Hunting Coastal Grizzly and Black Bear

Following this weeks spring bear hunting theme, today I want to talk about the perhaps the finest hunt in the world, coastal grizzly and black bear hunting!

Every spring in Alaska when the first bears emerge from the den, they wipe the sand from their eyes and decide they want to get the heck down out of the snow.  Black bear or brown bear alike, this means if they live in a coastal region they’ll head for the beaches, where the first green shoots of sedge grass that will be easy on their sensitive stomachs can be found.  For a few weeks, while these lumbering bruins scavenge the shores, one of the most enjoyable hunts can be had.

The best mode of transportation to find these bears is of course a sizable yacht.  Anywhere from 40 to 60 feet in length will suffice.  Just as long as it has a freezer full of good food, warm comfortable beds and plenty of fishing poles and bait to keep you busy when you’re not bear hunting!  Are you getting the picture?

The brown bears and black bears will be active most often in the evenings.  So you’ll rise from your bunk at a terribly early 9:00 AM and after a hearty breakfast, head to the stern to do a spot of fishing.  Throughout the morning and afternoon you’ll catch your share of halibut, salmon, or rock fish only to be interrupted by another fine meal at lunch.  Most likely the spoils from the crab pots you picked just last evening.  And then when you’ve had your fill of fishing and feasting it will be about time to climb aboard your17 or 18 foot skiff and do some bear hunting.

Throughout the evening you’ll motor in and out of little bays looking for a foraging beast and when you finally find the specimen you want you’ll pull into shore and make a nice stalk down the beach until you’re within range.  After you’ve put your bear down, you’ll endure the light chore of skinning and loading him in the skiff and then it’s back to the main boat where a hot dinner is waiting on the weary hunter.

The snow capped peaks that rise from the ocean floor are stunning and Alaska’s coastal ecosystem is a marvel in itself.  You may think that I’m exaggerating when I describe this hunt, but I’m really not.  This is what a typical day of coastal grizzly or black bear hunting is like.  Just as long as the weather is good…