Monday, December 22, 2014

PART 6 - Gearing Up for Your Alaska Sitka Blacktail Hunt

I can’t tell you how many lists I had but I know it was in the double digits. Depending on what kind of hunt you choose will determine the type and amount of gear you bring. We ended up bringing more than we needed but, that is par for the course, especially if it’s your first time on any new hunt.

Planning for Wet Weather

The main gear/equipment that I cannot stress the importance of enough, regardless of hunt you decide to do, is rain gear. Not just jackets and pants but also tarps, scope covers, backpack covers, and waterproof storage (like plastic bins) for your gear. It doesn't matter what time of year you choose to hunt you will encounter some crazy weather that can get you soaked in a matter of minutes.

We packed two scope covers for the rifle, a bow cover, two sets of rain gear (pants and jackets) for each of us, and waterproof backpack covers for each of our packs. I also made sure that majority of these items were “pack-able” and easily fit in our backpacks for our day hikes since the weather often changed from sunny skies with puffy clouds to sideways rain within a matter of hours.
Pack covers were a must.

Drop Camp

Since we were doing a DIY drop-camp hunt we brought everything we needed for a week long camping trip with us from home.  There is a gear rental business in Kodiak where you could get most everything you would need. We did end up renting an electric Bearfence and a SAT phone once we were on Kodiak.

We packed all of our gear into large duffel bags and two large plastic totes.  We found that the totes were a great way to pack gear for this type of trip. Not only were they easy to maneuver at the airport but the doubled as excellent weatherproof storage while we were camped out.  I drilled holes through each of the handles and attached zip-ties to keep the lid secured during transportation.

Checking the Bags at the Airport

Other Essentials from Our Gear List:

  • Books – A must have for when you get weathered out in the tent all day
  • Tarps - You cannot have too many to protect your camp from the wind and rain.
  • Cameras - Take more than one!
  • SAT phone - for emergencies and calling your pilot for early pickup
  • Bear Fence - I am sure a bear could get through it if they wanted to but its good peace of mind.
  • Portable charger - Solar or battery, these are really getting more popular and can charge anything with a USB charger plug.
  • Fishing pole - Buy a license!  If you will be at a lake or river there can be some great off-time entertainment. I brought a collapsible pole with a few lures that worked great.

  • Tall rain boots or pack-able waders - Essential for float plane loading and unloading as well as crossing some of the thousands of small creeks.
  • 3 Mil garbage bags - Good for keeping gear dry as well as sinking your meat in a cold stream to cool it down.
  • Para-cord - I brought 150’. This was essential for tying down tarps, constructing game poles and structures.
  • At least one creature comfort - We bought a six pack of our favorite beer and sunk it in a creek to keep it cold and it was a great thing to have every evening after a long day of hiking.
  • Pack Frame - This is a must since there is no way one can really drag a deer to camp. Everything gets packed out.

  • Oil/flour/seasoning/hot sauce/onion/garlic - Of course if your successful you want to cook some of the fish and game you get on the trip.
  • Cooking Equipment – 1 burner cook stove, pot with a lid
  • Water filter - makes any water drinkable
  • Small shotgun or bird arrows (if you have room) - There are tons of Ptarmigan on the island with liberal bag limits which make for a fun side target during your trip.

« Previous: Selecting a Drop Camp

Next: Travel Planning »

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