Summit Treestands
Back from Kodiak Buck Shack
Mule Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Stekewood 23-Oct-15
kota-man 23-Oct-15
Mark Watkins 23-Oct-15
ben yehuda 24-Oct-15
Nick Muche 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
orionsbrother 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
cityhunter 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
BOWUNTR 24-Oct-15
Mark Watkins 24-Oct-15
LWood 24-Oct-15
tobinsghost 24-Oct-15
midwest 24-Oct-15
FLGator 24-Oct-15
JTreeman 24-Oct-15
cityhunter 24-Oct-15
cityhunter 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
standswittaknife 24-Oct-15
Nick Muche 24-Oct-15
Bou'bound 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Straight Shooter 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Ron Niziolek 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
t-roy 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
habu john 24-Oct-15
midwest 24-Oct-15
Julius K 24-Oct-15
Whip 24-Oct-15
Elkhuntr 24-Oct-15
weekender21 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Bou'bound 24-Oct-15
BC 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
WV Mountaineer 24-Oct-15
B N A A guy 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Bowboy 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
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Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
Zackman 24-Oct-15
Stekewood 24-Oct-15
orionsbrother 24-Oct-15
Beav 25-Oct-15
GhostBird 25-Oct-15
habu john 25-Oct-15
Bou'bound 25-Oct-15
Stekewood 25-Oct-15
Stekewood 25-Oct-15
WV Mountaineer 25-Oct-15
Stekewood 25-Oct-15
Stekewood 25-Oct-15
Stekewood 25-Oct-15
Stekewood 25-Oct-15
Stekewood 25-Oct-15
Stekewood 25-Oct-15
Stekewood 25-Oct-15
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Stekewood 25-Oct-15
Stekewood 25-Oct-15
bowonly 25-Oct-15
SDHNTR(home) 25-Oct-15
GhostBird 25-Oct-15
Beav 25-Oct-15
FLGator 25-Oct-15
steelhead 25-Oct-15
Mark Watkins 25-Oct-15
Dooner 25-Oct-15
axle2axle 25-Oct-15
drycreek 25-Oct-15
elmer@laptop 25-Oct-15
Bigdan 26-Oct-15
Stekewood 26-Oct-15
Nick Muche 26-Oct-15
Bigdan 26-Oct-15
Julius K 26-Oct-15
Mad Trapper 26-Oct-15
Stekewood 26-Oct-15
Stekewood 26-Oct-15
mountainman 26-Oct-15
Sage Buffalo 26-Oct-15
Z Barebow 26-Oct-15
njbuck 26-Oct-15
Busta'Ribs 26-Oct-15
OFFHNTN 26-Oct-15
MallardSX2 26-Oct-15
Mad Trapper 26-Oct-15
Passinthru63 26-Oct-15
Shrewski 26-Oct-15
Stekewood 26-Oct-15
Stekewood 26-Oct-15
Chaseasl 26-Oct-15
Buffalo1 26-Oct-15
loopmtz 26-Oct-15
habu john 26-Oct-15
Heat 26-Oct-15
Matt Tierney 26-Oct-15
trublucolo 26-Oct-15
HUNT MAN 26-Oct-15
badlander 26-Oct-15
Blacktail Bob 27-Oct-15
Ace of Spades 27-Oct-15
otcWill 27-Oct-15
westslope 27-Oct-15
Bowfreak 27-Oct-15
Bigdan 27-Oct-15
wild1 27-Oct-15
super45 27-Oct-15
TXCO 27-Oct-15
bill v 28-Oct-15
cityhunter 28-Oct-15
Bigdan 28-Oct-15
mn_archer 29-Oct-15
Z Barebow 30-Oct-15
JLS 30-Oct-15
BSKED (mobile) 30-Oct-15
Hoot 30-Oct-15
mn_archer 30-Oct-15
t-roy 30-Oct-15
Hunts_with_stick 31-Oct-15
mn_archer 31-Oct-15
Wapitidung 04-Jan-16
Stixbow 04-Jan-16
Blacktail Bob 30-Nov-16
Jasper 01-Dec-16
Longsprings 12-Feb-17
Paul@thefort 12-Feb-17
Bigdan 12-Feb-17
LKH 12-Feb-17
Blacktail Bob 12-Feb-17
Blacktail Bob 12-Feb-17
Hopeless Place 01-Mar-17
TD 01-Mar-17
hunt forever 12-Mar-17
BC 12-Mar-17
hunt forever 13-Mar-17
Nick Muche 13-Mar-17
From: Stekewood
23-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo
Just got home from a phenomenal ten days at Blacktail Bob's Kodiak Buck Shack. Time to spend some time with the family but will post a full report and lots of pics tomorrow.

From: kota-man
23-Oct-15
Can't wait...

From: Mark Watkins
23-Oct-15
Bring it on!!!!

Mark

24-Oct-15
Looking forward to this!

From: Nick Muche
24-Oct-15
Awesome place! Can't wait to hear your story!

Nice little walk from the beach eh?

