Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge
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 my 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. It is by far and away number 1 on my list of hunts.
Spring Brown Bear
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 I will meet you on arrival, and pick up your registration permit, license and tags if you have not already done so online. From there we will fly into my hunt area and land in the upper valley, at the base of the mountains and volcano. We will set up a small yet comfortable spike camp, consisting of a 4 person Bomb Shelter tent for the client and a small 3 man VE-25 tent for myself and my Assistant Guide, 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, we eat well.
From this location we will start our hunt, climbing to a high point each morning and glassing for bears. We may choose 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 we would need for the hunt we carry on our backs, until we reach a suitable location to set our camp with a good observation point nearby. This method of hunting enables us to get to the most remote areas where the largest boars are, and puts us 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! We are the best at what we do and can work with nearly anyone to make the hunt successful!
Once a large boar is spotted, we can plan our stalk. There are many factors that can determine what we do 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 we are very good at it! When we harvest the bear we skin it, pack it back to camp and flesh it, then prepare for the plane to come and get us. This marks the end of your hunt. A Spring Brown Bear Hunt is an experience that is second to none!
Dates: May 10 – 31 (15 day hunt period)
Not included: License and tag fees, air charter to and from hunt area
Wolf may be harvested at no additional charge.