View Poll Results: What months have you seen brown / grizzly bears?

Voters
106. You may not vote on this poll
  • March

    14 13.21%
  • April

    48 45.28%
  • May

    59 55.66%
  • June

    52 49.06%
  • July

    53 50.00%
  • August

    52 49.06%
  • September

    55 51.89%
  • October

    51 48.11%
  • November

    39 36.79%
  • December

    20 18.87%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Earliest and latest bear sightings?

  1. #1
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Earliest and latest bear sightings?

    Just wondering when the earliest and latest brown / grizzly sightings are over the years among our readers? How about a survey? Check all the months you have seen brown / grizzly bears out and about.

    The poll software only allows 10 choices, so I had to scratch January and February. If you have seen bears then, just note in your post. Let's let this percolate a few days and we can draw some conclusions. Should be an intersting discussion about bear habits. Also it might be nice to post what part of the state you saw the bear(s) in. Note that this is only for brown / grizzly bears in Alaska!

    -Mike
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  2. #2

    Default

    The earliest and latest. It was in Eagle River, several years ago. Two grizzlies were routinely seen on the old Hiland Rd. (back when there used to be a dump grounds there, before they built the Tony Knowles Dumpground across the highway), the entire winter. So December would be the latest and January was the earliest.

    The earliest we have seen Brown Bears while hunting on the mainland is March 17th and the latest was November 5th (two days ago), yeah, we have one in the hood right now. He is still out, cause I saw his tracks this afternoon. The only exceptions to that is on islands. I have seen them out on Hinchinbrook, Montaque, Kodiak and Afognak the last week of November and on into the first two weeks of December.

  3. #3
    Member Kort's Avatar
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    Default What about January?

    I saw a griz at the end of Guemsey Rd out at Pt. Mackenzie in January 2003 while I was out looking for Wyle Coyote.

  4. #4
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    Default Hoonah has em year round

    Just go to the dump in hoonah or any other small SE town that has a dump and you'll find the ol bruins year round!! Makes for some good pics!!

  5. #5

    Default March to December

    Three years ago had one pop it's head out on March 7th, but he went back in and we couldn't get him. The pilot said he had seen one out that previous December.
    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

  6. #6
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Default

    My dog was mauled by a sow and two cub grizzlies in November. I don't remember the exact date, but it was right before Thanksgiving and it was COLD out...like -20F. There was enough ice on the lakes to ride a snowmobile and I had gotten close to the bears out on the edge of the lake the day before my dog was mauled.

    The earliest was March 28th off of Honolulu Creek/Chulitna River. I watched a brown bear haul a portion of a wolf moose kill straight up a cliff.

  7. #7
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default

    Normally i see them in the spring to late fall as one would expect. however the last several years with the low snow fall .. i have seen the occasional guy out in Dec.. i guess up to feed... I have never seen them in the coldest Jan/ Feb/ March, and though i start looking for sign as soon as the snow blows of in April... i have not found an April bear. yet.. May 10th is the earliest i have ever found one.

    of course i now hunt strictly in the interior. and north.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    Just wondering when the earliest and latest brown / grizzly sightings are over the years among our readers? How about a survey? Check all the months you have seen brown / grizzly bears out and about.

    -Mike
    I've seen them or their fresh tracks 12 months a year, and nowhere near dumps. A few at least seem never to den up, or else some of them leave the den once in a while for a bit of walkabout. Won't fit your 10 month poll, so I didn't fill it out.

  9. #9

    Default bears

    Last one I saw in 07 was Nov 12. Im out every day and haven't cut a fresh track in probably 5 days.

