Grizzly/Brown Bear Hunt
Our hunts begin in April of each year when the big boar Grizzly and Brown Bears start to emerge from their dens. These animals are notorious for putting a dent in the Moose population from the moment they wander away from their dens right through the time when the Moose calve, mid May through the first week of June. Their food supply is very limited and will only be replenished with the arrival of spawning salmon. All five species of Pacific salmon flood the drainages we hunt throughout the course of the summer and into the fall. For this reason there is an overlap of Brown Bears and Grizzly Bears in the areas we hunt. We have taken many bears over 8'. Right now the population of bears in the areas I hunt is going down. The Alaska Board of Game has chosen to liberalize hunting opportunities for grizzly's in much of Alaska in order to increase the population of moose. This negligent, old fashioned "management tool" has proven to be disastrous all over the world. The predator/prey relationship of moose and bears is being mishandled in Alaska with "political motives" driving decisions instead of sound anagement practices. The Alaska Board of Game has given GMU 13 and 16 (and several other GMU's I don't hunt) crazy liberal hunting seasons and bag limits. As an example, in GMU 16, a hunter can bait and kill two grizzly's per year including sows with cubs. This illogical practice will only result in lost hunting opportunities for Grizzly Bear and a future "drawing-huntonly" for bears throughout Alaska.
I started hunting bears in Alaska in the mid-70's. The seasons for hunting grizzly were closely monitored and if you killed a bear, you had to wait 4 years before you could hunt them again. Brilliant! Twenty years later, during a 10 day hunt on the Alaska Peninsula, I counted 40 different bears, including sows with cubs. My hunter took a very nice 9' boar and he also killed a 68" bull moose during that hunt. A moose/grizzly combination hunt was industry standard and my outfit had an honest 75% success rate for BOTH species for close to 30 years. In 2017, we killed three bull moose and saw three mature bears in two weeks, and this is glassing from dawn to dusk every day. Last year over 500 moose were killed by automobiles on our road system, which is, by far, the smallest of any state in America. Furthermore, the Board of Game just doubled (2017) the cost for every hunter in Alaska purchasing a hunting license and tags for the animals they want to hunt. The real kicker is that not one cent of that money is dedicated to wildlife, aerial count surveys, studies of any kind or wildlife management. It goes direct to "General Fund", so it could be used for anything the politicians feel they want or need. Hey, Board of Game, way to go protecting one of the most valuable resources in the state of Alaska for future generations. See very ethical but very frustrated commercial user.
Due to these irresponsible regulations attempting to eradicate grizzly bears, my company is forced to cut way back on our grizzly bear hunts. I am going to offer one spring grizzly hunt coming up this spring and include grizzly as an add-on for two of my moose hunters in the fall. The April hunt will be 10 days long. We have over a dozen different camps to hunt bears from. They range in altitude from the lower river bottoms where the bears are known to kill moose shortly after they emerge from their dens to high camps near timberline in the heart of denning country. In an attempt to promote conservation of all wildlife resources, we have developed a program of harvest of these prey species that we anticipate to be beneficial to hunters as well as promoting healthy populations of the bears themselves.