Contributors to this thread:
2016 Sitka Blacktail Meatpoll
We had a great hunt this year. Weather was good for the first few days, so we killed two bucks the first day including this nice 3 x 4 with eye guards. If he was symmetrical, either as a 3 point or a 4 point, he'd be something really special. As is, he's very close to being a Booner.
Jim killed this nice 4 point.
nice bucks ....
already shed velvet ?
Jim's buck was rubbed off. Mine was probably within a day or two of rubbing off. As you can see, he had developed the white fungus looking stuff. Much of the damage you see on the right antler is from where he fell 15 or so feet straight down when he died.
Very nice buck Bob! Congrats!
Nice one Bob! Scott said he saw the horns and they were spectacular.
Awesome as usual Bob. Would love to get up there sometime for Blacktails.
Nice buck Bob, great job on you guys getting it done.
Great bucks guys. Congrats Bob and Jim.
Thank you to all.
Anyone who wants to kill one of these things should get to Alaska as soon as they can. Muskeg can correct me if I'm wrong on this, but from what I see there are as many nice mature bucks running around right now for as long as I've hunted them.
That goes for Kodiak too. With the past three winters being as mild as they were, there are some great bucks and lots of deer in general running around.
Great bucks guys, congrats. I leave in 3 weeks... Ed F
Awesome bucks!! Nice to see!
Congrats and nice bucks. Like your camo Bob :)
Great bucks! Thanks for sharing.
Awesome bucks! They are one cool animal!
I'd heard about him already, was waiting to see him, great Buck Bob!
Great bucks guys....congrats!!!
bob was there anyone else up there our did you guy have it to your self? hows the trail
Congrats on some great Sitka bucks!
No one else crazy enough to go there. Trail is pretty much the same. Steep, slippery and then more steep. I killed this buck about halfway down the back side of Gibraltar. He then ran the other half to near the bottom and I had to pack him back up through the saddle. I may be getting to old for this stuff, but it was kind of fun.
Was it just you and Jim? And how did Jim like it up there?
Hope to add to the Meat Pole late November in Kodiak.
Congrats on some nice bucks!
Bruce went with us. First time in about ten years he's taken any time from working on his new house to do any hunting. I think it was a bit much for him though and he didn't get very far from my camp site and didn't get a deer.
Sweet. Thanks for sharing!!
Wow. That is as cool as it gets. Congrats.
Congrats Bob! Great looking deer. I hope to get up there someday.
CONGRATS Bob!!! Why do I see that first buck as a clean typical 4x4 (or 3x3 with eye guards)? I don't see the 3x4. Congrats again!
Photo didn't show 4 point side. If he would have been a 4 point configuration on the left like the right, I think he would be near 120.
Even the 3 point side scores over 117. Just doesn't get there as a 3 x 4.
Best of Luck, Jeff
Awesome buck Bob. Congratulations.
Either way.........book or not..........fantastic buck!!! Congrats again!
Bob posted a picture of my 4 x 4 but this is the 3 x 4 I got on the first day. It was a great hunt in a great area. Very physical but worth the effort.
Nice one Jim. Congrats. 16 days... Ed F
Great looking bucks! Can't wait to get back to AK!!!
Unbelievable scenery you guys are hunting in! Makes these Midwestern Whitetail Hunt's seem like farm work lol
Great bucks guys! Can't wait to hunt them
Those are some great looking blacktails.....Well done.
Here is the first bow killed buck from the place were Bob hunts. It was number 1 Sitka Velvet at the time
Great looking blacktails! Congratulations! Need to get back up there for blacktails...
I have one spot open at the Kodiak Buck Shack in 2017. The month of September has not been reserved yet.
Early November at the cabin in Whale Pass on Prince of Wales Island is reserved already.
Just got back from the Buck Shack.
Bob: MEGA-thanks for everything! I'll call you later this week.
Nice bucks guys! I'll be down on the rock for 8 days starting October 1. More focused on filling my two goat tags, but I'm not against whacking a deer or two if the opportunity presents itself.
Nice bucks. Can't wait to take a trip up there.
Nice bucks. Sitka Blacktails are towards the top of the list of animals I want to hunt.
Great bucks guys.
Bob, that picture with the water and mossy rocks is one of the best trophy photos I've seen. Fantastic job there.
A friend and I are headed to Kodiak August 2017. I can't wait.
Had a great time in August on Kodiak. First deer had a 3" non-typical point on the 4 point side.
2nd deer scores right at 90.
3rd buck is a stud 3 point a little short of B&C. My favorite. Great dark antlers.
Ron some great bucks looks like you had some great weather Did you DIY the hunt ???? Thanks Shane
Sure do CJ. Good to see you guys at the airport. Congrats on a great buck!
