Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Brown Bear Research

  1. #1
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage Alaska
    Posts
    4,835

    Question Brown Bear Research

    How do you start your research? Scouting is easy here in AK if you have the $$ to pay for access.


    My brother from Wyoming wants to come up to hunt a Brown/Griz Bear with me. We have been talking about it for quite some time but are now starting to plan for the trip. It sounds like a spring hunt would be okay for him, but a fall hunt could also be in the cards.

    As most of us know - it is pretty hard to pre-scout an area that requires a transporter to get into - so where do You start your research for finding a location? We don't have the budget to pre-fly areas for scouting. We intend to self-guide or DIY with help of a transporter probably.

    We want to keep the prices reasonable for the average working guy. We have talked about a couple different trips:

    1) Brooks range area fall trip - drive to coldfoot or happy and then pay for a transporter to drop us. Idea would be to try to hunt the bears as they follow the caribou herds (not even sure whether this is realistic).

    2) Fly into the Talkeetnas and maybe float out (i have access to a coulpe 14 foot otters, this could be fall, but we have talked about going with Talkeetna Air and in the spring - might not be able to pull the float together so could base camp and have round trip transport.

    3) Fly over to the AK Penn and get dropped in and picked up.

    4) I have a zodiac and my uncle has an 18' jet boat (with a 50hp merc on it - so not real great for any kind of distance on a river that requires a jet) so we tickled with the idea of trying to DIY somewhere from the road system.

    Any thoughts on our initial thinkiing or input as to how to start the research? I have the unit maps and am starting to outline areas that my brother can hunt in (and me too) and are within what we think are reasonable distances to keep costs down. I also have purchased Mike's book on float hunting and have watched a few videos (whooo)....

  2. #2
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Big Lake
    Posts
    8,442

    Default

    pick a time frame first...then a unit
    if fall, talk to a fisheries bio about the areas you've mentioned.
    call local bio's and ask them about the area, pressure so on and so forth. some are great sources of information.
    think. picking an area to float that is full of trees and canyon walls is not a good idea. picking a river to float full of other people might not be a good idea. doing a five day hunt with a travel day on either end isn't gonna cut it.
    check google earth pics for geography and buildings/cabins/roads, oil rigs whatever that might be there that don't get shown on a topo map.
    just google search the area...might be suprised.

    last but not least. go for it. commit. no matter what you'll never get experience if you never go. could have the worst bear area picked and actually get the only bear there, or the best area picked and have the worst weather and never get a bear, look at how many guys don't score on kodiak. you gotta have a line in the water to catch a fish right? bear hunting is no different. narrow it down as best you can, ask around, make some calls, talk to the air taxi's, local companies in the area and dive in!! a bad bear hunt is better than no bear hunt i can say that for certian!! best of luck.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Girdwood
    Posts
    1,123

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    How do you start your research? Scouting is easy here in AK if you have the $$ to pay for access.

    My brother from Wyoming wants to come up to hunt a Brown/Griz Bear with me. We have been talking about it for quite some time but are now starting to plan for the trip. It sounds like a spring hunt would be okay for him, but a fall hunt could also be in the cards.

    As most of us know - it is pretty hard to pre-scout an area that requires a transporter to get into - so where do You start your research for finding a location? We don't have the budget to pre-fly areas for scouting. We intend to self-guide or DIY with help of a transporter probably.

    We want to keep the prices reasonable for the average working guy. We have talked about a couple different trips:

    1) Brooks range area fall trip - drive to coldfoot or happy and then pay for a transporter to drop us. Idea would be to try to hunt the bears as they follow the caribou herds (not even sure whether this is realistic).

    2) Fly into the Talkeetnas and maybe float out (i have access to a coulpe 14 foot otters, this could be fall, but we have talked about going with Talkeetna Air and in the spring - might not be able to pull the float together so could base camp and have round trip transport.

    3) Fly over to the AK Penn and get dropped in and picked up.

    4) I have a zodiac and my uncle has an 18' jet boat (with a 50hp merc on it - so not real great for any kind of distance on a river that requires a jet) so we tickled with the idea of trying to DIY somewhere from the road system.

    Any thoughts on our initial thinking or input as to how to start the research? I have the unit maps and am starting to outline areas that my brother can hunt in (and me too) and are within what we think are reasonable distances to keep costs down. I also have purchased Mike's book on float hunting and have watched a few videos (whooo)....
    The things you've listed are all things I think about.... "How do I increase my hunting success ... while keeping my independence high and costs (to outfitters/guides) low."

    I hope to cross paths with a brownie someday.

