“Around here we kind of look at it as a holiday,” Glamann said. One employee at Mack’s gets the day off for the beginning of deer season. “That happened to be me this year,” he said.
By 10 a.m. he shot his buck, brought it back to town and made sure it was cooled on ice and cleaned properly. That evening, dinner was fresh venison.
“That’s really what it’s all about,” Glamann said. “One of the reasons people partake in the opening day event is the venison is better-tasting this time of year.”
It’s not easy hunting at the beginning of the season — hunters deal with higher brush, deep foliage, bugs and the warmer temperature that spoils meat quicker. But as Glamann was out hunting, he saw plenty of signs left by his fellow hunters, many of whom were driving up and down the road.
“There were a lot of people on the road system, probably more than usual,” he said.
Scouting for the past couple of weeks, “I’ve seen more deer on the road zone than I have in the past couple of years,” Glamann said.
Even so, not many people actually participate on opening day.
“They usually wait until the fall and the grass lies down, the snow comes down, and the deer come down from the mountains.” Glamann said.
Sharon Moore, part owner of Cy’s Sporting Goods, said business is brisk with deer tags for the season opening and the fishing season in full swing.
She pointed to another reason many hunters wait until later in the season: bears. Bear safety is the cardinal rule in deer hunting on Kodiak Island.
“Right now, you can’t see bears,” she said. “You can’t see anything around you and so it’s dangerous. Come up on a sow and cubs, you are in really deep trouble.”
She said common practice in Kodiak, once the kill is made, is to gut the deer and leave the gut pile while packing out
“Most of the time the bears will head for the gut pile and not for the deer,” she said.
Moore said serious hunters usually arrive later in the season and many of them will hunt deer and Kodiak bears in the same visit.
“When they are paying this much money for a guide, they are getting two species,”
The fall bear season runs from Oct. 25 through Nov. 30.
New this year for the deer hunt, Moore said, is a road system hunt by bow and arrow or muzzleloader specifically for youths. The youth season runs from Nov. 16 to Dec. 31.
Different types of deer hunters are out there, Glamann said. Some have the philosophy that hunters should work for it, and others are happy to hunt off the road or on the beaches.
“Personally, the first couple deer, like the first week of deer season, is subsistence as far as I look at it,” he said. “It’s getting some of the best venison I can get in the freezer.”
Later in the season is when he starts looking for the kind of deer that would do well in the big buck contest Mack’s sponsors each year, drawing some 100 or more displays of antlers from the months-long contest.
Contact Mirror writer Wes Hanna at whanna@kodiak
If you go
• Deer season in the Kodiak Road System Management Area on Kodiak Island runs from Aug. 1 to Oct. 31 with no weapons restricted.
• From Nov. 1 to Nov. 14, only certified bowhunters and muzzle-loaders are allowed.
• From Nov. 16 to Dec. 31, certified youths can hunt a deer with a bow or muzzleloader.