I just returned from a Spot and Stalk bow hunt for Black Bears on Prince of Wales Island in South East Alaska. I was hunting with Kurt Whitehead & Trina Nation of Alaska Glacier Adventures.
This was a vessel hunt from a 65 foot sport fishing yacht named the Arik based in Ketchikan, Alaska.
We were hunting a remote part of the island that had been previously logged which let us still hunt for hours and catch bears traveling and feeding along the roads.
I parted ways with Curt and Nathan the 1st day to solo hunt north on the old road system while they headed west. I made four stalks, passed on a sow at 12 yards and had three different big boars under 30 yards without a good shot. It was a great 1st day!
I headed South the second day hunting the old road system again that took me up and over a pass and to an area they call mystic lake. An area they have never hunted before.
The wind was steady and in my face most the day but the weather was sunny and warm and I did not see a single bear until 7pm, a sow I passed up at 20 yards.
I continued up the road hunting back toward the pick up landing spot. I came around the corner near the top of a pass and a big boar was feeding on the edge of the road 40 yards ahead of me. There was a large rock that gave me cover to quickly cut the distance in half.
The big boar was still feeding, but did not offer a broadside shot. The wind shifted and he put his nose in the air, grunted walked in a circle, not quite sure what he smelled. I waited, he then turned and walked across the logging road and offered a perfect slightly quartering away shot, which I took.
The arrow entered the bear 4 inches behind the shoulder taking out the upper portion of the heart. 40 yards later he was down. This was my first bear with my bow and I could not be happier. An absolutely beautiful bear, perfect hide and a 19 3/8 in skull.
I had the fortunate pleasure of having Nathan Andersholn join me on this hunt and he was nice enough to take half a day off of hunting to help Kurt and I pack my bear out. Nathan is just 4 species away from becoming the 1st person to take all north american 28 with a longbow. He is also the 1st person to shoot a Grand Slam with a longbow and a class act.
I am really impressed with the trip Curt put together for us. I really like hunting on my own and his homework on this old logging road system was perfect to hunt all day. Hunting on the logging roads made it possible to cover a lot of ground, access to areas that would otherwise be unhuntable due to the dense rain forest. I could not believe how many quality opportunities I had in just 2 days of hunting and how many bears we saw on the entire trip. This area has a high density of big bears and very low hunting pressure.
The clear cuts offer habitat and food for the bears that are in constant search of food after hibernating. Grass, salmon flowers, skunk cabbage, crabs, sand fleas are the variety of food they are feeding on this time of year. We had a wide range of weather, including warm sunny days, cold rain, wind and the high moisture content in the air makes the air temperatures feel even colder.
A huge bonus on a SE Alaska vessel hunt in the fishing and shrimping you do during or after you are done hunting. We were able to land some fantastic fish including Rockfish, Black Bass, Yellow Eye, Lingcod and Halibut.
Nathan with a beautiful Yellow Eye.
Curt & Trina with some of our successful shrimp catch
Erik, the captain of the boat thought this fish, a yellow eye, is approaching 100 years old! I threw her back for good luck.