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Thread: Icy Bay Brown Bear?

  1. #1

    Default Icy Bay Brown Bear?

    Was planning on going to the Icy Bay area May 1 for brown bear hunt to much snow and no bears yet! Now planning May 8! Has anyone hunted this area and have any info as to what to expect. Your insights are aprreciated.

  2. #2

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    Spent 45 Days there one spring. Had a 16ft. wooden skiff with 25 horse outboard. Camped on the beach in Icy Bay just to the west of the mouth of the Caetani River. Scant few bears, several areas littered with old oilfield exploration equipment from the 1950's and 60's. The three, yes three bear I did spot in over six weeks of hunting were all badly rubbed to the point of looking like lions i.e. a fringe of hair around their head, skinny appearing rubbed body and a puff of hair on the end of the tail. Ridiculous waste of time and money for the clients. A few bucks and a grand time in the backcountry for me.

    Lots of interesting ice formations choking the bay at times - when the tide went out the icebergs would be left standing upright on the sandy beach, really incredible looking, sorta like Monument Valley or Kings Canyon only ice rather than rock formations. Nearly every bird that migrates north to Alaska travels along that narrow strip of coastline out front of the Malaspina Glacier. Ever seen a "wave" or "flock" of hummingbirds go zipping past at close range? Really unique experience. Mt. St. Elias is right there at the head of the bay rising 18,000 ft straight up in one of the most dramatic elevation rises on earth - sea level to 18,000 ft in a matter of a few miles. When the sun comes out that peak is a glorious sight to see. Much of the time the coast range is hidden in a thick veil of clouds.

    Three long seasons, both fall and spring to the north a south of Yakutat convinced me - If you want a good bear with hair, don't hunt south of Cape Yakataga in Alaska. Sorry to tell ya, there's guys that make a living at it, but they do a lot of story telling to disappointed people about how you should'a been here last week.

    So, if you want to go on an expensive camping trip to see some incredible topography, go to Icy Bay. If you want to kill a good brown bear you'd be better off staying out of Southeastern and hunt the interior or wait for a spring hunt on the Peninsula.

    Most all of Unit 9 including the extreme southern end of Unit 16 are good brown bear areas. The farther from town the better. On the lower end of the Peninsula with a spotting scope and tripod and long spring daylight hours I've seen as many as 32 bear in a day with 16 of those single bear and one of those dead at over 10 1/2 foot. On unit 9 you will seldom see rubbed bears in the spring. Everywhere else is pretty much a joke compared to the Alaska Peninsula.
    Tommy

  3. #3
    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Make sure you are not trespassing, lots of native land there. One site of the Alaska Experiment stuff.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    If you are going to the west side where the logging camp used to be be prepared for some hard going. The loggers pulled out last year and as per their contract with UA and MHLT they pulled out all the water crossings on the road to Cape Yakataga. No bridge or culverts left in place, just ditches.

    The last two summers out there showed me that there were some nice bears on the western side all the way to the refuge lands west of the Duktoth.

    Looking at the weather cam for Cape Yakataga shows that the woods still have snow in them, but the areas that get sun will be snow free.

  5. #5

    Default Yakutat Brwon bear

    Thnaks for the info. Was on a web site for Crooked Horn Outfiters, they claim to have seen 54 bears! in a 10 day hunt with Bear-up Adventures? got a 8' and 10' ? Just a story??

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    I have hunted this area a lot in the spring and fall. There is not a large concentration of brown bears there and they are tough to hunt due to heavy timber. Since the roads are gone it is not worth hunting. I have not seen 54 brown bears there total in the past 5 years and this includes bears I have seen from the air flying the coast between Icy bay and Cape yakataga. As for 10 ft bears I guess it is how you measure them but there are very few true 10 ft bears killed anywhere. I have hunted all my life and killed my first 10' bear last spring on the Ak Penn. I have never even seen a track from a 10' bear in that country ever. Find out how big the skull was on that 10 ft bear.

  7. #7

    Default Icy Bay Brown bear

    They son't say how big the skull was but the pics show iy does have a good size mellon on his shoulder but I've no idea how big that is! And as for the 54 bears?, you know they're counting the same bears for the whole 10 days that means maybe 10 differnet bears!!
    There is a video clip of theirs' on the Bearup Adventures website-take a peek. Anyone know of Bearup Adventures? and would you hire their services? Thanks

  8. #8

    Default Bear up adventures

    Sent PM, good times and no issues.

  9. #9

    Default Bear up

    Neil is a good guy, and yes they have shot some nice bears out of Icy bay as well as Dry bay. Access is your problem, like others explained.

