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Thread: Kodiak Bear Hunt Journal

  1. #1
    Member Formerly Montana Bob's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Kodiak Bear Hunt Journal

    Howdy All,
    It's finally happened. I drew a Kodiak Bear tag which was right at the top of my bucket list. I have been hunting for over 40 years and wish I had kept better track of my time in the field. It would sure have been nice to be able to look back at my first hunt with my grandpa shooting my first animal (Other than with my old Wrist Rocket slingshot) a Jack Rabbit in the Mojave Desert of Ca.
    My grandpa who now looks down from the heavens was the one who got me into hunting. Way back he was in Law Enforcement in Nome and Fairbanks, he would tell me stories of him hunting in Alaska which had such an impact on my young mind that I knew this is the place I wanted to spend my Life. It took me a while, but have been here since 06.
    Just like Grampa and his stories, I found the Outdoors Directory a place of excitement looking through all the forums and listening to everyone's adventures.
    To document my hunt and share with others, I thought I would start a journal of my soon to be adventure for others to enjoy or even chuckle at. In a couple days (Friday April 18) I will start to post my planning and experiences as I count down the week before I leave Anchorage.
    The cool thing is with today's technology documenting such an adventure is made easier. I will have along a GoPro Black Edition, A Nikon DSLR with HD Video as well as my old standby little Canon digital video camera. Till Friday
    Mods, if you have a better place to put this, feel free to move it.
    Fish IT! Hunt IT! or *#%@ IT!

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Excellent! Looking forward to following along with you, Bob. My grandfather kept a hunting journal that dates back into the 30's, and I intend to put together something similar for my children.

    Good luck on your hunt!

  3. #3

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    I am heading over to Kodiak on May 1st for my bear hunt. Luckily my BIL has a 28' landing craft. We are going to be in the Hidden Basin area.
    Good luck on your hunt!!

    Robert

  4. #4
    Member Formerly Montana Bob's Avatar
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    The Plan:
    Catching the ferry out of Homer to arrive in Kodiak on the 26th. From there will be meeting up with Seahawk air to fly into Frazer lake. I have reserved the cabin on the South end of the lake for a week which does not start until Monday the 28th as it was reserved by someone else till then.
    Frazer is a long lake and cuts through the majority of the GMU.
    I will camp for a couple days before the cabin is available.
    I have checked and there could in theory be 7 others hunting the area as this was the amount of tags given out.
    No worries however, as I bought a raft as well as a trolling motor that will be able to get me silently anywhere on the lake. I was here 4 years ago on a goat hunt and know the area is pretty large with some areas only accessible by boat or a very long hike which is not practical. You must be flown into this area and most will just hunt where the plane drops them off, unless they have water transportation which will have to be flown in as well.
    More later as continue my preparation including gear list as well as my choice for a raft and the modifications made for this hunt.
    Fish IT! Hunt IT! or *#%@ IT!

  5. #5
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    Can't wait to hear how it goes for you! Best of luck!!

    And there should only be 6 other hunters...due to a new baby and buying a house, while it kills me, I hate to say I can't go fill my tag : (

  6. #6
    Member Formerly Montana Bob's Avatar
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    Well here I sit in Kodiak airport with a couple hours on my hands. Just a heads up to anyone who applys for and draws this tag. You must go to the Kodiak Fish and Game to get a permit. You can and must go here during business hours Monday through Friday. Have everything in hand including your license and metal tag as they do not issue them here.
    The bummer here is Monday through Friday. If you are planning on taking the ferry this will limit your arrival day unless you wish to camp or stay in a motel until they open.
    I will be arriving here on Saturday and have chosen to fly out upon my arrival. Soooooooooooooo them Alaska Airmiles I have been saving were used to book a quick round trip on Era ( Now Called Ravn) Unless you book months in advance it's going to cost you 7500 of them fun tickets each way. It shows many flights at the 5000 level but you can not use that level as those seats are sold out. It really chapped my Arse as there were many flights available according to the Alaska Airlines site, but again those are sold out and have not been updated showing what is really available. Figure $25 bucks each way from the airport to F&G via taxi. It took all of about 15 minutes to get the permit and go over the basics for Bear hunting on Kodiak.
    Oh one other thing, while the internet access is free here at Kodiak airport through Era, you only get a half hour before you must agree to their terms again, which kicks you off the internet and you must start your forum post from scratch
    Last edited by Formerly Montana Bob; 04-22-2014 at 13:28. Reason: ADHD
    Fish IT! Hunt IT! or *#%@ IT!

