The great Alaska Brown Bear is certainly one of the most sought after experiences in the hunting world, and the noble creatures are one of my favorite animals as an outfitter. Nothing quite stirs my heart and soul like the sight of a brown bear in the Alaska wilderness, and after our initial early season caribou hunts, brown bear becomes our primary focus for numerous reasons.
The Brown Bears naturally grow big. We have taken many 10 foot plus bears over the year with many skulls over 28 plus. We hunt Brown Bears April through May and September through October. Area permits each hunter to harvest one Brown each regulatory year, which does not count against the harvest of one (l) Brown every (4) years, like in other parts of Alaska.
Interior Grizzly Bears
We conduct hunts for interior Grizzly Bears two different times of the year. Spring hunts start in mid April and go through mid May. Bears are just emerging out of their dens, and are in relatively open country for snow tracking and spot and stalk hunting. This time of year still can be a little chilly, so an extra layer of clothes will be required at times. Our fall hunts are spot and stalk in areas with good berry crops, salmon streams, and Moose hunting areas. Our success rate in recent years has been about 75 to 80 percent, with most of the bears measuring between 7 1/2′ to 8 ‘.
Single species Grizzly hunts are 14 hunting days with a travel day on each end. The cost of this hunt is 2012 is $16,000 (USD). Round trip transportation from
Anchorage to base camp and return, or license and tag fees are not included.
BEAR CAMP – Kodiak, Alaska
Located just on the south end of Kodiak Island in game management area 8 near Olga Bay, lies some of the most prime brown bear habitat on Kodiak Island. It is also rich in salmon streams, and offers a high density of brown bear, as well as the highest concentration of Sitka black bear tail deer on all of Kodiak Island.
How to get there: From the East Coast to Anchorage via Northwest Airlines, for the Midwest and West Coast to Anchorage via American Airlines or Alaskan Airlines from Anchorage to Kodiak Island via ERS or Alaskan Airlines. I will book you air taxi for Kodiak City.
Upon arrival at Base Camp: sleeping accommodations, all camp equipment,
snowshoes, and food and airplane transportation. Licensed guide for each hunter, field care and arrangements for shipment of all trophies from Base an
d hotel arrangements.
GEAR LIST For Spring Bear
- 1 pair rain gear; I prefer stretchable PVC type rain gear. Helly Hansen Impertech is what most of us personally wear. The key here is, easy to dry, and don’t worry about the noise. If you have Gore-Tex you are absolutely confident in then go for it, but nothing stops rain like pvc.
- 2 pair of fleece, or synthetic pants-avoid heavyweight style (I use Cabalas’ Legacy Fleece and the Wind shear option is preferred in the Spring)
- 1 down jacket or similar synthetic (essentially a good mid-weight warm layer) Avoid heavy winter style coats.
- 1 fleece jacket, or pullover-mid weight (Cabalas’ Legacy Fleece or Microtex)
- 2 thermal shirts, Duofold, Thermax are very good-midweight, or lighter; in my opinion they a simply the best.
- 1-2 thermal bottoms, (Duofold midweight has two layers of material, 1 layer wool, and 1 of 100% thermax) you should be prepared for temps in the mid 50’s to mid teens with plenty of wind.
- 3-5 top quality hiking socks, Thorlo’s Mountaineering sock are the best I have found to date. Cost around $17 per pair, but worth it. These are getting more difficult to find and they are fairly bulky for warmer weather or close fitting boots, so I am usually using Thorlo’s Coolmax Light Hiker. Do not, I repeat, do not skimp on socks, or try unfamiliar types for your hunt, buy the best and wear them before the hunt.
- 1 pair of camp shoes-preferably something lightweight and hunting boots should be of the hiking, mountaineering type. I generally do not recommend anything from hunting outlet stores that pass average work boots off for “hunting boots.” Camouflage doesn’t make a boot tough! My personal recommendation is something by La Sportiva, Scarpa, Lowa, Asolo, or Koflach. I am currently using the La Sportiva Trango S EVO GTX for sheep hunting and for spring bear. Bulky boots do not handle or perform well with snowshoes and there is always a good chance of being on snowshoes.
- Snowshoes: We have Cabela’s Guide Model Snowshoes available to our clients, but if anyone wants something a step above I use and recommend the MSR Denali EVO with the optional tailpieces. They can be found at www.Campmor.com.
- Backpacks: I am currently using the Mystery Ranch G 7000 that is made in Montana. Capacities for all packs should be 6,000 cu. in. or more. External frames with similar capacities can be used If necessary. Apart from the Mystery Ranch I would look to Dana Designs and Gregory.
- 1 large pack cover-waterproof Sleeping bag – Currently I am using the Mont-Bell Super Stretch #2, which is a 25º bag and probably not warm enough for some folks. I use the extra long model and it weighs in at 1 lb. 15oz. and of course it is down. Most people will probably prefer a 0º to 15º bag. The Mont-Bell UltraLong Super Stretch #0 is rated at 0º and weighs in a wonderful 3 lb. 1 oz., while the #1 in the same product line is rated at 15º and weighs in at 2 lb. 7 oz. Long bags are recommended if you are 6’ or taller. Synthetic bags rated between 0º to 20º degrees are fine as well, but a bag weighing 5 lb. is simply not the way to go. Please spend the money and keep your bag under 3.5 lb.
- Therma-rest self inflating pads are great, and I use the Pro-Lite 4. If full length pads are used they should be the models no wider than 20”s
- 1 hat, and fleece facemask or similar.
- Gloves-wool, or any waterproof glove is good, although neoprene tends to sweat, and gets clammy. Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters for spring hunts come in handy when snowshoeing, few other brands compare.
- Knives-avoid overweight Rambo knives. Small capping type knives are preferred.
- Gun oil and maintenance tools. Critical tools to dismantle rifle in the field may save the day. Minimal weight is the key.
- GSI Outdoors Lexan® 32 oz. Fairshare Mug and additional small cup for coffee, etc.
- Nalgene water bottles, at least 1, 32 ounce bottle
- Washcloth, towel-lightweight, soap, toothpaste and toothbrush, razor if you are so inclined.
- Packaged moist towelettes (baby wipes) are great for freshening up. Small bottle of shampoo, etc.
- Flashlight-small LED headlamp, or similar. Headlamps are certainly preferred. I use a Petzl Myo XP LED.
- First aid-prescriptions, ibuprofen, gel blister pads.
- MSR Mini-Works – Water purifiers are recommended if you have concerns about giardia and the State of Alaska recommends their use in all waterways. Binoculars-8×40 minimum, but 10×42, or 10×50 are best, higher grade glasses permit longer viewing with less eye strain, which brings better results in the long run-don’t skimp if you are purchasing for the first time.
- Spotting scope is optional, but recommended if you are going to constantly want to look through your guide’s scope.
- Laser rangefinder is optional, as guides pack one.
- Rifles and cartridges should be discussed prior to the hunter’s arrival. 20 rounds of Ammo should be sufficient, but 30 is not too much.
- Length of nylon rope has many uses.
- Emergency space blanket, -Thermo-Lite® Emergency Bivy Sack by Adventure Medical Please do not bring the small aluminum foil type that fit in a shirt pocket Camp Time Roll-up Pack Stool® or REI Trail Chair or similar. Invaluable when glassing for hours.
- Sunglasses, Sun block
- Individuals need to keep their gear at 50 pounds max, excluding rifle, due to load constrictions on chartered flights.