Starting in Kodiak, Alaska Fish & Game Area Biologist Larry Vandaele says surveys conducted this spring indicate that the southern end of the Kodiak Archipelago had the fewest die-offs, with mortality rates increasing as you move northward. On the north end of Kodiak Island, Vandaele estimates a 20 percent die-off, comprised mostly of last year's fawns and older bucks. On Afognak Island, where surveys were not conducted, incidental reports suggest winter mortality was not as bad as on Kodiak. Vandaele says that deer hunting in the Kodiak area this fall should be fair to good. You probably won't get skunked, he says. But don't expect to go home with three trophy-sized bucks this year either.
Further east, Unit 4 on Admiralty and Chichagof islands was hit much harder. Outfitter Jimmie Rosenbruch of Glacier Guides says he saw more deer carcasses this spring than in the last 45 years. Area Biologist Phil Mooney estimates up to 30 percent of the deer died this winter. He says they are not recommending any season or bag limit changes for this fall, however, because deer populations were getting too high anyway. He says hunters should be prepared to see only 40 deer at a time on the beach rather than the 60 they may have seen last year. Just be aware that the older bucks may have been hit the hardest, so you may have to work a little harder to find a trophy.
Further south around Prince of Wales and Ketchikan, Area Biologist Boyd Porter says hunters........(continued)