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.
As an ongoing theme in hunting here in Alaska, just getting to where you want to hunt is usually one of the biggest obstacles. The reason a lot of these areas are so good is that they are only accessible by either bush plane or boat. The area we hunted is just that type, and with bear season only open for 15 days a year, it is truly a hot spot. As Alaska residents, we can hunt these amazing animals without a guide, so it becomes a little more affordable. Most of the guided hunts in this area run around $22,000; but for residents, a few thousand bucks for airfare makes up the majority of the costs.
Traveling to some of these remote places can present some stressful situations if you don’t know what to expect. We had to wait a whole day in the remote town of King Salmon because the airline was backed up on baggage. The small planes flying between Anchorage and King Salmon are almost always full to the brim during hunting season, and it’s common to have to wait on your bags. By the time they came in, we were ready to take off. We quickly loaded our gear in the plane and the Beaver’s engine roared–one of my favorite sounds.
Spring was slow in coming this year, but we did see one big bear from the plane walking across a snow field, which is always a good sign. After an otherwise uneventful flight, we spiraled down to a smooth landing on the beach. After all the months planning and daydreaming, this bear hunt was finally a reality. We landed three nights before the season started, and were quickly spotting bears. The second night we were in camp, as we were glassing the beaches, Gary spotted a nice wolf trotting down the beach towards us. She came up to 138 yards and he dropped her in her tracks. This hunt, and Live Hunt Alaska 2012 was off to a great start!
Stay tuned as we roll out more footage from this hunt.