The majority of our Brown Bear hunts take place within the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, and the surrounding greater Chilkat region near Haines, Alaska.
Mature male Coastal Brown Bears travel between the Chilkat region and the adjacent, enormous wilderness parklands by established routes across the ice fields and through mountain passes as they navigate their vast home-range.
This influx of migrating Brown Bears supports a diversified gene pool, and it also provides a ready source of mature male bears which maintains a healthy hunting environment in which to pursue Southeast Alaska’s largest predators.
Our Brown Bears are of a very wide color range, from dark chocolate through a variety of color schemes from blond to multi-colored. Some bears have such a varied color combination that they are locally referred to as “CALICO” bears, which are most certainly one of the most coveted trophies in all of North America. It is not unusual for a hunter to purposefully harvest a smaller calico bear, because of it's striking coloration.
Brown Bears in our hunt area will get up to 10-feet squared, and we target bears over 8-feet squared.
In general, bears are not very active during rainy or windy weather, although sows with energetic cubs are often moving about.
It is not legal to hunt Brown Bears over bait at any time of the year in our hunt area.
Night vision scopes and infra-red devices are not legal for hunting big game animals in Alaska.
Weapon: Archery, Hand Gun or Rifle. Minimum caliber: .300 Magnum
Rifle Scope: Heavy duplex cross-hairs or illuminated reticule.
SPRING ALASKA BROWN BEAR - GRIZZLY BEAR
The larger boar Brown Bears generally become active earlier in the spring than sows and younger boars, and we typically hunt them in areas where they travel on dry river channels. Whenever possible, we attempt to gain elevation above the bear pathways, which may involve a tree-platform, a ladder-stand, or a 24 hour-a-day camp on a nearby bluff or rock slide which overlooks a trail system.
We also hunt game trails in old-growth evergreen forested areas where we may position a ladder-stand to overlook a trail intersection… which will usually have a bear rub-tree close by. Typically, every bear using that trail will stop to investigate the rub-tree, offering an exceptional close range hunting opportunity.
During the long daylight hours of Alaska’s spring-time, Brown Bears are more active than during fall months. They will roam a great deal in search of sows in heat, as well as newborn moose calves to prey on.
At times we may use an electronic call with a remote speaker to lure bears into range.
The long hours associated with Alaska’s spring affords up to 18 hours of daylight.
I sometimes use my 25 foot custom airboat as a covered, mobile hunt camp. The boat sleeps one hunter and one guide, and it provides quick access to a variety of hunt locations. In some instances we may ground the boat on a river bar and use it as a shelter while ambush hunting.
In addition, we have three remote hunting cabins which provide emergency shelter as well as a base of operations from which to day-hunt if we are in that area.
FALL ALASKA BROWN BEAR - GRIZZLY BEAR
All of our fall Brown Bear hunts will be conducted at locations where bears are feeding on Salmon. Each species of salmon have their distinctive spawning times, as well as to require certain stream characteristic to spawn in. We have the capability to start off hunting over spawning channels in mid-September, and still have the ability to be guiding hi-probability hunts over spawning channels in mid-November.
Most fall Brown Bear hunts will be cabin based, with an occasional tent, or boat camp utilized.
During the fall, we hunt almost exclusively within the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, which has the latest major salmon run in all of Alaska.
It is the abundance of salmon that attracts the largest concentration of eagles in the world to our permitted hunt area, and it is the same abundance of salmon that also attracts late season Brown Bears. I have counted up to 1,200 Bald Eagles from one location during early November.
Most fall bear activity will start in the late afternoon, and it will usually peak after dark. Activity will usually resume from about 6:00 am until 10:30 am. However, the heaviest activity will take place in late evening.
We may take advantage of the full moon phase in order to increase our odds of success during some rifle hunts.
Hunting “Moon Bears” is a very unique style of hunting that involves special considerations. Of utmost importance is to recognize when there is not enough light available to conduct a safe and ethical hunt.
A low power rifle scope with heavy duplex cross-hairs is recommended for fall bear hunts, and an illuminated reticule is essential equipment for hunting "Moon Bears".