Douglas Orbit

Bob Bang and I took the skiff around Douglas Island today beach hunting. We left one vehicle on north Douglas, launched the skiff on south Douglas. We headed down Gastineau Channel, across to Pt. Arden to Doty’s Cove, then hit the beach and headed north again. We were in the lee of the south wind along the beach, and it was glassy calm with a light rain and foggy.

The first deer we saw was spooky and headed to the woods before we could get to the beach, and we did not pursue it further. We then saw 2 deer – I thought does – on the beach near a creek mouth. There was an obstruction that we could get behind to shield us from the deer, so I got to that, and Bob go out to go up for a shot. Both deer went into the woods and Bob went in after them. Meanwhile, I tended the boat, which was almost grounded on the creek mouth delta. I got out, and pushed and pulled to get it to deeper water on the ebbing tide. Of course, here comes a buck chasing a doe down on the beach. I could not get to my gun in the boat, and I hollered to Bob that there were deer back on the beach. The doe went back up in the woods, with the buck on her tail. Bob said he saw them but could not get a shot. I had Bob hold the boat and I gave chase and blew the deer call, but no luck.

We boarded the boat and headed up the beach. Not far, on the other side of the creek mouth, was a nice buck feeding on the beach. I put Bob on the beach for a shot. I suggested he get a rest, as it was a pretty long shot, but he was kind of excited, and tried two off hand shots – both clean misses. I drew down as the deer went into the woods, but did not fire.

Turns out those were our chances. We didn’t see anymore deer, but what a great day hunting the Tongass in glassy water in the misty rain and fog.

Mark Stopha
Alaska Wild Salmon Company
4455 N. Douglas Hwy
Juneau, AK 99801

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