Spring Bear on the Keni
I am researching a possible spring bear hunt in the Keni National Wildlife refuge. At present the trip is to be at least a week long and transportation will be on horseback. Time would be late May-June. How is the area? Any experiences that can be shared that might aid in my planning process would be appreciated.
Brown bear, black bear? The Kenai is pretty big, where do you want to go? The earlier the better probably.
Rather than regurgitate the same info again...there really is a ton of this stuff in the archives in the prior three years.
While very few references name the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, all the info relates to the timing of a Kenai Peninsula spring black bear hunt and the successful practice of hunting south facing slopes.
An hour in the archives should answer all your questions.
I know a lot of folks bait for black bear in the KNWR starting in May. Most of them are right off the road system. You should be able to hike into some higher elevations with a horse and really glass for black bear as they are starting to eat the green grasses and get their digestive tract in order. From what I understand, there are lots of black bears in that area. I plan on doing a little hunting there myself. Horseback is definitely the way to go as I've been told (no ATVs allowed on the KNWR). Good luck. Let me know how you do.
Hey D Miller...just a thought but you might be interested in taking your horses up Mystery Creek road that time of year. It would be closed to any vehicle traffic so the chances of seeing anyone would be slim. The road runs the whole length of the Resurrection Pass trail parallel to it so lots of ground to cover and good travel for the horses while peeking up the valleys from the Sterling Highway to Cook Inlet. I looked on the KNWR website for horse restrictions and I didn't see any for that time of year but you should call them to double check as I am unfamiliar with those regs. 262-7021
You can stay here for free, courtesy of the KNWR about in the middle of the road/trail. Pretty nice deal in my opinion.
"This is a first-come first-serve cabins. Users will register at the cabin upon arrival. No fee is charged for this cabin."
Now, I'm more familiar with Tustumena Lake...and if you get up to that country I would think the first to second week of June would be about right. In late May not that many bears are off the mountains yet, but by the 10th of June its busy. Its 30 miles in by shoreline to my place but you're welcome to stay there too.