POW fly-in hunt (pictures and everything)

wllm1313

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
3,952
Location
Aurora, CO
That was my question too. Looked like a fine bear to me. But what do I know?

Thanks for the story. It's a good one and encouraging for certain.
I thought so to? Seemed similar in size to the one I took, maybe bigger. Definitely smaller than the rubbed bear on the last day. I really was surprised at how hard it was to judge bears even close up, sow v boar and small bear versus good bear was easy, but once they get in the biggish range I had a hard time.
 

cmoore83

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2011
Messages
34
Wow! Awesome story! (Way better pictures too) SE alaska is a special place for sure, I hope to return for either a black tail hunt in the fall someday as well, but I’ll definitely be going back for a spring bear hunt as soon as I can, thanks for sharing!
 

wllm1313

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
3,952
Location
Aurora, CO
I hope to return for either a black tail hunt in the fall someday as well, but I’ll definitely be going back for a spring bear hunt as soon as I can, thanks for sharing!
I feel the exact same way, just need to find someone who wants to go for a rainy death march, sounds like a fall trip would hold very different weather.
 

ElkFever2

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
Messages
598
Location
Iowa
just need to find someone who wants to go for a rainy death march
Have done this.

Day 1 - peaceful, magestic
Day 2 - change into dry clothes
Day 3 - I guess I only love rain if I can go back inside at night
Day 4 - If my campstove fails, I'm eating Mountain House like raw ramen
Day 5 - Now know boot leather disintegrates when kept wet continuously
 

pointingdogsrule

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
2,487
Location
northeast Iowa
When I was in high school my family took the ferry from WA through SE AK and ever since I've always wanted to go back. I've done a couple of spring bear hunts at this point. I've hiked logging roads and climbed mts with a spotting scope, both of which are a blast, but with this trip I wanted to try something a little different; fly in and hunt via a boat.

Having lost my dad just months before I applied for this tag, my father-n-law volunteered to accompany me on the trip.

We arrive late in Ketchikan and stayed at a local hotel, they picked us up at the ferry terminal and took us over to safeway to grab some last minute supplies, including dry ice for the cooler.

Seems, like no matter how hard you try you bring way too much crap. That said we managed to get all our gear, inflatable boat + motor, and two hunters into the plane with room to spare.
View attachment 106689


Definitely the best ride into camp I've even had

View attachment 106690

Since you can't hunt the day you fly we set up camp and then did some fishing.

View attachment 106693

Day 1 we headed out and found our first bear, went in for a practice stalk but got winded.
View attachment 106694

Came back to camp to find fresh sign everywhere, around 9pm this little lady padded out about 120 yards from the tent.
View attachment 106695

Day 2 I decided to go for a little walk up the stream behind camp.

View attachment 106696

It took over an hour to go .25 miles, fallen timber in the river you couldn't climb over + nasty crap on the banks... new appreciation for the climb BigFin did in Rain Deer, the vegetation is spiteful.
View attachment 106697


Came around a bend and this guy was at 35 yards hanging out.



Day 3 we headed out and found a good glassing spot, we decided that since we only had a couple of days left we needed to actually start hunting do more than just look at bears.

View attachment 106700

We spotted what looked like a decent bear and went for a stalk, we were able to get up to just under 100 yards spent what seemed like 15 min looking at the bear.
Definitely a boar, great coat, decent size, although not a monster by any means... and more importantly the time and conditions for a perfect shot.
View attachment 106701

I was able to make a good clean shot took, a even better bear than I had thought.
View attachment 106702

We were pretty close to camp, so we decided to load the bear up whole and make the quick trip back to camp.
View attachment 106703

View attachment 106712



We skinned the bear, boned out the meat and were able to get everything into our coolers. I had waffled back and forth with salting versus freezing, but since we were able to get our hands on dry ice I decided to skin out the head, turn the ears, remove the toes and then just freeze it. ( You have to present the unfrozen, skinned out skull for checking)

Neck and rib meat didn't make the photo...
View attachment 106713

View attachment 106704

Our last couple days we spent hanging out around camp, fishing, and enjoying the freakishly good weather.
View attachment 106706

As were packing up our camp we had a final visitor to our spot.

View attachment 106705

Things got a bit tight on the way out, but the locals turned out to give us a send off

View attachment 106707

and we got an amazing sunset
View attachment 106708


Really appreciate BigFin for helping planting the seed of this idea in my head and @Randy11 @MinnesotaHunter @muskeg for putting up with all my pestering.
I walked one of those streams a few years back. Lots of climbing, ducking and crawling to get a mile :(
 

kansasdad

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 30, 2011
Messages
3,898
Location
Wichita
Looks like you squeezed all the adventure you wanted in a great trip. Thanks for sharing
 

wllm1313

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
3,952
Location
Aurora, CO
Is it just me or does the bear along the stream look pretty nice? Real wide stance on him, That is a good one.
Here is the full video... I manually zoomed in before I uploaded it, and this was taken on my phone, standing in the river, therefore the quality is what it is...

Probably should have added this was the morning we got the boat stranded, and I was just hiking up the river to see if I could find any fish... and I didn't have my rifle cause I'm a moron...

I think he will be the bear that got away... although I dk, curious how big experienced POW hunters think he was. I'm don't think he has above 18in head...

 
Last edited:

BrentD

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2018
Messages
2,107
Location
In the middle
wllm1313, I do not think I would have passed on that bear. He sure looks good. Nice coat, plenty big. What do I know?

Quite the experience though to be in a stream like that with a bear.

Thanks for uploading and posting it.
 

SnowyMountaineer

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2009
Messages
1,339
Location
WY
Very cool, good hunt. SE AK bears haven't tripped my interest trigger to date, but I have to say an alpine backpack trip for blacktails is high on my "do before old" list.
 

npaden

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
3,056
Location
Lubbock, Texas
I would guess the bear in the creek was over 18" head and over 6' squared. But also that it was under a 20" head and under 7' squared. If I had to put a number I would guess close to 19" head and 6 1/2'. It did have a very nice coat for a good sized bear.

I would also say that I am by no means an expert and judging a bear is very difficult without something of known size in the frame for perspective.

For most of the bigger bears it seems like they much come out of the den rubbed. I'm sure there is an occasional exception, but it almost seems like you have to pick between a nice hide or a big head.
 

Coveyleader

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2016
Messages
32
Judging bears is hard, very hard but that bear is well into the 19s or higher. Bears up there are 18" when they still have milk on their lips. From what I see, looking head on, his stance gives him away as a big bear. That and the fact his hide is very good for a POW bear, he's getting arrowed. Funny, here he was on the stream, where he will be in a couple months eating fish.

Great trip!
 

wllm1313

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
3,952
Location
Aurora, CO
Judging bears is hard, very hard but that bear is well into the 19s or higher. Bears up there are 18" when they still have milk on their lips. From what I see, looking head on, his stance gives him away as a big bear. That and the fact his hide is very good for a POW bear, he's getting arrowed. Funny, here he was on the stream, where he will be in a couple months eating fish.

Great trip!
Lol if he stays within .5 miles of that spot for the rest of his life he will die of old age... no one is gonna kill that bear where I saw him.
 
Top