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15
The planning for this hunt started last year when Blacktail Bob posted that the Kodiak Buck Shack would be available for rent through Blacktail Bob's Base Camps (Bowsite Sponsor). I had worked in the fishing industry on Kodiak one summer while in school almost 30 years ago and have wanted to get back there ever since. One look at Bob's post and it was clear that a DIY Sitka Blacktail bow hunt at the Buck Shack would be the perfect excuse for a return trip.

The cabin is set up to accommodate 2 hunters. I sent the link to Bob's post to my good friend Jeff and got the answer that I expected almost immediately. He was in. We have done quite few hunts together over the years, including a couple other DIY adventures in Alaska, and before we knew it we had the cabin rented for mid October and were planning our trip to Kodiak.

24-Oct-15
I'm in too. Looking forward to the story. Lay it on us, brother!

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo
Kodiak is notorious for nasty weather and as we boarded the plane in Philadelphia we were well aware that the odds were good that we would get delayed getting to camp, or back, or both. Bob had relayed stories of being stuck at the shack for 10 days or more while waiting for the weather to break.

Travel to camp is by a Cessna 180 with tundra tires. The beach makes a perfect, smooth strip but there's a catch. The tide needs to be out so that the beach is wide enoughfor a safe landing and take off. This makes for a relatively small window of opportunity to get in each day and the weather and tide both need to cooperate at the right time for it to work.

We landed in Kodiak at 7:00 AM after flying through heavy rain and snow. Low tide was at 10:00 that morning. Our pilot left a truck at the airport for us and as we drove into town the weather appeared to be breaking as sunrise approached. A couple of stops for propane, food, and Crow Royal and we were ready to go by the 9:30 take off. There was a low ceiling but things looked good for the flight and an hour later we were unloading our gear on the beach.

From: cityhunter
24-Oct-15
nice did u bring the dachshunds they would chase any pesky bears away !!

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo
The first thing that greets you is the "nice little walk from the beach" that Nick referred to. The cabin sits over 100' above the beach and it's pretty much straight up through grey mud, gravel and grass. We would get to know this little climb well over the next ten days and it wasn't bad with backpack and trekking pole, but first we had to drag our food, gear, water and propane tank up to camp. Welcome to Kodiak!

This is the view from the cabin door looking back down at me grabbing the last of the gear. I'm down there next to the meat pole where the grass meats the beach just below Bob's storage box.

In the brief time that it took to make a few trips and get settled in, the tide had already rolled in enough that there wasn't enough beach to land on. It was great to be in camp!

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15
The dachshunds stayed home Lou, but they sure would have had a ball there. No shortage of critters to chase around.

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo
We got unpacked, had a quick lunch of Ramen, touched base with our wives on the In Reach to let them know we arrived safely and got ready to head out to get the lay of the land.

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo
Quite a view from the cabin,

From: BOWUNTR
24-Oct-15
Cannot wait for this.... Ed F

From: Mark Watkins
24-Oct-15
Awesome so far Steke!

I'm going to go shoot 20 arrows to give you time to get your storytelling kicked into high gear!

Mark

From: LWood
24-Oct-15
Following.....

From: tobinsghost
24-Oct-15
Im in

From: midwest
24-Oct-15
Amazing view!

From: FLGator
24-Oct-15
Outstanding adventure! Can't wait for the rest of the story.

From: JTreeman
24-Oct-15
I think I've worn out my refresh button waiting for updates on this thread!!!

--Jim

From: cityhunter
24-Oct-15
I still recall the Pic with Roy and bob building the place .

Is This Nick a carpenter !:>

From: cityhunter
24-Oct-15
Steke u always provide us with a great read! your moose hunt from yrs ago still burns in my thoughts .

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo
We headed out in the early afternoon to check out the area above and next to the cabin. Alaska allows same day flying/hunting for deer. I had 3 deer tags, Jeff had 2 plus a caribou tag that he could use on a third deer if no caribou showed up.

As first time Blacktail hunters we had a pretty simple and basic goal. Shoot pretty much any buck to get one under our belt and have some meat for the hunt, then try to get a respectable representative and if we got to that point, try for a big mature buck. We knew of Bob and Roy's tremendous success record on trophy bucks but didn't kid ourselves about the huge gap in experience between them and us and didn't really know what lay ahead of us.

As we climbed above camp and crossed a large grass and willow flat, we got a taste for how big the country was and how long it would take to cover some ground. We saw some does and fawns and some distant deer up high. We were tired from almost 24 hours of straight travel and decided to have a good dinner, get some sleep and start hunting hard first thing the next day. One thing was for sure. This was not a "head back to camp for lunch" hunt. We would have to leave in the morning, get to the top, and hunt all day if we wanted to really be in the game.

24-Oct-15
Steve, always love your hunts bud.. Thanks and keep it up..

From: Nick Muche
24-Oct-15
This is great!

