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Thread: Kodiak Brownie Success

  1. #1
    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    Default Kodiak Brownie Success

    Well, after years of watching hunters go after Brown bears on tv and dreaming of getting stationed in Alaska one day and hunting them myself, it all came together for me last Wednesday. The season opened on Sunday and I had spent every day since then afield in search of a nice one with no luck until Wednesday. I did my research looking at topo maps, google earth, and scouting and picked a spot on a knoll about 1600 feet up looking down in a valley with alot of bear sign. I was hunting by myself so I decided to stay out of the thick stuff down low and get up into alpine where I could see a good distance. As I was sitting on the knoll I started to wonder if I had picked a good spot. If I saw a bear down in the valley that looked good, how would I get down through all the alders and salmonberry bushes in time before it moved on. I figured I would just stick it out and see what would happen. After about an hour of sitting I looked down to my left and there was a bear 500 yards below me moving up the mountain. My first reaction was to grab my pack and get down to it, but I took a good breath and pulled out spotting scope and made sure it was a shooter before I went any further. After about five minutes of watching it eat grass I knew it was what I was looking for and made a stalk down to 150 yards. I set up my bipod and watched it dissapear into a patch of alders. When it came into view again at 190 yards I put the crosshairs on its shoulder and sent it tumbling down. It rolled about 20 feet and started to get back up so I put a second shot in it's neck. When I came up to it, it lifted it's back leg so I put two more in it's back as I did not want to see it suffer. Unfortunately none of my buddies could make it up to me to help with the skinning so I took on that adventure by my self as well. After 4 hours of struggling with it, I finally finished the job and could not fit the hide into my pack! I tried every thing I could and settled on putting half the hide in my pack and strapped the other half to the outside. The next problem was that the pack was too heavy and I couldn't get it on my back! I ended up tarping the hide and coming back the next day with a buddy and packing it down. Im kinda glad I cant hunt them again for four years because that was alot of work!
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Congratulations! That's just great, man. Was that the registration hunt?

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    hahaha yea its alot of work! how big? 8+? i shot a 8'8" in kodiak last year man and geez it was a task....my buddy who was with me wanted to try to finish fillin his deer tag (6 deer proxies) so he left me to skin by myself....took me about 2.5 hours and im pretty experienced at it. id spent the last 3 months fleshing hides in a taxidermy shop so i had learned to skin while leaving most of the fat on the carcass....anyhow that **** thing still weighed ALOT! couldnt tell you how much, but i can carry a pretty heavy pack, and this thing i pretty much had to drag down the mountain...from the base of the mountain it was another 500+ yard struggle to the boat thru alders and knee deep snow.....god that was the worst 500+ yards i ever had to do. my buddy helped......a little...but not really. funny thing was i shot it directly above the village of Karluk. everybody there got to watch me struggle with that **** bruin. probly laughin too. i put a couple of nice holes in the hide because my fingers were pretty numb....the bear is on my avatar. Congratulations on fulfilling a dream!



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    Great hunt and great story! Bet you will never forget that experience! Congratulations!

  5. #5

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    Congrats man, way to get it done! Looks to be a real nice bear, about a 9 footer? What do you plan on doing with the hide?

  6. #6
    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    Default Kodiak

    That's what I've been waiting for, a kodiak story, and a good one at that. Congratulations.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    all that hide is a chore.. i have an 8' here that took me 9 hours to get off .. and loaded.. i was all i could do to carry it... the F&G office looked at me.. and said...


    " NO i ain't taking it out of the bag.... i will take your word its a boar"


    i had 9 hours of skinning due to the 4 fights it had JUST finished with a sow... fulla dirt and mud.. i sharpened ever few inches..




    Congrats on that bear ... it is a trophy you will alway admire...

    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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    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    Thanks alot fellas! Yep it was a road system registration hunt. The hide measured 8'8" and it was 11 years old (or so the biologist tells me). I plan on getting a rug made. It definitely was a great experience. The next thing I have to do is buy my buddy alot of beer for helping me pack it out. I dont thing he knew what he was getting himself into when he came out to help me. We left at 9am and went all the way until he had to be at work at 4pm. When he got to the shop he told everyone, " if anyone else kills a bear, dont call me to help!"

  9. #9

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    Good Job! Maybe you could weigh the hide and let us know what a ??? size brown bear hide weighs. I will be hunting the 2010 spring hunt on Kodiak and would like all the details I can get. Enjoy that big bear rug!

  10. #10

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    Right on man. That is a beautiful bear for sure. I hope to get lucky and harvest one off the road system starting on Tuesday I'm heading down there to pack mule for someone on an road system archery goat hunt, but bringing a rifle in case we see a bear we think is worth taking. Congrats again on the bear.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Congrats on the nice bear.Probably about 120#s of hide with the head on and not fleshed.

