Hunting Brown Bear In Katmai National Preserve


Published: November - 2005

Remember our story about an Alaska brown bear hunt in Katmai National Preserve (See Article No. 1451 in our Trip-Planning Database)? We told you how the Moraine hunting concession there is bounded by vast lands that are closed to hunting, possibly making this the best brown bear spot in Alaska. Well, we recently received news from the outfitter who holds that concession, namely Jim Hamilton of Truth North Adventures, and he reports a phenomenal season, with 12 bears taken. Four of these bruins measured over 10 feet; two had skulls that green-measured 28-plus-inches (the B & C minimum is 28). Four "medium-sized" bears stretched out to nine feet; and the four smallest bears were in the eight-foot range.

One of Hamilton's clients was Hunting Report subscriber Robert Richards, who took one of the 10-foot-plus bruins. His skull green-scored 27¾. He reports seeing bears, sign and a variety of bear activity every day. Despite that, he says this hunt was not a slam-dunk by any stretch. Because the big boars had become largely nocturnal, he says he and his guide had to be in position and glassing the tundra and salmon creeks as dawn broke. Additionally, he says the weather was often foul, with snow, rain and wind alternating with sunshine. The morning he took his bear, he says they were under a heavy wind-driven rain.

But he says he was prepared for the conditions, as Hamilton had warned him about the weather he may encounter. He says Hamilton was also very frank about the Spartan nature of his wilderness camp, which consisted of hurricane huts with no heat. Meals were freeze-dried. "This was fine with me when I saw the incredible number of bears in such a starkly beautiful setting," Richards says in the report he submitted. "I have never seen fatter bears with such healthy coats." Richards goes on to praise his guide, Jeff Duck, whom he says worked very hard, was always helpful and adaptive and simply pleasant to be around.

"In my opinion, this is the best brown bear area in Alaska,"........(continued)

 
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