Are you a hunter who's just about done it all? Are you looking for possibly the most unique hunting adventure in North America? Hunting reindeer in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska might be just the ticket.
Eva Shockey with a tremendous Alaskan reindeer. Photo courtesy of Jim Shockey's Outdoor Adventures.
Closely related to the more common caribou of North America, these animals were introduced from Siberia in the late 1800s/early 1900s as a food source for local villagers and now roam freely on several of these volcanic Islands. Classified by Safari Club International under the "exotic, free-range reindeer" category, few hunters even know that this species can be found in the Aleutians, and even fewer that it may be hunted. Due to the low human population and hunting pressure in this rugged area, trophy quality on these hunts is second to none. The guides work hard to make sure clients get bulls that measure 400 SCI points or larger, although hunters choosing to hunt with a bow or muzzleloader in this open landscape will find these animals much more challenging.
In partnership with its marketing/booking agent Jim Shockey's Hunting Adventures, the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Community Development Association offers a limited number of reindeer hunts in late September to early October on Umnak Island. This remote area has been described as one of the most beautiful places on the planet that almost no one gets to see.
Hunts are conducted from a fully-equipped main lodge using ATVs and then stalking on foot. A remote spike camp may also be used. Expect lots of riding on ATVs and lots of time spent glassing.
The weather in this part of the world can get ugly, and can change by the hour, with any combination of strong winds, fog, rain, hail, snow and blue skies possible at any time. This makes travel very challenging, so expect delays both incoming and outgoing and allow for extra travel days. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Your gear had better be up to the task. Warm and waterproof hunting outerwear, along with hunting rain gear or even commercial fishing rain gear are a must. So are good binoculars. Rifles with stainless finishes and synthetic stocks are ideal for this climate.
Due to the cost of operating in this remote area, these hunts are not cheap, but if this once-in-a-lifetime hunting adventure sounds right for you, contact Dan Goodenow at email@example.com.