Adak Island. When people think of Adak most people think "where the heck is that" or "that's where". When you look at the location of Adak most people do not think about Caribou hunting. There is a small population of Caribou on Adak that you can hunt. A non-resident can harvest 2 bull Caribou. Some of the largest bodied Caribou in the world live out there. There is no natural predators for the animals so they live without that stress nor do they have a large migration to make. These two elements allow the Caribou to become very healthy (600-700lbs.)
People often wonder how the Caribou got to Adak Island. In the 1940's the animals were transplanted as an emergency source of food and for "recreational" purposes for the soldiers stationed out there.
When I started my research into hunting Adak there was a few different options:
1. Fully Guided (there are 2 guides that work out there)
2. Walk in (Unguided)
3. Use a transporter (Unguided)
I called quite a few different people on the island and the biologist for the State of Alaska who was responsible for this herd. After talking to them I decided that it was necessary to get a few miles away from the road system to have a successful hunt (use a transporter).
I decided that I would make this a 5 day hunt (5 days in the field) solo. Preparing for this hunt was a difficult task as there is one main issue with hunting in Adak, the wind. You will need a tent than can take 100+ knot winds. It does not always blow that hard there but it can.
When I got out to Adak, I met with my transporter Al Giddings. He said we would head out the next morning. After taking the 45 min boat ride I got all my equipment set up and decided to go out and look for some Caribou. I spotted about 30 animals that day but none of the bulls where mature. On the second day I spotted a large group of animals about 3 miles away and with my spotting scope I found that there were two good bulls in the group. After a 2.5 mile hike I got into position on the two bulls and I decided I would take both of them. I knew this would end my hunt but I also knew the weather was going to be getting worse. After harvesting the two bulls I boned them out and put them in game bags. I did not have my frame pack with me so I loaded up my day pack with the back straps and headed back to camp. Once I got back to camp I called Al up (sat phone) and scheduled a pick up for 5pm the next day.
When I woke up in the morning the winds where horrendous, I decided that the storm was not going to blow over quick so I got prepared to pack out the rest of the meat. The winds were gusting to 70 knots. After 10 hours of packing I got the last load back to tent. I then called Al and he said he would not be able to get to me and I should make preparations as the storm is coming. I was a little confused at that point because I thought the storm was already here. Al warned me that the winds will become a steady 70 knots and we will have gust over 100 knots over night. Al obviously would not be able to pick me up. For the next 39 hours I stayed in my tent waiting for the storm to end. On the morning of the 5th day of the hunt (two days after I harvested my animals) Al was able to pick me up. I was quite relieved as I found a new respect for the nickname of Adak "The Birthplace of the Wind".