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Thread: Hoonah Bears

  1. #1
    Member Hughiam's Avatar
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    Default Hoonah Bears

    I was fortunate to hunt Admiralty several years ago for Brown Bears and noticed they looked "different" than other brown bears. They were more charcoal colored and a big one would have been 8+ ft. We are going to Hoonah next month and I thought the bears were about the same size/color as Admiralty, but one member of our group is saying they are larger and more typically "brown" colored.

    I truly don't care, just am happy to go, but wondered if anyone had any personal observations.

    Thanks.
    In Nature's Image Taxidermy and Game Calls
    Palmer

  2. #2
    Member Steve H.'s Avatar
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    Yes, tend to be generic brown but I do see exceptions especially in the sows with an occasional one having some blonde or strawberry blonde. I always see a few in the 8 1/2' class and not too many go much bigger as I suspect they grow slower, I have seen one (probably saw the same bear successive years) that I'm sure would hit a solid 10 but I bet that size are few and far in between. Say hello to SJL and CH.

  3. #3
    Member Hughiam's Avatar
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    Will do, thanks Steve! Appreciate the observations.
    In Nature's Image Taxidermy and Game Calls
    Palmer

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hughiam View Post
    I was fortunate to hunt Admiralty several years ago for Brown Bears and noticed they looked "different" than other brown bears. They were more charcoal colored and a big one would have been 8+ ft. We are going to Hoonah next month and I thought the bears were about the same size/color as Admiralty, but one member of our group is saying they are larger and more typically "brown" colored.

    I truly don't care, just am happy to go, but wondered if anyone had any personal observations.

    Thanks.
    Yeah, Steve is right on - a lot of chocolate browns that's for sure. I have seen a couple of very pretty mid-sized bears, dark brown with a white-ish chest patch similar to what some black bears have - If I would have been hunting bears I would have a picture of it on my wall for yah!

    I think finding anything over 8 1/2 feet would be the exception rather than the rule most places except the outside coast where the hunting pressure is much much lower. Outside is also much much more difficult to access... maybe those two are related! Are you guided or doing it yourself? Bring an empty growler, the new brewery has a few good ones on tap!

  5. #5
    Member Hughiam's Avatar
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    thanks Hoonah, I appreciate the input. We are going unguided, all resident hunters with one, "helper". I don't think we will be on the outside, too much water for me.
    In Nature's Image Taxidermy and Game Calls
    Palmer

  6. #6
    Member Leryt's Avatar
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    I live over in Juneau, so your friend is saying that the Hoonah bears are bigger? The bears on Admiralty get pretty big from my understanding because of the massive amounts of salmon they eat plus the high density of deer. Admiralty is the premier deer hunting spot for the overall Juneau area because of the extremely high density of deer on the island. The deer and the bear spike each other populations with Admiralty having about 3.3 or 3.4 bears per square mile, the 2nd highest density in the world. The bears can get quite large on the island depending on their location and what/how they eat. I've seen some good sized bears over in Hoonah too. I think either way Admiralty or Chichagof will provide you with some good bear opportunities. How far out of Hoonah are you going to be hunting? When are you coming down?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hughiam View Post
    thanks Hoonah, I appreciate the input. We are going unguided, all resident hunters with one, "helper". I don't think we will be on the outside, too much water for me.
    "helper"? non-resident along for the experience? Can be a pretty good experience!

    Yah, I don't blame you for staying away from outside. Dicey out there sometimes and so many danged rocks that are unmarked especially when you get in there close to the beaches. Yuk!

  8. #8
    Member Anythingalaska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leryt View Post
    I live over in Juneau, so your friend is saying that the Hoonah bears are bigger? The bears on Admiralty get pretty big from my understanding because of the massive amounts of salmon they eat plus the high density of deer. Admiralty is the premier deer hunting spot for the overall Juneau area because of the extremely high density of deer on the island. The deer and the bear spike each other populations with Admiralty having about 3.3 or 3.4 bears per square mile, the 2nd highest density in the world. The bears can get quite large on the island depending on their location and what/how they eat. I've seen some good sized bears over in Hoonah too. I think either way Admiralty or Chichagof will provide you with some good bear opportunities. How far out of Hoonah are you going to be hunting? When are you coming down?
    A small specific area on Admiralty might be as dense as 3.3 or 3.4 bears per square mile, but as an average of the whole island that is completely untrue. The bear population on Admiralty is arguably a bit higher than Chichagof or Baranof island, but the average on all three is still around 1 per square mile.

    The deer and bear spike each others populations? I am not sure what that means.

  9. #9

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    A quick google search of Brown Bear Population Estimates Unit 4 brings up a nice PDF which shows that in 1000 square kilometers (386sq miles) the estimated bear numbers were between 227 and 362 individuals, or 0.58 to 0.93 bears per square mile.

    For additional reading check out the link below - this Kamchatka study shows brown bear densities around a salmon lake were about 10 bears per square mile, but averaged much much lower, between 0.2 and 0.34...

    http://www.bearbiology.com/fileadmin...nko_Vol_10.pdf

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