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Congrats that is one fine looking bruin! Sounds like you and your friend got your buts whooped hauling it out of there. What rifle and bullet did you use?
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpost View Post
    Good Job! Maybe you could weigh the hide and let us know what a ??? size brown bear hide weighs. I will be hunting the 2010 spring hunt on Kodiak and would like all the details I can get. Enjoy that big bear rug!

    green hide on a big bear...??? easy 150-250 + lbs depending on fleshing and fat skull in/ feet in etc...
    "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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    Member Mort's Avatar
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    Too cool! Congrats on a great accomplishment!

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default super sweet

    Good planning! Kinda? The spot, stalk, and shooting part were good. The exit......well we'll just call this the Iraq war hunt with alot of shock and awe.

    The bear I shot a few weeks ago was right on the beach and the boat was super close. I just couldn't pass up a super hide that was so easy to skin and load. I had two other guys in the boat ready to help and like a 15yrd pack job. That bear will always be a great gift to me beause of the ease of field chores. We were able to load it into a cooler and still go to the beach and up the river and catch a few coho that day. I fleshed and worked hard the next day.

    So was it a boar? A photo of the hide laid out would be super sweet for all us here on the forum. Please.

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    Member tiger15's Avatar
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    Default Nice Bear

    That is an awesome bear and a great story! I, one day, hope to hunt brown bear on Kodiak myself. Until then, I really enjoy reading a great story like that.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpost View Post
    Good Job! Maybe you could weigh the hide and let us know what a ??? size brown bear hide weighs. I will be hunting the 2010 spring hunt on Kodiak and would like all the details I can get. Enjoy that big bear rug!
    Skinned reasonably close, paws left on the carcass, head skinned out - about ten percent of the total weight of the animal - spring for a mature male on Kodiak about 80 pounds and for a female about 40 pounds. (usually a little less).
    Joe (Ak)

  18. #18
    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    Thanks again everyone. After the skinning was done, I removed the skull but left the feet and flesh on. I only had about 1/2 hour of light left and after I came to the conclusion I could not pack it out by myself I rolled up the hide and tarped it about 100 yards from the carcass. The next morning we came back and the hide would not fit in my buddies big badlands pack either. We estimated it to be about 110-120 pounds. Every time we would switch the person taking the pack would sit on the ground and put the shoulder straps on and the other guy would pull him up off the ground. Probably not the best form, but it worked!!

    Lanche, good luck on your upcoming hunt with your buddy. The bear biologist here said the population of bears on the island is doing great and he has already had 12 of them come in since the season opened. That should make for a real exciting hunt looking for goats up high and bears down low!!

    I was using a Remington 700 300WSM shooting Nosler Partitions.

  19. #19
    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bighorse View Post
    Good planning! Kinda? The spot, stalk, and shooting part were good. The exit......well we'll just call this the Iraq war hunt with alot of shock and awe.

    The bear I shot a few weeks ago was right on the beach and the boat was super close. I just couldn't pass up a super hide that was so easy to skin and load. I had two other guys in the boat ready to help and like a 15yrd pack job. That bear will always be a great gift to me beause of the ease of field chores. We were able to load it into a cooler and still go to the beach and up the river and catch a few coho that day. I fleshed and worked hard the next day.

    So was it a boar? A photo of the hide laid out would be super sweet for all us here on the forum. Please.
    Bighorse, I learn someting new on every hunt and on this one I found out how much work shooting a bear was Thats awesome you got one on the beach like that! I have a buddy who just got here from Sitka and he has a few videos of brown bear hunts out there, seems like a beautiful place. Nope, not a boar, just a big ol sow cruisin the mountains. Here is a picture of the hide laid out, I put it on my garage floor hide side down because everything it touched still smells like fish oil. I have washed my clothes 4 times and still cant get the smell out
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  20. #20
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default cleanup

    One thing I do when processing bear is wear a Tyvek suit. So a set of rain bibs with a disposable Tyvek suit helps when doing the fleshing chores.

    It looks like you did a good job with your cuts for being by yourself. I've also done one solo once and I had to rig lines in the trees to hold up limbs to ensure I was making nice strait lines. Good job.

    You can flesh and get it tanned yourself and wait for rugging or send it strait away to the taxi where he/she will do all the work and charge for it too. It's advantagous to work with a trusted and reputable taxi. I can't emphasize that enough. I prefer not to freeze a green hide. If you can get the hide WELL! fleshed and then salted you will go a long ways towards getting that fall hair set into the hide before tanning. Another desirable feature in processing your hide is getting it in a dehumidified, warm, and well circulated room for drying after it is salted and fleshed well. This will produce a very light weight transportable hide ready for tanning. You can then ship it rather easy to whatever facility you choose.

    If you haven't done a face before on any animal I recommend getting someone with previous experience to show you the ropes.

    Get a tarp down on the floor where ever you set that thing. The oils will get into the surface and are very hard to get out. Also when the salt starts flying creates a receptical.

    I know this is kinda a meat/trophy care topic but I know the sudden feeling of resonsiblity that happens after taking a nice bear and I just want to help.

    Once that bear leaves your possession plan on not seeing it for some time. A good taxi might have it back in one year.

    PM me and I'll share some PDF's on processing the skull yourself. That will save you a couple hundred dollars.

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