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Thread: Brown bear help!

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    Default Brown bear help!

    Been trying for about two years now to hunt bears, brown bears mostly. No luck, i dont know what im doing wrong and i know ive been close to them before but no luck in actually getting one. Im in Afghanistan right now and will be taking leave july 15 thru the 28th. I dont want to waste my wifes time with me by aimlessly walking around the woods with my .338 and coming home empty handed... i want to feel the thrill of getting my first brown, blackie, ram, or even a coyote, will you help us out?!?! I will be out of the Army next year and back to California, the hunting blows there compared to Alaska(duh) and I know i will be visting this fine state very often for hunting and fishing!

    Thank you,
    Zak

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    What style of hunting have you tried thus far? General types of areas/habitat/etc? It's hard to make guesses as to what you're doing wrong or what you could do differently without knowing what you've tried.

    For what it's worth, trying for two years without success is not at all uncommon or indicative of doing something wrong. Bears can be tough to hunt by even the most experienced of hunters, so don't be discouraged by your lack of success thus far.

    Off the top of my head, if I were hunting browns in mid to late July my first thought would be to look for public land where there might be spawning kings or sockeye without any human fishing pressure. Obviously you'll have to check the regs closely to make sure your chosen unit is open, as most brown bear hunting is closed during the middle of the summer...but there are opportunities to be had.

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    keep quite, walk slow, if you put your whole foot down at once you will be quieter than heel first like most people do, if you want to be ultra quiet, stand on one foot, and slowly put the toe of your other foot on the ground, if you hear no twigs snap under extremely light weight, slowly and gently "roll" your foot down till your whole foot is on the ground, but don't put any weight on it till your shoe foot is on the ground and you don't feel/hear any noises, then slowly shift your weight to it, after a couple days of steady walking doing this you get to be silent. also, if srtalking one, take off your shoes (if there is time, of course) and put on an extra pair of wool socks and walk in those, you will be silent and won't have to worry as much where you put your foot
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Not sure if you know this, but July bears will have very poor hides as they will all be very thin. Most I've seen are badly rubbed out even by June. If you have time in the fall or spring I can give you some places.

    Thanks for your service and good luck.

    Steve
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    As Stid said that time of year is not a typical time to hunt bears as hides are generally considered the trophy and hair will be very thin. However people do hunt bears anytime so as Brian pointed out pay attention to the regs find some fish and go for it. I do suggest finding an area to get up high and let your eyes do the walking... aimlessly walking is not a good brown bear hunting method. Browns have VERY good noses and in most areas can be very sensitive to the presence of humans and if they catch you scent they will be gone. Here is a link to the management report for brown bears...lots of good info for harvest data and such for helping to pick out an area. Remember be patient and pay attention to the wind.Even coming home empty handed can be a very successfull hunt after all you will be hunting one of the greatest animals in North America......how great that is..

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/ho.../09_brbear.pdf

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Zak.... Sounds like you maybe a new hunter with limited experience. Do you have any buddies that can take you along on a hunt from the base? It might help if you give everyone a little more back ground on you abilities, experience, successes. etc.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

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    Sounds like you are coming back for a mid-tour. When are you scheduled for "permanent" return? As previously stated, best bet is to find a vantage point and glass. Wnadering around just spreads your scent and bears are pretty sensitive to it. JBER or Wainright? Are you driving, hiking to an area? We might be able to help with a little more info. Keep safe.

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Take a look in Unit 13 or 16B both of them are open year round and have a high number of brown/grizzly bears and great opportunities for hunting. Like everyone else has said limit your walking, find a good spot to glass and keep your eyes and ears open. Hillsides that give you a good vantage point to see for a mile or more are great as are productive salmon streams with bear sign and few people fishing.

    Good luck!

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    yeah im very new to the whole hunting thing. still learning the basics and i defintely never knew that my best bet was to watch areas of interest from a distance. good to know. ive hunted areas like sutton mountain or talketna but as i said no luck. i dont have an atv, but do have a truck and dirt bike. ive heard alot of talk about the russian river? and yes i know that the hides are horrible in july but dont have much of a choice. i might not be able to next year since im getting out of the army. should still be in alaska till next november though. and im in jber but definetally willing to travel to get me a trophy! thanks for the tip on walking, ive probably scared away some with me and my wifes talking while walking haha appreciate it guys, hopefully ill get better with time! still have to learn how to skin and all that too, hopefully i can learn as i go since i have NEVER bagged any large game animals! thanks, zak

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    Quote Originally Posted by GottaLoveAlaskaOutdoors View Post
    yeah im very new to the whole hunting thing. still learning the basics and i defintely never knew that my best bet was to watch areas of interest from a distance. good to know. ive hunted areas like sutton mountain or talketna but as i said no luck. i dont have an atv, but do have a truck and dirt bike. ive heard alot of talk about the russian river? and yes i know that the hides are horrible in july but dont have much of a choice. i might not be able to next year since im getting out of the army. should still be in alaska till next november though. and im in jber but definetally willing to travel to get me a trophy! thanks for the tip on walking, ive probably scared away some with me and my wifes talking while walking haha appreciate it guys, hopefully ill get better with time! still have to learn how to skin and all that too, hopefully i can learn as i go since i have NEVER bagged any large game animals! thanks, zak
    For even THINKING about hunting along the Russian River, the first thing you need to do is read the regs.
    As mentioned above GMU's 13 & 16B have good pops and are open year round. 13 would probably have better access for you with a truck & a bike. Good Luck.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    As Gary noted, the area around the Russian River is restricted to a handful of people with a drawing permit, so that's not an option for you. As for targeting brown bear for your first big game animal, you may want to think hard about that one - or at least have someone else along who has experience and another capable rifle. It's not the animal that most cut their teeth on. You can certainly do so, but they're cagey, difficult to kill, and if things turn bad can be dangerous. Make sure you're as informed as possible before going afield.

