour after sundown using head lamps. The camp was a welcome sight after a rainy, windy day in the field. Unfortunately, the next day my knee didn’t allow me to continue hunting. The Mountain Goat will need to wait for a different hunt in the future. We left camp on the fourth day and returned to Anchorage to relax for the remainder of the trip.
The outfitter, Big Wild Outfitters, did an excellent job. My guides, Skylar and Kyle, did everything they could to help with my success getting a deer. I only wish I could have pursued a Mountain Goat with these energetic young men who so love their jobs. I have no doubt that had I been able to pursue a Mountain Goat they would have positioned me to harvest one. Their attention to the trophies in camps is excellent. The other hunters in camp had already harvested a goat and a couple of deer before we left. I would highly recommend a hunt with them. They have a camp that includes a warm water shower, great food, and fantastic welcoming personalities. The hunting territory has an abundance of Brown Bear, Mountain Goat as well as Sitka Blacktail Deer.
Big Wild Outfitters will be an exhibitor at the 2019 SCIWI Banquet for questions and scheduling a hunt. Please stop by their booth and see what they have available.
Now I am turning my attention to the up coming SCIWI Christmas Party as well as the 2019 SCIWI Banquet. If you are interested in helping please contact me.
The importance of the banquet can’t be overstated since the profits we net are used all year to fund programs which encourage our youth to hunt and enjoy the outdoors.