Alaska Spring Bear Hunt - Report #5

Bill Hefner

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Dec 17, 2000
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Location
St. Petersburg, FL USA
2001 Spring Bear Hunt – Report #5
(Last for this season!)
May 18, 2001

Well folks, spring bear season in Alaska is all over for another year. Tony Lee, my outfitter friend, called me Monday (5/14/01) night before my Tuesday morning business trip out of state. Now that I’m home again I can update you with the last and final report for this season.

They took 8 bears with 11 hunters. It wasn’t the 100% year like last season, but still, it was respectable. These last 2 bears were 9 ft. 0 in. and 9 ft. 2 in. and both were feeding on a fresh moose kill. The 9 ft. 0 in. bear had a 26½” skull and was taken with a .338 at about 50 yards. The 9 ft. 2 in. bear was taken with a .378 at about 40 yards.

Before the last bear was taken Tony spotted 5 bears the first day, another 5 bears the second day, 6 bears on the third day and 12 bears the fourth day. His hunter passed on 4 real nice bears before he decided to shoot. None seemed to suit! He wanted a 9 ft. plus bear. Finally, the last bear was taken about 150 miles from main camp on the 5th day of the hunt. Good thing, too. Because the temperatures were in the 60s and when the flying was done Tony landed his Super Cub on the “frozen” lake and powered right up on to land and changed from the skis to wheels.

All things considered, this was a record season…….bear wise. One of his hunters bear’s skull was a full 1/4 inch bigger than the existing #1 SCI grizzly. And, only 2 bears were all under 9 ft. and each one was pretty old.

One point about spring grizzly hunting Tony wanted me to point out is that it’s really very unrealistic to think you’re going to get a 9 ft. plus bear every time you go hunting with him. This year and the last 3 consecutive years were exceptional seasons and he was very lucky. His bears are consistently a good 8 ft. plus, but the 9 ft. bears aren’t behind every alder thicket and one shouldn’t get too hyped up for a 9 ft. grizzly. They’re there, but not in great numbers.

Thanks for reading these spring bear hunt reports and the nice comments. I enjoyed writing them up for Tony.


Bill Hefner
St. Petersburg, FL
 
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