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Thread: Need advice on spring Kodiak bear hunt

  1. #1
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    Default Need advice on spring Kodiak bear hunt

    I won a resident draw for Kodiak bear at Deadman Bay. I'm planning to go the first two weeks of May "07, but am unsure of which option is best. I'm considering solo drop camp (cheap), pay a buddy's way to assist me, hire the guide assigned to area (not cheap), hire another guide (residents can pick any guide, right?), charter a boat to haul me around the bay for a week or two, etc.
    Is anyone familiar with Deadman Bay/bears that would have any advice on best way to plan trip? Does anyone know of a boat/crew that would be willing to take me to the bay? How about a plane for drop off?
    Any advice or experiences (what to do and more importantly what NOT to do) would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks.
    Tom in FBX.

  2. #2
    Member svehunter's Avatar
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    There is one member here named anonymous1 who lives in deadbay,pm him

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    first off congrats on a great tag.
    second off, you can only hire the guide thats there, no other guide can contract that area that don't already have it on its license.

    first two weeks of may are basicly the last half the season, i would pick up the last week of april and first week of may. better shot at decent hides and bigger bears. going solo is ok, limits you to how much ground you can cover, but spring bears is 99 percent staring at snow and brush anyway. doing the boat is good, you can access alot of ground and move around alot if you get fidgety, which most guys do on a two week hunt. one other thought, instead of dropping the money on the boat is fly in do a drop hunt, and half way thru have the air taxi come back and move you, still be alot cheaper than the boat way, and would let you access more than one area at a time.
    april bears look high, glass high and higher, if you've never hunted browns, look where you don't think they'll be and then look where you think they'll be. bring snowshoes and sunglasses. They don't so much need food in early spring as they are just looking around for sow tracks, they''ll run a big circut, quiet often if you see him once, wait a week and you'll see him again. kinda neat how they do it.
    Personaly, i'd just do the drophunt, save some money, and hike up a valley to a vantage point and park it, glass and glass. i've guided quiet a few hunters on kodiak and time pays off...running all over won't do it, patience and glassing will do it. nose is very sensitive with those bears, with no leaves and those snow packs scent really gets up and travels. watch that more than anything else. i'd pick a spot where you can walk to more than one valley, perhaps an area that offers two hunting locations so you have choices if the wind is wrong. remember to glass..did i mention that yet? alot of the bears you spot in the spring will be several miles off. be in shape.
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    Member anonymous1's Avatar
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    Angry Deadman Bay

    Well what can I say.
    First.
    Congradulations you have won the draw for what is probably a once in a life time hunt.
    Second.
    Be prepared for some of the worst camping conditions you have ever encountered and hope for good weather.
    Until the recent Statute change redefining "FIELD" went into effect I would of offered you a comfortable furnished cabin with all amenities and the use of a safe skiff and motor with fuel at the bargin price of $225 per nite regardless of party size. 2 guys could of made it on a 206 budget.
    As it is is you will need at least a full beaver to get you and your gear in and if you bring an inflatabe it will be inadequit for the conditions you will likely encounter and you will have no one to advise you of the local hazards. Bring a hand held marine vhf if you get in trouble I can save you if its still legal.
    Look back a few pages to the thread "no more cabin rentals for unguided hunters"

    Good luck
    pm me and I will tell you all I legally can to help you have a safe successful hunt. Sorry if I sound a little sinical

  5. #5
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    lol oh ya and the weather...bring your wind/rain/hurricane gear.
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    Moderator JDM's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Cub Air

    Jack Lechner, if he is still in Kodiak is a good resource as he has many years experience with the Kodiak hunts, working with F&G etc. You should have been contacted by most if not all of the transporters and air taxis on the island as they receive the lists of all drawing permit winners from F&G. I have no experience with Deadman Bay, sounds like anonomous1 will be your best choice for local input, but you still have to get to Deadman Bay and my choice would be Cub Air if available.
    J

  7. #7
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default sun block

    my dad did a hunt down on kodiak a few years ago. his two brothers flew up here from indiana to have an adventure. that they did. didn't see any bears but lots of tracks. as far as gear goes they had every thing under the sun. from list they got from fish and game and other places and what the air taxi suggested, even took sat phone which they needed. the only piece of gear they never thought of was sunblock. they all three just fried. blisterd up so bad they had to call for a ride out only 4 days into the 12 day hunt. water reflects the snow reflects. they had a large tent and tarps layed out to glass from. they could still feel the sun baking them. my dad was very disapointed and embaressed from not having all the proper gear. a $9 tube of sunblock costed him over $3,000 invested into a hunt. i will ask him who he used to fly in, i think landed on a beach was all. and what time of spring he went. i think he was thinking he got there a little late as all they saw were tracks. but maybe if they would have stayed the bears would have looped back like one guy mentioned. and watch the beaches. a guy we knew that year got a 11' plus bear. it was on the news and everything as when it was done being life size mounted they had nowhere to put it. he was looking for someone or company to display for him. it was sitting on a whale carcass that washed up. they watched it for a couple days hoping for more bears to choose from. well none other showed up and it ended up being a dandy, HUGE. so good luck and if i find out more info will pass it along.

