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Kodiak Deer Change
AK Board of Game just voted to lower the NR deer limit from three to one. The influencer crowd is going to be a little shorter on available Youtube content I suppose.
Wow, that's a big change. Wasn't too long ago it was 5, wasn't it?
I'm for whatever is biologically best for the deer herd. Any idea how this winter has been on Kodiak, Kaleb?
Bummer. We’re already booked for early September, but this likely wouldn’t have changed our decision to go, as it doesn’t sound like it was driven by population numbers. I’ll wait for the knowledgeable Alaskans to chime in on it though. The adventure of the island alone is worth the trip to me, but I could see where some would look to other opportunities for splitting a $5200 bush flight for 1 buck. To each their own though.
I’ve only been once before and we did have another camp dropped on top of us by a different flight service and if we hiked far enough down the ridge we could see 2 other camps on a different lake so I could see where some areas were getting crowded.
To my knowledge the winter hasn’t been as bad as some Nick. Pretty average on our side of the state as well. They might have had a good shot of weather yesterday, though not sure how that played out. The proposal asked to lower residents bag limit from three to two as well, which the board amended in their decision and just went with the NR reduction. So I don’t think it was strictly a population based decision. Though I haven’t been able to watch the discussion yet. Nick, Trevor or someone more in tune over that way might have better intel. Know it’s a popular hunt for many Bowsiters and figured it might affect some plans.
The sky is falling…. NR can only shoot one deer! Much like all western states in relation to their species and NRs.
The true Kodiak experience doesn’t require killing 2-3 deer. If you’re bow hunting, killing one nice black tail will make a great memory.
A 1 deer NR limit on Kodiak essentially makes it a $6,000 unguided deer hunt.
Based on the area we hunted last November, I'm not at all surprised by the tag reduction. Ours was a boat-based hunt on the east side of the island. First day of the hunt, my hunting partner and I saw nine deer total (but some were likely repeats). Only two smallish six point bucks...rest were does and fawns. The other pair of bowhunters saw zero deer and the pair of rifle hunters saw three deer total...and shot a smallish six pointer. We had to move that night due to incoming weather...and weather locked us down in that bay the remainder of the trip. We hunted different areas within the bay daily, but none of the hunters even saw a deer.
I would definitely go back to Kodiak for deer...but with this new one deer limit, it will have to be a drop camp...or part of a combo hunt.
I bet they did it to slow down Chuck Adams.
Chuck only needs one as long as it's the world record Charlie ;-)
Have to agree with Nick, the Kodiak experience is still worth the price tag in my opinion. States need to manage their resources to the benefit of residents first, and non-resident opportunity second. The basis for that non-resident opportunity needs to be a weighed equally between biological and sociological impacts. Good for AK for making a sound decision.
Bummer for sure . Changes the game.
Definitely AK moose is a better deal
the comparison to the bag limit now being what it is in most western states leaves out the lower cost and shorter travel distance for those of us in the lower 48. a 5-7 day deer hunt is much more doable in the lower 48 than it is on kodiak, for those that live in the lower 48.
while i agree the experience and taking just one decent buck on kodiak is still a consideration, the reduction in tag numbers is always done because of reduced population now and what is projected in the future. that makes for a greater possibility of seeing few deer, as pav posted above.
for that amount of money and time, it's a pass for me.
It will discourage me. I agree that one buck makes it a great experience... but one of the attractions is that you can keep hunting and not shut down after your first buck... just one of the attractions. This cannot be because of the current population... I doubt that non residents have very much impact on management. History has shown that the deer on Kodiak completely rebound in a few years. There's more to this... it's a current trend in every state. My 2 cents... Ed F
Something had to be done. As a bowhunter, I would have supported restriction of rifle killing versus bowhunting, but that is just my selfish perception. I applaud the board of game's action on this.
As far as Chuck goes, the man is undoubtedly the best bow bowhunter ever and he has accomplished the most incredible bowhunting feats I know of. However, killing biological eunuchs is not one of them. Eunuch stags seem to be the most prevalent deer around these days. I have never thought they were worthy of an arrow. Not participating in the rut, they don’t undergo the same rigors as real bucks, so they survive winters much better. Hard winters is really what’s been killing the deer. So much for global warming.
Since we, as a society, think it is OK for biological loser men to compete with girls, I guess it should be OK for bowhunting records to include eunuchs that don’t compete with real bucks to propagate the species. Maybe the P&Y club can convince the B&C club to allow eunuchs into their records as well.
I agree with Ed, I am happy I got to experience Kodiak but I seriously doubt I go back for 1 deer .
I'm a proponent of a 1-buck rule for whitetails and muleys, even if the population is stable. Given the decreasing population on Kodiak, this sounds like a good move.
I would certainly go back to Kodiak with just one tag in my pocket. I will be more selective with my tag and once it's filled I will continue to just enjoy the experience and solitude.
I'm Canadian so I can't do Kodiak, but yet somehow it was always on the dream list. Being able to shoot multiple deer was definitely a component of that.
Bob what's the deal with the eunuch thing? Honestly never heard that term ever used when relating to any cervid. If a Buck doesn't participate in the rut doesn't that potentially make him harder to kill? We all know rutting animals are the ones that are braindead for a period of time...not partaking in that means they have their wits about them throughout the rut. Why are they not worthy of an arrow? Sorry the whole thing just confuses me. When you spot a buck from a half mile away and decide whether or not to stalk on it - if you are trying to avoid eunuchs how do you know it is a eunuch? You've just peaked my curiousity on a whole new topic! lol
Didn’t this change take place solely due to too much “boat traffic” and not reduced numbers?
Weather controls the population, not so much the hunters.
Apauls, I don’t know the reason, but hopefully Bob will chime back in, but for whatever reason, a large number of bucks don’t have testicles and therefore retain their antlers in velvet and obviously can’t breed. Most have weird antler configurations as well.
“The Kodiak Advisory Committee for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game at a recent meeting made the decision to prioritize local hunting and, as a result of that focus, is working on ways to reduce the impact of the boats and aircraft that bring other people here to hunt.
Currently, reports are that high transporter activity around Port Lions, Old Harbor and Larsen Bay, in particular, are making deer less available for locals invested in subsistence and sport hunting, according to Paul Chervenak, chairman of the Kodiak Advisory Committee.”
This was an attempt to cut down on overcrowding at the bigger lakes/bays and appease the locals. Squeaky wheel gets the grease. I personally think 2 bucks would be a better compromise but as a resident my selfish view remains neutral on this move. Kodiaks popularity has exploded as of late, and with caribou closures on federal land swaths bigger quite literally than most states, the other popular lower cost DIY hunts up here are dwindling in opportunity. I see the pressure getting worse if something wasn’t done, but cynically I’m not sure this will curtail it. Kodiak is still such a once in a lifetime trip for most non residents I don’t think this limit will change them booking to experience it. The ones it may cut out are the repeat non residents I just can’t believe they constitute much more than a tiny fraction of the bush flights on island.
I tried looking it up but cannot find it. Do you have a link that I can look at?
Judging from the number of folks proclaiming that they now "won't go...." it sounds like the new reg is already working!
What Bob referred to as eunuchs have often been called stags. They generally don't have the equipment to produce enough testosterone to develop normal antlers. If you look at most of the non typical sitka blacktails entered in the book, most of them don't have what would be considered normal antler configuration. These bucks don't shed their velvet and don't have the drive to participate in the breeding process.
It is also possible that these deer possess some level of both male and female parts which may not be visible. Deer like that also have the low testosterone problem that keep them out of the rut. By not breeding, they go into the winter with plenty of fat and are more likely to survive a really bad winter. Survival of the fittest
A eunuch is a castrated human (like a steer is a castrated bovine).
It would be pretty weird if P&Y had a category that allowed entry if eunuchs.
Eunuchs were castrated so they could spend time around the girls without being virile competition to the ruling class. Stags haven't intentionally been castrated, but functionally that's how they end up. They do spend a lot of time around does. Is it easier to kill a big old mature buck or a doe?
The new P&Y category will predominately, and I mean almost entirely, occupied by stags. In my 40 plus years of searching for mature bucks, I’ve seen two nontypical bucks with balls. I see several cryptorchids every year.
There might be a few real nontypical bucks interspersed in the category, but for the most part, it will be a category of cryptorchids (eunuchs).
A good lesson not to take things for granted. OTC western tags, big mule deer herds, caribou hunting, and a bunch of other stuff has changed since I started hunting. Go now. In the future Kodiak deer may be a draw, or dramatically more expensive, or maybe not even a thing.
I would think that one deer for NR is fair.
Let’s face it. You go through all the logistics and hassles to get there for the experience/ allure/ mystique of Kodiak. Not for giant antlers or meat. Even though the meat is exceptional.
Heck most of us can get plenty of antlers and meat within a mile of our homes. But it’s not Kodiak.
If I lived near the tourist areas that get pounded every fall I would be pretty happy about this change.
Hey guys, just a little info that may enlighten some of you. 15 years of living in remote Kodiak has given me some insight. I rarely ever post anything on any sight as a lot of guys seem to chime in uninformed. Not interested in a debate. You can read all the testimony. No reason what so ever to lower the limit due to a shortage of deer. The population goes up and down constantly every few years. It's been much lower in the past. And much higher .The biologist testimony gave no reason to lower it. It was proposed by a brown bear guide who doesn't like boat based hunts in his hunt area. There is a concerted effort across the state by the board of game ( mostly former or current guides) to squeeze out transporters. ( Their competition) . This is not a secret. Now with that said most non resident hunters shoot one nice buck. Especially now that tags went from $150 to $300. Most of my hunter's would rather do a day of fishing or duck hunting as an add on for the same price. As a former guide in AK myself I saw this shift in attitude years ago. The board of game has slowly been stacked with former or current guides. How do really think they will vote? Fall brown bear guides usually have their hunters harvest one nice deer as an add on to their hunts so this proposal does not affect them in the least. It really is the boat based hunts that take the guys that are looking to harvest multiple deer including AK residents that shoot anything with legs. This is no reason to change regs. With no biological reason. Still a great hunt with a 1 deer limit. Also same guide proposed no boning meat in the field. We have this as a rule in our camp due to a few pass hunter coming back with dirty meat and not much either. Should be 50- 60 lbs. I'm the past I have seen as little as 20 lbs. So I for one agree with that proposal. Just my 3 cents worth.
Thank you, Kodiak. It's nice to hear a well-thought-out opinion from somebody on the ground.
Interesting. We hunted with you about 10 years ago (had a great hunt) and I hope to go again.