2016 was a slower year for me. I spent the majority of the summer at sea around Southeast Alaska. Though I got to see some sweet sights, I sure wish I would have had more time to do my own things.
Luckily, thanks to a good friend and a spur of the moment decision, I was able to get on a fly out deer hunt at the end of October.
We left Juneau via Ward Air and headed to a lake on one of the ABC islands with a Forest Service Cabin that would be our home for the next 5 days. The weather looked great and we set off with high hopes.
We arrived at the lake and quickly got camp set up. We were amazed and disgusted at the amount of trash strewn about from the previous cabin users. Beer bottles, cans, and food wrappers laid strewn about the front of the cabin and the surrounding forest.
We quickly picked the mess up and got our gear squared away and headed out.
We hiked a short trail leading to the logging road system and then headed off down a side-road that my buddy had previously hunted and said had some nice deer on it.
After hiking for about 45 minutes we cut off the road and setup in a broken muskeg area and began blowing our fawn bleat call in hopes that a buck would come charging in. After about 2 series of calling we heard a doe wheeze and it sounded like she was excited and going to come charging in. About 15 minutes later, still no sight. We moved forward about 10 yards and I caught a glimpse of her moving through the fringe timber trying to locate us. She was a decent size, but we had come in hopes of antlers and didn’t want to waste our first day on a doe so we let her go.
We hiked back to the road and back the way we came where we took another fork.
After about another hour of hiking we came to area an area that looked very promising. We had been seeing numerous rubs, and some huge ones at that. We hopped off the road into a small muskeg and began calling. We had split up about 20 yards so we could watch different areas of the meadows. About 15 minutes after calling, I looked over and saw my buddy was excited. He was pointing back towards the road and had his rifle ready. I finally figured out he heard a deer coming. A minute later a buck came trotting down the road. He wasn’t huge, but a solid fork with eye-guards. My buddy indicated he didn’t want to shoot it because he was looking for a bigger buck. Myself, being empty handed this season so far, wasn’t going to pass up the chance. The buck cleared the roadway and I let him have it right behind his shoulder with my .300 Winchester Magnum. He jumped and took off running strait at me. As he ran within 15 yards of me I put another round into him and he kept going. We ended up finding him dead about 50 yards away.
We made quick work of him and began the hike back to the cabin. Once back we quickly butchered him and got him hanging out the meat pole.
We spent the next day hunting, saw 2 does, and 2 bucks, but shot none of them because they weren’t quite what we were looking for.
On day 3 my buddy missed a huge 3×3 with eyeguards that left a sour taste in his mouth.
Day 4 was our last day, and we would be picked up that evening. I was trying to get over a cold so I told my buddy I’d stay at the cabin and clean up so that we could get outta there quick and he could hunt that day. He got up early and took off from the cabin, intending to hunt a small knob nearby. Within 5 minutes I heard the crack of his rifle. I ran outside with my rifle to see what had happened, not expecting him to down a deer that quickly. I saw him nowhere in sight. I began hiking down the lake to where he said he’d be going. About 300 yards from the cabin I lost his tracks and turned around and looked towards the cabin only to see a small fork buck standing on the beach. I wasn’t going to pass on such an easy harvest so I dropped him where he stood. Within minutes, my buddy emerged from the woods with another buck about the same size.
We quickly got the deer butchered and got the cabin cleaned up. W decided since we had gotten what we had come for we would call for an early pickup.
Once the plane arrived we quickly loaded up our gear and off we headed back to town. The skies were blue and it was smooth flying the whole way back.
The trip was epic and we already have plans on doing it again next year! We will be back!