  8. #8
    Member AKRoadkill's Avatar
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    I hunted Deadman Bay in '97. Me and a buddy did it on our own. I think we took Uyak Air from Kodiak. They hauled us out in a Beaver. We had a 14 ft Zodiak with a 15 horse outboard, had no problems with the rig (except not planning for tide going out) The boat will allow you to cover a lot more area than if you just hoof it from base camp. We went from the 15-23 April (or something like that) I shot mine near Horse Marine Lake; my buddy got his the other side of the bay, we were camped on the northern shore of that little bay that juts off to the east from the main bay. Did a lot of hiking and not much bear-seeing. The 2 we got were pretty small (mine squared 7'3" and my buddy's was a little smaller than that), but it was getting toward the end of the hunt and we hadn't been seeing anything. We were also trying to stay out of the area the guide at the head of the bay was hunting. His group was seeing some bigger bears, but they were rubbed pretty bad. The day after we got there, another guy (do-it-yourselfer) was leaving, and he had a bear about the same size as ours.

    I really enjoyed the hunt, and that little brown bear means more to me because we did it ourselves, from research to skinning...and waiting 2 days extra for the weather to clear so we could get picked up.

  9. #9
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    if i'm not mistaken the average bear off kodiak is only eight foot. lotta rumors build off a few big bears, but big bears have to be little first.
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  10. #10
    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    I hunted Deadman Bay in the spring of 2003, it is a great area. We camped on the north side of the bay near the fish and wildlife service cabin. There are not a lot of really good camping areas in the upper part of Deadman, but the spot we chose has some large cottonwoods for cover and setting up tarps, hanging gear, etc. There is also good fresh water there.

    On Kodiak I always fly with Seahawk and have had great service from them. We rented a raft and motor from Kodiak Kamps. I've used Jeff's service a couple of times with good results. If you have reasonable weather you can access over half of the bay with an inflatable. We only really got pounded once and nearly had to spend the night out because the wind picked up. Two hunters and a raft/motor can easily fit in one beaver if you don't go overboard on your gear. Our load was right at 800 pounds and we took a lot of fuel and food, but took backpack tents.

    If you don't want to get a raft, I would look at going in to Horse Marine Lake. There is some good country to hunt there and there have been some great bears killed in that country. On a goat hunt this October we saw a very solid boar fishing in the lake about 400 yards from our camp. This was one of those big boars whose belly looks like it is about a foot off the ground.

    We saw over 40 bears on our spring hunt. Over half were sow/cub units. We saw three good boars: one was not in our hunt area, another was stalked to 75 yards and was determined to be too rubbed and the third was seen on the last day and was not in a huntable spot given the amount of time we had left. 2003 was a tough year and Tom Kirstein, the guide in the area was struggling too.

    All of my Kodiak hunts have been from the last few days in April until about May 8-10. If you go too early, not enough bears will be out and if you are too late they will be rubbed.

  11. #11
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    some bears come outa the den rubbed, it don't neccessairly have anything to do with temprature, near as we can figure.
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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    I agree, sometimes they start to rub in the den. I didn't say it had anything to do with temperature. A bear rubs because he is shedding his winter coat. The longer he is out of the den, the more likely he is to be rubbed.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    i wasn't pointing at your post there, i was just tossin' it out as infor for the orignal thread starter is all.
    Theory has it some bears freeze to the den wall and it pulls some hair out when they roll, which would make sence. rubbed bears aren't actually sheddin their winter coat, cause they'll rub hair off right down to the skin. probably alot like having a full head of hair and wearing a wool hat all day, heads itchy by the end.or some hair may start to shed adn will make them itch. but hair shouldn't be shedding in april or early may. kodiak is notorious for rubbed bears, while the peninsula hardley ever sees them. up north where i'm at, i've only ever seen one grizzly with a rub. but he was nine four, so he won't be rubbin' anymore...
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