Should I go on an Afognak Brown Bear Hunt?

Gary

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So....has your "friend" who lives in AK invited you to accompany him on: a moose hunt; a caribou hunt or any hunt that wouldn't involve a guide (for you)? If not, why not? Is he offering to cover the cost of your transport (from Anchorage to the hunt area)? I'm just asking because hunters (who have drawn tags) here typically offer to cover transport costs for a non hunter to accompany them. If he isn't you'll end up spending about the same as you would if you waited 6 months and went to Kodiak for a deer hunt.
Though an Afognak hunt would be a great experience, you need to ask yourself a few questions before going ahead. Have you hunted with him before? Have you shared a remote camp with him previously? A remote bear hunt is no place to discover that your friend knows nothing about: gun safety or camping in bear country.
I'm not trying to be a wet blanket, just sharing a few things I'd consider myself before committing to go along.
 

jvanhoy

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If just bear spray, should I just buy some when I get to AK or pack it in with the checked luggage?
Sounds like a once in a lifetime trip. I would definitely go. Check with your airline on the bear spray. I was looking at stuff for my flight with American the other day and I’m pretty sure it’s on the no list.
 

MTGomer

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I don’t think you can fly commercial with bear spray.
Is afognak windy? If so, just bring a gun.
 

Gary

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Not only are you NOT allowed to fly commercial with bear spray, most air taxis will stow the spray inside a pontoon to protect against accidental triggering.
YES Afognak is windy. Like most coastal areas.
 

wllm1313

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Is he offering to cover the cost of your transport (from Anchorage to the hunt area)? I'm just asking because hunters (who have drawn tags) here typically offer to cover transport costs for a non hunter to accompany them.
I'm going to POW in May and am covering the transport costs of my FIL who is not hunting, he's buying the commercial ticket and we are splitting motel rooms and food.

Basically just agreeing with Gary on that point.
 

Carl 9.3x62

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Wyoming
So....has your "friend" who lives in AK invited you to accompany him on: a moose hunt; a caribou hunt or any hunt that wouldn't involve a guide (for you)? If not, why not? Is he offering to cover the cost of your transport (from Anchorage to the hunt area)? I'm just asking because hunters (who have drawn tags) here typically offer to cover transport costs for a non hunter to accompany them. If he isn't you'll end up spending about the same as you would if you waited 6 months and went to Kodiak for a deer hunt.
Though an Afognak hunt would be a great experience, you need to ask yourself a few questions before going ahead. Have you hunted with him before? Have you shared a remote camp with him previously? A remote bear hunt is no place to discover that your friend knows nothing about: gun safety or camping in bear country.
I'm not trying to be a wet blanket, just sharing a few things I'd consider myself before committing to go along.
Well, I more or less invited myself to go along so I don't expect him to pay any of my way.
 

geetar

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North Carolina
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?
If at all possible I would go. Sometimes just tagging along can be as good as actually having the tag. You will have no pressure to make decisions like is this the bear I want ect. You will just be able to actually enjoy Alaska. Although from what little I know about Afognak the weather may not be enjoyable haha.
 

1_pointer

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I would go. Back in Feb I went to AK to help a buddy with a bison tag. Don't regret the leave used a bit. If one of them wanted/needed help with a brown bear hunt I'd for sure go as that is likely the only way I'll ever get in on a brown bear hunt. I doubt you'll regret it.

Same friends I was with in AK also did an elk hunt on Afognak last year. Sounds like a very harsh place with brush, bugs, wind, and bears. I'd consider some non-breathable rain gear. Helly Hanson Impertech gets good reviews and is fairly affordable. And take lots and lots of bug spray and likely a head net...
 

Guy

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Dec 5, 2018
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I've been to Alaska many times over the decades.

You should go.

It's that simple. :)

Good raingear, I have bear spray and a firearm with me. Amazing number of big ol' bears up there. Did a grizzly hunt in the Brooks Range a couple of years ago. Way different situation than coastal Alaska, where I normally fly fish for silver salmon.

I'm liking this idea of yours.

Enjoy! Guy
 

Cheesehead

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Dec 6, 2017
Messages
35
Man, I’d go in a heartbeat. I’d view it from a ‘would I regret it if I didn’t’ perspective.
Also, I’d pack a gun for backup (leaning towards 12-ga)
 
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