  7. #7
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Bob,

    I journal my hunts as well, and thought I would offer a tip. You have probably thought of this already, but for the benefit of others...

    I try to write much more than the weather, how many critters we saw that day, the hunting conditions and so on. Those things are important, but they only frame the main content, which is, to me, writing to the people I know will read it later. Sure, I might return to my field notes later, but the most important audience for me is the ones who will read it after I am gone. My wife, my children and close friends, who will read what I wrote on those days and will in so doing rediscover who I was. So I write about what is important to me; struggles I face and how I deal with them, my appreciation of the creation around me in the field, the struggle between life and death (expressed in my own mortality, and in the pursuit of game that is trying to save its life while I am trying to take it). There's a lot to say about this, but I guess my point is to think about writing your journals for an audience-- whoever that may be.

    Have a great experience out there! And let's hear your story and see a few pics when you return!

    -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.
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  8. #8
    Member Formerly Montana Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    Bob,

    I journal my hunts as well, and thought I would offer a tip. You have probably thought of this already, but for the benefit of others...

    I try to write much more than the weather, how many critters we saw that day, the hunting conditions and so on. Those things are important, but they only frame the main content, which is, to me, writing to the people I know will read it later. Sure, I might return to my field notes later, but the most important audience for me is the ones who will read it after I am gone. My wife, my children and close friends, who will read what I wrote on those days and will in so doing rediscover who I was. So I write about what is important to me; struggles I face and how I deal with them, my appreciation of the creation around me in the field, the struggle between life and death (expressed in my own mortality, and in the pursuit of game that is trying to save its life while I am trying to take it). There's a lot to say about this, but I guess my point is to think about writing your journals for an audience-- whoever that may be.

    Have a great experience out there! And let's hear your story and see a few pics when you return!

    -Mike
    Mike you bring up a very good point. With today's hustle and bustle for me anyway it's hard just to relax or downshift a few gears if you will to enjoy your surroundings and thoughts.After a few days in the field I hope I can relax to take it all in so to speak. Seems just about the time that this happens it is time to think about packing up and leave.
    I grew up on the Outdoor Life magazine as a kid reading each issue from cover to cover. The writers had a way of expressing their time in the field that kept me captivated and I felt like I was actually there. Later in life it was Jack O'Conner and Jack Atcheson. When I got here to Alaska I found Dick Proenneke's Alone in the Wilderness. I can watch that video over and over again, not just for the content, but for the relaxed nature in which he takes things.
    I like to look back to some of the old TV shows where life appeared to be simpler with problems that by today's standards are nothing.
    I guess the point I am trying to make is after a few days in the field without all the craziness,I hope to relax, gather my thoughts to put them down on paper or like the new trend with pictures and video. Thanks for the advice and I can't wait until I am standing on the shore watching that Beaver take off as I take a big breath and let it out in a sigh of relief as my adventure begins.
    Fish IT! Hunt IT! or *#%@ IT!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by windvane View Post
    I am heading over to Kodiak on May 1st for my bear hunt. Luckily my BIL has a 28' landing craft. We are going to be in the Hidden Basin area.
    Good luck on your hunt!!

    Robert
    There are some great bear spots in Hidden Basin, been back in there several times over the past 7 years. Great bear spot to start out in. Watch out for the buffalo in there.
    Take a youngster out when you go, it will change his/her life forever!!

  10. #10
    Member Formerly Montana Bob's Avatar
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    Well the time is growing near and have about 24 hours until I take off for Homer to Catch the Ferry. I think I have everything I need or may need and still am able to keep under 800 pounds. just a rough estimate weighing most everything leaves me with 80 pounds to spare. I have yet to get fuel and will top off the weight limit with it.
    I have a check list and will be laying everything out tonight to make sure I don't forget something. The only thing i am really lacking on is real good optics. I know this is an important part of this hunt as hours will be spent glassing. I have checked everywhere online to rent a good or great spotting scope and a 2 week rental is pretty spendy just to have to return the product at the end of the hunt.
    I am thinking about picking up a little better spotting scope before I leave and have checked both Sportsmans and Cabelas for something a little better than the Leupold I have.
    Later tonight I will post my list. Like they say 2 heads are better than one, with the number of heads on this site, maybe there is something i may have missed or a suggestion to be had from other members. I am frugal and am on a budget knowing full well that there will be a better more expensive choice, but will make do with what I have unless there is a huge advantage or something that is a must that I missed.
    If money was no object, I am sure we would go with the top of the line stuff, plus being over 50 making an expensive investment at this point I don't think would be a wise choice as I am definitely on the downhill side of my hunting adventures and don't know how many of these type of hunts I have left or really want to do.
    I will say this though, after this hunt I am getting rid of this Savage 116 Alaskan Guide rifle chambered with the 375 H&H. This thing is a butt kicker and with the recoil is not a fun shooter. The 5 or 6 shots I took at Birchwood last week left a nice bruise on my shoulder and a sore neck. Of course it does not help that I have some hot Double Tap 300gr loads I am shooting out of it, but it must go. It is just a back up to my 300 RUM and will be going with a 12 Gauge for bear back up in the future.
    Fish IT! Hunt IT! or *#%@ IT!

