Our Kodiak Brown Bear hunts, like ALL the hunts we do, are completely fair chase. Hunting brown bear is all spot and stalk. Our brown bear season on Kodiak Island takes place every spring April 20 – May 5 and every fall October 25 – November 8. Our hunts are 15 hunting days – the full duration of your permit. Having a full 15 days to hunt allows us to be very selective with the bears we harvest, going after the oldest age class’s largest boars. Our hunts are guided with 1 guide and 1 hunter, oftentimes 2 guides and 1 hunter.
Your hunt begins with you arrive at Kodiak. We will meet you at the airport, take you to get your Brown Bear Permit, and any other paperwork you need. We then take you to one of the sporting goods stores to purchase any other gear you need. We usually stay the night in Kodiak at a local hotel and fly to camp the next day. Once in camp, we will orient you and you will be paired up with a guide, and often a second guide as well. Located only 100 yards or so from the sea, our main camp consists of traditional Kodiak style double-walled tents and Weatherport tents, all of which have diesel or propane heaters, generated electricity, and comfortable bunks. This camp is very comfortable and we serve top-notch food, much of it fresh caught from the sea!
We access our sizable hunt area using 18 – 24 foot ocean skiffs, as well as a small jet boat for accessing small creeks, and a zodiac raft. Each morning we get up early, eat a nice breakfast and utilize boats to get to one of the various bays of the area, where we will go to shore and hike to a glassing hill. Hunting is also superb just a short walk from the main camp. Often times we will see bears from the boats as we cruise to the various bays, and if the situation is right, we are able to put to shore and do a stalk. More frequently we put ashore in one of the bays and climb up on a hill or other high observation point and glass forbears for the day. Once the correct bear is located, we plan a stalk or if the situation is right, wait to ambush him. Large male bears are extremely intelligent and can be very difficult to get close to. They have an amazing sense of smell, good eyes, and good hearing. There are many variables that go into planning a successful stalk and patience is key to making it work out. Like all hunts, bear hunting especially takes great patience and a willingness to work hard in all weather. The hunter must be willing to spend countless hours scouring the countryside with his guide in difficult weather conditions.
At night we come back to the main camp, usually arriving after dark to eat a good meal and rest up for the next day. We also have the option to deploy satellite spike camps in the different bays or valleys, camping in comfortable 4 men Bombshelter tents with cots and portable heaters if necessary. This can offer a huge advantage over just using the boat, especially if you know there is a large bear in an area, or if you want to access other parts of the area that do not lend themselves to boat access. It gives us additional options, and along with using the boats, helps us give you the best chance at taking a bear. You have your own tent for sleeping and your guide will have his own tent.
We utilize the same camps and hunting areas for spring bear hunting that we do in the fall. The primary difference between spring and fall hunts is that in the spring we are watching for bears coming out of dens, looking for tracks in the snow, and watching for boars (male bears) traveling in search of sows (female bears) to breed with. Often times bears will be on the beach eating kelp and other carrion that washes up. There is also much more daylight in the spring. During the fall, bears are more concentrated on the creeks and streams, feeding on salmon, and eating roots and berries, preparing for denning. The bear’s main concern in the fall is getting fat enough to survive winter, whereas in the spring their main goal is breeding. Our success rates on large bears are equal during both seasons.
The experience of taking a large brown bear is unlike any other. The beauty of Kodiak with its amazing marine life, including whales of all types, porpoises, seals and sea lions, crystal clear blue water birdlife, all of which can be seen on a daily basis, will leave a lasting impression. A hunter who is dedicated and willing to accept the challenge of hunting this animal will always rank the brown bear on top of his/her list of hunting experiences.