From: Bou'bound
24-Oct-15
This will be very epic I believe. Looking forward to it

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo
We decided that we would take advantage of the morning low tide. The Bumble Bay beach consists of two nice sandy stretches separated by about 100 yard or so stretch of rocks and cliffs. During high tide the surf pounds the rocks but as the water recedes, a gap in the rocks provides access to the next stretch of sand and a couple of nice passes above. We would walk the mile and a half or so to the end of the beach then begin the 1000' hike to the top

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15
As soon as we got past the rocks we could see deer. Lots of does and fawns and an assortment of small bucks. There were basically two tiers to the landscape. Numerous grassy draws led to the first tier, a wet grassy flat with scattered willows. From there with the ocean behind us, steep hills rose to rocky, alpine tops in all directions. I managed to get above and ahead of the deer in the draw as Jeff watched from the other side. Just as the buck I was after made his way up to me, another group of deer with a buck of similar size came around the hillside above me. Caught in the open and trying to shift around for a better look and position, deer were soon scattering in every direction. While I was disappoionted in the blown opportunity, we were excited by the number of deer and having a close call right off the bat on the first day.

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo
We found ourselves in an amphitheater of sorts. A long ridge on each side with a low pass at the end. We decided to split up and hunt each side and meet at the pass at the end later in the day. The two sides were open enough that we would be able to periodically keep tabs on each other by glassing carefully. I went up to the left and Jeff crossed the flat and ascended the right side.

Once at the top, it was a different world. Grass gave way to lichen and moss covered rock and winding along the top revealed wavy draws on the back side, bordered by rocky cliffs.

24-Oct-15
I think I speak for everyone interested in this thread and say, WRITE FASTER!!!

Great so far keep it coming.

DJ

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo
Deer sign was everywhere and the rocks allowed for a stealthy approach. The very first draw I peaked into had 5 bucks feeding my way at about 50 yards. Second in line was a fat, old pancake racked 6 point that dwarfed the other deer. I ditched my pack, knocked an arrow and got ready for the shot. He ended up facing me at 31 yards and just needed to turn. His buddy was now inside 20 yards. I felt a breeze on my neck, the deer went on alert, and they were gone. 2 very close calls and we had only been hunting for 2 hours.

The next hour or so had me picking my way along the top, scrambling through the rocks and checking pockets on both sides of the ridge. I came upon a group of young bucks bedded just below the top and knew if I was able to get through the cliffy terrain on the back side, I could peak over the top an a shot would be likely.

I crept up and looked over the edge and there on a small flat spot on top was the closest buck. He was young deer, but he was a Kodiak Sitka Blacktail and he was 28 yards away.

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo
I drew my bow, rose up on my knees and gave a little bleat. He stood up, the arrow flashed into his chest and my first Sitka Blacktail tumbled down the mountain.

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo
We had our meat and celebrated that night with backstop, mashed potatoes and a few sips of Crown Royal!

From: Ron Niziolek
24-Oct-15
Keep it coming!

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo

From: t-roy
24-Oct-15
Congrats so far & looking forward to "The Rest of The Story"!

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo
The next day we paced a lunch of trail mix, a few mini snickers, hunk of cheese and a can of sardines. This would be our standard for each day. We headed down to the beach and this time turned up one of the closer draws before we got to the rocks so that we could hunt a different area. Once on top, there were deer everywhere. We poked over a rock to see a beautiful 8 point buck with a forked g2 on one side just below us. Jeff snuck up within 40 yards but the buck's body was obscured by the willows. One of the does caught some movement and they all headed out.

We split up, with Jeff heading down to a well traveled trail with lots of deer in the area and me working my way along the knife edge ridge above. Jeff Watched as I stalked a buck bedded on a pinnacle. At times it was more like goat hunting than deer hunting. I got to within 23 yards of this tall racked 5 point. With one tag already filled, I was debating weather or not to shoot him when the wind shifted and settled the issue. He was bigger than my first but nothing like the big pig bodied buck of the day before, and there was little disappointment as he dashed away through the rocks. Two other very close calls on nice bucks, one for me and one for Jeff, materialized during the day and we returned to camp at dark optimistic for the days ahead.

From: habu john
24-Oct-15
Wow this hunt looks fantastic. Can't wait to get all the details/pics. Thanks for sharing.

From: midwest
24-Oct-15
Sounds like a total blast!

From: Julius K
24-Oct-15
Keep it coming!

From: Whip
24-Oct-15
I'll be on Kodiak two weeks from now. You can bet I'm hanging on eve?y word! Great story and pics - can't wait for more!

From: Elkhuntr
24-Oct-15
good stuff, this is a dream hunt of mine.

keep it coming.

From: weekender21
24-Oct-15
No doubt a great hunt, those little deer are really cool!

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo
The next day we decided to return to the end of the beach. The weather had turned and by the time we got up to the first tier the wind was really blowing and it was raining lightly. We had planned on going up top but knew that trying to shoot up there with that kings of wind was probably pointless. Instead we tucked ourselves in for a while and glassed some of the thicker cover. We saw deer but nothing exciting and by mid day the wind had tapered off enough for us to go up and have a look around.

