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Thread: Pointers on killing my first bear

  1. #1

    Default Pointers on killing my first bear

    I've been trying to kill a bear for a couple years. Killed my first caribou this past fall, now I'm hoping for my first bear. I spotted a HUGE blackie driving back from Hope (unsuccessful) on Seward Hwy driving back to Anchorage. Pulled the truck over and got him in my binos, went to the other side of the truck to grab the gear and he vanished. I hung around for 2 hours hoping he'd he come back out but he never did. Haven't seen a bear since. I've driven to Hope this year several times saw some scat on the road but that's about it. I'm not looking for any secret spots but, can someone give me pointers on how to spot a bear around Hope, should I drive the road and try to spot/stalk or should I pull over and get out and head towards 6 mile creek. I also have everything I need to bait. Should I give that a try? Thanks

    Chris

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Personally, I think Hope is a terrible place for spot and stalk bear hunting. It gets a lot of mentions on here, but the forest is so thick that one would have to be pretty darn lucky to connect with one unless they are baiting. As for baiting in the area, there are lots of stations down there. If you're looking to hunt bears via spot and stalk, I'd get in the alpine or at least an area where you've got better visibility. In that direction, I'd skip the Hope cutoff and hunt either the Seward or Sterling Highway corridors. Better yet, get into the mountains by one of the many hiking trails. Best yet, do so in September and catch them feeding on berries.

  3. #3
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    one option is. find a nice place to sit comfortably and glass open areas. look at the sunny side of mtn's for new green stuff they might be chewing on.

    the way i enjoyed my hunt this year was this, but i took a boat to a more remote area, then hiked in 4 miles to be away from ppl, roads, wheelers, and such. I like to hunt a bear. not a bear looking over his shoulder for the next guy on a quad or for a chevy that is cruising a dirt road.

  4. #4

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    I agree with Brian M. on the Hope Bear hunting hundred percent. I have rarely seen a bear in the forested areas here. The reasons I see so many bears here is, I live fairly high on a mountain with a near 360 degree view of mountains. (Also I do not live in Hope, Alaska I live in Sunrise, Alaska). Plus I get out and hike daily on the beach or along the powerline or old "CAT" Trails in the wilderness.

    Fall is way better than spring for bear spotting. I get to watch them come out of the "Known" dens, but they fairly quickly come down to the beach or creek bottom for the earliest Greens and Winter kills. After that I go for a period where I seldom see them till the fish are spawning. In the fall I see them on every mountain in the alpine eating berries. I can often stand in the cabin yard and see 3 to 6 bears in the alpine.

    Are there a LOT of bears in the Hope area.........YES. Are they hard to spot.........YES. Is it a gut'buster he!!ish climb to harvest them........YES.

    The bottomline is unless one is very....very lucky to spot a bear from the road, SUCCESS is directly related to the amount of hours that one's boots are in the field. "Get your BOOTS into the field" and you will see bears. (Add in quality binoculars).




    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Personally, I think Hope is a terrible place for spot and stalk bear hunting. It gets a lot of mentions on here, but the forest is so thick that one would have to be pretty darn lucky to connect with one unless they are baiting. As for baiting in the area, there are lots of stations down there. If you're looking to hunt bears via spot and stalk, I'd get in the alpine or at least an area where you've got better visibility. In that direction, I'd skip the Hope cutoff and hunt either the Seward or Sterling Highway corridors. Better yet, get into the mountains by one of the many hiking trails. Best yet, do so in September and catch them feeding on berries.

  5. #5

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    Summit Creek gets a lot of NON-hunter traffic all spring-summer-fall and yet I still see bears in Summit Creek, Colorado Creek, Pass Creek. Mostly because you are starting above or nearly above timberline. If I had to harvest a bear "Today" I would go up into Juneau Creek, this being the Juneau Creek that is accessed off of the Mills Creek trail.

    You are quickly above timberline, There is a good road (Closed to motorized vehicles unless you have a special permit which requires owning a Valid working mining claim) you can ride a bike into where it drops off steep to head into Mills Creek. I would stash the bike there and hike up into Juneau Creek. People hunt Mills Creek, but few (Very few) head up into Juneau Creek. The sweet part is if you have a trailer for your bike is all down hill to the parking lot, for you, your bear meat, and trophy.

    My burning desire is that people STOP thinking of themselves as hunters.......and concentrate on becoming skilled "OUTDOORS-MEN/OUTDOORS-WOMEN". Their time spent afield will be satisfying, as opposed to the frustrations of hunting. And in the end they will have a more intimate experience with the majesty of Alaska Wilderness. Which will result in more game viewed with the choice to harvest that animal or simply study its behavior.

  6. #6

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    Thanks everyone. @AGL4now.

    I've been "lurking" on this site for several years now and I've noticed how helpful you are. Thanks!!!!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    If I had to harvest a bear "Today" I would go up into Juneau Creek, this being the Juneau Creek that is accessed off of the Mills Creek trail.
    Hey AGL4now,

    How do I access that Mills Creek trail. I went out today looking for a "gravel pit" and footbridge around Hope and the only footbridge I saw was above Canyon Creek. Didn't see a little parking lot or gravel pit. I did do A LOT of hiking early this morning and glassing and saw a black thing climbing a tree about 50 yards in front of me. It looked just like a bear (cub perhaps) After the adrenaline calmed and my heart calmed down, We waited to see what it was and it was a HUGE porcupine lol. I got it all on video

  8. #8
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwgolden99 View Post
    Hey AGL4now,

    How do I access that Mills Creek trail. I went out today looking for a "gravel pit" and footbridge around Hope and the only footbridge I saw was above Canyon Creek. Didn't see a little parking lot or gravel pit.
    The gravel pit he's referring to is nowhere near Hope. Go past the Hope cutoff, and you'll find the gravel pit shortly before the first lake you come to on your left. Take a look at a map and find Mills Creek, then utilize Google Earth and you should be able to figure out the access easily enough.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    My burning desire is that people STOP thinking of themselves as hunters.......and concentrate on becoming skilled "OUTDOORS-MEN/OUTDOORS-WOMEN". Their time spent afield will be satisfying, as opposed to the frustrations of hunting. And in the end they will have a more intimate experience with the majesty of Alaska Wilderness. Which will result in more game viewed with the choice to harvest that animal or simply study its behavior.
    Well in a perfect world,,,,,,,,. But both go hand in hand. I was a nature kid climbing trees catching turtles, snakes, frogs etc and that was my passion as a little kid. I can remember catching my first flounder in Long Island sound in a rowboat with my dad, grandfather and his brother when I was probably 3 or 4.
    Some people just get started later in life and that burning desire to hunt and fish can take precedence over being an outdoorsman. But most people soon figure it out usually through trial and error or lack of experience. A fortunate few have someone to show them the ropes.

    Like they say, Rome wasn't built in a day.

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