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Thread: Brown Bear Hunt 9/2013

  1. #1

    Default Brown Bear Hunt 9/2013

    Place. South of Yakutat Alaska
    time: 9/11 through 9/21
    Weather conditions, temp 40 to 50 degrees, rain to more rain
    Hunt condition: River hunt over sockeye salmon run
    Rifle: Browning A bolt 375 H&H
    Ammo: Handloaded Swift A Frame 300 grain and 300 grain Failsafe
    Guide: Gary Gray/Scott Gray...Yakutat Ak, Alsek River Guide service
    This was my third Alaskan hunt and first Coastal brown bear hunt. Gary operates an off the grid hunting lodge inside the Glacier Bay National Preserve in addition to tent hunts in various locations. He specializes in Brown Bear, Glacier and Black Bear plus moose and Goat. This is an area where you wound an animal the hunt is over which makes marksmanship and "use enough Gun" sink in, after seeing a huge female at 40 yards I told another hunter in camp to get a bigger gun.
    His lodge location hunts are first class with at home cooking and individual cabins. Hunts in that area are by Atv to various locations.
    Attachment 74379
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    Here is a picture of one of the river locations we hunted and especially rare as it was not raining which it does almost constantly
    [URL= ]
    100_3020.jpg
    The rivers where jammed with these sockeye salmons swimming up river to spawn. If you look at the shoreline you will see the grass flattened from bear activity. I am told that they maintain the normal white color in salt water and the color transformation occurs from being in fresh water and the adrenalin in their system from the exhaustive swim. According to the Guide the bears where not "on" the fish as they normally are since the berry crops where abundant and berries are sought after more so than salmon.
    During my 10 day hunt which ended with me getting my bear on the 9th day I observed/stalked 16 or so bears at least 4 where boars one being 9.5 +. We had a 8.5 foot huge female walk out in front of us at 40 yards and just look at us and walked away.
    The bear I finally got took, took four days. The first time we saw it on the river the guide was certain it was a sow since it looked "pretty" . We attempted a stalk on it the first sighting but it kept chasing fish downriver and we couldn't keep up with him and we ran out of good shooting light. On the second sighting we had it at 150 yards and the guide was certain that it was a boar. The bear had a habit of entering the river quickly grabbing a fish and running back into heavy cover and the at dusk coming back out again. On this occasion a large sow with 2 cubs came down the river and must have picked up his scent and started huffing and trotting down the river somewhat aggressively toward the boars location and ours. The guide stated we did not need this type of action so we backed out.
    The next day the bear came out to the river and quickly grabbed a fish and disappeared, just when it came out again a low flying plane scared it off as it ran back into the alders not to be seen again.
    The next day the tide came in and the river rose about 3 feet, the guide stated the bears would not be able to catch fish in deeper water and would not stick around. About 2 to 3 hours latter the river dropped 2 feet or so and the bear showed up about 300 yards up river from us. On this day the wind had change direction which permitted us to cross the river to the other side and cut the distance if he did what he normally did. As faith would have it he did just that so we set up about 50 yards down from him across the river wind in our face. About 45 minutes passed and all of a sudden he stepped out on the edge of the water at an estimated range of 110 yards. The bear went down on the shot and rolled into the water, I kept him covered until he completely submerged.P9200015a.jpg
    He looks much darker than he is since it was raining all day plus he fell into the water at the place he was shot. The bear had white ears with a black line running on the perimeter plus his sides where light brown with yellow tips and dark brown stripe down his back and down his legs, a truly beautiful bear. The guide said he had a client shoot a similar colored bear about 21 years ago since most males are dark brown. I wish I could post more pictures but as faith would have it I went swimming with the Bears 4 times by falling in the swift current and didn't have an aquatic capable camera, if you learn from me make sure you can dunk your camera without damage.

  2. #2

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    Very pretty bear.......congratulations.

  3. #3
    Member bigdog's Avatar
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    Very nice, good job....

  4. #4
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Nice job on a great bear!

  5. #5
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Very nice bear - well done! I have a friend that seems to be drawn to getting into the water everytime we go on a moose hunt
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

  6. #6
    Member Gerberman's Avatar
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    Nice bear, glad you had a great hunt and harvest.

  7. #7
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Beautiful bear. What did he measure out at?

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    Member HuntNBgame's Avatar
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    Sounds like a lot of up's and down's, Congrat's on a great looking bear.

  9. #9
    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    Outstanding and congratulations. I've wanted a brown bear for a very long time. It's on my list but I want something similar to yours. Very envious.
    Tony

  10. #10
    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    BOBW was it a GE hair dryer ? or what make ? He sure dried out for the picture .LOL all joking aside you sure got yourself a very nice trophy. Having earned it is a mild saying isn't it. Hope the memories last fore ever.

  11. #11
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Very nice.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  12. #12
    Member ramhunter's Avatar
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    Nice, sounds like you had a great time...congrats! see any Glacier Bears?...grin
    "Mountains are not fair or unfair, they are just dangerous" ~ Reinhold Messner

  13. #13

    Default Glacier Bears and size

    Quote Originally Posted by ramhunter View Post
    Nice, sounds like you had a great time...congrats! see any Glacier Bears?...grin
    I did not see any Glacier Bears or even black Bears, Gary States he only hunts them in the spring across the river from his lodge when the trees are without leaves for scoping reasons
    I never got a measurement mainly because I shot the bear late in the afternoon on the 9th day and it was way past dark when we had him skinned and carried out plus it was an hour or so drive back to the lodge. The guide stated he would fly me out a day earlier so I wouldn't miss my flight out of Yakutat since I stood a fair chance of getting socked in at the lodge due to weather. I don't know all that much on sizing but my guess is he was in the 8 foot range, not the biggest nor the smallest I saw
    Actually the picture was taken minutes after we pulled him out of the water and had him posed up for the picture. The guide said we could come back in the AM for pictures and bring a GE hair dryer but we had a sow and cubs coming towards us and I did not want to take a chance of having him pushed back in the river and end up on the beach in Japan

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