  10. #10
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default

    on Fairbanks news this morning... there is a grizz hanging out behind Chatinaka lodge area..been sighted several times this last week.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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  11. #11
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    Default question

    when a bear is sighted during Dec or Jan, I'm not sure how you would determine if he was out late or early. unless it was either entering or leaving a den site.
    Haven't there been recent reports of grizzlies in the Coldfoot/Wiseman area being problems in the dead of winter? I seem to recall a musher that ran his team into one a few years back & more recently a bear that broke into a lodge, that the caretaker shot.
    I think that bios say that a griz may wake up & leave the den for a look around at any time of the winter. A lot depends on their fat level at bedtime as to how well they'll sleep.
    As with all wildlife, even the most dependable rules can/will be broken.
    Gary

  12. #12
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Gary Bears do not "TRULY" hibernate in the winter as do some of the smaller animals... bears half wake and half sleep for the most part. they do get up and move around if they wake to cold. or get hungry trying to stay warm. what really holds them in the den is the amount of snow that falls over the winter.. but it is NOT uncommon for older males to get up several times during the winter..to feed and to wander around..I am not sure but the one up north you may be referring to was the grizz that took up residence at the Yukon river lodge... he broke in and spent the winter coming and going and was shot inside there in the early spring..

    Den hunting is not for me.. but i do know guys that live for it. they crawl in with the bear with a 12 GA. or a pistol...

    from what i understand 90% of the time they are looking at you when you crawl in..just showing they are not all the way out.. sows with cubs do not come out of the den unless it s life or death as the cubs are so tiny when born. at any rate, yes it is common for a bear to leave HIS den in the winter. though he will not normally wander far from it. there is a lot of study and writings on this in case your really interested..

    Vince
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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  13. #13
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Default Nancy Lake

    I saw a big set of tracks going through Nancy Lake Rec area in January, about 10 years ago. It was a very warm day, though, in the middle of a chinook that lasted about 2 weeks, temps in the 30's and low 40's. I figured the water dripping on him woke him up. December hunting in Kodiak I've seen several different Brownies running around. With higher temps and very good food source apparently there was no reason for them to take a nap yet.

  14. #14
    Member Fuse's Avatar
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    Default Request

    Mike,
    I love when the forum collects this kind of data. It definitely helps all us us plan trips when we're not sure what month to head out for something.

    I had one thought since we're into the second season of the year (there are only two, hunting season and planning for hunting season). I don't know how to do it but I'm already thinking about spring black bear baiting. Do you know how I could post a poll about when people have seen black bears first come out in the spring?

    Paul

  15. #15
    Member Fuse's Avatar
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    Default Latest signting

    Vince is right. My buddy the wildlife biologist told me the bears don't really hibernate and could be out any time. My latest sighting was a nice big Brownie crossing the road just North of Cantwell on the Parks just before Christmas in '05 when we were heading down for some last minute shopping in Anchorage. There where caribou on the east side of the road the the bear came busting out of the brush on the west side. It scared the heck out of me since I almost hit it with the car.

    Paul

  16. #16

    Smile Anytime?

    October is the latest for me though I have seen sow and cub tracks on November 11th. April 10th is the earliest. This is on the Kenai. If you research the Brown Bear maulings on the Kenai I think you will find it has happened on every month. So you just never know. It keeps you alert when walking around with a .22 bunny hunting.

  17. #17
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    Default Valentine's Bear

    My dad shot an 8' boar 2 winters ago on Valentines day in Unit 13. He had clearly been up for awhile (or never went down) due to the amount of sign. Needless to say he had pretty decent hair!

  18. #18
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Default

    I would say May due to the fact I'm not in the woods until then. Oct. is the latest I have seen them.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  19. #19
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default

    budabump...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  20. #20
    Member cod's Avatar
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    Default

    Jan. 1st, 1991 up Power Creek in Cordova, Ak. I didn't see him (thank God). I took my ATV up to do some siteseeing during one of the many thaws there. When I got upvalley as far as the snow would permit, I got off my ATV, took about 10 steps and saw the biggest tracks I'm sure I''ll ever see. The hair on my neck (and everywhere else) went up so fast I almost pooped my pants. The tracks were so fresh I was sure he was watching me. I can't tell u how fast the wife and left that area. (no firearm)
    Ironically, later that spring I read where the 2nd (?) largest brownie ever taken from that Unit was shot....from the direction the tracks were headed. I'm convinced that he was the guy.

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