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Thread: Bear hunting from a canoe?

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    Default Bear hunting from a canoe?

    Hi to all you alaskans and other lower 48 dreamers! I'm coming up for the summer. Planning to start out my hunting adventures with a coastal black bear hunt. A little about me... I'm an experienced canoeist - have spent many months of my life living out of my canoe in the wilderness, however, I'm not naive enough to think that the ocean and it's tides will be a cakewalk. Even so, I'm wondering about slipping along the inlets, coves and islands at low tide - trying to spot a bear, and do a sneak attack with my bow or rifle. If the weather gets bad, I hole up and wait it out like I do here (I have all summer :-))

    I'm thinking, if a kayaker can do the ocean, why can't I? Do you guys think this is feasible? I'm also game for creeks, rivers, or lakes that have bear. Open to any and all suggestions...

    Seclusion is also a big thing to me. I'm wondering about general areas to avoid the summer tourist crowd. Is Valdez much quieter than Homer?

    Thanks for your advice,

    Tim

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    Stay home and don't become a news item! Or at least get a grip of what your undertaking.
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    Mike - you don't know me. I don't die that easily, or I wouldn't still be here :-)

    Looking for constructive advice. And yes, trying to get a grip on what I am undertaking, which is exactly why I posted here...

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    I dont venture out onto the ocean much, but any one who has lived here for a while knows that Alaskas tides can get nasty. I wouldn't take a canoe out on the ocean up here without serious thought and preperation. We get some nasty bore tides that come in as a 4 foot wave of water some times. There have been many boats up here who have ended up stuck on silt flats to be flipped when a bore tide slams in and flips them. My dad had a friend who almost lost a boat in Cook Inlet because he was stuck on a silt flat at low tide. A 3 foot bore tide came in and he was VERY fortunate to not loose his boat and his life. He use to always say it was a miracle he survived and that it was the scariest thing he ever experienced. He had a 25 foot boat too, now think of that in a canoe.

    Just some food for thought.

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    Ok. Now that's much more useful info. thanks...

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    Tim, between tide rips, williwaws, wakes from charter boats, I wouldn't even consider it. You may know canoes, but you don't know the waters here...that's the difference. People die all the time on Alaskan lakes and rivers....and that's in skiffs! Salt water is a whole different beast altogether....I'd look into a water taxi/charter/drop off situation.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Alasqun was pretty harsh in the way in which he gave you his advice, but it wasn't exactly bad advice. People come up here every year to die.

    There is a place in Seward that specializes in taking kayakers out to islands. You should look into it. Also check into some guided hunt operations.

    While not denigrating your canoeing skills, don't over estimate yourself. Alaska is a very different world up here.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    The inside passage can be canoed well but its nothing like the area you are heading. A five mile island hop can get you in real trouble quick. Remember our tides can be twenty foot or better and it has to change fast. For the hunting part read the regs for all areas you will hunt and have proper tags for each area.
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    There was a guy and his wife, some years back, who navigated from Anchorage, around the Alaska Peninsula, and all the way up the Bering Sea coast to Bethel in an aluminum canoe. Ocean travel in a canoe can be done, but you must have a lot of time and pick your travel days very carefully.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    Alasqun was pretty harsh in the way in which he gave you his advice, but it wasn't exactly bad advice. People come up here every year to die.

    There is a place in Seward that specializes in taking kayakers out to islands. You should look into it. Also check into some guided hunt operations.

    While not denigrating your canoeing skills, don't over estimate yourself. Alaska is a very different world up here.
    I wasnt trying to be harsh at all, sorry if I came off that way. I just wanted him to understand how powerful our tides can be at times. Especially when the salt water is what, about 34-40F up here? Again if I came off harsh I apologize.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllAlaskan View Post
    I wasnt trying to be harsh at all, sorry if I came off that way. I just wanted him to understand how powerful our tides can be at times. Especially when the salt water is what, about 34-40F up here? Again if I came off harsh I apologize.
    Note.....he said "Alasgun"..........not you "AllAlaskan".
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by summerof2013 View Post
    Hi to all you alaskans and other lower 48 dreamers! I'm coming up for the summer. Planning to start out my hunting adventures with a coastal black bear hunt. A little about me... I'm an experienced canoeist - have spent many months of my life living out of my canoe in the wilderness, however, I'm not naive enough to think that the ocean and it's tides will be a cakewalk. Even so, I'm wondering about slipping along the inlets, coves and islands at low tide - trying to spot a bear, and do a sneak attack with my bow or rifle. If the weather gets bad, I hole up and wait it out like I do here (I have all summer :-))

    I'm thinking, if a kayaker can do the ocean, why can't I? Do you guys think this is feasible? I'm also game for creeks, rivers, or lakes that have bear. Open to any and all suggestions...

    Seclusion is also a big thing to me. I'm wondering about general areas to avoid the summer tourist crowd. Is Valdez much quieter than Homer?

    Thanks for your advice,

    Tim
    Depends on the type of a canoe. If you have a decked canoe that is really more like a kayak you might be OK. Especially if you can roll it. But if you have a normal open canoe that is more suited for rivers and smaller lakes. You will of necessity be exposed to some open reaches that can change from flat calm to large white caps in a minute or two. Google williwaw winds. These winds can just appear for seemingly no reason and would make it completely impossible for an open canoe.

    However, if you like canoeing I would recommend hunting along the Yukon River. Put in at Eagle and take out at Circle or the Dalton Bridge. You certainly could get a bear and be completely alone much of the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Note.....he said "Alasgun"..........not you "AllAlaskan".

    Oops, I mistook that as a typo lol. On other forums I have been called just Alaskan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by martyv View Post
    However, if you like canoeing I would recommend hunting along the Yukon River. Put in at Eagle and take out at Circle or the Dalton Bridge. You certainly could get a bear and be completely alone much of the time.
    Now that's actually a pretty good idea! The take out at The Haul Road is pretty a good place. There's a truck stop across the road with hot food, showers, and lodging. It's also a good place to leave a vehicle for shuttle purposes. There's a tour operator out of Fairbanks that drives a van up there in the summer. (Winter too I think.)

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    I have canoed the Copper River between Gakona and Chitna while bear hunting. I wouldn't go any later than the end of May. About mid summer is when that river gets really rough due to the warmer weather and the high volume of runnoff. It's really fast water but it's very negotiable. It's not a very long trip though, it usually only takes about 14 hours or less if you're rafting or canoeing straight through. If you take your time along the way and pull a few overnighters there are some really great areas for bears. There are a lot of black bears and quite a few grizzlies as well. I have never tried to go past Chitna because I never wanted to go through the canyon on a canoe. I would definitely do it on a raft but I would never try to do it with a canoe even with the low water in the springtime. I'm assuming that if you are good enough on a canoe and feel very capable that you could run the canyon and then float all the way to Cordova. Lots of bears along the way. If you ran from Gakona to Cordova you could actually make it into a week long trip or longer.

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    thank you all for the advice. I am definitely heeding it, and am researching all of the things you are talking about. I may have to swallow my pride and have someone transport me across the bay at Homer if I choose to hunt there :-) Whatever that expense is, it will be a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of my overall trip. I'm planning to live to experience AK more summers in the future, so I can listen to the voice of reason even though that calm water looks so darn inviting!

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