Prince of Wales Island (POW) is home to a large population of Sitka black-tailed deer, black bears, gray wolves, as well as many smaller animals. While driving the Scenic By-Way across the island, be on the lookout for deer and bear which can commonly be seen on the sides of the roads. Drive carefully when deer and bear are around as they often cross the road without warning! Spring is a wonderful time to visit the island to see the baby deer and bear all over the place.
While you’re exploring, hiking, hunting or fishing, you’re bound to see a plethora of wildlife. Keep your cameras close at hand because you never know what you’ll see… to get the best pictures, remain as quiet as possible and use a long zoom. If you see a bear or a wolf, stay calm, make lot of noise with your voice, bells or air-horn and back away slowly… they are best viewed from a great distance. Respect their space and they will respect yours!
If you prefer shooting with a rifle rather than a camera, hunting on POW is best in the spring and fall. Hunting on POW consists of Black bear in the Spring (May-June) and Fall (beginning in September) and Sitka black-tail in the Fall (beginning in August). The regulations for hunters are subject to change, so please be sure you understand the rules before you set out on your adventure. For more information on hunting regulations, licenses and permits, please visit the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Website: Licensing , Regulation.
The north end of the island is the best for hunting due to the extreme remoteness. Across the island you’ll find areas called clear-cuts in which the trees have been harvesting by logging. These are the best areas for hunting deer as they are often found grazing in these areas. Black bear can be a little harder to find, but if you hunt in the Spring bait can be used to bring them out of hiding. In addition to being able to use bait, the meat is much tastier!