    For me, most trips generally are scouting/camping trips supplemented by dried food, trail chickens (when in season), fiddle head ferns, mushrooms, and berries. After the google maps and other literature research, you'll probably want to explore the area lest your hunting trip becomes your first scouting trip.

    Some seem to hunt brown bears in the fall over gut piles. Next spring, if I get brown bears into the bait station ... I plan to help some handicapped hunters try for them.

    After spending $10's of thousands on gear (vehicle, ATV, guns, camping gear, optics etc) that I wouldn't need otherwise, the costs of a guide or an outfitter for a specialty hunt looks more attractive.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    91

    Default

    Apply for drawing tags and have your brother do the same. If you get drawn, you'll know which area to research and/or scout.
    I might look at DB301, DB303, DB305, DB307, DB309, DB470. Odds are not great you'd be drawn, but if one of you got lucky you'd be able to scout those areas on weekends.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    2 mi east of 'Halfmoon creek"
    Posts
    831

    Default

    All the above..
    Ever wonder what hunters did before computers, wanting to do the same as you,, in todays world ??

    Loads of information right on this forum, places dates, condition, sightings, access etc. Just take time to glean thru it.
    Like Jake suggested-- Bio's,, have lots of info, population data (lots of incomplete), denning areas, harvest data etc.
    Plan on lots of effort, especially walking away from any remote landing area's, getting as 'deep' into the 'country' as possible,
    Keep the risks lower with someone having a complete 'overview' of your hunt date time, location, and all provisions you carry.
    Someone gets 'THE' bear permit every year, maybe 'lady luck' would make it easy in knowing exactly which unit/area
    you know you will hunt.
    With 'enough' effort no bear hunt is unsuccessful with many hunters

  6. #6
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks, Ak.
    Posts
    4,191

    Default

    Finding fall salmon streams is a good idea. But also try to find exact SPOTS on those streams that are regular bear feeding spots. Fish bios and game bios might help you there.
    I notice unit 13 is one bear per year and much of it no closed season. It is also a harvest ticket hunt for blackies with a 3 a year limit.
    Parts of unit 16 are 2 bears per year.
    Likely there is good bear hunting with a days drive of Anch or an economic flight.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  7. #7
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage Alaska
    Posts
    4,835

    Default

    All good input - I think that my brother is having a hard time to commit because I don't have a set plan for him....but you are right - time to dive in.

    Even if he doesn't come up I think I'll do a spring hunt anyway.....

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    376

    Default

    I grew up in Wyoming and had many of the same questions you mention when I first moved to AK. My non resident brother comes hunting with me almost every year and we have had some great hunts. The AK Peninsula is a great place to hunt brown bears but won't be open again for a fall hunt until 2013. Spring hunts (Open even numbered years) on the AK Peninsula can get crowded since the lakes are still frozen and everyone ends up on the coast. Read some past reports on this forum and the Pristine Ventures forum about guys paying transporters to fly them around for a couple of hours and finding tents in every bay. You can burn through a lot of cash flying in a beaver and looking for a spot to hunt.

    One overlooked area for great hunting is Unit 18. We have had good luck with the guys at Papa Bear Adventures. http://www.pbadventures.com/index.html I just did a moose hunt with my son in September. They know the country and can find a spot to drop you off for a fall hunt. Call up and talk to Steve Powers or Karl Powers and they will give you a no BS report on what kind of hunt you can expect in Unit 18. You can reduce your overall costs if you use Alaska Airlines miles to Bethel for 7,500 miles one way. Feel free to call me if you have any questions at (907) 677-3536 or PM me. I enjoy planning my own trips and like to help others also. Steve. I have the same first name as Steve Powers but I have no connection to Steve or Papa Bear Adventures.

  9. #9
    Member goaty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Delta Jct.
    Posts
    307

    Default

    Unit 17 has some BIG bears too along with a good population. It also went to a 2 bear limit this year, even for non-res. Fly into Dillingham and get transported from there. Season opens Aug 20. No Resident tag required. You could combo it with a RM583 ANY BULL tag. Shoot a bull and sit on it's gut pile. Lots of moose in that area too. feel free to call me if you want more info. (907)803-1888
    Scott

  10. #10
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Dillingham, AK
    Posts
    2,482

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goaty View Post
    Unit 17 has some BIG bears too along with a good population. It also went to a 2 bear limit this year, even for non-res. Fly into Dillingham and get transported from there. Season opens Aug 20. No Resident tag required. You could combo it with a RM583 ANY BULL tag. Shoot a bull and sit on it's gut pile. Lots of moose in that area too. feel free to call me if you want more info. (907)803-1888
    Scott
    You definitely do not want to hunt GMU 17--no big bears (mostly cubs), only a few cow moose. There are much better places to spend your time and money.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •