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Thread: Eagle River Black Bear

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    Default Eagle River Black Bear

    Hello all first time poster! I'm looking for any info concerning an early year black bear hunt in 14C. I understand this area is full of black bears and i was wondering if its too early to consider going out for one. Any info on the area including the hike, amount of bears, or dangers of the hunt is much appricated! I'm not asking anyone to disclose their honey holes or secret spots but pointers would be nice! Thanks everyone!

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    Sponsor Duckhunter01's Avatar
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    search this hunting forum for ERNC or eagle river nature center. make sure you get your tags for this area. great area, lots of hunters and bears. long hike, but a nice area.

    good luck

    tip, look high in the rocks
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    Much appricated Duckhunter! I will scan the forums and anything else i can for info about the area!

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    AkGoody,
    ...Tip...while hunting SPRING-time black bears in Game Management Unit 14C Eagle River area, anywhere in Chugach State Park, Lake George area, Game Man. Unit 14A north of Knick River/Glacier, and in GMU 7 on the Kenai Peninsula.....
    ....look as LOW as possible on SOUTH facing SLOPES where the sun has burned away the snow and where the ground has began to warm and, therefore, those individual blades of green grass will first push up through the mat of last year's dead brown grass.
    If this year's accumulated snow does not burn off very quick (due to the southern slope aspect in relation to the sun and to the steepness of the slope), and that is a very real possibility in some areas, then look for bears to be climbing birch trees to eat those very first birch leaf buds that are already forming.
    Very dramatic to drop a black bear 20 or 30 feet out of a birch tree!

    ...just my observations and experiences....
    ....we forum members can have different experiences, and we both/all (?) can still be correct to some degree...

    Welcome to the Hunting Forum. Let us know the creeping things that you see creepeth about and, what you experience, and what you kill.

    AlaskaTrue/Dennis

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    Drive up Arctic valley park at the parking lot. Take off up the valley that Ship creek flows down have fun. Oh take a chainsaw to cut a trail thanks...

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaTrueAdventure View Post
    AkGoody,
    ...Tip...while hunting SPRING-time black bears in Game Management Unit 14C Eagle River area, anywhere in Chugach State Park, Lake George area, Game Man. Unit 14A north of Knick River/Glacier, and in GMU 7 on the Kenai Peninsula.....
    ....look as LOW as possible on SOUTH facing SLOPES where the sun has burned away the snow and where the ground has began to warm and, therefore, those individual blades of green grass will first push up through the mat of last year's dead brown grass.
    If this year's accumulated snow does not burn off very quick (due to the southern slope aspect in relation to the sun and to the steepness of the slope), and that is a very real possibility in some areas, then look for bears to be climbing birch trees to eat those very first birch leaf buds that are already forming.
    Very dramatic to drop a black bear 20 or 30 feet out of a birch tree!

    ...just my observations and experiences....
    ....we forum members can have different experiences, and we both/all (?) can still be correct to some degree...

    Welcome to the Hunting Forum. Let us know the creeping things that you see creepeth about and, what you experience, and what you kill.

    AlaskaTrue/Dennis

    Could not of said it any better......I will just add pay close attention to the regs especially in the park(chugach) and ask lots of questions as regs can be overwhelming at times to newbies....

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    no problem..The only reason I mentioned high in the rocks..was most of the bears we saw were up flipping rocks for moths..I am talking some bruins up with the goats and sheep..sounds crazy, I know. we did see a few lower about midway and only one on the valley floor. So as with hunting..the game can be anywhere. They stand out and shine pretty wellagainst the rock faces though. Good luck and pack light as you will have to haul it out.


    Quote Originally Posted by AkGoody View Post
    Much appricated Duckhunter! I will scan the forums and anything else i can for info about the area!
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
    http://akwaterfowl.com
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alask...78020265619952
    AlaskaWaterfowlAssociation@gmail.com
    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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    Thanks for all the tips guys! I guess one more question I had is when would be the ideal time for this hunt? Do you guys think it would be out of the question to attempt going in a week or two?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AkGoody View Post
    Thanks for all the tips guys! I guess one more question I had is when would be the ideal time for this hunt? Do you guys think it would be out of the question to attempt going in a week or two?
    Attempt would be the key word. Things are happening quick as always but there is a lot of snow out there still in them valleys...You may want to ask BrianM here on the forums how its been looking as I believe he does quite a bit of hiking in the mts above Eagle river and he is also very helpful and knowledgable on the subject..

