One of the last ranches on the island, this cattle company is run by Bill and Kathy Burton, who started their 20,000-acre lease in 1967. With 60–70 cows, 400 buffalo, 70 elk, and 14 yaks, the ranch is a place for domesticated meat and guided hunts.
Ranching was first brought to Kodiak by the Russians, who took advantage of the natural grasslands on the green, temperate island. Americans continued the ranching tradition, which peaked with some 2,000 head of cattle and a dozen ranches. There are now less than 400 cattle.
Some ranchers switched to buffalo, which can defend themselves better against brown bears. It was not uncommon for ranchers to lose 10–20 percent of their herd, but buffalo are smarter, faster, and wilder. Bill has stories of defending cows from marauding bears and chasing down big bears with airplanes!
A visit or hunt on this property is a classic experience, with lots of stories. Bill asks that you call first: 907-486-3705.