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Thread: Black Bear Hunting on the Pinell Trail

  1. #1
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    Default Black Bear Hunting on the Pinell Trail

    I have a few spare days (3 or 4) in Fairbanks at the end of August and am trying to plan a DIY spot and stalk black bear hunt within easy driving distance of the city. I've looked at a lot of options and have not come up with anything really good yet.

    One potential lead is to drive the Steese Hwy to the Pinell Trailhead at Twelvemile Summit and hike in and start glassing. I will have the gear and ability to hike way in on the trail and camp for several days. I believe the trail is closed to ORV's so I'm hopeful that this will help limit the crowds. It appears as if the elevation of the trail ranges from 3000 to 4000 feet.

    The other option I've found is similar to the first....Drive the Steese to Nome Creek Road and head into the Ophir Creek or Mt. Prindle campground. I could set up a base camp there and then spike camp out from there. I think there is a trail out of the Mt Prindle campground that leads up to Quartz Creek. The elevations seem a little lower than the Pinell trail. Not sure if the berries will be better lower. I also think that this area is open to ORV's and I suspect this could me its more crowded.

    The bear will be feeding on berries at the end of August. Are either of these two places likely to have berries at that time? How will the hunting pressure be? are there enough bears in this area to make this trip worthwhile?


    I'm coming from Florida so if I'm way off base and should try something or somewhere else please let me know.

  2. #2
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    Anyone out there?

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    I am not trying to be insulting but you are going to be hard pressed to get the info you are after. Hunting that close to the city people are going to hold their secret spots or local hunting holes very closely. I am new to AK and have spent the winter driving and snow showing looking for access to the back country.

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    Lots of griz up there off Twelve Mile Summit. Lots of day hikers and backpackers as well so just be aware.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

  5. #5
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    Lots of griz up there off Twelve Mile Summit. Lots of day hikers and backpackers as well so just be aware.
    yeah thats a little high for blakie around here...consider up this far north berrys grown in most clearings down around town elevations..so no need for them to compete with the grizz..not to say they wont, those that will are the few and far between, and the largest ones of the lot..

    look where you have sun, aand near by cover.. lots of ground on the steece is ggod bear country..not much compitition for them i the fall either..though late auf will see an influx of caribou hunters that will ru them away from the roads
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Take it from SkinnyD (or Vince or Snyd, who know a lot more than me)... you're barking up the wrong tree for spot-and-stalk. I've seen several black bears on this side of Twelvemile and several on the other side of Eagle Summit, but I've only seen brown furries up there where you're talking about. However, ptarmigan season is open then and the scenery is beautiful, so who am I to discourage you from walking around on top of a mountain? I do it all the time!

    ps I'm not sure what the regs say about hunting near campgrounds, but I bet there are black bears hanging around Nome Creek in August. It's been my experience that proximity to humans creates the best black bear habitat.

    pss Bears being close to humans reminds me of my favorite story from my Anchorage days... I was sitting in a lawn chair clipping my toenails when a small bear ran past me and basically dove face-first into our garbage can that was waiting by the road. Being one for quick action, I ran into the garage and grabbed my trusty shotgun and a couple of shells so that when I went back to yell at the bear, I'd have something to back up my threats. The bear finally ran away when I blew the horn on the truck, but pretty soon, another bear showed up, this time wearing a police uniform. Apparently I had caused my neighbors some distress when I brandished my over-under full of bird shot at the bear in my yard - and the police officer had arrived just in time to reprimand me (not shoot the bear).

    psss I complained about the weather when I lived in Anchorage too. It's a city of pansies and the disease is contagious.
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


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    There will be blueberries in the high country you ask about as they do grow at those elevations too. You will find the area you are asking about will be swarming with caribou hunters if the season is still open after the first few days which often times it has been closed already. The Chatanika River valley drains the mountains in much of the area you are asking about. Much of this area was burned off in the 2004 Solstice Complex forest fire and it has berries and grasses that the bears like to eat. There is a good population of blackies along the river system and the hills on either side of it. There are also plenty of brown bears there too. I'd suggest hunting the river.

    The trail to Quartz Creek off Nome is up a steep hill and then much of it is above timberline and is more brown bear country.

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    Member HuntAK59's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinnyD View Post
    psss I complained about the weather when I lived in Anchorage too. It's a city of pansies and the disease is contagious.
    ****, harsh words! I wouldn't say its that bad. Hell of a lot more of pansies, but it's not too contagious. Just gotta tell them the deal! I'll take the rainy summer over the -40 winter. Although I get the **** of both worlds being in squarebanks once a month for work.

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