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Alaska Brown Bear Hunting


Sheep River Camp is providing more details on this Alaska brown bear hunt as it is the least understood of any other big game hunt. Brown bear hunting is know as Kodiak bear hunting but it is not only done on Kodiak Island. Kodiak brown bears migrate many miles.

The question we are asked most often is what is the best time of year to hunt Alaska brown bear? Now that is a loaded question! First, lets look at the country they live in. Brown bear in this area den very high in the mountains. It's usually the big or old boars that emerge first, and this is late March and April. Their hides are prime and we see no “so called” rubbed bear that are so common in areas of milder climate. Alaska brown bear den up in late November or December with the big boars being the last to den.

Alaska brown bear hunting is by snow machine and snowshoes, in late March and early April. This bear hunt can be fairly demanding physically, but the size and quality of a brown bear that can be taken makes up for any hardships and effort during this Alaska brown bear hunting experienced. In May brown bear are coming down to the rivers and tide flats where Alaska brown hunting is much easier, as all brown bear will be out of their dens and moving a great deal, with the brown bear rutting season starting the middle of May. The Alaska weather on these spring brown hunts is usually very good– and we are getting long Alaska days like 20 hours of daylight in May. As the snow goes away, the brown bear hunting is on foot and hip boots are required.

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Alaska Brown bear hunting season ends June 15th in one of our areas. We black bear hunt until the last of June. Black bear Hides are very good and some good fishing can be had for sea run Cutthroat and Dolly Varden at the same time.

Fall Alaska Brown bear hunting season opens September 1st, and Alaska brown bear hunting runs through December. Brown bears at this time of year are feeding on salmon in the low country and berries in the higher areas. Brown bear hides are good but lack the fullness of spring. Of course the later in the season the better the brown hides. Alaska daylight gets less and the Alaska brown bear hunting weather is not so good the later in the season one goes. Fall Alaska brown bear hunts are usually less demanding and some combination with other game can be arranged.
All Alaska brown bears, black bears are unpredictable. Contrary to popular belief, Alaska black bears are probably more dangerous when physical contact is made than Alaska brown or Alaska grizzly “according to records”. Alaska Brown bears are very aggressive at times, and under some conditions. Most of the time they are very shy, but can appear and disappear like ghost in the night or “summer wages“. All bear are twilight feeders by nature; but to keep their reputation of being unpredictable, bears are seen anytime day or night, mainly when least expected. All bear are sensitive to weather conditions.

When guiding Alaska brown bear hunts, we prefer rifle hunters. Their rifle should be a dependable make when Alaska brown bear hunting in Alaskan bear country adverse conditions are the norm. No matter what caliber the brown bear hunter should be very experienced with its use weapon. Of course, our Alaska brown bear hunting guides recommend a healthy caliber and heavy bullet, but more important is to have a rifle that can be handled properly. Any questions on this are welcome as we are very critical on firearms used.

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Hip boots are necessary foot gear (in style for manly foot wear), good quality rain gear, sleeping bag, backpack and clothing that is appropriate for the hunt date booked. Some recommendations will be sent when a brownbear hunt or black bear hunt date is booked with more info appropriate for that time of year. Good binoculars with high light transmission is a must: 8x56 or 10x50 are very good for brown bear hunting or black bear hunts, however the 9x35 & 10x40 will do very well. The mini or so called pocket type are not of any use in this area.
(Note: Our hunts in the Prince William Sound are within the Chugach National Forest,
Under a special use permit issues by the US Forest Service. )