Should I go on an Afognak Brown Bear Hunt?

Carl 9.3x62

Active member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
103
Location
Wyoming
So, if you lived in the lower 48 and had a friend who lived in Alaska who drew a spring 2020 brown bear tag for Afognak island, would you tag along? Even though I wouldn't be hunting its pretty much a once in a lifetime experience right? So, if I end up going, is there anything specific i should think about taking? Rain gear, waders, things I normally wouldn't consider using down here (Wyoming)? Sounds like he has all the camping gear covered. Should i just take bear spray or consider a sidearm (seems more of a pain than worth worth it)? If just bear spray, should I just buy some when I get to AK or pack it in with the checked luggage?
 

psycho

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2017
Messages
120
Location
Las Vegas, NV
Got to go. If nothing else you can practice for when your time comes to draw grizzly in your own state. :) I would be packing a side arm if it was me but not many griz in Nevada.
 

Htm

New member
Joined
Dec 13, 2016
Messages
1
Definitely go. Plan on terrible weather. High winds, rain and fog. I would go with a gun over bear spray. If you do go with spray you can’t take it on the any of the airlines. You’ll have to get it in kodiak. Make sure you let the air taxi know about it. But like I said I’d take a gun or both.
 

SD_Prairie_Goat

Active member
Joined
Mar 18, 2019
Messages
146
I've hunted deer just north of afognak on Shuyak, so its fairly similar in climate but much different in terrain. With that being said, be prepared for hard rain every single say. I'm not saying it will always rain, but it always seems to rain most days around there...

That means good rain gear, and more importantly a way to dry everything out when back at camp. Try and keep your hood on, but I know from personal experience that is easier said than done. Looking back on it now, I almost wish I would have worn some kind of a cowboy hat to keep the rain from running down your face and neck and getting your base layer soaked.

As far as protection, I personally don't think a sidearm is the best way to go... Most people couldn't hit a bear when its charging right at them... I'd go with spray, which is what I have always done personally if I'm not carrying my rifle.



In all honesty, I wouldn't go on the trip if I were you... I know I'm going against what everyone else is saying, but if I were you and you want to see that part of the world, deer hunting in the fall would be a better bet. But then your buddy might not be going then. It's a tough call, and I am biased after living in AK, so for me a tag along bear hunt isn't that appealing. For me it would be much more fun to go on my own hunt which plenty of options exist.

Feel free to message me if you have particular questions about the area, and also if you're taking a float plane up to Afognak, be prepared for a rollercoaster if you've never been in on before. My step mom only came deer hunting once after having to take a float plane up to Shuyak, couple 300' drops was all it took.... hahaha
 

wllm1313

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
3,432
Location
Aurora, CO
I would go, I have a buddy in anchorage and when if he draws a sheep/goat tag/brown bear tag in a couple of different cool places I'm going to make the trek. For me it's more about the experience with my buddy, I'm not overly concerned with who pulls the trigger.

For POW this year I got rubberized rain gear, I've just had gortex wet out too many times. Luckily it's cheap, downside is it doesn't breath at all.
 

brownbear932008

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2011
Messages
1,596
Location
Abingdon VA.
I'd vote go you won't regret it may regret it if you don't. I'd go personally and help with the packing and enjoy every minute of it.
 

npaden

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
3,012
Location
Lubbock, Texas
I believe MeatEater titled that podcast or maybe the tv episode something like "embrace the suck".

Depending on your attitude, it could be a very good or a very bad experience, probably not much room between those two extremes.

I would guess it would end up being a memorable experience, one way or the other.
 

Gary

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2009
Messages
191
I would vote to go. If you do go, you need: Rain gear that will shed water for ever - HH Impertech is pretty popular with guides up here; boots - waist high waders (with a proper boot) are becoming more popular w/guides (no need for rain pants w/waders); guns/spray - your choice (there is no law that says you can't carry a big rifle in bear country - for self protection - check game laws, with the purchase of a big game license, you may be allowed to "back up" your buddy).
 

Carl 9.3x62

Active member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
103
Location
Wyoming
Got to go. If nothing else you can practice for when your time comes to draw grizzly in your own state. :) I would be packing a side arm if it was me but not many griz in Nevada.
Man I put in this past year for one! Dumb lawsuits.
 

Carl 9.3x62

Active member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
103
Location
Wyoming
Thanks everyone for the input. I'm going to have to see if I can make it work. I think i would regret not going.
 

Scarey

Active member
Joined
Sep 22, 2018
Messages
280
Location
Idaho
Take a camera, Alaska is beautiful and the rest of us would love to see pictures of the trip. It is not easy to hunt and capture photos at the same time. I missed an opportunity at a nice buck last season because I was snapping pictures.
 

Carl 9.3x62

Active member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
103
Location
Wyoming
I believe MeatEater titled that podcast or maybe the tv episode something like "embrace the suck".

Depending on your attitude, it could be a very good or a very bad experience, probably not much room between those two extremes.

I would guess it would end up being a memorable experience, one way or the other.
Yeah I remember hearing Remi and Steve talking about the suck, haha. I wonder if bear hunting would be any less sucky than elk hunting there.
 
Top