Hunting Alaska-Sitka Black-tailed Deer
Backcountry  Custom  Taxidermy
Sitka Deer - facts and figures
Bows, Firearms, Cartridge, and Ammunition for Hunting Alaska:

The rifle you bring hunting should be one with which you are comfortable. many hunters have been convinced that a .300, .338, .375, or .416 magnum is needed for personal protection and to take large Alaska game. This is simply not true.

1.Rifle/handgun: State regulations require that rifles and handguns must fire a 200-grain or larger bullet, which retains at least 2000 foot-pounds of energy at 100 yards. A .30-06 with a 220-grain bullet is about the minimal weapon that meets this specification. Please do not bring your favorite firearm and expect to use it if it does not meet the above criteria. 

2.Muzzleloader: Muzzle-loading rifles must be .54 caliber or larger, or at least .45 caliber with a 250-grain or larger elongated slug. Further, for safety reasons, those hunting with muzzleloaders must also have within easy reach a smokeless powder rifle meeting the centerfire rifle requirements listed above. 

3.Bow: Longbows, recurve bows, or compound bows are permitted, but they must have a peak draw weight of 50 pounds or more. Arrows must be at least 20 inches in overall length, and tipped with unbarbed, fixed or replaceable-blade type broadheads. Arrow and broadhead together must weigh at least 300 grains total weight. As with hunters using muzzleloaders, ADF&G strongly recommends that bowhunters have a rifle close at hand. 

* If you are planning on packing out moose meat, caribou meat, or a brown bear hide weighing hundreds of pounds, you can carry a 9- to 11-pound rifle including scope. A rifle of this weight in .300 or .338 magnum can be mastered with a lot of practice.

SUMMERY:  You can’t go wrong with a stainless steel bolt-action rifle chambered for a standard cartridge that you are comfortable with and can shoot accurately, loaded with a high quality bullet. 
The Sitka black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis) is native to the wet coastal rainforests of Southeast Alaska and north-coastal British Columbia. Related to mule deer, Sitka black-tailed deer are smaller and stockier than the Columbian black-tailed deer found in the Pacific Northwest.

The elk of Alaska can weigh up to 1,300 pounds with 700 pounds of meat for the hunter to pack out after the harvest. Combining the weight of the Alaskan elk with the rugged terrain, heavy timber and harsh weather, elk hunting in Alaska will result in a physically and mentally demanding hunt. 

During summer, deer generally feed on herbaceous vegetation and the green leaves of shrubs. During winter, the distribution of deer at various elevations is influenced by changing snow depth. During extreme snow accumulation, many deer congregate in heavily timbered stands at lower elevations. Some may even move onto the beach. they are restricted to evergreen forbs and woody browse. When snow is not a problem, they prefer evergreen forbs such as bunchberry and trailing bramble are preferred. 

The breeding season, or rut, begins in late October and continues through November. Deer are widely dispersed from sea level to 1,500 ft. Old-growth forests are important foraging habitats, but deer also make use of forest openings, and muskeg fringes during the rut. 

Hunting Tips - The Hunt
Best time to hunt is in November during the rut, when both sexes respond to a call resembling the bleat of a fawn. During late November and December, heavy snow sometimes concentrates deer at low elevations. This allows high harvest levels when local weather conditions are favorable. 

Deer Harvest Reporting
Harvest report cards are attached to the harvest ticket for many big game species, and you are required to complete and return them. For some hunted species such as deer, where seasons are long or populations large, a representative sample of hunters may instead be mailed a harvest survey to complete.  Even hunters who were unsuccessful or did not hunt—is very important. Please fill out and return any harvest survey you receive. 

All individuals who want to hunt deer in Southeast Alaska must fill out a deer harvest overlay in order to obtain deer harvest tickets. The overlay information provides ADF&G with contact information from for the entire pool of deer hunters so that they can, allowing the department to gather harvest statistics; hunters from most areas of Southeast Alaska are then randomly selected to fill out a hunter survey. In order to obtain more detailed harvest information for Unit 2 (Prince of Wales Island), however, all hunters who plan to hunt in Unit 2 are required to submit a hunt report. Hunters should pick up this form at the same time they get their deer harvest tickets. All Unit 2 deer reports are due to ADF&G by January 15. The exception is for hunters who received their Unit 2 Deer Harvest Report but also plan to hunt deer in GMU 4; because the federal subsistence season for deer in Unit 4 does not end until January 31, those individuals have until February 15 to report their harvest activities or lack thereof.  In Southcentral Alaska, the process is similar. 