Shane, DIY and had only 3 good days out of 14. Lots of tent time. It's a poor mans sheep hunt in the alpine. I recommend it for anyone who likes to work hard.
Very cool, on all accounts...Some great Bucks!
Right on guys... here's my contribution... Buck #1. Ed F
Small antlers... big bellies. This deer is in the 200# range. Ed F
What's with all these pictures of Kodiak and sunshine!?
Nice work guys, 30 days til I leave and I'm really looking forward to it.
Haha Nick... We spent 3 1/2 days in the tent. Killed deer on the good days. When we got picked up our pilot said "get in", they're calling for 100 mph winds that evening. We luckily didn't have to stay for that. Good luck buddy, I love that place. Ed F
Outstanding Ed, they're looking healthy...
Congrats Ed!! I knew you would bring home some nice ones.
You da man, Ed! Well done.
Way to go Ed! Great deer!
Gosh I can't wait for our trip. Praying the weather gods are good to us!! Congrats to everyone. Gettin me fired up!
Ed: MEGA-congrats, my friend!
You are now a SDKM = Sika Deer Killin' Machine!
Nice bucks! Thanks for sharing!!
Great bucks, all of'm! Bucket list for sure...congrats fellas.
Kodiak 100". Came into rattling.
BullBuster - Great buck!!!
Here are mine from the last week of October. Southern part of Kodiak.
My first Sitka from Kodiak. Called him in along with two other bucks in one setup. More to come later.
Second tag. Better than tag soup!!
Headed to Kodiak the day after Thanksgiving. Hope the weather holds and the Bucks are still in Rut.
Outstanding bucks guys.... congratulations. Ed F
Rattled this fella in to less than 10 yards. Looking forward to next fall down there!
Impressive.... those November bucks are absolutely beautiful. Congrats. Ed F
Awesome bucks guys! Congrats!
Those critters look pretty husky. What is their field dressed weight (if you can get that)? Coats look thick and gorgeous also - anyone try to get a hair-on hide? Probably pretty tough with all the rain.
With all the vittles on the ground, do you fellas worry about bears? What's the approach for keeping them from showing up and claiming the kill - battery powered electric fence?
I've never had the opportunity to weight one so all my data is based upon estimates. I figure you have about 60 pounds of boned out meat with a big mature buck. I think that would place a typical big mature buck around 140 to 150 pounds. I've heard of 200 pound bucks but I don't think I've ever seen one.
I take capes all the time. Never taken a full hide for a life size but that is something I want to do.
I've not had any problem with bears at any of my kill sites. I don't dilly around though. I work as fast as possible to get everything in my pack and leave the kill site. I then avoid the kill site for a few days.
This past month someone at my Kodiak Buck Shack had a bad scenario where they had to kill a bear at their kill site so it can and does happen.
Quartering out a Sitka in one load with cape and horns should not be a major problem.
Last week guiding, a client killed a Mule Deer in a nasty hole canyon and the packout was all uphill. Here is my pack with a complete Decent sized Muley, only the head and cape were carried by the hunter.
I would suspect most packouts on Kodiak are downhill. You guys are killing me with these awesome bucks- I'm dying to get on the island and get one for myself.
In Alaska, you can't just take quarters, you have to take all edible meat and the "State" defines edible meat. In their opinion it includes the ribs, brisket and neck meat. many times, the way I hunt at least, packs are uphill before there down hill.
Bob, out of curiosity, how long does it take you to get one broken down and packed out of the kill site in one trip so you don't get company?
Bob, does "ALL Edible Meat" on the ribs have to include the bone also?
This is how I get all of mine, heart and Liver as well, no gut quarter
Don't have to take the bones. I'm not all that fast at it. Roy was fast. I'd say it takes me an hour or so. In my old age I often now take the whole thing for a ways to get away from the gut pile, then if I have to go up hill I'll take half of it to the top. I return for the other half and take the whole load back on the down hill part of the trip.
Bob, Roy was probably fast because he would just throw the whole thing over his shoulder and process them at camp. He probably could have hauled 2 of them whole! That guy was an animal--sorely missed by all! I bet it was a rough season out there for you this year without him. We've never met, but Roy told me about some of your adventures out there -- I seem to remember one about you guys were floating out some deer and the river was freezing up and you guys had to haul to haul multiple animals--multiple miles. Didn't sound like much fun, but having Roy along to pack must have been nice!
My hunt was a charter boat where we were dropped off in the morning and picked back up in the
Stupid phone......anyways, we would get picked up and dropped off in a zodiak and then stay on the charter boat at night. Did have a sow with cub steal a deer another guy shot with his bow and while looking for his arrow the bears showed up, bluff charged, then walked right to deer and started feeding. .... Weight wise, at Kodiak airport, my two bucks with bones still in and missing one backstrap (we ate it on boat) weighed 112#. That's meat and bones only. That should give an idea of weight, one was a young buck and a bit smaller than the other.
