Alaska Adventure Journal



1 2 3 4 5 > Next Page

Montague Island Deer Hunt - September 2006

"The Brown Bear Charge"

More Hunting and Fishing Trips To View   Go to HOME PAGE

John hiking back to the beach on Montague Island.

September 23, 2006

Our opportunity had come!  The forecast called for 2 days of beautiful sunny weather between storms.  We had one more chance to use our new boat before we mothballed it for the winter.  We normally avoid Whittier like the plague on the weekend, because of the crowds.  The weather forecast for Friday had been 50 Kt winds with gusts to 70, today it was just 4 ft. seas with rain.  We launched around 11:00 AM and started out of Passage Canal.  Upon reaching Decision Point, the wind was gusting into the 20’s and we were taking 3-4 footers head on.  We chose the calm waters of Culross Passage rather than the outside routing.  Exiting Culross Passage, the winds were much calmer and we made a straight line for the passageway at the north end of Knight Island.  Next, it was around the Applegate Rocks, past the northeast end of Green Island and finally to Montague.  This was our first time to make Montague Island in our own boat .  We approached the island at Graveyard Point and entered Stockdale Harbor, where we glassed for deer for a while.  The area just seemed too low to hold bucks this time of the season.  We left there and headed for our original destination, Port Chalmers.  As we entered, we saw a mooring buoy and headed straight for it.  The mooring buoy was located behind Wilby Island. As we motored toward  it, we saw another boat, with someone standing on the bow, coming from behind the island.  The other boat also appeared to be headed to the same buoy.  I couldn’t believe it!  How, in the middle of  no where, could someone else be heading for the exact same buoy I wanted and at the same time! We slowed and when they came closer we talked with them. 

They said they had the Forest Service cabin rented, but they couldn’t find it.  I checked my GPS and told them it was 2.8 miles from our current location.  They were also planning to hunt for deer.  We told each other if anyone needed help, we would be available.  Ahhhh…… the mooring buoy was all ours; I sleep much better at night on a buoy rather than swinging on an anchor.  We tied off with a mooring line and I was HOT to hit the beach.  I blew up our raft and rowed us to shore around 4:00 PM.  We landed on the rocky beach and tied up.  The alders at the beach were like a thick, barely penetrable jungle, which then gave way to thick spruce and FINALLY opened into squishy interconnecting meadows.  We worked our way from meadow to meadow, further and further, just trying to find out what the REAL hunt would be like tomorrow.  There were many small creeks, 1 ½ ft wide and often over 1 ft deep.  We immediately saw deer sign everywhere, deer tracks, deer scat, and heavily chewed on skunk cabbage.  While overlooking the bay, we saw a large sailboat headed into our anchorage.  We continued higher and higher, making our bear precaution noise, as we hiked.  I was slightly ahead of Shanna when I heard a phhhtttt…phhtt.  I thought we were finally going to get to see a deer.  I had Shanna stop and be quiet, that’s when she saw the brush moving all around and said, "That’s no deer, that’s a bear!"  I had to admit with the amount of brush moving, it seemed to be much larger than a deer.  We decided this would be a good time to turn back and head for the boat.  Our hike back was made even more difficult with bad coordinates from our GPS.  The GPS initially had problems finding itself earlier on the beach and therefore, incorrectly marked our raft 1/4 mile away from its actual location; we came back the long way.  We arrived on the beach and heard a loud.... .loud… motor running around.  The motor slowed momentarily and then Bamm!……A shot was fired, then the motor immediately gassed back up.  Shanna became concerned.  She thought maybe he was shooting at us, because we looked like deer on the beach.  I was sure he wasn't shooting at us.  We rowed back to the boat and a young man pulled up in the dinghy with the loud motor.   Kobi introduced himself to us.  We offered him a beer, which he gladly accepted, and we visited for a while.  He said he had been commercial fishing with his dad and brother all summer and now he and his dad were finishing up their season with an inside passage return to Seward.  He said they had shredded their jib sail and had battled 22 ft seas the night before.  They were now holing up behind Montague Island for some rest and hunting.   He was cruising the shore in his dingy looking for ducks and deer and was planning on climbing to the top of the mountain the next day for a buck.  We had a good visit before he headed back to their boat, which was a 53’ sailboat converted to a troller and long liner.  Shanna & I cooked up some dinner, drank some beer and called it a night.

Next - Looking for deer but find bears instead


1 2 3 4 5 > Next Page