Sitka Blacktail Deer Hunts
Nowhere else offers so many opportunities, and such prolific and diverse wildlife, in a breathtaking setting! Sitka Blacktail Deer hunting is one of many exciting activities at Larsen Bay Lodge.
There are many reasons to consider coming to Alaska to hunt Sitka Blacktail Deer. For some avid deer hunters it is an opportunity to take a different species of deer. For others it is the opportunity to just hunt in Alaska! For outdoor writer, Jim Zumbo, it is the flavor of the Sitka Blacktail that keeps him coming back to Kodiak! He came on a Larsen Bay Lodge Cast & Blast trip and this is what he has to say about our deer;
"A couple years ago, at a Boone and Crockett convention, I was discussing venison with Chuck Adams, arguably the most famous bowhunter in the world. Chuck has taken every big game species in North America, and has hunted the world many times over. Like me, he eats what he shoots, and we talked about our wild game preferences.
When Chuck told me his all-time favorite is Sitka Blacktail deer, I almost fell off my chair. That's my favorite as well. To think that he'd name that species out of the blue was scary."
Our deer season opens August 1 and Sitka Blacktail are the only big game in Alaska for which you can fly and shoot the same day. We have our own floatplane and can fly you to a remote mountain lake in the morning and transport your record buck back to the lodge that afternoon, allowing us to hunt earlier in the season than any other lodge. It also allows hunting to overlap with peak fishing season, for a unique "Cast & Blast" opportunity.
During August, Kodiak Island is lush green, living up to it's nickname - The Emerald Island. At this time of year the deer are still in velvet and most of them are in the higher elevations. But the thick lush vegetation makes it difficult to hike after them and they are equally difficult to see. September frosts begin to reveal more deer and it is easier to get around. The Blacktail frequent the gravel beaches on the coast to eat the kelp that washes ashore as winter approaches. October snows begin bring even more deer from the interior of the island to the coast as food becomes more scarce and we begin hunting by boat drop-offs. In November and December greater snow accumulations force more deer down from higher elevations to the milder sea level where browse and kelp is readily available. As a result, herds of deer are often found right along the beaches! The deer are rarely skittish, as most have never been hunted before.
With the liberal deer limit (3), you can shoot the first good buck you see and then try to improve on it with your next tag.
Don't be intimidated by the prospect of cold weather. Kodiak is much milder than Anchorage and other parts of Alaska because it lies in the warm Japanese Ocean Current. Even in December, Kodiak is milder than many parts of the lower 48 states.
Though the Sitka Blacktail Deer has a smaller rack than most deer species, they are arguably the most handsome of the deer species. These stocky little deer have a dark, almost black forehead with a double white throat patch and rich chestnut colored antlers. To make the Boone & Crockett Record Book the minimum score is 108. Many deer taken at Larsen Bay Lodge have exceeded that minimum. Whether you are coming to fill a Grand Slam, fill your freezer, or just for the experience, Larsen Bay Lodge is the place!.