Unusual Hunt Opportunity In The Aleutian Islands


Published: February - 2002

Hunters who feel they have done all the usual things in Alaska and elsewhere and would like to try something new may want to check out Ugludax Lodge on Umnak Island, near the village of Nikolski in the Aleutian Islands (see map). We told you in a previous issue that this lodge was going up as part of a larger effort by Wayne Long of MUM Alaska to develop hunting and fishing programs on lands owned by native Alaskans. Well, the lodge is now finished and a staff is being assembled for an official opening this summer.

Make no mistake - the program at Ugludax is a bit unusual. For starters, the principal hunting here is for wild reindeer that have wandered freely on Umnak for decades. No one has ever commercially sport hunted these animals. In fact, only 30 people now live on the remote, 70- x 20-mile island west of Dutch Harbor.

Half the fun of this hunt is getting there by flying in a Grumman Goose down along the ragged skyline of the Aleutians and then over an active volcano and the old WW II "secret base" on Umnak. The other half of the fun is being on Umnak. Wayne Long - famed, among other things, for his world-class Roosevelt elk and mule deer program on Santa Rosa Island, California - bills this hunt as an "Aleutian Adventure." And indeed it is. Umnak has the distinction of being the oldest continuously inhabited town site in the western hemisphere. It has no tourist infrastructure other than Ugludax Lodge, which was built partly with state funds in an effort to save the village of Nikolski from impending economic collapse.

Long plans to have cultural artifacts from the village on display in the lodge. A tour of the local, blue-and-white Russian Orthodox Church will be incorporated into a stay at Ugludax for those who are interested, as well as a trip to the south end of the island where remnants of traditional Aleut underground houses can be seen. There are also some........(continued)

 
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