Alaska DIY Brown Bear - Papa Bear Adv.

Tjd

Active member
Joined
Aug 1, 2015
Messages
150
Hey guys, thought i would drop a line and see if anyone has done fly-in/drop hunts with papa bear adventures/steve powers. After a successful moose hunt a couple family members had (4 bulls, and a black bear) last year with steve, we decided to set up another hunt the following year/2017. We will have 3 brown bear tags, moose tag and a caribou tag. This is going to be a dream hunt. We have talked to alot of references steve has provided and they have all been nothing but great. steve runs a top notch very professional outfit! We will be flying out of bethal and have it narrowed down to a few places in the klak lake area. Anyone have any experience with brown brear in AK/Papa Bear Adv/ ect.. ?

There will be 4 of us. My sister in law(AK resident), my bro in law, a rancher buddy from back home, and myself. The hunt will be mid sept-late sept. All the guys we have spoke to had mentioned alot of bears were shot under 100 yrds via rifle. I plan on bringing my bow while we will have 2 more rifles.. again, brown bear with a bow. DREAMHUNT :)

When we return i will be heading to NM for an elk hunt. 2017 should be epic
 

Frenchy

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Joined
Sep 12, 2011
Messages
359
Location
Bozeman, MT
My Brother and Father joined me in AK for a Caribou hunt with Papa Bear back in 2005 or so. We Filled 2 caribou tags and a Griz tag the first day of the hunt. I then tried to run critters around with my bow for a couple of days before deciding I better just fill a tag or two with the rifle. Only the fog set in for the last two days of the hunt and I went home empty handed. We did see about 30 bears (griz) from our campsite. I don't think it would have been to hard to fill a griz tag if we had specifically targeted them. Still regret not doing just that while I was a resident.
 

Tjd

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Joined
Aug 1, 2015
Messages
150
Frenchy,

Thanks for the input! Sounds like u guys had a good trip. Could you specify when you guys did your hunt?
Did you camp on a lake? Did you do any fishing? Hoping to catch alot of fresh fish for the grill.
 

Frenchy

Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2011
Messages
359
Location
Bozeman, MT
We did it the second week of September if memory serves me, and were flown into a lake. I can't recall if we fished or not. I'm assuming we did, but don't remember the specifics on the fishing. So most likely didn't pull more than a couple if we did fish.
 

Gary

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Joined
Jul 4, 2009
Messages
204
Frenchy,

Thanks for the input! Sounds like u guys had a good trip. Could you specify when you guys did your hunt?
Did you camp on a lake? Did you do any fishing? Hoping to catch alot of fresh fish for the grill.
Regarding fishing - a lot of AK lakes are barren of fish. Some (usually large) lakes will hold fish, but in a lot of cases, you won't know until you try. Lakes with outlets are more apt to hold fish than those that are landlocked. Most likely fish to find in a lake would be pike and/or grayling.
 

Tjd

Active member
Joined
Aug 1, 2015
Messages
150
Thanks for the input Gary! I think we will be set up on an awesome trout haven.. hoping it works out. Should help out with the bear we will be looking for also.
 

cedahm

Active member
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
462
Location
Colorado
We used PB/Steve for a DIY Kisaralik float fish trip in 2015. I also chat with he and his wife Robin @ the ISE show every year. And a friend has used Steve twice for floats in the area. I can't recommend him highly enough.

I can't comment directly on the hunting particulars, but from a logistics perspective He runs a very tight operation (his military background is very evident). We had been floating DIY in the Bristol Bay area since 1998 with a different air taxi operator and even though we were always happy with them, Steve's operation was much crisper.

He also has a lot of good quality 'car camping' rental gear that is nice to take advantage of instead of lugging your own gear to Bethel (which by default is limited to 'backpacking' style gear). It was great to have full size coolers, double burner stoves, chairs, etc.

