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Thread: Ursus Cove/Bruin Bay for brown bears

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    Member Bucksandnoles's Avatar
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    Default Ursus Cove/Bruin Bay for brown bears

    I've finally decided on a guide, Tony Dingess, that hunts this area, and am looking for any thoughts, advice, pics, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bucksandnoles View Post
    I've finally decided on a guide, Tony Dingess, that hunts this area, and am looking for any thoughts, advice, pics, etc.
    I used to be an assistant guide. I once guided a bear hunt in Bruin Bay. Great place to hunt. The first seven days it rained and rained and rained non-stop. Grunden rain gear is a necessity. My Helly Hansen's weren't quite enough. Anyhow, in those first seven days we only spotted a few bears that weren't the right size. After the rain stopped, bears were crawling all over the place. We ended up taking a nice dark chocolate 8 footer. If we had more time we would have been more selective.

    But considering the weather was uncooperative for the majority of the trip we were satisfied with what we got. The area is really flat down by the water and easy walking. The tides dictate when you can cross the river. I wouldn't try hiking up the hills into the alders. It is like a jungle once you get away from the beach. If you are patient and sit still you should see some shooters down by the beach. Cool place to hunt. Enjoy. I recommend getting a moose tag too. Even though they are not real plentiful in that area, I saw one heck of a bull the day after my client flew back to Illiamna.

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    Member Bucksandnoles's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I have some lightweight goretex rain gear, but you've now got me thinking about replacing it. I'm not sure, but I don't think Moose is an option for fall bear season.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    I used to be an assistant guide. I once guided a bear hunt in Bruin Bay. Great place to hunt. The first seven days it rained and rained and rained non-stop. Grunden rain gear is a necessity. My Helly Hansen's weren't quite enough. Anyhow, in those first seven days we only spotted a few bears that weren't the right size. After the rain stopped, bears were crawling all over the place. We ended up taking a nice dark chocolate 8 footer. If we had more time we would have been more selective.

    But considering the weather was uncooperative for the majority of the trip we were satisfied with what we got. The area is really flat down by the water and easy walking. The tides dictate when you can cross the river. I wouldn't try hiking up the hills into the alders. It is like a jungle once you get away from the beach. If you are patient and sit still you should see some shooters down by the beach. Cool place to hunt. Enjoy. I recommend getting a moose tag too. Even though they are not real plentiful in that area, I saw one heck of a bull the day after my client flew back to Illiamna.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bucksandnoles View Post
    Thanks for the info. I have some lightweight goretex rain gear, but you've now got me thinking about replacing it. I'm not sure, but I don't think Moose is an option for fall bear season.
    Yeah, sorry to tell you the bad news, but Gore-tex probably won't cut it for this area. Unless you get lucky and have no rain. My Helly Hansen's got drenched. The relative humidity was like 150%. Every time I tried picking up my binoculars to glass, water would run down my sleeves and eventually they just got soaked. After I did that hunt I bought some quality Grunden rain gear with the neoprene around the wrists so that water wouldn't run down my sleeves when it is pouring. The Helly Hansen's have a velcro strap that tighten's down around the wrists, but it didn't cut it for this hunt. That was some of the worst rain I've ever seen. Everything was soaked. Even my mountain hardware tent started leaking. Now I know why those commercial fishing guys use the Grunden's. They are worth their weight in gold in those conditions.

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    Member cjustinm's Avatar
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    hunting in rubber rain gear sucks but its definately necessary some days. it rained so much up here early last season i wore HH bibs and coat most of the time. hard to hike in but better than being drenched and hypothermic.

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    We're stuck in Iliamna, too windy for super cub to land on beach yesterday and likely today. Guide is suggesting north of Katmai park border rather than coast. He's telling me equal opportunity for 9' bear.

    So I'm looking for advice, yet again, for AOF members. Hold out for wind to slow and get out to the coast Ursus Cove/Bruin Bay area, losing hunting day(s) of hunt, or go to plan B area between Lake Iliamna and border of Katmai?

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    You have zero chance of a good hunt waiting on the weather.JMOFO
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bucksandnoles View Post
    We're stuck in Iliamna, too windy for super cub to land on beach yesterday and likely today. Guide is suggesting north of Katmai park border rather than coast. He's telling me equal opportunity for 9' bear.

    So I'm looking for advice, yet again, for AOF members. Hold out for wind to slow and get out to the coast Ursus Cove/Bruin Bay area, losing hunting day(s) of hunt, or go to plan B area between Lake Iliamna and border of Katmai?
    Go with your guide's recommendation. That's rule #1, for a lot of reasons. His job is to ensure a safe hunt with a reasonable chance of success. If you try to run this hunt based on your own ideas or recommendations from this site, you are getting off on the wrong foot with your guide. If you're still with Tony Dingess, you're in good hands.

    Have a great hunt!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://www.alaskahuntplanning.com/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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    Member Bucksandnoles's Avatar
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    Sage advice Mike, we told Tony it was his decision and we ended up going with plan B. We changed our hunt location, stayed a bit inland and hunted Big Mountain area. There were three hunters in camp, including myself, the other two tagged out fairly quickly with 7'6" sow and 8'2" boar. I was on a stalk 4 of 5 days, just couldn't cross paths with one, then had to leave camp 4 days early to get home for family obligations. Thoroughly enjoyed hunting with his assistant guide, Derrick, and overall a decent hunt. I believe my chances at my elusive 9+ bear were decreased by move inland, but obviously weather is out of anyone's control, and I had a self-imposed deadline of "must be out by Tues" and pilot was unsure that was reasonable on coast. So strike two in my quest, now starting research for dates, times (spring/fall), location, outfitter for third attempt at my 9+ bruin.

    Absolutely love the Alaska wilderness, you folks that live there are truly blessed!

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    Member Bucksandnoles's Avatar
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    Should have also included that of course I understand the primary reason for me not connecting was my leaving camp early.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Increase 9'+ odds by hunting southern ak pen or sticking with Kodiak.
    Wayne woods and Dennis Zara in Cordova do really really well on nine footers as well I'd recommend either of them!! But for big elusive bears try to give your self as much time as possible, as you know hunts are harder when you have deadlines behind them!
    Glad uou saw some bears and were able to get some
    Hunting in!! I didn't get out for bear this year and would have given all my real teeth for five days out hunting!!!
    Master guide license #212.....now what?!

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bucksandnoles View Post
    Should have also included that of course I understand the primary reason for me not connecting was my leaving camp early.
    This is probably not a completely accurate comparison, but I think you could compare holding out for a nine-footer to holding out for a 65" moose. A ten-footer would be like holding out for something over 70". They're fairly uncommon, though some areas tend to produce more of them, as Jake suggested.

    Certainly you are correct that spending more days in the field increases your odds, assuming you are spending those days in a good location with a competent guide. Given those two conditions, you have to be prepared for multiple hunts. Especially if you hold out for that elusive ten-footer.

    Good on you for taking your guide's recommendation and hunting hard. Best of luck the next time around!

    If you're serious about a spring hunt, you might give Mike "Buck" Bowden a call. He's been in the business many years and has taken his share of nine-footers. It's a pretty comfy hunt too, based in a lodge, but the hunting is done up above treeline. Got to love those long spring days on the snow! You can find him at Hidden Alaska Guides and Outfitters.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://www.alaskahuntplanning.com/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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