Kodiak Deer Hunt Recommendations

Kwelp45

Member
Messages
63
Looking at booking a Kodiak Blacktail hunt for next year. Anyone have any recommendations as to outfitters? I have read deer numbers are down.
 

Kwelp45

Member
Messages
63
Exploring all options. Just want to have a great experience. Love the DIY….. but if a guided deal opens the door to fishing or duck hunting that would be great. Love doing the work, don’t need our hand held. Don’t have aspirations of shooting the biggest black tail that exist just want a kodiak experience. Never been to Alaska. Hunted a lot out west and have been in grizzly country.
 

shedneck

Active Member
Messages
567
Exploring all options. Just want to have a great experience. Love the DIY….. but if a guided deal opens the door to fishing or duck hunting that would be great. Love doing the work, don’t need our hand held. Don’t have aspirations of shooting the biggest black tail that exist just want a kodiak experience. Never been to Alaska. Hunted a lot out west and have been in grizzly country.
We went with Ninilchik in November of this year. They are a transporter, but we fished and had the option to duck hunt. Feel free to message me if you have any questions.
 

WHT_MTNMAN

Active Member
Messages
211
We went with Ninilchik in November of this year. They are a transporter, but we fished and had the option to duck hunt. Feel free to message me if you have any questions.
I've been twice with ninilchik last year was a little poor due to the winter kill the year prior. Ninilchik runs a great outfit. Highly recommend.
 

Kwelp45

Member
Messages
63
Sounds like a adventure of a lifetime from what I hear. Looks like there are a ton of options out there. Thanks for all those that replied. I will keep researching. Might wait a year or so, sounds like some winter kill has hurt the herd in areas. But it could be like the South Dakota pheasant population........ if you think its bad this year, wait until next year!..... it gets worse!
 

Togwotee

Long Time Member
Messages
5,812
I was there last year can't wait to go back. that said I'm not going back until the deer come back. last year was a wreck on the north end of the island and got a little better the farther south you went.
My sources say this year was a little better but the winter has already set in and they're worried it could be another deer killer. wait until late spring to make plans .

I plan on burning some points the next couple Novembers then I'm going back to Kodiak every year until I'm too old. it's addictive .
 

shedneck

Active Member
Messages
567
I was there last year can't wait to go back. that said I'm not going back until the deer come back. last year was a wreck on the north end of the island and got a little better the farther south you went.
My sources say this year was a little better but the winter has already set in and they're worried it could be another deer killer. wait until late spring to make plans .

I plan on burning some points the next couple Novembers then I'm going back to Kodiak every year until I'm too old. it's addictive .
I completely agree that’s it’s addictive. It’s an adventure that’s completely doable every year.
 

Togwotee

Long Time Member
Messages
5,812
Talked to a bear guide up there last week and the winter is off to a rough start. he says if this holds on it will be another deer killer.

I wouldn't book anything until late spring . and even if they don't have a die off numbers are still down so do your research.
 

SS!

Long Time Member
Messages
6,307
kinda strange......huh tog?

They had some early snow that freaked them all out. It’s way too early to tell how the winter will shape up down there.

But if you want big bucks and plenty of deer do not go west or north. South!
 

Togwotee

Long Time Member
Messages
5,812
I guess californians don't understand weather can change .

It has warmed up but the warmer air has piled up a lot of snow in places so it's way to early to tell as I said.

No matter what the weather does the only place I'd go for the next year or two would be the southern end of the island. the guys who went there got better bucks than we were seeing around Old Harbor and the north and west side guys got squat. I plan on waiting until the deer rebound then hitting it every year. and the deer will rebound because the weather is the only thing they have to survive .
 

backinthegame

Active Member
Messages
743
I hunted with Larsen Bay Lodge in 2019. Mike Carlson (owner) has native ties which allows access to some otherwise off limits areas of the island. It's a transporter hunt for deer, no guiding, but that was exactly what I was looking for. The lodge is nice, food is good, people are great. They are a tag vendor as well, underrated benefit because you can buy extra deer tags, duck stamps, salmon stamps, etc as you go and as you see what time permits. We killed good deer, shot sea ducks, caught fish. Great time and highly recommended.
 

6x7

Very Active Member
Messages
1,417
I guess californians don't understand weather can change .

It has warmed up but the warmer air has piled up a lot of snow in places so it's way to early to tell as I said.

