My nephew, BucknRut, tdelarm, and I just got back from our bear hunt across Kachemak Bay. We were taken across the bay by homerdave on Tuesday afternoon and hunted through yesterday evening. We mainly focused on the beach, but made a few forays inland as well trying to figure out the lay of the land and where the bear activity was concentrated. In three and a half days, all we managed was two 5-second glimpses of bears right at dark on the 2nd and 3rd nights. My nephew got pretty fired up that he finally saw one on the 3rd night, but it was well over 300 yards away and it was gone by time we got closer.
All in all, it was still a good experience. I was really hoping to help him connect with his first big game animal, but it just didn't go according to plan. Apparently the bears are up high much earlier than normal due to the early melt-off and green-up in the Homer area (thanks to low snowfall and the black ash from Redoubt warming the snow much more quickly). Oddly enough, our dismal results are making BucknRut and I fired up about trying it again another time, as we want to see the bears on the beach like they are in most years according to the many people I've talked with.
Thankfully, my nephew has a great attitude about the whole thing. He was discouraged at points, but after the bear spotting he was all smiles. On the drive home last night he talked my ear off for five hours about what kind of hunt he'd like to try next and inquiring about all the strange hunting rules and regulations that are new to him. I figured the kid would nod off in the first 10 minutes, but he kept jabbering about hunting until we pulled into his driveway at 12:45am.
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again...