Brown bear spring vs. fall
What is the difference in hide quality for brown bears (southern AK along the coast south of Anchorage)?
I know spring is a better hide - but what are the odds of a bear being rubbed vs. fall?
Are brown bears feeding on salmon runs in the spring (mid may)?
Don, spring hides are generally better but do have to watch for rubs. Bears are coming out of hibernation late April early May and have the best hides at this time by late May you have to look close and a good number of bears will be rubbed. I like the last week of May to hunt though because bears are starting to breed and boars get very stupid which makes them easier to stalk . All bears will be out at this time and in my location you will see four or five bears a day in late May.No salmon runs in the spring hunts, you spot and stalk the beaches. Bears will be feeding on mostly sedge grass. Fall hunts are done by walking up salmon streams and catching bears feeding . Very different hunts both have there good points I prefer spring but some people like the close encounters of fall hunting.
James Phillips Annahootz alaskan Adventures annahootz.com
I like late fall bear hunting.
The hides from a late fall bear will be very nice as well. They actually tend to be a little more shiny than a spring bear hide because of the recent diet of salmon.
I have hunted them up Salmon streams in early fall, which is a good way to run into bears, however, close encounters with bears don't always end the way you want them to so be careful.
I prefer spot and stalk hunting once they have left the fish and headed up high for berries. The country above treeline is beautiful, and the bears are using every waking minute to gorge themselves on berries so you will always see them. Find berries in abundance, and you will find bears, you'll be suprised how far up they are too.
Spot and stalk hunting is great, and you might see 15 bears, 5 worth stalking, and 1 that you can actually get close enough to for a shot. So there is a lot of "hunting" involved which is cool.
Here's what I do. Pack light, hike up above treeline into a side valley and camp out up there, that way you don't have to fight through the alders every day when you should be hunting. Find berry patches, pick berries, and glass. Hunt with your eyes. Maybe climb up a ridge so you can glass two valleys and be above the bear for the stalk, but again, hunt with your eyes. Once you find a bear, watch him. Is he a harvestable bear? If he is, plan a stalk and patiently go after him.
Anyways, that's what I do, hope it helps.