Just before heading up I spotted what appeared to be a good buck bedded in the island of grey rocks about halfway up the left mountain just to the right of the grey spine. I was going to go after him and Jeff was going to go up from the far right side and get above to hopefully intercept anything that I bumped.

From: Bou'bound
24-Oct-15
did you see any bears

From: BC
24-Oct-15
Awesome bowhunting adventure Steve.

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo
I got close but once again there were just too many eyes. The deer didn't blow out but they were uneasy and headed into the more open country above.

I made my way over to the spine and ascended, periodically peaking over into the bowl on the other side. About halfway up there were a couple of does feeding about 30 yards from the rocks. Below him was what looked like a half decent buck and I dropped out of sight and down a bit to get closer. Once in range I convinced myself that he was a shooter and an arrow through the lungs at just over 30 yards put him down quickly.

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15
We saw 8 bears during the hunt Grant, including 2 absolute tanks. More on that later.

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15
I rolled the buck down the hill and around the "corner" so that I would have a better view if any bears approached and so that Jeff would eventually see me working on it. As I started the process I saw Jeff way up on top. He was getting ready to come down to help but I didn't want him to give up that great position and miss out on hunting time so I signaled him to stay up and keep hunting.

When I had him all boned out and packed up, Jeff was coming down. Shortly after we made contact he shot a buck up on top. The hit was a little back and he had a good mark on where the buck had bedded. We decided that I would pack my meat over to where we drop down to the beach then find a good spot where I could keep an eye on the buck while he went up to finish him off.

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15
The plan worked. Jeff jumped the buck but through hand signals, a lot of running down the mountain, and a couple shots, Jeff had his Blacktail. By the time we recovered him it was almost dark. We knew we were in for a late night.

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15
We got his deer all taken care of and packed up by headlamp, got back to my pack and started the descent to the beach in the dark.. The up side was that we knew it was late enough that the tide would be low enough for us to get through the rocks. The downside was that it was a whole different experience navigating through the slippery rocks in the dark with heavy packs. We took our time to insure that we got through safely and arrived at the meat pole below the cabin at about 10:30. A few Mountain house meals, some Mac and cheese, a couple of sips of Crown and we hit the rack.

24-Oct-15
Heck Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From: B N A A guy
24-Oct-15
Absolutely incredible adventure!! Thank you so much for posting!!!

Best regards, Scott Alberda

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo
That night the wind began to howl and the rain came. The next day was a blow out but a welcome camp day. We had to restock our water supply from the seep down by the beach, cape out the heads and get them salted and make sure all the meat was well cared for and dry. We also didn't mind having a day to rest up and relax in camp.

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo

From: Bowboy
24-Oct-15
Congrats and keep the story and pictures coming!

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo
With 6 days of hunting left and one tag remaining, I was set on trying to take a mature buck. We had seen a good number of caribou but so far they remained too far away to get to. Jeff would hang on to the caribou tag in case they came closer but was also now determined to get a mature buck.

For the next 4 days we hunted hard and pushed farther. There was no sign of the rut and the big bucks weren't moving at all. The only hope was to carefully sneak within range, a task made difficult by all the other deer.

We saw big bucks every day and got so close, so many times. Well planned stalks would go perfectly until an unseen deer ruined it during the last few yards or the wind swirled at the last minute. One of the days I was just 70 yards from an absolute monster double beamed non-typical. He was oblivious with his head in a bush and I was sure I was going to close the last 30 yards or so and get a shot until I saw a buck I never knew was there staring me down.

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo

From: Zackman
24-Oct-15
Spectacular! Thanks for sharing your trip to that beautifully nasty island. It is a wonderful place

From: Stekewood
24-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo
As the sun set on day 8, we knew it was crunch time but if the weather held we were sure we could get it done.

24-Oct-15
Wow!

From: Beav
25-Oct-15
This is a dream hunt of mine. Thanks so much for sharing and can't wait to hear the rest.

From: GhostBird
25-Oct-15
Very cool trip... congratulations!!!

From: habu john
25-Oct-15
Excellent bowhunting adventure, thanks for taking us along. Looking forward to seeing what happened on your last day.

From: Bou'bound
25-Oct-15
Bears?

From: Stekewood
25-Oct-15
The ninth day started out cloudy with a little wind and rain. We had been seeing a few nice bucks on the back side of the near basin and had hunted there enough by then to see a bit of a pattern of what they would do when a stalk turned sour. We hiked up through the first pass and peered up over the next ridge to see what was in what we called "doe basin". It held true to its name but this time there was a big bodied heavy horned buck feeding with them.

We watched for a while and he didn't seem to be headed anywhere. He was about 130 yards out in the open flat. After discussing the possibility of one of us circling around the top and back down to get in front of him, Jeff had another option. We would try to grunt and doe bleat him within range. We set up about 40 yards and Jeff started calling. He grunted several times with no reaction. The doe bleat got him to lift his head but with complete disinterest. So much for that.

