Hunting Grizzly Bears in Alaska
September 3, 2020 – Roughly 120 miles North of the Arctic Circle, it was Kyle’s first day to hunt grizzly bears in Alaska. He had flown in the previous day on the Super Cub to our remote camp. It is illegal to fly and hunt the same day so today was the first day we could hunt bears. These particular brown bears we were hunting are inland bears which are known better as Grizzly Bears. And since we were above the Arctic Circle, then we call them Arctic Grizzly Bears.
Glassing Grizzly Bears in Alaska
While waiting for the right opportunity, we glassed a number of different grizzly bears throughout the day. But some of the bears we saw had too many variables working against us. This particular grizzly bear was up the side of a nearby mountain eating berries but moving rather quickly and disappeared over the top.
Some of the grizzly bears were very far away through some very heavy brush. But other bears were fairly close like this sow grizzly and two cubs. Watching these three bears fish for salmon was a treat. The ravens would try and steal a bite but the cubs would run them off.
One of the more impressive grizzly bears we spotted was a long distance away from us. There was a lot of dense brush to get through. This bear was steadily moving away from us and seemed alert. We watched him stand up and check his surroundings. This would have been a difficult bear to hunt and get close enough for a shot because it was a calm and quiet day. The bear would likely hear us coming. And we might have lost sight of him in the process. Much patience is need when hunting grizzly bears in Alaska.
Stalking Grizzly Bears in Alaska
Later in the evening, we spotted a grizzly out in the open tundra on the other side of the river eating blueberries. We continued watching this bear until it began making it’s way down a drainage toward the river to fish.
Then we decided to make our move and see if we could intercept the bear. We made our way down the hill from which we were glassing and began our tip-toe across the rock and gravel bars toward the river. As we were crossing the braids, I looked downriver one of the channels and spotted the bear working its way up toward us. And then it disappeared into the trees. So we continued across the river and climbed up onto the bluff on the opposite bank where we could wait for the grizzly to reappear.
Making the Shot on a Grizzly Bear
Within minutes the bear reappeared and was still on the same course about to walk out in front of us. At 380 yards it was now in the open and Kyle made his first shots with his 300 Win Mag immobilizing the bear, then took several more to put it down.
Day 1 and Kyle had his first Alaskan arctic grizzly bear. It was a rather quick but successful hunt. This was an old bear with worn down teeth, scars on its face and ears, missing part of its nose and had grown some impressively long claws.
That night the skies were clear and the temperature dropped below freezing. As a result, we had a most impressive display of the Northern Lights. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate a successful day hunting grizzly bears in Alaska.
So if you are interested or would like to learn more about guided hunts for brown bear, arctic grizzly, caribou and wolves – check out: