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DIY, OTC Alaska Sitka Blacktail Deer
Submitted by diybow
August 1st through December 31st; Buck deer only until October 1st
Kodiak Island, Alaska
Deer season on the island is long, and with each passing month the habits of the deer fluctuate with the changes in weather and temperature. In the early part of the season you will find deer in the higher elevations, with the bears in the lower elevations eating the salmon. This seems to me to be the best choice, as it keeps you away from the bears and is not too cold. At the middle of the season, you will find a mixture between the upper and lower elevations, but toward the season's end, when the snow has started to fall, you will find the deer on the beaches eating the sea weed and around the snow line. By this time the bears will be hibernating and away from you. There have been stories told about bears finding your kill before you and making it their own, so I personally would do what I can to stay away from them.
There are different regulations for each part of the island, so make sure you are aware of what you can and can't do. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game regulations and maps can be found on their web site: www.adfg.state.ak.us.
You can buy the tags over the counter; a non-resident license will cost you $85 and a non-resident deer tag will cost you $150. That is relatively cheap compared to most states.
The hunt is for buck deer only, but this changes to include both sexes in the Southwest area after October 1st. The limit in some areas is three, but be sure to check the regulation before planning the hunt.
There is a lot of rain and fog during the season, so everything needs to be as waterproof as possible. Bring something to do while you are waiting for the fog to lift or the rain to stop. The number one gear pick for this trip is a GPS device; don't leave home without it. Also, don't forget the rain gear and waterproof boots.
As far as getting to the island, there are many options. The best is to hire a pilot to fly you in and set up a tent camp for the hunt. For those people who want the comforts of home and have more money to spend, you can hire a boat to take you to and from the island, then you can sleep on the boat and have your meals cooked for you.
Below is a list of websites to visit for more transportation information:
Ten Bears Inc.
Kodiak Sports & Tour
Kodiak Alaska Travel Guide
Alaska Department of Fish and Game