I had Roy's three kids at the cabin in November. We visited Roy's Saddle together. The two boys each killed a deer while we sat in the bowl just below the saddle. Daughter Ellen missed a third buck from the same spot.
Bears kept pulling the monument out of the ground. It happened four times while I was there. Roy was kind of hard on bears so there is likely some Karma involved in that issue.
Thats a really cool pic there and I love the sign. I can't believe how much the boys look like Roy (especially Justin from that pic). Hopefully they can pack like dad did. Lucky kids to have someone like you to keep taking them out. Kudos to you!!!
Congrats on another amazing year in AK, Bob! You are the king of Sitka blacktails. Always love to hear what you have to say about the species.
As far as the body weight/packing/meat care/etc., I love when guys talk about having to carry out an entire deer, or a heavy load of elk and say, "I can't imagine Sitkas being too tough to pack." Unless, you have been to Kodiak, you have no idea. Just ask all the guys that went with me this year. None of them are wimps (except maybe trkyslr :) ) and even after I had prepared them, they were still shocked.
You get all your gear and an entire mature buck in your pack and then start uphill, or--even worse--downhill, through the alders in the dark, you have a challenge. I'm not saying it is much worse than a long pack out with an elk, or anything else. However, IT IS DIFFERENT. Walking on Kodiak is not normal, even in the "flat" areas. The only way to know, is to do it!
And I highly recommend it!!!!!!!
Funny Zack and the truth about hauling a buck out on that island. I'd personally rather haul out 100# of elk meat 7 miles out of the Rocky Mountains then a whole buck with cape and head a couple miles on Kodiak. Alders, goose berries, and hidden foot holes are awesome! Can't wait to go back.
Great looking deer gents! I was planning a 2018 caribou hunt but these little deer are calling my name again!
As Blacktail Bob mentioned earlier, my buddy Terry and I were the ones at the Buck Shack the first week of October and had the negative encounter with a pair of bears that wanted the 3x4 blacktail Terry had just killed with his bow. We were busy taking that buck apart when these bears showed up. Despite our attempt to keep a lookout for bears while deboning the buck, my first sight of "bear number one" was at 15 yards...just over Terry's shoulder since he had his back to the bear! I yelled BEAR, and we both dropped our knives and jumped to our feet while Terry ran to my right and turned around. Terry's running motion accelerated the bears advance toward him...despite our yelling and drawing our revolvers. At 10 yards, Terry started shooting and I followed suit. Seven shots later from a pair of .44 caliber handguns, the bear turned, ran a short distance and piled in dead. No sooner did the bear hit the ground and make a death grown, I spotted a second bear coming in to our right at about 35 yards. We immediately ran up the hill behind us to put more distance between us and this second bear...leaving everything we owned on the ground at the kill site. Standing on a hillside in Alaska with nothing left but a half empty revolver and a pair of binoculars is a bewildering feeling...that I can tell you. The second bear claimed the cape, the carcass, the beautifully deboned meat, our loaded packs, our bows, Camelbak hydration bladders, raingear, tags, rangefinders, GPS, trekking poles and a bunch of personal gear my buddy had pulled from his pack (including his binoculars) as we worked on his deer. Now I know what it feels like to be robbed.
We didn't gut the deer and move the carcass to work on it as Blacktail Bob has suggested is a good idea, and that fact alone might have changed the outcome of our situation by putting some space between where the bears showed up to feed and the location of the rest of our gear and the real prize...the meat! Like Adam Sandler said in one of his movies..."that could have been brought to my attention yesterday!" To our discredit, everything we owned and the deer we were working on was located in a five-yard circle on the ground. Something I've gotten away with for decades in "brown bear free zones" like Arizona and California. Clearly creating some separation so we didn't loose control of everything would have been a wise move! Bottom line is...our situational awareness was seriously lacking in this situation and stems from inexperience with brown bears on Kodiak Island, period.
We certainly missed having our raingear...which limited our ability to return to the area one of the days during heavy rain. Additional bear encounters limited our return to the site on other days. This went on for five days! Five days without our gear...not hunting...and dealing with Fish & Game on the SATPhone, etc. My buddy had finally had enough of bears and this situation and called to be extracted...deciding to abandon all his gear in the field and ignore the F&G requirement of retrieving the bear paws and skull from the field. This left me responsible to recover all our gear and the bear's paws and skull to be returned to the F&G as part of the "Defense of Life or Property" requirement by the State of Alaska. Our bush pilot's well-armed dad was kind enough to help me recover the gear...carrying Terry's bow and pack back to the Buck Shack...and I remained behind and recovered the bear parts the F&G wanted returned to Kodiak. A real stink fest with some good pucker factor after five days of laying in an alder patch below Roy's Saddle.
