I just returned from a Spot and Stalk bow hunt f...

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.

Big Lingcod

This article has 53 comment(s)

  1. Nigel Ivy

    Looks like a great hunt, Jason. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Nigel!

  2. Will Jenkins

    That looks like a blast! Congrats on a great bear and thanks for sharing the story and the pictures!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thank you Will!!

  3. Matt

    Thanks for taking the time to share. Awesome job. Looks like a fun hunt that eats well too. Can’t you beat “fresh” that you caught.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thank you Matt. It was a fantastic hunt.

      J

  4. Kyle

    What an awesome hunt. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks for the comment Kyle.

      Jason

  5. Pedro Ampuero

    Awesome adventure Jason!!! Love that way of hunting black bears, I need to try it soon!

    Must have been great to share camp with such a legend!!

    As always, these blog entries feel too short!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Take care!

    • Jason Hairston

      Lets go! I rebooked with Curt for next year. This is a hunt everyone needs to do.

      Jason

  6. Jerry Gowins

    Looks like it was a wonderful time. Congrats on the bear and all of the fish! Thanks for sharing.

    Jerry

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Jerry!!

  7. Cory Benge

    Great job Jason and what a great adventure … Only thing I can see you should do different next time is take me to film and document the hunt. Ha! Thanks for sharing and congrats in a fine bear.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thank you Cory! I would have loved to have this one on film. It would have been a perfect set up!

      J

  8. joel biltz

    Great job Jason. I cant wait to get to Alaska next year. I’m heading to the Chugach for Mountain Goats and if time allows Coastal Brown bear. This will be my first Alaskan adventure. I’m already loosing sleep. From the pictures it looks amazing.

    • Jason Hairston

      Good for you Joel! You are in for an experience of a life time. Let me know how we can help you get set up for your trip.

      Jason

  9. Kevin

    Awesome. Congrats on a beautiful bear, with a longbow no less. Friends and fishing is just the icing on the cake. I’ve been wanting to do a trip like this for sometime, looks like a hell of a time.

    • Jason Hairston

      Yes, it was a fantastic trip. I highly recommend booking with Curt and Trina with Alaska Glacier Adventures. Curts attention to detail is amazing, I am pretty particular and have high expectations with hunts on the the smallest things. Curt exceeded all of them.

      J

  10. David Gochenaur

    Jason,
    Talked to Nathan on Saturday and he told me about the hunt.
    Congrats on the nice bruin. Glad to know Prince of Wales is still turning out good bears. It has been years since I hunted there, but it was a great hunt then also.

    DJG

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks David! Yes, there are still quite a few on POW.

      J

  11. Jérôme C

    Thanks to share Jason, a really big bear hunted with a bow.
    Congrats to you.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thank you for the comment Jerome!

      J

  12. Chris Foster

    Nice! I live and hunt around Sitka. I picked up on your comment on perceived cold. I have purchased two of your Spindrift jacket because one doesn’t work in the rainforest durring stagnant activities. One is fine for temps around 50. As you experienced, wet and in the 40’s is common.

  13. Jason Hairston

    Yes, the damp cold cuts right through you. I hunt here in California on the coast during the winter and have been colder in that damp wet weather than on high mountain hunts. I love the area you live, it is one of the most beautiful spots on earth! Thanks for the comment.

    Jason

  14. Shane C

    Looks like a blast! Way to go! One of these days I’ll make it out there to hunt. Which species are Nathan still waiting to shoot for all 28?

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Shane!! Nathan needs a Mountain Goat, Alaskan Moose, Polar Bear and Grizzly Bear.

      JH

  15. Kevin L

    Congrats!! I had the pleasure of meeting Kurt back in 1996 on a very remote stream in Alaska where we were both guiding for different lodges. Since then he’s obviously gone on to run a great operation on his own. He was a great guy years ago and it sounds like things haven’t changed.

    • Jason Hairston

      Kurt is a great guy and runs a fantastic business.

      Jason

  16. J.R. Young

    That looks awesome, no better way to get your surf and turf.

    I take it the boat is “camp” for the trip?

    • Jason Hairston

      Yep a bit easier on you than a 1 man tent. This is a hunt everyone should plan in their lifetime. Lots of fun.

      Jason

  17. Matt

    Congrats Jason! Nice to have variety of things to do on a hunt up here in AK. : ) Hope you come back soon!

    • Jason Hairston

      Yep, back in October to hunt with Lance for Grizzly Bears.

      Jason

  18. Mike P

    Congrats on a great trip.

    The new colour looks sharp 🙂

    Cheers,

    Mike P

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Mike. I love the solid colors!

      Jason

  19. Trina Nation

    Hey Jason!
    Awesome blog post and great photos.
    One picky point, because you know I’m picky like that…
    Kurt with a “K”.
    Code fine!
    Can’t wait to have you back up next year!
    Cheers,
    t~.

    • Kevin L

      Trina – if you read this, tell Kurt Kevin from the Kamishak says ‘Hi’.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks for the proof read! Nathan and I are already discussing the trip and dates, logistics etc. We cannot wait.

      Jason

  20. Scott Dillon

    Congrats on a fine Bear! My son is working on Prince of Wales Island right now as a Wildlife Biologist, and he loves it there; says he has been seeing some really great bears there. Great pics and story too, Jason!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Scott. It is a special place for sure!

  21. Tony Mudd

    Congratulations my friend. Call me when you get settled back in at home.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Tony! I really appreciate it.

      Jason

  22. Button Buck™

    Nice job killer! What a blast!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Button Buck!!

  23. jeff short

    Very nice, Great adventure Jason!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Jeff! I owe you a phone call, sorry!

      Jason

  24. Greig

    Very cool hunt Jason!! Sounds like an awesome adventure with a bonus of a GREAT Bear!!!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Greig for the comment! It was a great trip!

      Jason

  25. Justin Starck

    Sweet Hunt

  26. Craig

    Congrats on a super bear! I get emails from Kurt all the time so I might have to take this trip in the future!

  27. Trevor

    Jason, way to get your bear! What was your bow, arrow, and broad head setup?

  28. Rod

    That looks like a great way to hunt POW. Most of what you hear about is the guys in boats hunting the shoreline. Your hunt opened up a lot more area than that 100′ of beach that is exposed at low tide!

  29. Peter Wood – Hunt Talk

    Great looking bear Jason, great to see you had time to hunt in such an awesome area. Looks like your team has some great products indeed. Nathan has some impressive hunt with his longbow, how do I contact him for an interview?
    Shall have to look at the new catalogue for some new thread this season, I think they would work great in Ontario.
    Keep up the great work
    cheers
    Peter – Hunt Talk on Ripple Outdoors

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Peter. Shoot me an email and I will make an introduction for you.

      Jason