Alaska Wild Wind Adventures wishes you a happy holiday season.
Alaska Wild Wind Adventures wishes you a happy holiday season. I wanted to summarize our 2014 spring brown bear season in our new guide exclusive concession of the Sugarloaf area in the Katmai Preserve. The spring season started on May 10th and ran through May 31st. This was the first season conducting hunts in the Sugarloaf area, we had only two hunters this spring. Joining us in the field on May 11th , we had Bruce Mabrey of Okmulgee, Oklahoma and Matt Geck of Austin, Texas. Matt Geck hunted with me and assistant guide Aaron Langeliers hunted with Bruce Mabery. Matt Geck hunted the first half of the season and Bruce Mabrey opted to hunt the entire season. With record high temperatures in the upper 60’s, a full moon and no precipitation hanging over the entire Alaskan Peninsula, it made for difficult hunting conditions. Daylight hours reached close to 19 hours a day, so there was hardly any snow left. Most bears were already out of their dens by the start of the season. All activity and movement of bears were seen during the last hours of daylight as the temperatures would drop down into the mid 40’s, this made it somewhat tolerable for the bears to move out of their cover.
Matt and I hunted the upper east portion of the Sugarloaf. After a few bear sightings, lots of glassing and hiking, Matt took advantage of a perfect situation on the evening of May 17th around 10 p.m. I spotted a nice boar that came out of the heavy spruce and alder thicket one mile below our spotting knob, the stalk was on. Stalking into the right spot on a rocky knoll only took about 20 minutes, I positioned Matt 275 yards from where the boar would appear. After a short 5 minute wait the bruin appeared. I confirmed that the bear was a shooter and Matt did not hesitate. Two shots from Matts 375 H and H proved true and the bear fell 40 yards from his first shot. Matt’s first Alaskan brown bear had a green skull measurement of 27 and 8/16th squaring a solid 9’4. A picture of Matt’s bear is on the front of the holiday card included with this letter.
Aaron and Bruce hunted in the lower south west portion of the Sugarloaf. Hunting hard and covering ground Aaron and Bruce saw numerous bears and ended up having their first stalk on May 16th around 10:30 p.m. less than ½ mile from base camp. Bruce glassed the beautiful 9’10- 10’ boar heading off a nearby ridge, hurrying to get in position they set up and got 260-300 yards from the bruin. An evening downhill wind proved to be a burden and the large bear smelled their presence and slowly walked out of range.
I came to guide Bruce for the end of the season on the 22nd. The weather changed for the better on the 25th, with high temperatures in the 40’s and heavy cloud cover. Bruce’s next chance at a Katmai bruin happened on May 29th. I spotted a massive 10’ plus dark chocolate boar on a ridge a mile and half from camp at 10 a.m. In the pouring rain Bruce gave his all with me, trying to cut the bear off before it reached the spruce and alder cover of the valley floor. Ranging the bear at 450 yards the end was in sight, but the huge strides and pace of the 10’ bear were too much. We tried to close the distance, but the opportunity for an ethical shot never presented itself. The season ended with a massive snow, ice, rain and wind storm on the 26th – 31st making hunting impossible. The last evening cleared, Bruce spotted a 9’ bear less than a half mile from camp and I spotted three more bears 3-4 miles from camp with not enough daylight left to pursue. In all Bruce said he had a great experience, loved the hunt and will more than likely return in the future to try again and possibly bring one or both of his sons.
After reviewing our first season results, I believe the Sugarloaf concession will prove to be a very successful hunting area in the future. With seeing a large amount of bears and a good handful of mature trophy boars in the 9’6 plus range spotted throughout the season, the opportunity is there to harvest a big trophy bruin. If you are interested to hear more about the season or have any other questions about our available hunts, please do not hesitate to call or email. My contact information is at the bottom of the page. I have started booking for the October fall of 2015 and May spring of 2016. I will only take a few hunters each season, so once slots are booked a waiting list will be created. There is currently only 1 slot open for 2015. I hope to hear from you and look forward to potentially hunting with you in the future.
Best of luck hunting this season,