Hunting Sitka Blacktail Deer in Southeast Alaska
I don’t hike Ketchikan’s few established trails very often, but it’s a nice change from following game trails cross country
The trail has suffered a lot of storm damage, mostly from falling trees. The lump on the left is the root wad of a tree that took part of the trail with it when it fell.
This trail used to be almost entirely made up of boardwalk; 90% of it has been replaced with gravel. Due to an average annual rainfall of 150 inches, trails need to either be above ground or filled with gravel; otherwise, they turn into a mud bog.
The last few hundred yards of the trail is in bad shape; hopefully this summer they will finish replacing the old trail.
The stairs on the left is the Minerva Mtn. Trail which travels across the top of some mountains between Ward Lake and Ketchikan.
Heading back down
Ward Lake: The Perseverance Lake Trail starts here; this small lake has 2 campgrounds, a picnic area, and a nature trail around the entire lake.
It’s been a bit wet, even by SE Alaska standards, but checking trail cameras is a great motivator to go for a hike between the storms.
I set a camera here; a trail which has been trampled to this extent is a sure indication for lots of action.
I set another camera here to find out why this patch of ground is all torn up. I think the over hanging branch is a licking branch for the deer, and there is a lot of bear sign in the area; it will be about 4 months before they come out of hibernation.
The camera I set here monitors the intersection of two main trails and some secondary trails.
This spot is more out in the open than I prefer, but there is a main trail parallel to the downed tree, and lots of secondary trails; plus there is a lot of fresh deer and old bear scat in the area.