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Wilderness Beach Lodge - Kodiak
The Wild Sheep Foundation-Midwest Chapter has a DIY Sitka blacktail deer hunt for two on its Friday night auction. The hunt was donated by Wilderness Beach Lodge on Kodiak Island (Settlers Cove in Port Lions). The outfit's website shows well and it looks like the lodge is nice. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with WBL (pro or con) and the quantity/quality of blacktails in its general area. The outfit's photo gallery contains a photo of Curt Wells with a nice archery-killed deer. Any thoughts?
Is there a way you can get in touch with Curt Wells? Assuming someone here on Bowsite will be able to offer you some info, but if not, may be worth a shot to contact him.
My son and I hunted near there in November 2017. I’d ask a lot of questions about the population. Where we were, it was way down, and locals reported lots of dead deer in the spring. I know these things can be very local, but my impression was that the north end of the island was hit hard during spring 2017.
following with great interest
Years back I hunted Whale Island which we accessed out of Port Lyons. Terrible snow winter and hunting was hard labor. We killed deer but the bucks were no where near the quality I've seen and killed down south.
Ask a lot of questions about how you get around. Do you have a dedicated boat? Remember, where you are dropped is where you hunt. It's not as though you can trot down the beach a couple miles or climb to another area with ease. Travel is slow.
I'd want to know just how far they are willing to take you for a drop off each day. The fact they are on the north end of the island does not bode well for it being a good year to hunt there based on the winter last year, but the die off may have been localized and that area may not have been too bad. I'd absolutely contact them for a guest list of hunters LAST year and contact a few of them to see how it was.
I'd also contact the biologist in Kodiak and ask about the population in Kizhuyak Bay, Sharitin Bay, and the Kupreahnof Peninsula, as that is most likely where you'd be hunting.
Full price looks to be 3200/person, you could charter a beaver and fly to the south end and back for that.
I hunted Zachar Bay last year and I saw ONE deer. Our group of 10 killed one doe and many of us stopped hunting about three days in because who wants to kill the does that are going to rebuild the area's herd? My guess is there was 98% winter kill based on three years at that bay. I believe our group saw one buck.
Steve ... our experience on south end of Afognak was similar ... maximum we saw was 6 deer in 1 day. We shot bucks, but it was terribly thin hunting. Must've been very severe winter kill.
Most of our group saw 6-8 dear carcasses/bone piles per day.
Crazy. On the south end we saw lots of deer and never found a winter kill. A few from earlier hunts. I would use a beaver and pick a lake on the south end and go for it . By far the best adventure for your dollar you can find.
JAW, The advice you're getting from the guys above is good. It's all about deer numbers on Kodiak. They were coming back really strong but took a hit last spring by all accounts. As far as my hunt, I didn't stay at the lodge. I was on the Venturess with Travis Larson and it was a great time. I've hunted Kodiak four times and the first three were DIY fly-in, camp-in-a-tent hunts. The boat-based hunts are great in my mind, especially if you prefer not to rough it, putting on cold, wet clothes and boots in the morning and eating Mountain House for supper. Instead you can hunt hard all day with the knowledge that at night you will get dry, warm, well-fed, and well-rested on the boat. If sleeping with the bears makes you nervous, the boat eliminates that issue. Travis took us wherever we wanted to go and dropped us off for the day. We hunted wherever we could hike and showed up at the pick-up point at dusk. The next day we could hunt where we were or on fresh ground. I highly recommend it - IF - the deer are there. That will be the most important part of your research. Hope this helps and good luck. Curt
Thank you, everyone, for sharing your expertise regarding my original inquiry. I appreciate your honest assessments of the general area and its current deer situation. JAW