Bobcat ask me to post up some pics and details of my Alaskan dream hunt, so here goes. I have always dreamed of going to Alaska and hunting the big bears. My wife Candra and I decided that we had better get this done since we aren't getting any younger. I'm sure some of you folks out there can relate? So around the end of 2009 I started researching boat based Coastal Brown Bear hunts in Alaska. I ended up booking with Parker Guide Service out of Sitka and I am glad I did. Bruce Parker is the owner and Master Guide. He has a very nice boat and keeps all his equipment in excellent shape. I don't think anyone could have worked any harder making sure our trip was comfortable, enjoyable and successful. If anyone out there is like me and wants to hunt the big Alaska bears and likes a nice comfortable bed, warm shower and great food before and after the hunt...this is it. He also offers some excellent mountain goats hunts. We talked to him just a few days ago, and they took 7 nice goats in 9 days of hunting.
About a month before we were to fly to Alaska, Bruce called me and said he had gotten some non-resident moose tags and wanted to offer us a chance at a moose. Probably not a trophy moose, but if we were lucky we might end up with some excellent moose meat for the freezer. So....after a short debate with my wife, we jumped on this opportunity. I wanted my wife to take the moose, so the deal was done.
The story gets even better. About two weeks prior to leaving for Alaska, Bruce called me again and says he has had a "no show" for a black bear hunt and has an extra black bear tag available. Wow.....I have always wanted to hunt black bear and heck......since we are already there......why not! So, we drive to Dallas and catch a plane to Alaska.
We flew into Sitka Alaska and from there took a short float plane ride out to the Alaskan Harvest.
We started hunting coastal brown bear on the creeks that were full of spawning salmon. The brown bear were coming to the creeks and feeding on the salmon and we saw 5 to 10 bears each time we went out. We actually had coastal brown bear within 15 to 20 yards of us on several occasions. It will make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end when a coastal brown bear is 15 yards from you and realizes you are there and starts growling at you! I was glad I had my 416 Remington with me.
To make a long story short, on the evening of the 4th day, I shot a very nice coastal brown bear. It wasn't the largest brown bear in Alaska, but it squared 8'4" and had a beautiful dark chocolate coat with no rubs. The shot was from about 80 yards broad side. At the shot, the big bear stood straight up on his hind legs and let out a big roar! By the time I recovered from the recoil and chambered another round he was down on the edge of the creek and only made it about 10 yards from where I shot him. I was shooting an Ed Brown 416 Remington Magnum loaded with 370 grain North Fork bullets at 2400 FPS. I was very impressed with the performance. It was a perfect heart shot with a golf ball size entry hole and golf ball size exit hole. It was almost dark and I was very grateful we didn't have to follow up the shot into the thick brush!
The brown bear was taken on Baranof Island. We pulled anchor and headed to Kuiu Island for black bear and moose hunting. Like the brown bear hunt, we would be hunting creeks full of salmon. All spot and stalk. It can be some easy walking and then again it can be very difficult. We were both glad we had been working out at the gym for 8 months prior to going on this trip! If you go hunting in Alaska....do yourself a favor and get in the best shape you can prior to going. You will be glad you did.
It didn't take long to find black bear. We had a weather system moving in with high winds and heavy rain forecast. The bears natural barometer had kicked in and they were out in force feeding before the storm. We stalked down a creek and passed up several bears. Bruce kept telling me we need to go just a little farther down the creek! Just about 30 minutes before dark, we spotted a nice bear feeding in the creek. We stalked to about 50 yards and the bear caught us moving or heard us approaching. The bear walked back out of the creek as to leave, but turned to check us out before heading into the thick timber. Bruce said it looked like a nice bear and with the weather headed our way suggested I take the shot. The bear was slightly quartering towards us and was standing up on top of two rather large trees that had fallen into the creek. I put the crosshairs on the bears shoulder and squeezed off the shot. The bear folded up and fell off the trees and hardly kicked. I was using a custom Remington 700 chambered in 300 WSM. 180 grain Triple Shock bullets. The bullet entered just in front of the left shoulder and exited just in front of the last rib on the bears right side.
As we slowly moved toward the bear, Bruce kept telling me that the bear was looking better all the time. When we finally got to the bear, we were "very" pleased to see that it was a very large bore with a huge head, body and paws. The bear squared out at 7 1/2' with a 19 1/2" skull. To say I was happy is an understatement!
The it was Candra's turn to hunt moose. The weather turned sour on us and the rain and winds moved in. Bruce said I was very lucky to be able to take a brown bear and a black bear and never get a drop of rain on me.
Well.......we made up for it with the moose hunt. We hunted moose on Kuiu Island using 4 wheelers and traveling the logging roads checking out the clear cuts. The rut was on, and we would use cow calls to try and coax a bull out of the thick stuff. On the third day of her moose hunt, we traveled 19 miles inland to a spot Bruce had seen a nice bull the year before. Finding a good spot to park the 4 wheel, they started calling. It didn't take long for an old bull to come looking for his new love! That was a mistake. The moose came in looking for love and instead ran into a 180 grain Triple Shock from the 300 WSM. It was an old moose that probably tipped the scales around 1200 pounds. He had a 40" spread and my wife was a very happy moose hunter. It was a chore getting all that meat and horns out of the woods and loaded on the 4 wheeler. The moose was shot at 9:00 AM and it was 3:00 PM before we got it back and into the skiff.
The weather was so bad, that the float plane couldn't fly out to get us. We pulled anchor again and headed to Kake Alaska. Kake has a small air strip and we were able to catch a larger plan back to Sitka for our return flight home. This hunt was better than I could ever have imagine. Alaska is truly " The Last Frontier" and I truly hope I can go back for another hunt in the future. If you have been thinking about chasing the big bears.....just do it! It is something every hunter should experience in their lifetime.
Hope you enjoyed reading about it as much as I enjoyed telling it all over again!