From: Stekewood
25-Oct-15
Jeff called me over and I circled back around to him while staying out of the buck's sight. From where Jeff was, 80 yards from the buck, the ground was broken up enough that it might be possible to slide slowly down and get within range. Jeff suggested that since my effective range was slightly longer, I should give it a try. I started down the hill a few yards and the buck dropped his head behind a dip to feed. With his vision blocked I rose to a crouch to close quickly. I took th first step, he lifted his head and I was frozen in the open.

We had been through this several times already. Does and younger bucks would stare, sometimes for minutes, but if we stayed still they would relax and go back to feeding. Not so for this old buck. He didn't blow out of there, but he was nervous and slowly walked away across the basin and over the edge.

As soon as he created I dashed across the basin to try to get a shot before he got too far from the edge. I was just a few seconds too late and saw him disappear over a grassy ridge.

25-Oct-15
Dang it!!!!!!

From: Stekewood
25-Oct-15
I headed back to Jeff. The next plan was for me to climb up to the top and get around so that I could see the area where the buck headed and Jeff would slowly still hunt his way behind the buck. I arrived st the vantage point to see Jeff closing in on some deer below him. I also saw a very big buck out close to where I took the picture of the skylines buck a week before. After repositioning myself so I could see both areas, the big buck bedded in some thick willows with several other deer and the buck we were pursuing rounded a hump far below me with a group of small bucks. The small bucks dropped over the hump into a ravine but "our" buck stayed just over the edge.

Now I had a decision to make. As much as I wanted to try for the bigger buck, I knew he was unapproachable. "0ur" buck was in a great spot and I quickly packed up to get back around the top and drop in on the other side from him. Jeff was back up top and I ran into him on the way. It turns out he had gotten in on them and missed a longish shot at the same buck. I ttold him my plan and as I started the stalk, he went up and around to watch.

From: Stekewood
25-Oct-15
As I dropped down the steep slope I had that feeling that this was going to be it. I kept replaying the mental map of which clump of willows I needed to get to and where he should be when I created the ridge.

I ditched my pack as I approached the ridge and ever so slowly inched towards the edge. From that point I had to make it about 100 yards. The cover was decent and the younger bucks should be far enough below that they wouldn't see me. I inched along ever so slowly until my willow patch was in sight. If the deer blew out, I would now be able to see them going up the far hillside. So far so good.

10 yards before I got to the clump, the white faces of two young bucks caught my eye about 40 yards to my right. They were staring right at me but I had been moving so slowly and had enough broken cover that they were not spooked yet. Knowing that they would be soon I crept to the willow patch.

From: Stekewood
25-Oct-15
I got to the willows, slowly rose up and there he was, right where he should be, looking in my direction. He hadn't seen me yet but the alert young bucks clearly had him comcerned. I slowlly ranged him through a gap in the willows, 38 yards, and slid my sight to that mark. As I cleared the willows with two sideways steps, and drew my bow, he caught the movement and turned to join the younger bucks.

The arrow was gone and I saw it disappear into the crease just below his elbow. I expected him to drop as quickly as the other two had but whether I misjudged his body angle or the downward angle of the shot, he managed to get across the bottom of the draw before bedding just out of the other side. I knew he was done and signaled for Jeff to come around and down. I sat and ate a very late lunch and kept an eye on the bedded buck. Shortly after Jeff arrived the buck tumbled down into the ravine. It was great for both of us to get to approach the downed buck together after having pursued him for almost seven hours.

From: Stekewood
25-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo

From: Stekewood
25-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo
He was an awesome buck. We had certainly seen higher scoring racks during the trip but he was a big blocky buck with heavy chocolate antlers and thick neck. When caping him out before leaving, I noticed that he only had a few worn incisors left up front and totally flattened molars. A great old beast!

From: Stekewood
25-Oct-15
We took pictures and got him taken care of knowing that it would be a late night again. It was almost straight up to the pass that we needed to get over and from there, straight back down. We split the load and arrived at the pass as darkness fell. Down the mountain, across the flat and down to the beach by headlamp and we were back.

From: Stekewood
25-Oct-15
The next day we headed back to the end of the beach to look for a couple of big bucks that I had seen there 2 days before. The wind direction dictated that we go out beyond where they had been and work our way back. Once at the end Jeff spotted a nice buck on the next mountain. He made a long stalk only to run into a huge buck below him that ran out with a bunch of others. Surprisingly the buck he was after above them only rounded a corner and relaxed. I watched as Jeff inched down the hillside. At 31 yards as he was ready to shoot the buck snapped his head up and bolted. I could see Jeff toss a rock down the mountain in frustration.

We still had one last shot. We would check the draw that we had poring inhale intended to hunt. While working our way across the open top, Jeff was focused on peaking into the little dips and draws. i looked ahead to see a strange shape bobbing on the mountainside.

From: Stekewood
25-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo
"Bear!" I whispered and we both crouched. We had seen 7 others during the hunt but they were all distant and unaware. This guy was digging in the hillside about 100 yards in front of us and there was nowhere to hide. The wind was good so we snapped a few quick pictures then slowly retreated. He caught the movement, went on full alert and looked right through us. About the same time the wind swirled and he turned and dashed up and over into our big buck basin.

