Hunting Brown Bear in Russia

Discussion in 'Hunting Europe' started by Christina Nyczepir, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. Foxi

    Foxi AH Elite

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  2. TokkieM

    TokkieM AH Fanatic

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  3. Foxi

    Foxi AH Elite

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    Johnnyblues,
    basicly I think you right.The standard is much lower,than in the western world.
    But I would have no fear for criminals in Russia when I m going hunting there.
    Russia is almost our neighbour-country.Berlin-Moscow is only 2 and a half hours by plane.Much nearer than Boston-Salt Lake City.
    And its normal for our worldwide hunters to go to Russia and I ve heard partly a lot from missmanagement and all that stuff.But nothing from Crime.
    It depends by the circumstances: Central Park by night or by day.
    By the way, the Boeing 747 from United Airlines have an average age from 20 years.........
    Over Kamtschatka I hear from really good friends in November,no bear-,but moose hunt and I will tell you that result.
    But important for the next weeks is your leopard hunt.
    Be sure ,we all here feel with you ,we all shivering with you.
    Pictures and Story is a duty here (y)
    Shoot straight and take care
    Foxi
     
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  4. Billcollector

    Billcollector AH Senior Member

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    There are several US outfitters who have been doing these trips to Kamchatka for many years and have worked out a lot of the bugs. When Kamchatka first opened, it seemed like every outfitter and their mother were running hunts over there. Too many outfitters, without in country knowledge and cutting corners. As usual, most of these guys go by the waste side and only the best survive. That's where we are today. Companies like the Hunting Consortium or Russ Smith( who, based on your info, is most likely the outfitter that you are looking into) have been doing this hunt for decades. I think the choppers have been definitely upgraded, and the hunting for big bears is still really good. It's a long haul to get there, about 3 days each way from home to camp and back, and riding in a snowmobile sled can be cumbersome to say the least. However, you will have a great time and adventure for sure. Like others have said, make sure you are Chrystal clear with your interpreter and guide on the exact size of bear that you want. There will be lots of bears, and they all look big. But there is a BIG difference between a 7 footer and a 9-10 foot bear.
     
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  5. Big5

    Big5 AH Fanatic

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    Several years I hunted brown bears in the mountains of the Kamchatka Peninsula during the spring season.

    The overnight road trip from Petropavlovsk to the small Heliport up in the mountains seemed long and grueling. The heliport was very small, rustic and with only the most basic accommodations for those awaiting a helicopter flight out. Naturally, any flight out was contingent upon the prevailing weather and visibility. Due to inclement weather my buddy and I were stuck at the heliport for several hours until the weather cleared sufficiently for us to catch a flight to our hunting camp.

    The helicopter we boarded was of old Russian military origin with black soot and streaks of oil coming from the engines mounted below the rotor blades. Our seating inside the helicopter was atop a large load of raw lumber that was being transported along with us. The boarding process was to just toss your hunting gear in and pick a place to sit, any place would do. If memory serves me well the low flying trip to camp was somewhere just shy of two hours. The original plan was for me to get my cold weather hunting on because I was to be dropped off on the mountaintop above camp. I would then hunt my way down and meet with my hunting buddy who would was to be dropped off in the main camp. Unfortunately the visibility was poor and the pilot would not attempt a landing at the top.

    The main camp was occupied year round by trappers. It was situated at the base of a pass leading to the higher mountain region where we would hunt. My hunting buddy and I shared a very small and spartan split log trapper cabin. It contained two beds and a metal stove for radiating heat, nothing more. The toilet facility was a pit outhouse off behind the cabin (frozen ground so no odor).

    Hunting consisted of being towed on a sled behind a somewhat antiquated and utilitarian Russian snowmobile up through the mountain pass each afternoon. All bear hunting was conducted in the higher elevation of the surrounding mountains. Visibility permitting, upon reaching the top we would cruise slowly scouting for bears and bear tracks and then follow-up on foot. The deep snow made snowshoes a necessity. Because of that the stalking could also become somewhat strenuous and tiring depending on the terrain, most especially when climbing.

