Kodiak Island Hunting
Kodiak Island has some excellent hunting opportunities that are unique to Alaska. From Sitka Blacktail Deer to a variety of waterfowl, Kodiak is a hunter’s paradise.
Sitka Blacktail Deer
Sitka Blacktail Deer were transplanted to Kodiak Island in the 1930’s and have come to thrive on the lush vegetation the island provides. The hunting season is long and generous with it starting on August 1st and running until December 31st on the remote areas of the island with a bag limit of 3 deer!
Average live weight for the deer is 80lbs for does and 120lbs for bucks, but some older bucks can come in at 200lbs. The meat on them is some of the best eating venison you will find and the bucks are generally described as some of the most handsome deer with their black cap, double throat patch and heavy compact antlers.
Early season hunting involves climbing to the tops of the hills to the alpine meadows to find the older bucks. As the season progresses and the snow moves down the mountains, deer will also come down in elevation sometimes all the way to the beach on years with a lot of snow.
Kodiak Island is a waterfowl haven for a variety of unique species. From early season puddle ducks to all the varieties of Sea Ducks, waterfowl hunting here can be phenomenal!
The biggest draw for Kodiak duck hunting is the variety of Sea Ducks. From the beautiful Harlequins to the regal Long-tailed (Oldsquaw) and all 3 species of Scoters there are plenty of specimens to choose from. There are Eiders available very late in the season with the Common Eider wintering around Kodiak and on rare occasions a King Eider making an appearance. There are also a variety of other diving ducks that winter here with Barrow’s Goldeneye and Buffleheads some of the most common. The rich marine environment creates an ideal wintering ground that holds tens of thousands of birds all season. Our season around Kodiak starts in early October and runs through the middle of January, with the best Sea Duck hunting starting in mid-November.
Hunting techniques depend on weather conditions and the species being targeted. Like any waterfowl a properly set decoy spread will provide the best opportunities for any of the ducks desired. The Harlequins and Goldeneyes prefer areas close to shore and can be hunted from the beach or rocky outcroppings on shore. All of the other Sea Ducks prefer more open water and are best targeted from an anchored boat next to lines of decoys, with a layout style boat being very effective on calmer days.
Both Rock & Willow Ptarmigan inhabit the treeless areas of Kodiak Island. These grouse-like birds provide fun hunting and delicious table fare. In the fall they molt their brown summer feathers and regrow their white winter feathers, which gives them unique and beautiful mottling. Both types can be found in the high alpine areas of the island with only the Willow Ptarmigan available in the lowland tundra areas. Flying into small tundra lakes on the western part of the island and hunting the surrounding muskeg is the most effective way to find large flocks birds.