With only a can of bear spray as defense Jeff made the call. The hunt was over.

From: Stekewood
25-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo
We spent our last night in camp enjoying a backstrap roast from the big buck with some cheddar potato soup. There was just the right amount of Crown left in the bottle to offer a toast to him and the great island that he called home.

From: Stekewood
25-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo

From: bowonly
25-Oct-15
An adventure for sure. I enjoyed the great photos.

BOWSITE, the next best thing to being there. Thanks

From: SDHNTR(home)
25-Oct-15
Great photos. Awesome adventure! Congrats on the deer. Are those straps holding the shack onto the side of the mountain?

From: GhostBird
25-Oct-15
What a great trip... you guys did good.

From: Beav
25-Oct-15
Awesome, awesome!!

From: FLGator
25-Oct-15
Incredible adventure... thank you for sharing.

From: steelhead
25-Oct-15
Awesome story!! Brings back my Sitka hunt memories. Can't wait to get back someday!! Thanks for sharing.

From: Mark Watkins
25-Oct-15
Sweeeeet!!!

Thanks for posting up your adventure!!!

Mark

From: Dooner
25-Oct-15
Great Story! Thanks for posting:-)

From: axle2axle
25-Oct-15
Great write up Steve,

Appreciate the play-by-play and all the excellent terrain, bucks, bear, and happy hunter photos...I'd love to do this hunt! Looks like an awesome adventure!

You da MAN !!!

Nicely done.

From: drycreek
25-Oct-15
Late to this thread, so all the good descriptives have been used. So I'll just say this was a damn good story about what must have been a hunt you will remember forever ! Awesome !

From: elmer@laptop
25-Oct-15
Wow, sounds awesome!

From: Bigdan
26-Oct-15
Looks like Bob is going to need some paint to cover up the writing on his door. This makes me think of my first trip to hunt Sitka's on Kodiak in 1988. Were we took number 1 and 2 in the world. fun hunt any one the goes will have a blast.

From: Stekewood
26-Oct-15
In 1988 my first buck probably would have made the top 10. ;-) Seriously though, I would love to see some pictures of those bucks if you have them Dan. What part of the island did you hunt?

From: Nick Muche
26-Oct-15
Awesome work guys! Great thread. Congrats!

From: Bigdan
26-Oct-15

Bigdan's embedded Photo
Bigdan's embedded Photo
Mine that ended up being number 2 I wrote a story of are hunt I mite see if I can post it then you can see my hunting buddys buck that got the world record in Bismark. He also shot one with are camp gun that was 118 B&C on the same trip

From: Julius K
26-Oct-15
What a hunt, thanks for sharing!

From: Mad Trapper
26-Oct-15
Great story Steve. Thanks for sharing. I will be hunting these critters in a few weeks. Can you let us know what your bucks scored? I am having a hard time scoring these guys! You indicated that you were using a sliding pin sight. Did you find yourself having enough time to range and then move the sight for the shot? Any other tips you have would be appreciated. Congrats!

From: Stekewood
26-Oct-15
Thanks Tom. I've used a slider exclusively for years. Setting the yardage has become a quick part of the shot process and I don't think that it has gotten in the way of getting a shot.

I look forward to hearing about your hunt. Jeff and I talked quite a bit about how different it might be to hunt them during the rut when the bucks were on the move, and we would love to hear from you, Bob, or anyone else who has experienced it.

The biggest tip that I can offer from our limited experience is that for those going to Kodiak, take more boot than you think you need. The terrain is much steeper and rougher than the pictures make it look. I took a pair of Schnee's Beartooth boots that I love and have served me well on several other hunts including an Alaska caribou hunt in fairly rough mountain terrain, and Jeff had Cabelas Meindl 10" Perfekt hunters. The boots were fine and neither of us had foot issues but we both agreed that more ankle support would have been very much welcomed, especially when side hilling while packing heavy loads. I was kicking myself for not bringing the Scarpa Liskamms that I've worn while backpack hunting in sheep and goat country. They would have been a better choice.

From: Stekewood
26-Oct-15

Stekewood's embedded Photo
Stekewood's embedded Photo
As for score. If you see one like Dan's, shoot it! :-)

Here is a picture of all the racks. We didn't score my first one but we rough scored the others. Jeff's buck and my second are in the low to mid 60's, the bigger one is in the upper 70's. These are gross scores. My buck is missing a brow tine, which results in quite a few inches of deductions, not just for the missing tine, but also the mismatched circumference measurements.

Our lack of experience definitely made them hard to judge. Jeff and I were thrilled with the double that we pulled off on the third day but we both admitted to a little ground shrinkage on those bucks. Even the smaller bucks have good mass relative to the size of the rack and it was deceiving, There was, however, no mistaking the bucks in the next class when we saw them. We started to use body size and shape as more of a criteria than rack size. The fat blocky bodies of the mature bucks really stood out, even at distances where trying to judge the rack wasn't practical.