  10. #10
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    In the summer if you are flying from Cordova to Icy Bay you will see lots of bears on the beachs and the open terrain between the beach and the Bering glacier. When the stawberries come out you could see 10 bears a day on the sand dunes above the beach. By the end of July maybe 2 bears a day.

    After driving the roads out there for two summers I would say that there is at least one bear at 10 ft. There was a big black/brown male that grudingly left the road for the log trucks. If he was in a bad mood he would walk infront of the truck for a ways before slowly moving off into the alders. What was funny about this bear was that he would scoot off the road if there was a pickup coming, but not a big rig. Even in the middle of the summer before fish came in this bear was probably running 800 pounds. I remember clearly that his head was big enough that he had really small ears.

    The one that kind of charged me near the runway might have gone 500 pounds. This was a typical sized bear seen around the road system.


    Lots of small black bears. Only a couple on the road system that we saw appeared to be larger than 200 pounds. The ones that were shot breaking into cabins were seldom over 200 pounds.

    Now time for a story from the Yakataga Locals.
    Many years ago (before the road from Icy Bay was completed) a whale washed up on the beach right at the mouth of the East Fork of the Yaktaga River (the east end of the runway). The bears hit it hard for weeks. One local was on his old Big Red three wheeler and watching the whale from the old bridge over the river. He thought it was kind of funny that all the brown bears were about 50 yards from the whale and acting nervous. Then a "monster" bear stepped out from inside the whale. It was that largest bear this man had seen in his decades of being in the area. He quessed it would have weighed 1300 pounds. It was twice the size of all the other bears on the beach that day. When it popped out of the whale the other bears scattered another 50 yards or more.

    About a week later this guy was coming back from picking up mail at the runway when he surprised the monster bear at the bridge. The bear leaped off the road and hit the river and ran across the river towards the whale shooting up a huge wall of water. This guy had never seen a bear move that fast. He thinks it crossed the river in about 10 seconds. That would be about 75 yards depending on water levels.

  11. #11

    Default Icy Bay Bears

    Thanks for all the info so far. Got ahold of Neil Webster and will be hunting with him for a few days. He has a (southern)hunter coming in on the 12th or so. Apparently still lots of snow and no bears have been sighted yet! No roads have always proven to be a blessing as I always plan on hunting not driving and shooting!! Thanks for the feedback regarding my 10ft goal. Perhaps I may have to set my sights a little smaller or face the possibility of coming home empy-handed. A 9 fter is still respectable isn`t it. Your thoughts and insights are very much apprecaited.

  12. #12

    Default Icy Bay brown bear

    Forgot to ask! Has anyone seen any or have any recent info on the bear situation around Icy Bay? Thanks again

  13. #13
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Default Bear Up, Bear Down

    mcreg,
    I have no recent info on Icy Bay Bears, but I believe you will have a great time hunting with Neil Webster.
    Ten Footers with Bear Up/Bear Down...I don't know.
    But I do believe Neil is a straight shooter, and a quality guide-outfitter.

    And 9 Foot bears are nice bears. Mcreg, regardless of what city, town, or village you reside in, how many brown bears are there? A nine foot bear will be one of the biggest in town, and the biggest in your home. Holy grail ten foot bears are rare, anywhere, really. Nine foot bears are nice.

    Dennis
    Alaska True Adventure Guide Service

  14. #14
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Does size really matter? Dennis pretty much summed it up. If you are trying to compare wieners with your neighbors, perhaps you should go somewhere else. It sounds like the outfit puts together a memorable hunt and that is what really matters IMO. The memories are what it is about. I am a born and raised Alaskan and have shot only one brown bear my self. He was a buffalo bear (aka rubbed as hell), but I shared the experience with a life long friend, my best friend. We had a great hunt and I would not trade it for anything. Go on your hunt and create some memories.

    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Default rubbed

    God, spoiled one you have as much hair as that bear. Just Joking nice bear and you probably saved alot of moose.

    Terry

  16. #16

    Default Icy Bay Brown bear

    Thanks for your insights, couldn't agree more! Also congraduations on a great bear!! You guys are bang on- the hunt is about the experience not just the "harvest". It is for this very reason I set my sights as high as reasonably possible. Perhaps it is too many Hunting shows just about the taking of an animal that has got me thinking this way. I have been to AK 3 times and never pulled the trigger. In fact, my first hunt was a complete disaster as guided hunts go. Yet, it is one of my most memorable because of the incredible scenery and freindship I was able to make with the other unfortunate hunter. As always thanks for the insights, it is always encouraging to know that the basket really does have more "good" apples than bad??

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