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Alaska Bear Hunting - With Pics!

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Dan in Alaska, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. Dan in Alaska

    Dan in Alaska

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    Nov 6, 2002
    I finally figured out how to post pictures on GlockTalk. Thanks to everyone that offered pointers.

    In May this year, my uncle and two of his friends came up from Minnesota to hunt black bears in Prince William Sound. The weather was absolutely beautiful for every single day of their ten-day visit. We had clear skies, warm sunshine, and flat-calm seas. Prince William Sound has got to be one of the prettiest places on earth.

    Here is a view from the boat:
    [​IMG]



    Here's another scenery shot:
    [​IMG]


    The boat we hunted from is a brand new ACB. Our charter took delivery in January, and we were the first group to hunt from her. She's 30 feet long, with a 10-foot beam. The custom seating easily accommodated all of us. The twin Suzuki 250's were more than adequate to move her along nicely, and yet they were barely noticeable when we were idling around glassing for bears. We didn't have rough seas, but this boat rode as nice as any I've been on. It was very stable, even with five guys continually moving around. We were all very comfortable and happy with our charter boat. Here she is:
    [​IMG]


    During our five-day hunt, we saw over 30 bears - not including cubs; we saw several of them as well. Our party of four hunters shot three bears. The only person to not shoot a bear, was Greg. He is an avid bear hunter in his home state of Minnesota, and he has shot several black bears. He had several opportunities to shoot a bear, but he passed them up to wait for Godzilla. We never saw a true trophy quality bear, but he wasn't upset in the least. Greg had an outstanding time, just like the rest of us.

    I shot my bear on the third day. We spotted it eating grass on one of the sunny beaches. The boat driver positioned the boat so that there was a small island between us and the bear. I used a small inflatable raft to paddle to the rocky shore of the island. Once on shore, I loaded the rifle and slowly crept around the side of the island until I could see the bear. The bear was still on the beach and right where we last spotted it. There was a fair amount of brush sticking out around the rocks, so I threaded my rifle barrel through the brush for a clean shot. At a distance of 100-125 yards, I placed two, off-hand shots right where they needed to be. One shot took out both lungs, and the other creased the top of the heart. The bear made it 15 feet before piling up dead. I was very happy with the outcome.

    I will remember this hunt for a very long time, because it marks many "firsts" for me. This is the first bear I have ever shot. It's also the first Alaskan big game animal I have taken, and it's the first game animal I have killed with my .338-06. I had the rifle built in 1998, but have never had the opportunity to shoot anything except paper targets with it. It's finally drawn blood!

    My bear was certainly not huge, only about 5-feet, but the experience of the hunt means far more to me than the size of the animal. I did everything exactly the way I hoped I could. I spotted it, made the stalk, and placed two very accurate shots. What else could I hope for?

    Here' my bear:
    [​IMG]


    After the hunt, we went to Ninilchik, AK to do some salmon and halibut fishing. We caught a bunch of halibut, the largest being about 40-pounds. We wore ourselves out catching halibut, and then we headed in to troll for king slamon. After already catching the largest halibut, my uncle bested us once again by catching the only king, which was also about 40-pounds. In all, I don't think I can imagine a more perfect week. What a great time!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Once again good story and photos ;)



    Would you care to say how much a guide hunt like that would cost for 3-5days?
     


  3. Dan in Alaska

    Dan in Alaska

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    Nov 6, 2002
    Alaska has very specific rules about "hunting guides" and there are a couple of different kinds. Non-residents are required to have fully licensed guides with them when hunting brown bear, sheep, goats, and when you are hunting in some remote areas. Many of these guides charge $10,000 to $20,000 a week, depending on what your hunting. My neighbor used to guide. The outfitter he worked for charged $15,000 a week to hunt brown bear and moose. This does not include the license(s).

    For black bears, you don't need a "guide" as a non-resident. Instead, we used a USCG licensed charter that has a transport license. With a tranport license, he can transport you to the field or hunting areas, but can't help with the hunt itself. This is a much cheaper way to go, and many outfitters also offer "drop-off" hunts at a much lower price. The neighbor's outfitter charges $3500 for a fly-in, drop-off hunt.

