Montague Island Deer
THIS WEEK! “NEW SIGN OLD SIGN DIDN’T SEE ANY DEER” Three friends set out for a Prince William Sound Black-tailed deer hunt. The forecast is gloomy “STORM WARNINGS FOR SUNDAY NIGHT” but that doesn’t stop these diehard hunters.
From world class fishing to big game adventure Alaska’s UNIT 6 has much to offer. For the Whitetail hunter looking to mix it up Alaska’s “Sitka Blacktailed Deer provides the action for this breathtaking adventure on the remote islands within Prince William Sound.
The Sitka black-tailed deer are Alaska’s only deer and native to Alaska’s Southeast coastal rainforest and north-coastal British Columbia. Hunters were not always able to pursue these coveted deer in the Prince William Sound area. In 1916, the Cordova Chamber of Commerce arranged to have eight deer from Sitka transplanted to Hinchinbrook and Hawkins Islands in Prince William Sound. Between 1917 and 1923, 16 more deer were introduced to the islands.
Those original 24 animals survived and flourished. Deer are good swimmers and spread to the mainland and to other islands in Prince William Sound. Legal hunting began in 1935 and now estimated around 2,300 deer are harvested annually in the Prince William Sound Area. Its range has expanded via transplants, and established populations now exist near Yakutat, in Prince William Sound, and on Kodiak and Afognak islands.
Related to mule deer, Sitka black-tailed deer are smaller and stockier than the Columbian black-tailed deer found in the Pacific Northwest. The average October live weight of adult Sitka black-tails is about 80 lbs for does and 120 lbs for bucks, although 200-lb bucks have been taken. Does give birth to fawns in June.
Not the typical antlered trophy associated with Whitetail deer, A Sitka black-tail buck’s antlers are dark brown, black-tailed branching with three points on each side typical adult development. Very few score higher than 110 points by the Boone and Crockett system. Average life-span is about 10 years with the toughest reaching 15 years.
Protein: 21.5% Fat: 2.7% Cholesterol: 18 (mg/100g) Calories: 117 per 3.5 ounces.
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