    Okay, so now I’ve confirmed what some previous posters have either said outright or alluded to about the overall poor conditions of a bear hunt in the Kamchatka mountain region of Russia. HOWEVER, I’ve experienced the same and even more basic hunt conditions in Alaska, the Northwest Territories and in Africa. But I don’t mind basic conditions. In most cases I prefer basic conditions to the luxury camps with all the amenities that have become so popular and common today. When hunting I much prefer the ambiance of a basic camp to that of a luxury resort.

    As far as the grueling road trip from Petropavlovsk to the heliport, I’ve experience similar excursions on hunting trips elsewhere. I view it as just a part of the overall experience. As far as the basic conditions of the small and rustic heliport goes, unless something has changed over the years I didn’t find Akhiok, Alaska to be much different at the times I was there. For that matter thinking back I’ve been to a number of basic and not so nice airports and landing fields. But so what? My only interest is getting in and getting out of those places so I can proceed to my final hunting destination.

    With regard to the overall poor appearance and condition of the Russian helicopter, truth be known, I felt just as secure on it as I did with the first trips I made on in-country Zim Air flights many years ago. The airplanes would rattle, shake violently and at times the overhead storage compartment doors would pop open allowing articles to be dumped on your head for the entire duration of the flight. And the meals, if any, would be placed on your lap because nearly every seat back tray had been broken off or removed. I’ve also flown on many small charters in Africa and elsewhere during the course of my travels that in hindsight were very shaky at best. In most instances you don’t know anything about the country flights, especially private chartered aircraft, until you’re already aboard and airborne. It’s just part of the traveling hunter game and you sure as hell should know that the FAA maintenance rules don’t apply outside of the U.S.

    Sure, the trapper cabin in the Kamchatka camp may have been very rustic, but it didn’t leak and it wasn’t drafty like so many of the tents I’ve been in when hunting brown bears elsewhere. I even found the pit toilet behind the cabin to be a nice touch when compared to some other camps I’ve been in. When hunting brown bears on Admiralty Island or on the peninsula if you went looking for a sit down toilet it was wherever and whatever you could find somewhere out in the bush. So, comparatively speaking the outhouse behind our small trapper’s cabin was terrific.

    What I’m saying is that I believe all things are relative. So, would I return to hunt bears in Kamchatka again? Yes, absolutely. Even though I didn’t take a bear as large as I’d hoped for, and even though I wasn’t able to hunt my second bear due to preventive weather conditions I would go back in a heartbeat. My hunting experience there was one of my most memorable. Even though the times I hunted brown bears in Alaska were great and memorable experiences ending is success I much preferred the overall experience of the Kamchatka trip.

    Overall the positive aspects of my Kamchatka bear hunt by far outweighed any inconveniences and areas of concern I encountered.

    Just my two cents. Good hunting to you!

    1 .jpg
    The helicopter


    2 .JPG
    The cargo and passenger bay



    3 .jpg
    Main camp



    4 .JPG
    Our cabin



    5 .JPG An outhouse is better than the woods



    6 .jpg
    Dressed for the cold, wet and windy trip up through the pass to the top of the mountain



    , 7 .jpg
    Me on left with my bear (a boar). Mediocre in size but a terrific hide. I don't know why the photo makes it appear to have a shoulder rub but it does not. There was absolutely nothing for a bear to rub on up on top of the mountain. They would have to make their way down to a lower elevation to do any rubbing.
     
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  6. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Don't you love a hunting report to answer the question.(y)

    Enjoyed it immensely Big 5

    Regardless of size it is a beautiful bear!
     
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  7. Big5

    Big5 AH Fanatic

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    Thank you Wheels, it remains an even more beautiful memory.
     
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  8. Christina Nyczepir

    Christina Nyczepir AH Enthusiast

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    Yes, Bill, it is Russ. He's originally from Virginia, and I heard about him through one of his cousins. I spoke to him just days ago, and sadly, just missed meeting him in person. And I appreciate your advice. :)
     

  9. Christina Nyczepir

    Christina Nyczepir AH Enthusiast

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    Now there you go, Big 5......making it sound all warm and fuzzy. LOL! Whew! Tough stuff! Loved your hunt story and the photos. Thank you, so much, for sharing. Gorgeous, gorgeous bear! I think the hardest part of the hunt, for me, would be handling the cold and ensuring I was dressed appropriately. I hope the excitement of the hunt would make the journey more than bearable (no pun intended.....cough). And if I don't have to worry about critters mauling me, I think I'd take the big wide outdoors over an outhouse or port-a-potty any day. :whistle::LOL::Bear:
     
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  10. Big5

    Big5 AH Fanatic

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    WALKINGPREY2, I wouldn't give too much thought to the cold until you find out a few specifics. The cold will depend much on the elevation and a little on the specific dates of your hunt.