No matter what the weather does the only place I'd go for the next year or two would be the southern end of the island. the guys who went there got better bucks than we were seeing around Old Harbor and the north and west side guys got squat. I plan on waiting until the deer rebound then hitting it every year. and the deer will rebound because the weather is the only thing they have to survive .
What a lame reply
 

Kalalau

Member
Messages
60
Hunted on Kodiak 4x. All in November and had great hunts each time. Not a single bear seen in over 20 days afield. The tricky part can be getting in or out if weather comes in. You can check out Clay Robert’s of Big Wild outfitters on Kodiak. Their camp is on Kaiugnak bay. The former outfitter was who we hunted with out of that very same camp. Good luck!!
 

Togwotee

Long Time Member
Messages
5,812
Lame reply ? you must be a Californian.

Weather is subject to change. maybe not at your taco stand but it is up north.
 

SS!

Long Time Member
Messages
6,307
Just an update to this thread regarding the winter. It’s looking like above average snow/moisture. for kodiak and SE Alaska

All you Richard loving non residents should stay home this fall!!
 

eelgrass

Long Time Member
Messages
29,417
Just an update to this thread regarding the winter. It’s looking like above average snow/moisture. for kodiak and SE Alaska

All you Richard loving non residents should stay home this fall!!
Speaking of Richards, did you hunt Sitka blacktails last year?
 

Togwotee

Long Time Member
Messages
5,812
The master guide I talk to up there says it was a bad winter and not over yet. he's probably going to cancel his 2022 hunts if it turns out as bad as he suspects.

Anyway you look at it it's not going to be good hunting for at least a couple more years. sure there will be deer to hunt, and a few good ones. but not what most guys go to Kodiak for.
 

badlander

Member
Messages
77
Hunted on Kodiak 4x. All in November and had great hunts each time. Not a single bear seen in over 20 days afield. The tricky part can be getting in or out if weather comes in. You can check out Clay Robert’s of Big Wild outfitters on Kodiak. Their camp is on Kaiugnak bay. The former outfitter was who we hunted with out of that very same camp. Good luck!!
Holy cow. I went in 2018 and had seen 2 grizz before I ever saw a deer. my hunting partner and I quit counting the number of grizz we saw on Wednesday - mid way thru trip - at 22.

We also saw a bunch of deer but the grizz population was plenty healthy. The big one (at least it looked big at that moment) that stood up out of the alders at 30y and stared at me nearly caused a pair of my underwear to be left on the island.
 

SS!

Long Time Member
Messages
6,307
Holy cow. I went in 2018 and had seen 2 grizz before I ever saw a deer. my hunting partner and I quit counting the number of grizz we saw on Wednesday - mid way thru trip - at 22.

We also saw a bunch of deer but the grizz population was plenty healthy. The big one (at least it looked big at that moment) that stood up out of the alders at 30y and stared at me nearly caused a pair of my underwear to be left on the island.
There are no grizz on kodiak.
 

eelgrass

Long Time Member
Messages
29,417
You have to follow the latest science, Homer. After the Endangered Species Act, scientists came under pressure to find sub species that needed protection. For example, you'd think a Sockeye Salmon would be a Sockeye Salmon, but no. You can't mix salmon from one river with salmon from another river. That would be too easy. California just recognized that summer run steelhead are different than winter run steelhead in the same river and you can't mix them.
 

SS!

Long Time Member
Messages
6,307
You have to follow the latest science, Homer. After the Endangered Species Act, scientists came under pressure to find sub species that needed protection. For example, you'd think a Sockeye Salmon would be a Sockeye Salmon, but no. You can't mix salmon from one river with salmon from another river. That would be too easy. California just recognized that summer run steelhead are different than winter run steelhead in the same river and you can't mix them.
No science needed. Find yourself close to both and you’ll see the difference haha.
 

eelgrass

Long Time Member
Messages
29,417
The Kodiak is a grizzly subspecies according to the Alaska game dept. so.....
I think it's fluid and often depends on the whim of the biologists and what their agenda is. When it came time to reintroduce wolves in the lower 48 there was no such thing as a Canadian wolf. A wolf is a wolf.
 

fullcry

Active Member
Messages
726
A brown bear and a Grizzly are the same thing.
A brown bear is just a coastal grizzly that gets much bigger cause of the salmon diet.A interior bear is just a grizzly.
 

SS!

Long Time Member
Messages
6,307
A brown bear and a Grizzly are the same thing.
A brown bear is just a coastal grizzly that gets much bigger cause of the salmon diet.A interior bear is just a grizzly.
Mule deer and a blacktail are the same too. Mule deer just get bigger 🙄
 

Beendare

Member
Messages
60
I've used that Larson Bay lodge- they are alright. Not fully guided, they will drop you off and pick you up...or you can hunt right out of the lodge. Cheap- $2400 or so.

