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  • Writer's pictureKeith Showalter

Montague Island Deer Camping

My brother and I have been wanting to do some deer hunting on Montague Island down in Prince William Sound for a while now so we decided that now was a good time. We invited Robby to go along and he graciously helped flying gear and people around. Rob and I flew from Birchwood to Seward and met my brother who drove his truck down with more gear. With a cabin reserved on the island we were pretty much “glamping”, airplane style.

The airplanes were loaded up and we headed out into some of the most spectacular country you can imagine. After landing on the beach and unloading our gear we decided to explore the island a bit. Montague is 40 something miles long so we had lots a space to explore. We decided to find a few places up high above the tree line to glass for deer. The Superstols make getting into rough high alpine very doable. I was flying the entire weekend with my brother and his hunting gear in my airplane so I wouldn’t say I was light and the Superstol performed excellent!

This was our first landing spot. We saw a handful to deer here but no shooters. It’s amazing how many deer are on this island.

Some of the flying will test your faith in the motor up front. The Rotax 912 performed perfectly. In this picture you can see the beach we landed on at the end of the island. We went to 5000 for the water crossings. I’m pretty sure I feel new vibrations and hear new sounds every time I cross large water. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, it was epic!

There are some really neat glacier lakes that flow into the ocean, pretty neat stuff.

We spent the better part of a day up on this spot glassing for deer, again, lots and lots of doe’s and not a single buck in sight. This may have been the most epic place I’ve landed. You have to cross a flat spot up close to the mountain bowl then down a hill to the next plateau and land up the next hill… All while trying to miss the boulders laying around. The departure was up across the hill then off the cliff dumping you out into that beautiful valley.

The “Black Beast”. Superstol is meant for this stuff.

Rob’s Superstol sitting pretty up high in the mountains. Build them light and they perform like they should.

This was the beach close the cabin we stayed at. Lots and lots of room to play.

Kevin looking for deer… Rob looking for food in the back of my airplane. I really like this picture.

This was a really neat spot we stopped at on our way home from the weekend. Robby did some sweet flying here, look for video to come.

Superstols on the mountain. You can see the hill behind my airplane that we flew down for the approach to this little plateau. These pictures always make it look so much bigger and flatter than it really is.

Something really large and fuzzy walked down the beach one night but thankfully didn’t bother us. We did see a few bear on the island but we didn’t have any problems… thankfully.

Here is one of the valleys we glassed for deer. It has to be one of the most magical places I’ve been.

This is a pano my brother shot from his phone. Still doesn’t do it justice. We saw maybe a dozen deer in the valley, no bucks.

My Superstol pulled up into the tidal grass for the night. You probably want to know what the tides are doing if you plan on parking your airplane on the beach over night. It’ll help you sleep better. In the end, we didn’t see any bucks but we had an amazing camping trip. It was a fantastic opportunity to explore the island and see how the airplane performs with a load while operating up above the tree line in the mountains. We had an amazing time!

The ride home was perfectly beautiful until 5 miles out where it proceeded to blow like mad. I landed in front of Robby in the 22 gusting 30, talk about a rodeo. I didn’t use flaps and my ground roll was still only around 50 feet. Rob decided to pull his flaps and landed with a zero ground roll. It’s amazing what you can do in the wind. Taxiing back to the tie downs was a bit sketchy but it all worked out.

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