Hunting Tips - Shot placement
Before a hunter takes a shot, it is his or her responsibility to be sure they can make a clean and accurate shot, so use a weapon you can shoot accurately. 

Heart & Double Lung Shot
 Alaskan game animals will quickly die when both lungs and/or heart are hit by a bullet or arrow. The best shot placement is when the animal is broadside to the hunter or slightly facing away.  A heart-lung shot from either position will likely puncture both lungs.

Hunting Tips - Where
Sitka Black-tailed deer are found in Game Management Units 1 – 6 and in Unit 8. Harvest tickets are required to hunt deer. Season dates and bag limits vary between and within game management units so be sure to check the current hunting regulations for your specific hunt. 

Refer back to Alaska Hunting for the map of hunting units. Each unit will give specific information about the area, bag limits and more.     

Unit  1   Southeast Mainland - includes Ketchikan, Juneau, Douglas, Skagway & Haines
Unit  2   Prince of Wales Island - includes part of Tongass National Forest, Naukati, Hollis,
              Thorne Bay, Aklawock, Craig, Hydaburg and Dall Island
Unit  3   Petersburg / Wrangell - includes part of Tongass National Forest 
Unit  4   Admiralty / Baranof / Chichagof islands - includes Sitka and part of Tongass
               National Forest
Unit  5   Yakutat - includes Tongass National Forest, Wrangell/St. Elias National Park &
               Glacier Bay
Unit  6   Cordova / Valdez -  includes Whittier, Chenega Bay, Katalla, Tatitlek, Chugach
               National Forest and Prince William Sound
Unit  8   Kodiak Island / Shelikof - includes Afognak & Trinity Islands

In Southeast Alaska, the Sitka black-tailed deer is the most frequently pursued species of big game.  Early season hunting is concentrated in the alpine and subalpine areas. 

Sitka's range has expanded via transplants, and established populations now exist near Yakutat, in Prince William Sound, and on Kodiak and Afognak islands. 

Hunting Tips - Summery
This is not a substitute for the Alaska Hunting Regulations. For more complete infomation read the regulations and the permit hunt supplements. They are available at Alaska Department of Fish & Game offices and establishments that sell hunting licenses and tags. 

Always Check the Alaska Hunting & Trapping  Emergency Orders before planning to hunt an area or species as restrictions may apply.

CLICK HERE - For more information on hunting the Sitka Black-Tailed Deer
Click Here - For information on permits for Drawing hunts, Regrestration hunts, or General Season hunts 
Click here - For Guides / Outfitters and more

CLICK  HERE -  7 Tips for Deer Hunting Public Land
CLICK HERE  -  9 Early Season Deer Hunting Tips
CLICK HERE   -  Late season deer hunting tips
* If you are a Nonresident,  you should be accompanied by a licensed guide / outfitter OR by an Alaska resident (who is a close relative) to hunt in Alaska
* If you are a Nonresident Alien, you must be accompanied by a licensed guide / outfitter OR by an Alaska resident (who is a close relative) to hunt in Alaska.

* You are allowed to report your harvest in person or via U.S. mail for all hunts. For some hunts, you may also report online instead. Failure-to-report (FTR) penalties apply for many hunts. Click Here for more information.

* Refer back to Alaska Hunting for the map of hunting units. Each unit will give specific information about the area, bag limits and more.

* Sitka black-tailed deer don't have upper teeth in the front of their mouths. Like its cousin the cow, the Sitka black-tailed deer depends on micro-organisms in part of its stomach to break down food.

* Sitka black-tailed deer are very vocal animals. Their repertoire of sounds resembles that of sheep, complete with bleating, baaing, and grunting. 

If you have a trophy that you believe may qualify for B & C's Big Game Awards Program - contact one of their measurers to have it officially scored.      
Minimum Scores   Awards   All-time
         mule deer                  215         230
         Columbia blacktail      155         155
         Sitka blacktail            118         118

Trophy Scoring Form

Minimum Scores   Awards   All-time 
         whitetail                    185         195
         Coues’                      105         120

Trophy Scoring Form

Minimum Scores   Awards   All-time
         mule deer                  180        190
         Columbia blacktail      125        135
         Sitka blacktail            100        108

Trophy Scoring Form

Minimum Scores   Awards   All-time
          whitetail                    160         170
          Coues’                      100         110

Trophy Scoring Form
After the salmon runs dwindle down, right behind them is the deer season. It runs from August-December. The Sitka black-tailed deer is a main source of meat gathered by the Tlingits. The deer is a respected animal hunted for by the natives since the beginning of time.
Alaska Sitka Black-Tailed Deer 
 (Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis) 
Backcountry Taxidermy
Hunter's Guide