At Afognak Wilderness Lodge, we boast the perfect combination of land and marine wildlife. Like our visitors, the Sitka deer enjoy the best of both worlds, whether they’re scattering throughout our lush forest or coming down to the shore for a drink. They’re a subspecies of the mule deer of the American west, characterized by their smaller stature and face. Because snow and rain are inevitable on our Alaskan islands, the deer must follow strict migration patterns, rising up the mountains during the summer and traveling to the lower-elevation forests during the colder months.

What Do They Eat?

The diet of the Sitka deer change with the season, just like their coats that change from reddish-brown to gray-brown in the winter. Like the rest of their species, their diet primarily consists of leafy greens and woody vegetation, that they grind between their top and bottom molars. They are also ruminants, re-chewing their food to break down the nutrient materials in the greens they eat.

If there’s a great amount of snowfall in the wintertime, the deer will eat browse, which consists of leaves, twigs, and buds of woody trees and plants. To prevent potential starvation during heavy snowfall, the deer must eat as much as they can during the spring and summer.

Best Times to See the Sitka Blacktail

Our Alaskan wilderness lodge is open from late May to September, which means it’s the perfect time to see the newest additions to the forest. Fawns are typically born in early June, after the mating season takes place in November and December. During the summer months, our islands are covered in Sitka blacktails, where they thrive in abundance in the lower forest regions. If you’re lucky, you may be able to spot one crossing the channels while you’re whale watching in Kodiak. They are fantastic swimmers!

Visit the Kodiak Islands for Unmatched Wildlife

Whether you love the majestic Sitka deer or the playful sea otters, Afognak Wilderness Lodge is a must-visit destination to see various land and marine wildlife. Kodiak, Alaska offers a unique lodging experience, with memories that will last a lifetime. Contact us today to learn more and book your stay.