From my very limited experience, I think any symmetrical 6 or more point buck with a frame like the bigger rack would be a shoe in for the book if that's what you are shooting for. We saw some smaller framed 8 points that would likely easily make it also. One thing that's for sure is that they are beautiful deer and any of them would make a great looking mount.

From: mountainman
26-Oct-15
Great hunt! Thanks for taking the time to write it up.

From: Sage Buffalo
26-Oct-15
Awesome hunt and thanks for sharing. Awesome that you took time to take some pics. Love seeing them.

From: Z Barebow
26-Oct-15
Late to the parade, but I am glad I got see this.

Thanks for sharing your experiences. This is on my bucket list.

From: njbuck
26-Oct-15
Wow, great hunt guys, congrats on a job well done!

From: Busta'Ribs
26-Oct-15
Good job Steve! Brings back some really great memories on my Blacktail hunt off Kodiak. God, I'd love to go back someday. The bear photo is awesome, glad to hear that was the closest call you had.

Thanks for sharing, really excellent hunt report!

And congrats on a great trip.

From: OFFHNTN
26-Oct-15
Congrats on a very successful trip! Awesome pics and write up!

From: MallardSX2
26-Oct-15
Looks like an awesome trip. Wonder how the keep the bears from tearing that cabin to pieces!?

From: Mad Trapper
26-Oct-15
Thanks Steve!

From: Passinthru63
26-Oct-15
That was awesome! Congrats on your success. Now I have something to dream about. Thanks for sharing.

From: Shrewski
26-Oct-15
How did you guys get the meat home? Did you need an extra day or two in town to take care of all that?

From: Stekewood
26-Oct-15
We flew out of camp on Wednesday and our flight home wasn't until Thursday evening. The hotel had a walk in freezer for meat, fish, capes etc and by Thursday afternoon the meat was solid as a rock. There are coolers and boxes available in town and the people at the airport are very accommodating when it comes to getting fish and game home. There are also lots of people in town who can use the venison. It is exceptionally fine tasting meat.

We put the racks in our luggage and had a seperate cooler for the capes.

I missed a couple of questions earlier. Bob will have to provide the engineering details but the cabin is strapped to anchors that are hammered in the ground. There was a level in the cabin and everything was still pretty much right on so it must work!

There is also an electric fence on a solar trickle charger to keep the bears away. I accidentally bumped into it while hanging the capes under the eaves and that works too!

From: Stekewood
26-Oct-15

Stekewood's MOBILE embedded Photo
Stekewood's MOBILE embedded Photo

The town of Kodiak is a great place. Lots of good food and great beer and it's a good time just walking the docks and checking out the fishing boats. This was seemed to be particularly appropriate.

From: Chaseasl
26-Oct-15
Very cool, a dream hunt to be sure.

From: Buffalo1
26-Oct-15
A really neat adventure. Thanks for sharing. I is very apparent you had a great time and collected some nice trophies. Great photo of the bear and the scenery. Congrats !!!

From: loopmtz
26-Oct-15
Sweet!

From: habu john
26-Oct-15
Great job guys and thanks so much for sharing. I would love to take my stickbow to the island one day and give it a try.

From: Heat
26-Oct-15
Excellent thread! Now I know where I want to go when I do make it to Alaska. Congrats on a great hunt!

26-Oct-15
Looks like it was a blast. Some day...

From: trublucolo
26-Oct-15
Congrats guys, great pics & cool story. Especially liked the shot of the bear.

From: HUNT MAN
26-Oct-15
Wow. This is on my short list and you just made it a little shorter. Thanks for posting and congrats on a grand adventure. HUNT

From: badlander
26-Oct-15
Stekewood:

Thanks for putting together your write up, great job and an awesome adventure!

On my short list for sure!

27-Oct-15
This is Mrs. "Blacktail Bob". Glad you had a great hunt. I'm over in Hawaii. I think I need to "cutetin up" that cabin. Great story. Hope Bob is successful too.

27-Oct-15
awesome hunt, thanks for sharing!

From: otcWill
27-Oct-15
Fantastic! Thanks for sharing

From: westslope
27-Oct-15
Excellent write up! thanks.

From: Bowfreak
27-Oct-15
Congrats on a truly awesome hunt!

From: Bigdan
27-Oct-15
Lisa so Bob is at the cabin and your on the beach in Hawaii. Your not with that Earl guy from Texas are you?

From: wild1
27-Oct-15
That was a fun read, thanks for taking the time to post it.

That last deer is gorgeous - congratulations!!

From: super45
27-Oct-15
great story and trip. thanks for sharing. the cabin looked perfect to me. I think I would have to check those strap every night before i turned in :^)

From: TXCO
27-Oct-15
Great story!!

From: bill v
28-Oct-15
Awesome Steve

From: cityhunter
28-Oct-15
Lisa When i heard Bob was building that place without you on the job i said Yikes !!

