Alaska Brown Bear 10655
One the premier big game species of the world, the Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) can be considered the ultimate hunting experience. The largest boars can reach sizes in excess of 10 ft and weigh up to 1,200 lbs or more. The Alaska Peninsula is home to some of the largest bears in the world, and supports some of the healthiest populations, due in no small part to its excellent habitat with its massive salmon runs. The drainages of this area flow into Bristol Bay, home to the largest salmon runs in the world. Old boars are highly intelligent with a sense of smell second to none, and have what many hunters consider a “sixth sense” for avoiding danger. Taking one of these large male bears is one of the greatest challenges and accomplishments one can take on.
Spring bear hunts take place during years ending in even numbers (2016, 2018, 2020). Like the fall, hunts are spot and stalk. Instead of watching salmon streams, we are glassing up in the upper valleys, hillsides and mountains for boars coming out of dens and for traveling boars in search of sows to breed with. The days are 18 hours long, giving more than enough time to watch for bears. Like the fall, hunters should be prepared for countless hours of glassing. Mental toughness is a must. Spring hunts can be physically demanding, but the results are worth it!
The trip starts with you flying into King Salmon, where you will be met on arrival, and you will pick up your registration permit, license and tags if you have not already done so online. From there you will fly into the hunt area and land in the upper valley, at the base of the mountains and volcano. A a small yet comfortable spike camp will be set up, consisting of a 4 person Bomb Shelter tent for the client and a small 3 man VE-25 tent for the guide and their assistant, along with an extra tent for meal preparation. Dinners consist of is hard groceries, salmon, burger, moose, chicken, pasta, sausage, ect. Lunches consist of Pilot Bread or bagels, salmon or hard salami, cheese, energy bars and candy. Breakfasts are usually eggs and hash browns with sausage, or oatmeal and bagel. Despite the remote locations, you eat well.
From this location you will start the hunt, climbing to a high point each morning and glassing for bears. It may be decided during the trip to backpack a spike camp with basic gear into the more remote reaches of the valleys if necessary. This would be with small 2 man back pack tents (one for the hunter and one for the guides) and freeze dry food for maximum mobility, similar to a sheep hunt. Everything you would need for the hunt you carry on your back, until you reach a suitable location to set our camp with a good observation point nearby. This method of hunting enables the hunter and guide to get to the most remote areas where the largest boars are, and puts them in easy strike range. Being in good backpacking shape is a must for this hunt. Pre hunt physical preparation is key but most importantly hunters need to have a positive mental attitude!
Once a large boar is spotted, a stalk can be planned. There are many factors that can determine what will be done on a stalk, wind direction, the bear’s direction of travel, time of day, distance, just to name a few. Properly sizing a bear and executing a stalk can be very challenging but the guides are very good at it! When the bear is harvested, it is skinned, packed back to camp and flesh it, then prepare for the plane to come and get the group. This marks the end of your hunt. A Spring Brown Bear Hunt is an experience that is second to none!