I think you guys should have a great trip.
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
382
Location
North Dakota
We've used PBA twice for moose hunts (2012/2014) and they are the real deal, I highly recommend him! Both trips were early September hunts, dropped into the bush on Labor day weekend. I've not done a brown bear hunt, but we've encountered black bears on each moose trip. I haven't looked at their website lately, but they had suspended caribou hunts back then and we didn't see a single caribou on either trip. We didn't attempt to fish, we were a few miles off the river system on a semi stagnate lake/slough. The nice thing about their moose hunts is that they drop you in an "any bull" unit, so you don't have to count brow tines or navigate the 50" restriction.

As cedahm stated, PBA has good quality camp gear and it's tested for proper functionality after every trip. Steve is a real stickler on weight; you are allotted 100 pounds per person on a moose hunt, but that number includes all the rental gear you take into the bush. The weight of your gear, pack, rifle, ammo, bow, tent, raft, cots, chairs, kitchen kit, outboard motor, gas, etc adds up real fast, so be prepared to start cutting weight and leaving non-essential items behind once you hit 101 pounds!
 

Mcseal2

Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2016
Messages
69
Location
KS
Great info thanks everyone. I'm headed on a moose hunt with Papa Bear in 2018 and already getting my gear list dialed in. I was mistaken it sounds like, I thought the kitchen kit, chairs, cots, and tent were all included in the package and only the motor, fuel, etc that was extra came off the 100lbs. I have been putting together a list of questions for Steve for a while now, figured I'd get in touch with him later this fall after his and my life slow down a bit to get everything dialed in. I keep coming up with more questions but maybe by then I can get them all into one phone call since I'll have them organized. I put my gear list into an Excel sheet and round everything up to the next ounce when weighing it. I need to really watch it I think I was at 79lbs before adding anything I get from him in, time to cut some items.
 

Vrybusy

New member
Joined
Dec 28, 2017
Messages
15
Location
Outdoors, PA
Keep us posted on how you do. I'm looking into a DIY Moose hunt in the near future. Hoping to get some good info and suggestions here!
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
20
Location
Palmer, AK
Hey guys, thought i would drop a line and see if anyone has done fly-in/drop hunts with papa bear adventures/steve powers. After a successful moose hunt a couple family members had (4 bulls, and a black bear) last year with steve, we decided to set up another hunt the following year/2017. We will have 3 brown bear tags, moose tag and a caribou tag. This is going to be a dream hunt. We have talked to alot of references steve has provided and they have all been nothing but great. steve runs a top notch very professional outfit! We will be flying out of bethal and have it narrowed down to a few places in the klak lake area. Anyone have any experience with brown brear in AK/Papa Bear Adv/ ect.. ?
How did this hunt play out? willing to chat about it? I hunted a lake about 50 miles south of there that is about 700 feet less in elevation back in 2015 and it was an alder nightmare. Hoping that a little further north and some more elevation might be more forgiving. Justin at Papa Bear suggested I head up that direction and all the imagery is disastrous. My wife said I need to get more moose meat so the priority is getting my buddy a moose and then I may shoot another meat bull or brown bear - depending on what presents itself. I prefer mountain hunting so I'm trying to avoid the flat and swampy bug hell of the Y-K Delta!
 
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Tjd

Active member
Joined
Aug 1, 2015
Messages
150
How did this hunt play out? willing to chat about it? I hunted a lake about 50 miles south of there that is about 700 feet less in elevation back in 2015 and it was an alder nightmare. Hoping that a little further north and some more elevation might be more forgiving. Justin at Papa Bear suggested I head up that direction and all the imagery is disastrous. My wife said I need to get more moose meat so the priority is getting my buddy a moose and then I may shoot another meat bull or brown bear - depending on what presents itself. I prefer mountain hunting so I'm trying to avoid the flat and swampy bug hell of the Y-K Delta!
Hey man, sure shoot me a PM and send over some details. We killed 3 brown bears, 2 mtn. Caribou, and a 60” bull moose... we had it done in 8 of the 14 days. Was a trip for the books!!! Being able to gain elevation was key, i thought. We were camping on a lake and covered countless miles. Using our raft was a blessing too.
 
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