Having spoken at length with CJ Winand and Steve Kremp concerning their hunts at the Buck Shack and how it compared to mine, I have a theory as to why we saw and encountered so many bears during our trip. The first is that the salmon numbers seem to be low this year...possibly moving bears off streams and causing them to forage more on other food sources. Second is random rifle deer hunting in Bumble Bay from salmon fishermen during their fishing season. Seems some of the salmon fishermen use Bumble Bay as a "waiting" area during their fishing season. During these periods, the crew members come ashore and kill deer with rifles just up from the beach areas all along Bumble Bay. CJ Winand spoke to these rifle hunters during his hunt at the Shack in September just two weeks before we arrived. Leaving several deer carcasses on the hills above the beach could be why bears were interested in hanging around more than usual. Either way, low salmon numbers or several deer carcasses left on the ground shortly before our arrival, we saw plenty of bears during our short trip...and they were not afraid of us...and did not move away from us when they saw us...they came toward us. I believe these bears were simply looking for a free meal at our expense...had learned to equate hunters with a free lunch...and they are certainly big enough to push most predators off a kill site...so it works for them most of the time.
Having said all this...my lack of experience on Kodiak...other hunter pressure (rifle and bow) before our trip...a few extra carcasses left in the field...reduced salmon in the streams...unsatisfactory situational awareness on our part while deboning a deer in bear country...I would still go back again in a second. Would I pick a time of year less likely to be affected by others (fisherman/rifle hunters, etc.)? Yes. Pick a stronger willed hunting partner to join me? Yes. But return to the Kodiak Buck Shack? Absolutely!
I'll conclude by sharing an IPhone photo I took through my binoculars at the site two days after we killed the first bear. This second bear just wouldn't leave the site, and seemed to enjoy digging holes and burying our gear! If you look carefully at this grainy photo, you will see my Badlands 2200 pack in front of the bear and my Carbon Defiant 34 bow behind and to the left of the bear (bright fletching visible). This should give you a pretty good idea of what your up against should push come to shove with a brown bear on Kodiak!
I think you just had bad luck. Over a period of 35 years, nothing like that has ever happened to me or any of the guys I've hunted with. I hunted after you and we had no bear encounters with several deer carcasses on the ground. The Roth kids had two deer down at one time in pretty much the same place as your ordeal occurred.
Running, yelling, quick movements, etc....all very bad things when encountering a bear up close. Best bet is to talk softly and keep your movements to a minimum.
Of course that's easier said than done, especially when there is meat involved.
Glad you guys are safe and sound!
Wow... I wasn't far from the buck shack in the middle of September. We had bears on our carcasses the following day after each kill. One location I killed a buck real close to one of those carcasses. The bear fled when he saw us and ran across the valley.... unlike your situation. Your story raises the hair on the back of my neck... Ed F
I finally shot my first SBT this year at timberline--as in where timberline intersects the beach. I know he is small but he was spotted heading away from Bumble Bay where he was last spotted thrashing several much large antlered, but weaker bucks.
Axle, that's a heck of a first person account. Who sez bears don't have a sense of humor - burying your gear and all? You did the right thing in letting the second bear claim, and provided some helpful advice re gear location relative to kill and moving the kill away from the gutpile (some much for gutless - leave vittles for the landlord). Sounds like you had the bad luck of bears immediately scenting dinner, and there being more than one that had no fear of you-all (wow). REALLY doesn't sound like a fun scenario for a solo hunter.
Great deer guys. Congrats to all of you! This is on the bucket list for sure.
Nicely done guys. my best, Paul
I heard that this year has set a new record for bear defense kills at over 20. F&G are blaming the fact that the pinks didn't run on the increase in bear encounters with deer/goat hunters.
axle2axle that is a crazy story, glad you made it out safely. Hard to believe your hunting partner would leave you in that kind of situation. This is a hunt I will do some day!
Gutting the deer, and then moving the carcass, almost sounds like a future requirement.......
Got to Kodiak for first time this fall and was fortunate to harvest two bucks with my bow. This is the larger of the two.
I know absolutely nothing about Sitka blacktails, but that buck looks huge to me, Greg S. congrats!
That is a once in a life time type buck. Congratulations on an exceptional trophy.
That looks like a monster! Did you get it officially scored? Greg S
Wow, looks like quite the year for big bucks! Congratulations all!
Not quite Greg S's buck! But my first Sitka blacktail buck was taken on Kodiak first week of December. Certainly an incredible place.
Been scored for SCI at 121 and change. Still waiting on official P&Y score.
Damn Axel......You have your self a real adventure right there!!!! Wow. Wish I was there! Did you get Any flak from F&G as to killing the bear?
You guys kicked butt this year, way to go!