Whether black or brown/grizzly, bears can be one of the trickiest animals to size up in the field. The tough thing is that there isn’t really anything on their body that you can consistently use as a reference. Animals like moose, caribou, and sheep are much easier, as their antlers and horns can be fairly accurately judged.
Bears, however, often appear bigger than they really are, and it’s also tougher to distinguish males and females. There are several things to look for, though, and with some practice anyone can get the hang of it.
After taking two great bears in two days, we sure thought we were on a roll. However, as is often the case, we weren’t going to get off without having to pay our dues. As our focus went toward getting Steve’s bear, things slowed down for the next couple days. Gary and I spent the days fleshing our hides, then we would head out in the early evening.
The nice thing about brown bear hunting on the Alaska Peninsula is that the bears don’t really get moving until late in the evening. After making it back to camp with my bear hide and skull just after midnight, I was more than happy to be able to sleep in till noon the next day.
Surprisingly, the weather seemed to be holding for the second day in a row, so I spent the early afternoon beginning the overwhelming task of fleshing my bear hide. However with two uncut tags left, we once again headed out to glass later in the afternoon.
After spending all but a few hours of the first three days on the Alaska Peninsula stuck in the tent hiding from terrible weather, we finally had a sunny afternoon on opening day of the season. After all of the anticipation, we prepped our gear and headed down the beach to glass for bears that we could finally chase.
If there’s a stereotypical worry of any backpacker, camper or backcountry hunter, it’s camping in bear country. It’s probably safe to say that most of us have heard horror stories of people being dragged out of their tents, or hunters coming back at the end of the day to find their tent and camp completely destroyed. In order to hunt these brown bears, we had no option but to camp in some of the most bear-infested alder thickets in the world. We were between the mountains where they hibernate and the beaches they come to feed at — right smack dab in the middle of brown bear heaven. While there are plenty of schools of thought when it comes to camping among bears, here’s how it worked out for us.
I would be willing to bet that most of us have that one hunt that we have dreamed about for years, and for one reason or another, just haven’t been able to make it happen. Although I’ve hunted sheep and a lot of other Alaskan game for years, I had never been on a brown bear hunt. Whether it was school, work, or lack of money that got in the way, I’ve had to leave it at wanting to go. This year that changed. My sheep hunting partners and I planned what would be an epic hunt on the Alaska peninsula.
I’ve seen plenty of “Best Cartridge Ever” or “Only Cartridge You’ll Ever Need” articles, blogs, and editorials, and I always seem to have a bone to pick with them. That’s exactly why I will make no claims that the three loads I discuss below are these are the best, most effective, or even my permanent favorite cartridges for Alaska game.
There are numerous factors that play into any superlative ammo discussion, including versatility, power, and availability. What I want to talk about here is simply three excellent cartridges for anything in Alaska you would hunt with a rifle.
Tyler Freel is on 10-day brown bear hunt on the Alaskan peninsula. He's battling tough weather conditions and rugged terrain while trying to take a bear with his recurve bow. Freel will be calling in regularly on a satellite phone to give updates on his hunt. Here's his first report from day 1 in the bush.
There are a lot of factors that play into the success of a hunt, or even whether or not a hunt will happen.
You can get off on the right foot by having all of the proper gear, but sometimes things still go wrong. I’ve been preparing for my upcoming brown bear hunt for months, but I came to the realization that it might have been for nothing as I sat in the doctor’s office on Friday. I’ve been sick for awhile, and unable to figure why.
As new symptoms began to show, the doc told me that I have shingles. Not only do I have the painful manifestation of the chicken pox virus, but it’s on my face. He said that if it spread to my eyes and I went without treatment, I would probably go blind.