Unlike Dall Sheep, where you glass and move for a different view point and have knowledge of certain times of the day when they move around feeding and unlike Alaska-Yukon Moose that can be alerted and called in to where you can get a better look at them, Grizzly Bear hunting is a waiting game.
Waiting on a Grizzly Bear can be one of the hardest trials for any client to endure.
There is a lot of time spent waiting while hunting in Alaska. Sitting, glassing, napping and waiting. The country defies any sense of size that those new to Alaska have with them and belies any experiences that come with them.
“How do you hunt a Grizzly Bear?”
~ I get asked this a lot.
Unless you’re on an island, you aren’t going to “hunt” a Grizzly Bear. (Sorry, Charlie.)
You’ll glass, you’ll go where they are known to frequent, you’ll even “spot and stalk” them. However, you you don’t hunt a Grizzly Bear.
They’ll be where ever they’re at. You will encounter them, you will spot them, but seriously, you don’t hunt a Grizzly Bear as much as cross paths with them.
Skill & Luck
Oh, we have the skills, that’s a fact. But luck is what makes the dream of harvesting an Alaskan Interior Mountain Grizzly Bear come true.
Waiting on a Grizzly Bear
They are a roaming critter with one thing on their mind. Food. These Grizzlies eat berries, roots, ground squirrels, carrion and the occasional critter they kill themselves.
They can be found traveling the creek beds, digging on willow bars, above the tree line on the mountain sides digging and on the glacier merrains.
Here are some more interesting FAQs about Grizzly Bears!
- Alaska has over 98% of the United States population of Brown / Grizzly Bears.
- Alaska has more than 70% of all of North America’s population of Brown / Grizzly Bears.
- Brown / Grizzly Bears have an acute sense of smell, exceeding that of dogs.
- Contrary to popular belief, they are NOT nearsighted. Their hearing and eyesight are comparable to humans.
- They can run short bursts up to 40mph and are excellent swimmers.
- Cubs are born during January and February.
- Twins are most common, but litters may range from 1-4 cubs.
- Birth weight is about 1 pound, and attain adult size by age 6.
- When cubs emerge in June, they may weigh up to 15 pounds.
- Brown bears symbolize Alaska as depicted on the back of the state quarter and on the state flag. Ursa Major- The Big Dipper.
So, there are two schools of thought. Find a good spot to glass and wait for a Grizzly to wander your way, or, (my favorite!) go for a ride and keep your eyes peeled. Look where you know the food is for them.
Waiting on a Grizzly Bear…
(Let’s go ride!)