My Kodiak Brown Bear Hunt Spring 2013
I have been meaning to get on here and make a post about my hunt for a while now but just haven't gotten around to it,
So here it is with pics!!
Me and my friend that was videoing the hunt left for the 15 day hunt on April 13th flying out of Memphis, and as any of you that have been to Alaska before know. Flying there really sucks. We went from Memphis to Salt Lake City, Salt Lake to Seattle, Seattle to Anchorage, And then Anchorage to Kodiak. We arrived in Kodiak around 10:00 at night.
We were not flying to camp until the 15th so we had an entire day to kill in Kodiak just getting last minute things and hanging out with the Master Guide of the outfit Dennis Harms. He owns Alaska Trophy Safaris, and I HIGHLY recommend him if you are ever planning on doing a Kodiak Brown hunt. He has been guiding Kodiak for 43 years and knows his stuff.
He had us get all our gear out so he could do a quick inspection to make sure everything was up to par. In which he did not approve of our cabelas rain gear. We later went to the small hunting store in town and bought some new rain gear. Beings that it usually rains at least once a day on Kodiak. After that we made a trip to a small range to check zero on the rife, which was a Inter Arms Mauser chambered in 375 H&H, Shooting 300 Gr, Nosler Partitions, that I hand loaded, topped with a schmidt and bender 1.5-10 scope.
On the 15th we left for camp after having to wait for 4 hours for the ice to thaw on the lake we were planning on landing on. Our field guide was already in camp and had called in on sat phone to tell us that the lake was froze over. But we finnaly made it to camp that afternoon.
You can not hunt the same day you fly in Alaska so when we got to camp we just hung out for a while and got to meet our guide in the field Jake Fletcher. Another VERY highly recommended guy. IF you do a hunt with Dennis Harms, I suggest that you ask for Jake. He is a excellent guide. Very good at Judging bears, and just a great person to be around.
Our camp was positioned about 2 miles from the coast line, and our first day of hunting we walked towards the coast for about a mile. This put us on the last large hill before the coast, and gave us a great vantage point overlooking a mile of semi flat ground between us and the ocean. We could als0 see 5+ miles in either direction.
On the first day of hunting it was about 25 degrees that morning with around a 20 mph wind. Was a lot colder than I was expecting but It didn't seem to hurt the hunting. We saw 13 bears, one of which being about a 9 footer that basically came straight to us! He ended up walking at the base of the hill that we were glassing from. Had him at 100 Yards. Very big bear!! The ole finger was getting heavy but he guide convinced me that there are bigger bears, and it was just to early in the hunt for a 9 footer. It was tough passing him up, but we got excellent video of him making a scent line rubbing on alder trees, him laying down in a stream to cool off, and of him walking 100 yrds from us. Great way to start the hunt.
We would wake up in the morning around 6:30, the guide would cook eggs, hash browns, and bacon, and then we would head to the "knob" or Glassing spot. We would get there around 8 in the morning. Eat Lunch on the knob, which consisted of some ham sandwiches and candy bars. and then head back to camp around 9 at night. The sun wasn't going down until around 10. when we would arrive back at camp we would cook dinner, consisting of steak, pork chops, burgers, or burritos. So needless to say the food was good and we didn't go hungry.
The next few days of the hunt went great. We had clear blue sky with zero rain. Jake just couldn't get over how good the weather was. It was still a little chilly, low 20s at night and mid 30s during the day. but with the sun out it was almost hot at times, As a matter of fact we got sunburned! We continued to see over 10 bears per day, a few that were pretty good bears, and a few that we didn't have enough time to really size them up. the bears were spending a lot of time on the coast rummaging for food, because they were just coming out of hibernation and the salmon weren't running yet. So they would spend time on the beach, and then come up the cliff to the grass to bed down. This is what almost every bear we saw were doing. You just had to hope that you had time to size them up before they bedded down.
On the 5th day in camp, the 4th hunting day. We watched a big boar make his was up from the beach and into the grass. I had a feeling he was a good bear because Jake wasn't saying anything. He was just studying the bear through his spotting scope. At this point the bear is about 2 miles away, and slowing making his way in our direction. I could tell it looked like a mature bear, but they are reasonably hard to judge, and it takes a lot of experience. After about 15 minutes of staring at the bear Jake said he is a good mature bear. Probably in the 9' 6" range. We then started weighing our options. He is a excellent bear, but it is still early in the hunt. But the weather was excellent, and that could change in an instant. And this bear is making his way towards us and the wind was perfect. We decide we are going to split the difference and get a better look. So we go to the next hill over and are then around 400 yards from him.
We discuss it a little more, and I brought up the good ole "A bird in the hand" saying. we then make about a 200 yard stalk and have him at 190 yards walking left to right broad side. I Follow him in the scope for about a minute, (seemed like an hour) waiting for him to stop. He finnaly does and I sent a 300 grain nosler straight into his shoulder, breaking the bone, going through the lungs and exiting perfectly. The bear just spins a small circle and looks around, I then send my second shot, which sadly I missed. Quickly bolting the gun I send my 3rd down range and drill him perfect again. He is still slowly on the move. I go to reload and the guide just hands me his 300 win mag. I send 3 shots out of it quick as I can, one his him right below the spine, one in the guts, and one in the back ham(at this point I was just shooting for the bear, Not necessarily a perfect shot). He finally goes down!
We wait about 15 minutes and walk over to him. The guide instantly knows that he is a big bear! he ended up squaring 9' 6", and his skull green scored above boone and crocket all time minimum at 28 1/16". He officialy scored in at 27 13/16 which made the 3 year Boone and Crockett book. It took us about 3 hours to skin the bear and get the hide packed up. at this point it had just gotten dark. The guide, Jake packed the hide out that weighed a whopping 140 Lbs. I carried his 60Lbs of gear and the 35 pound skull. And my buddy carried all my gear and the video gear. It was a long 2 mile walk to camp but we made it.
The next morning we awoke to a blizzard!! Snowing hard and a 30 MPH wind. Jake called in for the weather and it was going to be that way for at least 5 days. SO he suggested that if we were going to be trying to head back to town we needed to asap. So we called the float plane and they came to get us. We ended up seeing 48 Bears in 4 days of hunting. And we saw 13 bears flying into camp.
It was a hunt I will never forget, and I made lifelong friends along the way! Here are a few pics from the hunt!
Flying in to camp
From "the Knob"
Picture through the spotting scope before the kill
Squared 9' 6"
Green scored 28 1/16"
Officaly Scored at 27 13/16" will be in the next 3 Year B&C Book
Aged at 16-17