More Tips for a Successful Alaska Bear Hunt.
21. Kodiak bears have an incredible ability to scent a human, so it is imperative to make and
upwind or crosswind stalk.
22. The wind direction may be different where the bear is than where you are, so look for
all clues; grass waving in the spotting scope, cloud directions, etc.
23. A Kodiak bear probably doesn't see as well as a deer, but their vision is usually badly
underestimated. I have had them spot me at a half mile and take off but at other
times they pay little attention to you.
24. Camouflage clothing isn't as important as duck hunting, but it is best to at least wear
earth tones. Kodiak bears will more readily spot you if you have a clothing color on that is
different than the brown and tan background colors.
25. We developed a technique of calling bears about 15 years ago, but we use it only in
specific situations such as bringing a know big bear out of the brush. A deer in distress
call works the best.
26. A Kodiak bear's hearing isn't as keen as a deer, but they can hear a stick crack at 100
yards. They usually flee, but sometimes come to investigate!
27. It is better to spend most of your time on a good vantage point, hunting with binoculars
and spotting with a scope than it is wandering all over, scenting up the mountainside
and spooking the bears out of the area.
28. Good binoculars are important! Most of the hunting is done with binoculars and a spotting
29. Patience is one of the most important ingredients of a Kodiak bear hunt. It is common to
glass the mountain for two days before spotting a large bear in the open.
30. We hunt in almost all weather, but in the spring there is especially more bear activity on
31. Spring hunts have the longest days; spring (May 1) 16 hours; fall (November 1) 8.5 hours.
32. Temperatures average a little warmer during the spring hunts:
April May October November
High 43 49 46 39
Low 32 38 34 29
33. A perfect spring Kodiak bear hide is best of all, but some are rubbed. Great care must be
taken to select a good bear when glassing.
34. The fall bear season on Kodiak is so late that almost all bear hides are perfect.
35. In the spring, bears are scattered on the mountains.
36. In the fall, bears are concentrated on the streams with late salmon runs.
37. Some areas of Kodiak are better in the spring and some areas are better in the fall.
38. In deciding on a spring or fall Kodiak bear hunt, the very specific area of the hunt must be
39. Personal preference and work schedules are viable reasons to hunt the spring or fall
40. A fall Kodiak hunt allows the incidental hunting of Sitka Blacktail deer in some areas.
51. Comfortable footwear is one of the most important pieces of equipment for a Kodiak bear
52. Your footwear must be warm, dry, and easy to walk in. The old Alaskan standby is hip
boots so you can cross streams when necessary.
53. There is a huge range of hip boots from fairly comfortable to paralyzing.
54. Either spring or fall you need an insulated model or one large enough for heavy socks or
Bama socks made by XTRATUF, and felt insoles.
55. Fit is imperative. You should purchase boots and then walk in them. If the arch is too high
or they are too narrow, they can paralyze your foot. You don’t want to find this out on a
56. Another option that myself and some of my guides use are the stocking foot hippers from
Orvis or Hodgeman, made of breathable, waterproof material.
57. One needs a lug sole wading shoe for this system. There are several brands, mostly found
in fly fishing catalogs. Patagonia brand is good for a wide foot. Simms are good for a
narrow foot. Again, fit is imperative. Some have felt soles and these do not work on a bear
hunt. They must have a lug sole.
58. The wading shoe must be large enough for a medium weight pair of socks and a pair of
Bama socks, or a couple of pair of heavy socks, to keep your feet warm. I use a wading
shoe one and a half sizes larger than my normal size.
59. General hunting boots are needed for days that you don’t need to cross rivers. Several of
our guides wear rubber insulated knee boots, XTRATUF brand with Bama socks
inside. These boots are so commonly used in Alaska, they are called “Alaska tennis
shoes”. You may even see Sara Palin in them. Both the boots and socks are available at
Seattle Marine and Fishing Supply on the web or phone 1-800-426-2783.
60. General hunting boots can be leather instead of the rubber boots. Make sure they fit, are
waterproof, and are large enough for heavy wool socks or Bama socks. A happy hunt is
one with warm, dry feet.
More Tips for a Successful Alaska Bear Hunt.