Mostly I just hire a pilot to drop us off....I've done 4 of those and prefer it. The only bad hunt I've had on Kodiak was trying to split elk and whitetail seasons going in mid October- bad time frame. The bucks are laying low- no rut like in Nov....and no chowing down in the high country like in Aug-September.

I'm headed to another island with 6 buddies in August to bow hunt and fish. Its a friend of a friend with a new lodge there, if its good I will report back.
 

Beendare

Member
Messages
60
BTW, the bear thing is overdone on Kodiak. They have a healthy respect for humans.

I did jump one while crossing a canyon in those thick alders- dang thing was a VW bug with fur- a giant. He bugged out. We had one in camp one night...and we had one on a kill from 2 hours before. Of the 25 or so trips that myself and buddies have taken to Kodiak, no serious bear problems, though I still pack my G20.

FYI, its best to bone them out asap and get them out of there when you shoot them. Don't let them sit...as the bears will find them and then you have a rodeo on your hands. We always bone them right there and haul them out right away. Small deer-short and thick- so 2 guys can easily get them in one load.
 

SS!

Long Time Member
Messages
6,307
I've used that Larson Bay lodge- they are alright. Not fully guided, they will drop you off and pick you up...or you can hunt right out of the lodge. Cheap- $2400 or so.

Mostly I just hire a pilot to drop us off....I've done 4 of those and prefer it. The only bad hunt I've had on Kodiak was trying to split elk and whitetail seasons going in mid October- bad time frame. The bucks are laying low- no rut like in Nov....and no chowing down in the high country like in Aug-September.

I'm headed to another island with 6 buddies in August to bow hunt and fish. Its a friend of a friend with a new lodge there, if its good I will report back.
Great info here for you guys looking to go…
 

fullcry

Active Member
Messages
726
Beendare, Great advice!!!!
I hunt with a metal pack frame.It can be a little noisy but I never have to come back!
 

Kwelp45

Member
Messages
63
Thanks for the information and advice. I have a G20 and will be taking that. I have hunted Bear country in Wyoming but have never had a close encounter (thankfully). Same drill... get it down and get it out.
We ended up booking for November 18-24 of 2023. The rut should be about over then from what i see and the deer will be in lower elevations. Looking forward to the experience.
 

Togwotee

Long Time Member
Messages
5,812
The bear in WY are like mini me compared to the bear on Kodiak. but probably less dangerous. what is it like one person killed by bear on Kodiak in the last 30 years ? we saw a few but they weren't interested in us. if they were they'd eat you like cracker jacks if you didn't kill them first.

From what they say and what we saw the rut doesn't effect the deer on Kodiak like it does down south. don't know why.

I can't wait to go back but after 2 bad die offs in 3 years I'm going to wait. there are still plenty of deer even in a bad year but not the age class I'm looking for.
 

Kalalau

Member
Messages
60
Buskin River on Kodiak

BuskinBear.jpg


BuskinBear2.jpg
 

Togwotee

Long Time Member
Messages
5,812
Deer took it pretty hard according to the guides I know. last year was tough this one will be tougher.

I'm going to give it a couple years and go back regardless. I'm getting old enough I only have so many DIY hunts in that country left.
 

Ramaha

Active Member
Messages
104
Deer took it pretty hard according to the guides I know. last year was tough this one will be tougher.

I'm going to give it a couple years and go back regardless. I'm getting old enough I only have so many DIY hunts in that country left.
I'm curious what is driving your prediction that this year will be tougher?
 

SS!

Long Time Member
Messages
6,307
I know of four groups that have been deer hunting kodiak so far since the opener, all are reporting seeing less deer. With that said if you have time to go this year just go. If you wait around there’s no promise it will get better.

I’m headed to POW in November for deer. I don’t care what the reports say, better than being at work.
 

Wyo_Roadhunter

Active Member
Messages
393
I'm late in on this thread and maybe you've already decided what you're going to do but we went with Homer Ocean Charters and had a great hunt. Had no issues getting all of our deer. Was there for Thanksgiving 2011. Had horrible weather and -52 windchill Temps but was way fun when you could get out.

FB_IMG_1662564917661.jpg
 

SS!

Long Time Member
Messages
6,307
It was so cold his camera couldn't even focus. Either that or the waves! ;)

All you guys debating whether to go or not to go. Just do it! You only live once, no idea what next year brings (especially in bidens america). Just go!
 

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