Monday, December 22, 2014

PART 7 - Travel for Your Alaska Sitka Blacktail Hunt

Getting to Kodiak

Alaska Airlines and ERA fly from Anchorage to Kodiak a few times a day however can be delayed frequently due to weather. We planned a day on either end of our trip just in case we got delayed.

By joining the Alaska Airlines mileage plan you can earn free flights by using their credit card.  Right now they have a promotion where you get a $119 buddy pass when you sign up and you get that same buddy pass every year. There are a few fees associated with the card but when you are looking at a typical round trip ticket from the lower 48 that can cost over $1000, it is well worth it.

You've Arrived!

You have landed on Kodiak, depending on when you are scheduled for your float plane departure you should either get a cab and head to your hotel or if you’re flying out the same day most float planes offer to pick you up at the airport. We planned a day in Kodiak not only to do some last minute shopping and packing but to see some of the sights around town. After getting everything we did our last minute packing and double checked the weight of our bags to make sure we were not going to be over limit for the float plane. 

Good Places for Last Minute Gear and Supplies

  • The sporting goods store to buy any last minute things and tags if you didn't get them online.
  • Wal-Mart or Safeway to buy all your food and camping essentials (extra totes) that you didn't want to fly with. No need to pack meals or propane since the prices on Kodiak are pretty much the same as the lower 48.
  • Wal-Mart or one of the local fish packing plants to get wax meat transport boxes.  The commercial airlines require them for transporting meat and fish on their planes.  I waited until after my hunt and both places were sold out. 

The Flight

So hopefully the delays weren't too bad and you will be able to take off on your float plane on time, now you’re in the air. If you did a lot of research on Kodiak more than likely you scoured lots of maps and locations. Take that map with you while you’re flying!!! When in the float plane you get a 1st hand Google Earth experience that will help you in planning for the next trip. Most pilots will be able to point out lakes, other drop off points and hunting areas if you ask. You can then circle spots on the maps and take pictures. 

Also, just enjoy the ride! Flying in a float plane is an awesome experience and is totally different than any commercial flights. There were times where we were 4,000 ft above ground but majority of the time we were weaving between mountain peaks and cruising valleys. It was spectacular and we were able to see numerous deer, mountain goats and bears from the air. The biggest buck that I saw the entire trip was out of the plane window on a ridge-top not 3 miles from our base camp. He was a giant and you better believe I’m going to that ridge next time.

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