Sitka Gear

A Sitka Blacktail Alpine Hunt!

SCliving Outdoors

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2018
Messages
266
Location
South Carolina
This year as usual I applied all across the west. Draw tags were not good to me. That left me the availability to do a few hunts that I’ve wanted to do for a while and just had not been able to because they would not fit in my schedule. One of those hunts was an early-season Sitka Blacktail hunt in the alpine on Prince of Wales Island. I’ve been dreaming/planning this hunt for a few years. I love early season deer hunts. I’ve done a few in Colorado and they are some of my favorite hunts. It’s a great way to kick off the season and I think velvet bucks are really cool. This year as soon as the Colorado draw results came back and I saw I was unsuccessful I called my buddy, Yo (Yochanan) and said “Let’s go to Alaska”.

The original plan was to rent a truck but we were unable to find one still available so I went to “Plan B” which was find a float plane. We found a pretty good rate and split between two guys the price wasn’t much different than renting a truck for a week. I started doing a bunch of research on different lakes or coves that could be landed on that would give us access to what I decided was a good mountain. I settled on an area that looks good on the map. It was fairly isolated and while maybe it could be accessed by car or boat the plane gave us an advantage to an isolated area. We got all our gear together from there and headed out.

The day we arrive in Alaska it was overcast But the float plane was able to get us in to our area. FYI - flying in and out of a tight mountain area in a float plane is an adventure in itself. It will definitely make you a bit nervous if you’ve never done it before. Shortly after beginning our assent it started to rain and the fog rolled in. It did not roll out or quit raining for two days. The climb into the alpine was really sketchy. We got discouraged a couple times but we finally made it. We got the tent up and started to learn our mountain the best we could even though the weather was poor. The positive thing during this was we were able to be dry at night because of a good tent and extra tarps. We took some extreme rain gear and we were prepared.

Those first few days we saw a couple of deer here and there, but not much except for a few does and one small buck. On our third day we got a weather report from a friend that the weather was starting to look up. Day number 3 it was foggy but it was starting to clear and as it did we glassed a decent buck bedded on a ridge top. We were set up but decided not to shoot him because we were unable to get a good range because of the fog and he wasn’t quite the big buck that I had come to SE Alaska for. While I wasn’t holding out for a giant, but I was really hoping for a mature buck. We worked our way around the top of the mountain and came across a few does. We sat on a side hill up top and glassed a really pretty green area for a few hours. I decided I would go for a walk around the top and glass down some of the different chutes to see what was around continuing to learn the area. I made the most amateur move of all amateur moves. I know better than this. But I did not carry my gun. I don’t know why, it doesn’t make sense, but I didn’t. I looked over the edge and bedded below us 80 yards was a really really nice Blacktail. I ran back to get my gun but by the time I came back he was gone. This got me frustrated because I completely know better than this. You never leave your gun!

We decided to move around the backside of the mountain to continue to glass down the different chutes that go off the top of the mountain. All of the sudden my buddy glassed down one chute and waved me over. He said “There's a buck down there”. Standing in a clearing 300 yards below was a buck but because of the vegetation behind his head it was hard to tell exactly how big he was. It was my day to be shooter and I asked my friend “Can you tell how big he is?” Neither of us could tell for sure. I was seated with my gun on my pack. Watching through the scope when he took three steps forward and turned his head. I immediately said to my friend “I’m shooting”. I settled the crosshairs and squeezed the trigger. The buck was quartered but I was steady. We saw the buck run about 10 yards and then disappear. I knew he was a good buck but I had no idea what caliber of buck I had just shot. We made the 300 yard hike down an extremely steep hillside. And 15 yards to the left of where I made the shot laid a stud Sitka Blacktail.

This is a hunt that I had been wanting to do for years and for it all to coming together in that way was truly amazing. He’s a dream buck and will definitely be going on the wall. I had aspirations of killing a big buck but I did not expect anything as big as this in reality. It all goes to show when you hunt hard it can all come together. We broke him down and packed him back to camp.

We saw a couple other bucks. One more big buck that we almost brought home too. My friend shot just a bit high. Will be back again to chase these cool little bucks.

0E2F1C61-802A-4719-AB04-7903C88965B1.jpeg 148D52F2-3448-499E-BD1A-4080892F8FED.jpeg 44392D5A-4124-4E5E-A515-6F3D6764AA2D.jpeg 2EA2243E-EC09-47B4-8E78-BE6CBF184DC3.jpeg 23B7380F-C170-4CF1-9A47-19EC8BC03179.jpeg D53B3CED-FE1E-4CCE-A0BC-4D329A68706A.jpeg E5354217-5CAC-4BB3-B9BD-6AC446D96517.jpeg 61C0D1F9-1160-4126-8ED3-8BE2C83B92D7.jpeg
E8BA159F-4915-42EA-ACAE-1B26BC9B4CF1.jpeg 43A99C85-8800-41DA-BF70-B9C3499DB4F1.jpeg D5BFDCB3-7AC1-4258-8E4E-C9ED89DDE8AA.jpeg D35D6A72-6DF4-471E-BC34-C3D75AB6FCC7.jpeg 5AA7DA38-BC38-4CED-9598-2A01D480F1F6.jpeg
425B9E1F-26FF-4DEB-9743-24F1AC67B83D.jpeg
 
Last edited:

D-Mac

Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2017
Messages
88
Location
Loveland, Colorado
Congratulations! Looks like an awesome adventure! Those deer are so pretty, they look almost orange against all that vivid green! What an amazing ecosystem to hunt in. That kind of weather could be demoralizing, way to stick with it! I'm building those Alaska credit card points for just such a hunt!

Thanks for sharing!
 

SCliving Outdoors

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2018
Messages
266
Location
South Carolina
Congratulations! Looks like an awesome adventure! Those deer are so pretty, they look almost orange against all that vivid green! What an amazing ecosystem to hunt in. That kind of weather could be demoralizing, way to stick with it! I'm building those Alaska credit card points for just such a hunt!

Thanks for sharing!
It’s a fun tough hunt.
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
96,865
Messages
1,469,636
Members
30,469
Latest member
AlexT.
Top