Sitka Blacktail Deer Hunts in Alaska, Plus A Winter Kill Warning


Published: July - 2012

There are still openings for Sitka blacktail deer hunts in Alaska if you are looking for a North American hunt for this season. Correspondent Harry Morse has some leads for you as well as word on last winter's effects on some populations of these deer. Enjoy!

Sitka blacktail deer are native to the coast of Southeast Alaska where they are a staple of local hunters. They were also introduced to Afognak, Kodiak and Prince of Wales islands, where they are also hunted. Blacktails can be elusive, and hunts can be challenging affairs in the deep timber of dark, wet, coastal rain forests, or on steep, high alpine slopes. But, during the rut or after deep snowfall has driven them onto the beaches, the hunting can be very easy. Either way, it is an Alaskan adventure that may also include combo hunting for black and brown bears, wolves, mountain goats or some excellent fishing.

The antlers of Sitka blacktails are smaller than the mainland blacktails, with most mature Sitkas scoring between 90 and 100 points Boone and Crockett. These deer have a shorter face that accentuates their dark, curved antlers, and the trophies are exceptionally handsome: a three- or four-point Sitka blacktail is usually one of the prettiest mounts in a trophy room.

Kodiak Island in the southwest and Prince of Wales Island in the southeast consistently produce the biggest deer, with Afognak Island being the sleeper choice. These islands produce the biggest bodied deer, according to weight records kept by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. On Kodiak, Prince of Wales and Afognak islands, mature bucks can reach 180 to 200 pounds, while most mainland bucks weigh 100-120 pounds. A quick look at the Boone and Crockett records for Sitka blacktail shows that Prince of Wales Island leads recent entries in both the typical and non-typical categories. Kodiak Island has had some of the top entries in the last several years. But things are likely a bit different this year. Alaska Fish and Game reports that........(continued)

 
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