  11. #11

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    I personally wouldn't worry too much about having a top of the line scope. On bears, you are looking at anatomy and behavior to determine size and sex. Rubs are usually pretty easy to spot as well. You won't be counting growth rings.
    That being said, good optics are of utmost importance. Hope you have a very good set of binoculars and are confident that your optics will hold up to the inclement weather Kodiak can sometimes provide. Good Luck!

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Formerly Montana Bob View Post
    Howdy All,
    It's finally happened. I drew a Kodiak Bear tag which was right at the top of my bucket list. I have been hunting for over 40 years and wish I had kept better track of my time in the field. It would sure have been nice to be able to look back at my first hunt with my grandpa shooting my first animal (Other than with my old Wrist Rocket slingshot) a Jack Rabbit in the Mojave Desert of Ca.
    My grandpa who now looks down from the heavens was the one who got me into hunting. Way back he was in Law Enforcement in Nome and Fairbanks, he would tell me stories of him hunting in Alaska which had such an impact on my young mind that I knew this is the place I wanted to spend my Life. It took me a while, but have been here since 06.
    Just like Grampa and his stories, I found the Outdoors Directory a place of excitement looking through all the forums and listening to everyone's adventures.
    To document my hunt and share with others, I thought I would start a journal of my soon to be adventure for others to enjoy or even chuckle at. In a couple days (Friday April 18) I will start to post my planning and experiences as I count down the week before I leave Anchorage.
    The cool thing is with today's technology documenting such an adventure is made easier. I will have along a GoPro Black Edition, A Nikon DSLR with HD Video as well as my old standby little Canon digital video camera. Till Friday
    Mods, if you have a better place to put this, feel free to move it.
    Make sure you take plenty of GoPro batteries. They're inexpensive to buy and fail more often than not. Good luck!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Formerly Montana Bob View Post
    Well the time is growing near and have about 24 hours until I take off for Homer to Catch the Ferry. I think I have everything I need or may need and still am able to keep under 800 pounds. just a rough estimate weighing most everything leaves me with 80 pounds to spare. I have yet to get fuel and will top off the weight limit with it.
    I have a check list and will be laying everything out tonight to make sure I don't forget something. The only thing i am really lacking on is real good optics. I know this is an important part of this hunt as hours will be spent glassing. I have checked everywhere online to rent a good or great spotting scope and a 2 week rental is pretty spendy just to have to return the product at the end of the hunt.
    I am thinking about picking up a little better spotting scope before I leave and have checked both Sportsmans and Cabelas for something a little better than the Leupold I have.
    Later tonight I will post my list. Like they say 2 heads are better than one, with the number of heads on this site, maybe there is something i may have missed or a suggestion to be had from other members. I am frugal and am on a budget knowing full well that there will be a better more expensive choice, but will make do with what I have unless there is a huge advantage or something that is a must that I missed.
    If money was no object, I am sure we would go with the top of the line stuff, plus being over 50 making an expensive investment at this point I don't think would be a wise choice as I am definitely on the downhill side of my hunting adventures and don't know how many of these type of hunts I have left or really want to do.
    I will say this though, after this hunt I am getting rid of this Savage 116 Alaskan Guide rifle chambered with the 375 H&H. This thing is a butt kicker and with the recoil is not a fun shooter. The 5 or 6 shots I took at Birchwood last week left a nice bruise on my shoulder and a sore neck. Of course it does not help that I have some hot Double Tap 300gr loads I am shooting out of it, but it must go. It is just a back up to my 300 RUM and will be going with a 12 Gauge for bear back up in the future.
    One thing about good optics. You can always re-sell them immediately after you're done and pay less than what you'd probably fork over for renting optics. Which I have ZERO clue where you'd even rent optics. As already been mentioned you're not counting rings on a sheep. A mid level optics will be just fine. Again, good luck!

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