    My buddy and I wanted to be the first in for the spring hunt. That can sometimes make for a little colder hunt because you hunt at a higher elevation as the bears haven't yet started on their way down. As with all hunting there can be many variables. But again, I wouldn't worry too much about the cold especially if you'll be stalking with snowshoes. The physical exertion will keep you warm. In fact, if you've done much cold weather hunting you already know not to overdress. You can't control the weather so just wear layers that can be peeled off. Thinking about the cold is the worst part so don't dwell on it.

    Notice the difference in clothing for the sled trip to the top and the much lighter clothing for stalking. Trust me, you'll be fine.

    My best wishes to you for the hunt of your dreams!
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
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  11. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Indeed.


    Every few months you share a gem with us like this one.(y) Always enjoy your stories.
     
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  12. Big5

    Big5 AH Fanatic

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    . . getting old, out of shape and broken physically so memories are about all I've got left. LOL
     
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  13. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Dobryy vecher Big5, you have me wanting to go... Spacebo!
     
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  14. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    You can't always measure a trip by the size of the bear. I agree an adventure to Russia, would be exciting......
     
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  15. Leo Torres

    Leo Torres AH Member

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    Good luck.
    Seems like you are doing your homework very diligent.
    Talk as much as you can with former hunters, ask why they pick this outfitter versus others,
    This types of hunt are fun since the first day that you start searching for information, references, pictures etc
    Enjoy the complete process, be safe and for sure you will have a wonderful hunt
    Brown bears are great trophies.
    I am waiting for a tag in 2017 Kodiak Island draw
    Don´t forget to add some pictures of your 10 foot bear!!!
     
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  16. Big5

    Big5 AH Fanatic

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    I apologize in advance for this Kamchatka deviation . . .

    Hi Leo,

    I've hunted sitka blacktail deer on Kodiak Island a couple of times and seen bears. Since you'll be booking a hunt there I'm sure you're aware that Kodiak holds many bears and your opportunity to take one is high. You probably also know that due to genetics the opportunity to take one with a large skull is also quite good.

    I've enjoyed my hunts on Kodiak and I think you've made a good selection as a place for a brown bear hunt. I've successfully hunted brown bear in Alaska twice with one of those hunts being a spring hunt on Admiralty Island. If you enjoy your hunt on Kodiak and wish to do it once again I'd strongly suggest looking into a hunt on Admiralty. It holds one of the largest populations of brownies anywhere and the bears are known for being big bodied.

    I only mention a brownie hunt on Admiralty Island as something for you to consider sometime in the future because I found the spectacular scenery and the large bear population made for a truly unforgettable hunting experience. Fabulous scenery!

    My best wises to you for great success on Kodiak!
     
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  17. Leo Torres

    Leo Torres AH Member

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    Thanks Big 5
    I hunted a grizzly in Alaska years ago, but Kodiak seems to be a great plce for Big Brown Bear
    I am planning (if I get a draw) to hunt in Afognak Island in 2017.
    I am planning to do it with my bow, so it will be nice experience.
    Hope I can draw, and share with you nice pictures of my bear.
    Otherwise, I will try to hunt a Leopard in Zim in 2017 and try to draw again for Kodiak in 2018..
     
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  18. Big5

    Big5 AH Fanatic

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    Leo, I also hunted griz in Alaska years ago which was a terrific experience. Once again, all my best to you for a successful draw and a memorable hunt on Kodiak . . . I'll be looking forward to seeing photos.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2015
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  19. Christina Nyczepir

    Christina Nyczepir AH Enthusiast

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    Thanks y'all! This information is a BIG help. I want to research bear hunting in Alaska before I make my decision. But after photos I have received of the buff I could hunt next year in Africa......Africa it is. :)
     
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  20. K-man

    K-man AH Elite

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    Ahh... the incurable bite of the Africa bug.... good luck, and maybe next year. I'm off to Alaska in 4 weeks. Will fill out a report when I get back.
     

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