We hunt coastal Browns bears on the Alaska Peninsula, in the Becharof National Wildlife Refuge. Our permitted area is directly below Katmai National Park, on the Pacific Ocean side of the Peninsula. It is about 24 miles north to south as the raven flies with almost double the distance if you follow the coast line. It ranges from 3- 10 miles in width. The Alaska Peninsula south of the Naknek river drainages is open country hunting. There are only isolated stands of trees the brush is alders with some willow in the river bottoms. We hunt mostly at the valley mouths and primary access is a beach landing with our Cessna 180. If the need arises we have our Piper supercub on 35” tundra tires to access the upland areas.
Some numbers, We are allowed 4 bear hunters per year. we are frequently 4 for 4 sometimes 3 for 4 and if we get down to 50% something is wrong. So I guess you can say our average is over 75%. Over 60% of the successful hunters take bears over 9” and we get our share of 10’ bears. Game management 9E hosts about 400 hunters per year. About 274 bears are harvested which is about 68%. About 85% are males. These numbers are from the Alaska Department of fish and Game Unit 9 harvest data. If you want a great hunt with a high probability of success you can’t do any better than the Alaska Peninsula.
10×10 tents are used and we sleep on cots. We eat normal food rather than freeze dried. We chose our camping spots because of the proximity to good look outs, you literally can be hunting when you step outside the tent.
The hunt is all spot then stalk. You will spend the day glassing. Frequently the tent is just a short distance from the look-out, it’s easy to duck inside for a hot coffee or a nice warm lunch.
This hunt is what ever you want to make of it. If you sit still eventually bears will walk by you within rifle range. If you can travel it greatly increases your chances of getting a bear 9’ or over.
A common question is which season is the best hunting. My favorite one is which ever one is currently occurring. Technically there is a bear season every calendar year. Odd years are October and even years are May. This has really worked to keep the Alaska Peninsula one of the most prolific bear areas in the world. Expect wind, rain and sunshine sometime several times a day. Success rate is the same for either hunt.
Our hunters fly to King Salmon and we meet them in King Salmon either at the airport or their hotel or B&B. The flight to the hunting camp is in our airplanes and included in the price of the hunt. I suggest booking you ticket to anchorage then buy a round trip ticket directly from Penair this allows some flexibility for your return travel. Or consider buying a I way ticket from anchorage to King Salmon then buy a second 1 way back to Anchorage.
In the coming weeks we will discuss Dall’s sheep, Mountain goats, grizzly bear hunting. we will get around to fire arms, archery equipment, camps and clothing options. These hunt blogs are fairly superficial , please call or email for more detailed info.