    We could have gone out on our own and hunted, but since this was our first Alaskan hunting experience, we decided to book a charter. We paid $2200 each for this hunt. This might sound expensive, but we spent the week on a $260,000 boat, ate great meals, and burned a couple hundred gallons of fuel. We hunted from sun-up to sundown each day, and we were warm and dry on the boat each night. I have known the charter captain for several years, and we are even better friends after the hunt. I would gladly go with John again.
     
  4. Razoreye

    Razoreye ♥♥Adorkable!♥♥

    That's freakin' awesome my friend! Looks like you have a blast living up in Alaska!

    Quick question, why can't you release the yellow-eyed rockfish? Will it not survive after bringing it up from the depths due to nitrogen boiling I guess? (i.e. fishes' version of "the bends")
     
  5. G20man32904

    G20man32904 Deceased

    1,077
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    May 26, 2003
    Melbourne, Fl
    Dang,
    All I can come with is WOW !!
    Jealous with envy! :thumbsup: :supergrin:
     
  6. Dan in Alaska

    Dan in Alaska

    97
    0
    Nov 6, 2002
    Razoreye,

    Yellow-eye rockfish (actually a member of the scorpion fish family) do not have a vented air bladder. When you bring them up from great depths, their air bladder expands, and their stomachs actually get forced out of their mouths. They look lik they are sticking out their tongues.
     
  7. wow, just amazing. Dan, how long have you lived in Alaska? tell us southerners what its really like. I know that alot of people think Florida is heaven, until they move here, then they find humidity, palmetto bugs, reptilian monsters, mosquitos...etc werent mentioned in the ads. So whats the real scoop on Alaska? Is it the heavenly place I have always dreamed of? (to bad it gets so cold!!!)
     
  8. Dan in Alaska

    Dan in Alaska

    97
    0
    Nov 6, 2002
    Sharker,

    I moved from Anchorage in 2001. Both the summer and winters in Anchorage are more mild than they were in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Summer temps usually don't make it out of the 70's, and the winter temps rarely fall below zero. This is not the case for all of Alaska, though. Fairbanks, for instance, gets much colder in the winter and much warmer in the summer.

    Anchorage doesn't seem to have much of a mosquito problem. There are always a couple of weeks in May that we notice them, but otherwise I don't notice them much. Rural Alaska can be pretty thick with mosquitos, though. There are no snakes or poisonous spiders. There are no ticks, and if you have a dog, you'd be happy to hear there's no heartworm in Alaska either.

    The past few summers have been really nice, but this year was pretty rainy. We've just had another batch of rain and right now many costal towns, like Seward and Valdez, are flooding pretty badly. I am told by folks that have been here much longer than I have, that rainy summers are more typical, and that we have had it easy for a few years. My historical perspective is a bit limited, so I just take their word for it.

    Summer is filled with very long days. In June, there's a lot of daylight until midnight or so, and the sun comes back up around 4 am. The important thing to do in the summer is to keep regular hours. It's not difficult to find yourself in the middle of a project and suddenly realize it's midnight. I usually burn the candle at both ends during the summer months. I get a lot done, but it eventually catches up to me.

    The winter, of course is just the opposite. The sun doesn't come up until 11am, or so, and sets again at 3:30 or 4:00pm. The city lights and reflecting snow do a pretty good job of staying light, though. In the winter, life's pace slows down quite a bit. On a Sunday morning, I can sleep in until 8am, read the paper, and start watching the first football games at 9am. The sun hasn't come up yet, so I really get a feeling of accomplishment! :supergrin:

    Anchorage winters have less extreme temperatures than the midwest, but they are much longer. We typically have snow on the ground from Halloween to Spring Break. The trick to surviving an Alaskan winter is to stay busy. There are lots of things to do, but you need to get out of the house. People that complain about Alaskan winters are usually the ones that stay home all the time.

