Hunting during the spring in Alaska, gives the hunter so many opportunities and advantages. It is during the spring, that bears come out of hibernation to begin looking for food out along the shorelines or even the grassy open areas. Which would make a great shot for any hunter. And also during that season, wolves are open for most of the spring season. Read more about Alaska Spring Bear Hunts.
As a camper or hunter in Alaska, you must prepare for an encounter with a bear. Bears live almost everywhere in the state and while they generally avoid people, they will attack if they feel threatened. The best ways to avoid any kind of threats and lower your chances of harm with bears would be to follow some basic guidelines.
Study bear behavior to learn what kind of environment they live in, what they hunt, where they sleep and also what they eat. Become familiar of their natural habits, especially during the same time of your visit. Learn to distinguish their track and their droppings as well.
Bears tend to avoid humans and if one hears you coming, it will likely move away. However, despite this tendency, always be on the lookout. You want to avoid startling a bear. If you do startle a bear, do not run away. Instead talk slow and loud while raising and moving your arms around your head.
Game Meat Management
Ironically, many bear encounters come about after a successful hunt for another animal. Since you are packing the meat from the kill site in multiple trips, each return visit increases the chances of confronting a bear. After a kill, as soon as possible field dress the animal and remove edible meat before opening the gut cavity. Pack your meat to load out and store remaining meat in game bags hung from trees. Leave the guts for the bears hunting in Alaska and be sure to flag the area to warn other hunters.
Once you bring fresh meat back to camp, store it a substantial distance from camp. If possible, hang the meat in trees at least 15 feet above the ground. Stash blood-soaked clothing in a plastic bag at the same location. If a bear wanders into your camp, make loud noises, yell at the bear, and bang pots and pans together to try driving the bear off.
Make sure to check on more information about proper meat management with the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game.
Avoid camping in an area or near trails that are being frequented by bears. Cook and eat well downwind from your sleeping tent, wash the dishes, and burn the trash. When you breakdown camp, leave it cleaner than when you arrived. Burn what you can, but pack out remaining refuse in airtight containers for in-town disposal.
Follow these above guidelines and enjoy your time in Alaska.
Alaska is home to an estimated 30,000 brown bears. The term “brown bear” actually encompasses both the bears that are located within the coastal areas. The brown bears that are found inland and within the northern habitats are called “grizzly bears.” Despite the name, brown bears range in color from very light blond through dark brown. The Alaska brown bear hunting Alaska license, is good for either type of bear.
This Alaska Brown Bear to the left was taken in the spring season out of Cold Bay, AK and was measured out at approximately 11’2″ – imagine the adrenaline rush you have when you meet up with this guy in the willows!
Bears vary in size, but most mature males weigh 500-900 pounds at their heaviest just prior to denning and can stand between 8-12 feet tall. There are reported cases of some individuals as large as 1,400 pounds. Female bears weigh half to three-quarters as much. Even with this bulk, the bears are agile and very fast, able to run down moose and caribou. Brown bears have prominent shoulder hump as well as longer, straighter claws than black bears. The long claws are used for digging up roots and burrowing for small animals. The way the bear’s muscle structure is with the large shoulder hump, seems to have been an amazing adaptation for digging and sprinting.
Brown bears love to feast on berries, grasses, sedges, horsetails, cow parsnips, fish, ground squirrels, and plant roots. They also are known to eat newborn moose and caribou as well as the occasional adult animal. Finally, as park visitors know, bears are accustomed to consuming food garbage that is left behind and are not shy about nosing around carrion.
The bears are found throughout Alaska, except on some islands. They primarily travel solo, but are known to concentrate at some food sources such as streams. The Alaska bear hunting season occurs in spring and fall, with some areas restricted a fall hunt only. Hunters from out-of-state are required to have a guide or be accompanied by an Alaska resident who is a relative. Complete regulations regarding the hunting of all bears are available online from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Hunters must be familiar with these regulations.
While they’re technically the same type of bear, here in Northwest Arctic Alaska we consider the bears in the Alaska Peninsula to be brown bears and those in GMU 23 to be grizzlies. Ram Aviation flies into both of those area and many more.
The grizzly bear is the same species of bear as the brown bear, but the name grizzly is taken from it’s “grizzled” fur – gray hairs mixed into the brown. They’ve also been called “silvertip bears.”
Above the Arctic Circle where we hunt the Grizzly’s – an adult male Alaska grizzly bear can get up to 1500 pounds and stand 8-10 feet tall. They are considerably smaller than the brown bear that are hunted in lower Alaska, but still provide that “fear factor” when you see one in the field and remain a sought after trophy for many of our hunters.
An adult male black bear can stand 6-7 feet tall on it’s hind legs and weigh in at 500-700 pounds. As we said, “small” is a relative term.
Many hunters consider the meat from a black bear to be better tasting than that of the brown or grizzly bear.
What could be more adrenaline pumping than facing down a 10 foot tall Alaska grizzly bear in the wilds of Alaska? We’ve got more types of bear than anyplace else on earth and you can most of them. We’ve got pictures that prove just how big these giants get up here.
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