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    AkGoody even if Eagle River is still plugged ,doesnt mean you cant get out there and hunt blackies...lots of places around Anchorage that hold them bears..

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    It can never hurt to try, but if I were going to hunt Eagle River for black bears I wouldn't start until sometime around the 10th. The upper reaches of the valley remain pretty cold and shaded, and given the amount of snow we got this year there won't be much in the way of new greens for the bears to feed on. I understand that a handful of bears have been spotted out and about, but I would think that your efforts would be much more productive from mid-May on. Additionally, the hike is going to be a slushy mess for the next couple of weeks. That being said, time in the woods is never wasted. Perhaps my perspective is all askew because I haven't tried early enough.

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    Do you plan on rifle hunting if this is the case then you need to get past icicle creek and have RL 460 registration permit. If you are hunting before icicle creek it is bow or muzzleloader only and you need RL 450 registration permit. You also need to have basic hunter to hunt RL 460 and basic hunter ed and weapons certification for RL 450. I'm sure you have all that, anyhow good luck on your hunt... Probably wont get in there until early May.

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    I guess im just a little eager to go out and get my first bear. I understand the requirements for the hunt and i have my hunters card and all that good stuff. Early to mid May is when id like to attempt this hunt but im not very knowledgable about the area. I plan on going out this weekend or next and just checking it out. One question i did have though is how far is icicle creek from the nature center because my understanding is that anything from that point on is legal rifle hunting.

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    Icicle Creek is about a 6 mile hike in. The major landmarks you'll pass along the way are Echo Bend (3 miles), the Perch (4 miles), Heritage Falls (4.5 miles - on the opposite side of the river), and Dishwater Creek (5+ miles). All of these mile markers are based on my rough memory, but that's the basic gist of it. Figure 6 miles to Icicle, then consider going a bit farther.

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    Thanks! Ive read some of your previous posts about the topic and saw that Thunder Gorge is a good area to go. Im looking to make this a full weekend trip and looking to return with my first black!

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    AkGoody,
    Being eager to get out black bear hunting very soon is great, or at least normal in my opinion.
    Although this year's snow depth still makes for some lumpy walking in the AMs and slushy PMs, late-late April, or at least VERY SOON in May is the time to whack a SPRING bear.
    The first two weekends in May have always been my best early weekends for large boar black bears. It theory, large mature boars come out first. I generally hunt early May bears at just above 1000 feet of elevation. The spring black bears I get have only been out of hibernation for mere days. One boar I shot on about May 1st many years ago had only been out of its den for about four hours. I watched it emerge, stalked it-and stalking a sleeping bear is not hard-and killed it as it slept outside the den entrance. As the snow line recedes UP the mountain, so will the bears seeking those fresh blades of new green grass. After they have been out of hibernation for a few weeks their diet will start to include other food item, eventually all food items. In addition, by mid May you will begin to see sows with cubs. So the early SPRING boar bears I seek are fresh out of their dens and it will be, still is, winter just a hundred feet up the mountains and on the north facing slopes. By the time the bears are up at altitude in late May or early June, or on north facing slopes, I call that summer. And summer is for rafting!

    Thunder Gorge in Eagle River may still be one heck of a climb through the Alder brush with this year's snow depth. But start going early to test the conditions, and to test your physical and mental conditioning.
    Reread what Brain M wrote above. Check those regulations as everybody has suggested.

    JUST DO IT! (Hey, I just made that up.)
    Good luck...AlaskaTrue/Dennis....out

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    I worked for the parks trail crew this past summer, and spent some time on the ERNC trail replacing bridges. The numbers Brian gave are fairly accurate. I saw a few bears high in the mountains around icicle creek, and plenty of sign throughout the trail working up to 8 miles in, and I wasn't actively looking for them (July). It's a beautiful hike with some great hunting opportunities and plenty of places to set up a camp. Plan a day to hike gear in and set up camp, a few days to hunt, and another full day to pack things out (you're looking at 6+miles back to the nature center, 6 miles+ back to camp, and another 6+ miles back to the center)unless you want to carry a 100+ pound pack on a single hike out.) Enjoy the trail and good luck with your hunt.

    P.S- I wouldn't consider going down the trail until around May 1st at the earliest, and even then it will probably still be rough and might require snow shoes. Bring a camera, the valley is gorgeous.

    Oh and one last thing, when you park at the center, get as close to the building as possible- there was a string of break ins there last summer targeting cars at the entrance of the lot which obviously had owners in the woods for multiple days.

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