Alaska Bear Hunting

Hunters who have never gone on a hunting expedition in Alaska will be amazed at the huge expanse. Alaska has over 365 million acres of hunting area and is home to some of the most beautiful pristine wilderness area easily accessible to hunters in the United States. The hunting area is roughly equivalent to one fifth of the size of the entire U.S.A.

A very large hunting area also means that big game animals are not as dense, since they have more room to roam. An Alaskan hunt is generally five days or a week long experience, as opposed to a weekend leisurely hunt that many of us are used to in the eastern states. Careful planning and preparation needs to be made to ensure the best shot at a big trophy bear.

Alaska is home to three species of bears. The black bears are the most common in Alaska, and they are also the smallest of the three. The best black bear hunting is around Prince William Sound and south through Alaska’s panhandle. The brown or grizzly bear is probably the most popular bear hunting target. Over 98% of USA grizzly bears are native to Alaska. Brown bears on Kodiak Island are considered a distinct subspecies of the brown/grizzly bear. Finally, the polar bear, famous for its white color and very large size, can be found and hunted in Alaska. Polar bear hunting is tightly managed, as their numbers have dwindled over the years. However this reduction of population has been more due to habitat issues, oil exploration and that sort of thing as opposed to hunting.

Alaska Bear Hunting Facts

  • Kodiak bears are the largest bears in the world, standing as tall as 10 feet on their hind legs and weighing as much as 1500 lbs.
  • Baiting is a very common black bear hunting tactic, especially for bow hunters who will be in close range when taking their shot. It is legal in most hunting areas of Alaska. Some folks do feel that using bait violates fair chase ethics.
  • Brown bears, grizzly bears and Kodiak bears are actually the same species, yet they are called by different names. Smaller brown bears that live inland are commonly called grizzly bears. Big coastal bears are referred to as brown bears, and the very large brown bears on Kodiak Island are called Kodiak bears.
  • In most hunting areas in Alaska, you can only take one brown/grizzly bear every 4 years.

Popular Public Hunting Areas
With a hunting area one fifth the size of the United States, public hunting areas are too numerous to start listing. Where you hunt will have more to do with which bear species you are looking to take. One should take a look at the hunting section of the wildlive.alaska.gov domain to determine the hunting area and season that is most appropriate.

Registered Alaskan Bear Hunting Guides
Wild Alaskan Guides

Are you a registered hunting guide in Alaska? Contact us for more information about a listing here.

Other Resources
Wildlife.Alaska.Gov is a great resource for rules, regulations, seasons etc.

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