From: Bigdan
28-Oct-15
Lewis Lisa is a painter and it looks like she is needed bad.

From: mn_archer
29-Oct-15
omg im doing this. just texted my buddy who is working up on the slope but haven't heard back yet. Next year most likely wont work with an ak moose hunt but the year after for sure!

thanks for the story.

michael

From: Z Barebow
30-Oct-15
I want this. I have a daughter getting married in 2017 so I will be looking beyond 2017, but not too far!

To borrow BigFin's mantra- "I will run out of time before I run out of money".

From: JLS
30-Oct-15
Man, what an amazing adventure. To echo some other guys, this hunt is definitely on my short list.

30-Oct-15
Great hunt and great story!

Can't wait to sit down over a few barley pops and hear the whole story!

Congrats to all.

Bsked

From: Hoot
30-Oct-15
Also on my short list, looks like a blast!

From: mn_archer
30-Oct-15
Z tell me it isn't true that the brides dad truly has to cover the cost... lol

From: t-roy
30-Oct-15
Great story & pics as well! Very well done!

Gonna have to add this hunt to my bucket list!

31-Oct-15
Great job, sounds like so much fun!

From: mn_archer
31-Oct-15
You guys really have me interested in this hunt. How much was the flight from Kodiak to camp?

also a couple questions about the deer.

Boned out, what does a mature buck weight? Thinking packing weight.

How much country could you cover from the camp effectively?

You mentioned a big mature buck- how many mature bucks did you guys see on this trip?

thanks again,

michael

From: Wapitidung
04-Jan-16
I'm headed to Kodiak with a group in November 2016. My Big Adventure. I look forward to reading this thread more closely over the next few days.

Blacktail Bob, where's your Decoy Hat?

Wap

From: Stixbow
04-Jan-16
This thread has inspired me to start planning for 2017

30-Nov-16
Steve,

Great writeup about your hunt. Very glad you guys had a good time. Don't know why but as of the end of November 2016 this is the first time I've seen this thread. Since I have a bear tag for the spring of 2017 at the cabin, I sure hope I see that bear you took the photo of. He appears to be a shooter!!!

From: Jasper
01-Dec-16
Man, what an awesome story Steke! One of the best things I've read on the Bowsite. Thanks for sharing!

From: Longsprings
12-Feb-17
When you bone out the meat and field dress those blacktails, what do you do with the entrails and bones do you do not attract the bears ?

From: Paul@thefort
12-Feb-17
Even two years later, I enjoyed that a lot. I just noticed the yellow straps attached to ground anchors that helped held the cabin to the hillside.

my best, Paul

From: Bigdan
12-Feb-17
BIRDS get most of it Lots of Birds there they will be on you 5 min after the kill

From: LKH
12-Feb-17
Those are big bears. It doesn't take one long to eat everything you leave after a deer kill. Actually it doesn't take them long to eat a whole deer.

12-Feb-17

Blacktail Bob's embedded Photo
Blacktail Bob's embedded Photo
I'm getting pumped to get out there in March to hunt Mtn Goat and then back again in April to hunt Brown Bear.

I think a boned out mature buck is about 60 to 65 pounds. Most guys will have near 20 to 25 pounds in their back already, so in total your pack will weigh maybe 80 to 95 pounds with a boned out buck in it. In my old age, I sometimes take it in two lodes.

I think most guys think 1/2 mile is a mile when hunting Kodiak. At the buck shack, most bucks are killed within 1.5 miles of the cabin. But, not unusual to kill one 1/2 mile from the cabin.

This year both spots are taken, but I think there is one spot open for early 2018 (Sept/Oct). I've decided to reduce the number of spots from three to two from now on.

12-Feb-17

Blacktail Bob's embedded Photo
Blacktail Bob's embedded Photo
There was an issue with a bear there this past year and that can always happen. Best to process a deer as quickly as possible, get everything away from the gut pile and bones as soon as possible, and then avoid the area for a couple of days. Like Dan says, birds are on the remains sometimes before the hunter gets to a dead deer.

We had a magpie sitting on the back of a live, wounded deer when I was out there with Roy's kids this past fall. Birds do attract bears, so a gut pile doesn't last very long. Usually it will be gone by the end of the next day, sometimes by the end of the same day if you kill early in the day.

01-Mar-17
Bob is my hero.

From: TD
01-Mar-17
" "I will run out of time before I run out of money". "

Not a problem.... hell, I ran outta money a long time ago.... =D

TTT.... on the bucket list for sure..... Bob, ya take post dated checks????? =D

From: hunt forever
12-Mar-17
How has the winter been so far on Kodiak?

From: BC
12-Mar-17
Just reread Steve. What an adventure! Perfect for my mid winter cabin fever.

From: hunt forever
13-Mar-17
??

From: Nick Muche
13-Mar-17
Lots of snow where I was a few weeks ago. Bob is down there now I think and I'm sure he will report on south end conditions.

I think overall it'll be fine but who knows. We saw a ton of deer despite the deep snow.

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