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    Send me a PM about 2-3 weeks before coming back, I can 'point' you in a direction. I live on the west end of the Denali hwy.
    Last edited by DEDWUF; 04-30-2012 at 19:02. Reason: word change

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    As Gary noted, the area around the Russian River is restricted to a handful of people with a drawing permit, so that's not an option for you. As for targeting brown bear for your first big game animal, you may want to think hard about that one - or at least have someone else along who has experience and another capable rifle. It's not the animal that most cut their teeth on. You can certainly do so, but they're cagey, difficult to kill, and if things turn bad can be dangerous. Make sure you're as informed as possible before going afield.
    I second this FOR SURE...!!! If you decide that a brown/grizz is going to be your first big game animal, then be darn sure you are REAL familiar with your rifle.....that means shooting it A LOT. As a former guide I personally believe that a brownie should be shot at close distance. You want that animal to be able to take the most energy that bullet can deliver. So to me that means no more than 100 yards, and closer to 50 is even better. But, with you being new to all this, the only way I can recommend this is if you are TOTALLY comfortable in your abilities with your firearm. And hopefully, you won't be going after a bear with anything less than a 30-06.

    Personally I don't think you should be doing this unless you have a friend with you that is experienced, and can also back you up when it's time for the shot. As far as I'm concerned, you owe it to the bear. I'm not trying to be a hard ass, just telling it like it is....imo.

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    come to the NW arctic. stop, set up camp, cook some food, try to get some sleep...your guaranteed to get harassed by bears.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GottaLoveAlaskaOutdoors View Post
    yeah im very new to the whole hunting thing. still learning the basics and i defintely never knew that my best bet was to watch areas of interest from a distance. good to know. ive hunted areas like sutton mountain or talketna but as i said no luck. i dont have an atv, but do have a truck and dirt bike. ive heard alot of talk about the russian river? and yes i know that the hides are horrible in july but dont have much of a choice. i might not be able to next year since im getting out of the army. should still be in alaska till next november though. and im in jber but definetally willing to travel to get me a trophy! thanks for the tip on walking, ive probably scared away some with me and my wifes talking while walking haha appreciate it guys, hopefully ill get better with time! still have to learn how to skin and all that too, hopefully i can learn as i go since i have NEVER bagged any large game animals! thanks, zak
    Zak,

    If you are on SAL or come here ever drop me a line and we can link up. You need to download the hunting regulations and get a better understanding of them before posting stuff up on here, otherwise you come across the wrong way when you start posting up illegally hunting without knowing you are doing so. Also if you have never hunted big game much less field dressed or skinned a large animal I suggest you go with someone else that has or start ordering some DVD'd and books on the subject and learn as much as you can. Larry Bartlett puts out a good dvd on field care of animals and I am sure there are others out there. If you want to learn about judging a mature brown bear look for the dvd the Alaska Fish and Game sells about it. As far as skinning a bear goes the hunting regulations have a basic outline but it is best to talk to a taxidermist and or watch someone else in action. Knights Taxidermy sells a small weatherproof book that does an excellent job of walking one through skinning a bear.
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    Before taking any of my advice for granted on here research the legal ramifications thoroughly I am not the Troopers nor am I the Judge that will be presiding over your case/hearing. Please read the hunting and sportfishing regulations and feel free to interpret their meaning on your own.

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    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    Solid advice from BRONCO heed and succeed.

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    ok sounds good. like ive said ive done my research and before i ever went out i definetly look up the regs of the area. ive never gone to the russian therfore i never looked up the regs. thanks for the advice. im sure ill be in salerno on my way back for leave so ill hit you up for sure. need all the advice i can get.

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    DEDWUF, thanks ill certanly do so. im going to do even more research the first few days i land in alaska. seems like regs change alot, havnt hunted since last year

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    4merguide, yeah i got a .338 but thinking to buy a .308? is that a all around good caliber? and i know, ive been told the same thing. kinda thinking of saving the money for a guide for me and my wife!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GottaLoveAlaskaOutdoors View Post
    4merguide, yeah i got a .338 but thinking to buy a .308? is that a all around good caliber? and i know, ive been told the same thing. kinda thinking of saving the money for a guide for me and my wife!
    unless you can't afford the ammo, there is no reason to have a 308 and a 338 308 is like a under powered 30-06 and would do no better than a 338. I, personally would have no problem shooting any bear with a 308, but you would be crucified if you told people on this forum that you used one
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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