    Is Alaska heaven? No place is perfect, but I am willing to put up with the stuff I don't like, because the stuff I do like is like no other place on earth. There is only one Alaska!
     
  9. {Dan, how long have you lived in Alaska? tell us southerners what its really like. I know that alot of people think Florida is heaven, until they move here, then they find humidity, palmetto bugs, reptilian monsters, mosquitos...etc werent mentioned in the ads. So whats the real scoop on Alaska}

    your'll be surpise to know that some parts of Alaska has big concentration of mosquitoes ;)


    That picture off that boat looking into the bay is just breath taking ;)
     
  10. Glocktex

    Glocktex

    320
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    Apr 12, 2001
    Texas
    Dan,

    reading your story brings back memories of my first bear in Ontario. Congrats on a great hunt and the memories that will last a lifetime!

    Glocktex
     
  11. I have an uncle I have never met that lives in Fairbanks. (his dad is my Grandpas brother). I have been invited often, but have never really been able to go as of yet.

    Thanks Dan for the low down.
    While I am picking your brain, what is the home values out there like. What would a 1500 sq foot in an average area go for? I know that its a broad question, and that it would vary alot, but where I am, 1500 sq ft would be around 200K off the Island, 250K plus on the Island (I live on a barrier Island above Jacksonville)

    But thanks for the info, its nice to get an insiders take.
     
  12. Hey Dan you mention your story on your bear , courious to know what your buddies did and with what caliber.
     
  13. Dan in Alaska

    Dan in Alaska

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    Nov 6, 2002
    Sharker, a newer 1500 sq-ft, single family home in Anchorage costs $250,000 and up. My brother sold his house last summer for a little over $280,000. House prices in the Mat-Su Valley are rising, but they aren't this high yet. I don't know what homes in other parts of Alaska sell for.

    noway, the other guys used my rifles on the hunt. They didn't want the hassle of bringing them on the plane, and they could bring more gear with them. The other two bears were shot with my .30-06. The 180-grain Hornady Interbonds performed well, but left much bigger holes than the 250-grain Grand Slams I used on my bear.

    I am taking my .338-06 out after moose and brown bear this weekend. Hopefully, I'll have more pictures to post on Tuesday!
     
  14. {I am taking my .338-06 out after moose and brown bear this weekend. Hopefully, I'll have more pictures to post on Tuesday!}

    We will be waiting ;)

    I think the bigger hole might be from the faster velocity+expansion and do those glandslam rapidly expand ? I think this premium bullet geared for more penetration and for animals like what you are hunting bear/moose/etc..
     
  15. Short Cut

    Short Cut PatrioticMember CLM

    6,193
    4
    Apr 28, 2002
    Above ground
    That looks like a heck of good time. Congratulations on your bear. Good shootin', buddy. :thumbsup:
     
  16. StockGlock23

    StockGlock23 Hilarious!

    1,198
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    Aug 10, 2004
    Bremen, IN
    I couldn't agree more. With your permission "Dan in Alaska" can I use that picture of the mountains reflecting off the water for my background?
     
  17. Dan in Alaska

    Dan in Alaska

    97
    0
    Nov 6, 2002
    Sorry I never got back to you, StockGlock23. I didn't realize it has been so long since checking this particular forum. Of course you can use the picture. Help yourself!
     
  18. DonD

    DonD

    3,682
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    Dec 21, 2001
    Central TX
    Sorry, NO guide, ANYWHERE is IMHO worth anywhere near $15K/week. I think 2K/wk would be pushing it. Gee, 7 weeks of work, greater than $100K salary, where do I sign up. Can't believe people willingly pay for that "service." What's that adage of a sucker born every minute?

    If I've offended someone, wasn't my intent but my opinion (and we know what opinions are) stands. Don
     
  19. Short Cut

    Short Cut PatrioticMember CLM

    6,193
    4
    Apr 28, 2002
    Above ground
    Of course you are trying to be offensive, Don. Don't beat around the bush.

    I think it would be a lot worse to be old and unable to make such a trip and wish that you had done so when you were able. You can't take it with you.