SE AK black bear 2021 success!


Active Member
Dec 27, 2011
Goshen IN
It took me two days of traveling to get to final destination in SE Alaska from IN. The adventure started with a 6 AM flight out of Chicago, along with a 8.5 hour lay over in Seattle before arriving in Ketchikan around 730 PM, that makes for a very long day once you add the 4 hour time difference. I am glad I had purchased 1st class tickets (I know, can't hide money, I am not sure if it was due to covid, but it only cost me a $138 more for first class tickets over regular tickets, once the two checked bags were taken into account. It was money well spent with free food and drinks on the plane, not to mention access and comp food and drinks in the lounge in Seattle since I had a 8 hour + lay over. They kept changing flight times on me.

My hunt took place the last full week in May, by this time there was a lot of grass up everywhere and I had heard the bear were really spread out. My first hunting day I took to the logging roads, glassing some new clear cuts, but most of the time just putting miles on the boots. Day one ended without a bear sighting. Day two I decided to take a skiff out and check out some bays. I made a real long run to a larger bay that looked good on the map. After checking spots along the way I beached the skiff right at high tide and a bear was 300 yards away. Grabbing gun and what not out of the boat to close the distance, the bear was already on its way out and within 2 mins it was gone. Went back to the skiff grabbed my sandwich to eat lunch and walked to a log about 50 yards away. Skiff was floating at this time, but 20 mins later it was high and dry, crap! Luckily I was able to get it turned around and pushed back into the water.


This was a really long bay with lots of grass, none of the other spots along the way looked good as they had little grass. I motored back out to the start of the bay hanging around until the tide had risen more. Deciding the back of the bay looked best, I motored back in getting as close as I could before deciding to anchor the boat and walk back to the end of the bay and sit and watch for a couple hours. I ended up having to walk 1.4 miles just to get to where I was at high tide. No bear showed its self before I called it quits on that spot and headed back to the skiff.

Day three, back to the logging roads, I was trying to put a pattern together for where I had found some fresh scat the day before. I was searching high and low and the only pattern I could put together was good grass. But elevation didn't matter, I would find good grass at one elevation and think this next rail would have it and it wouldn't, so it was a crap shoot if a road or trail had good grass. I was walking to check out a newer clear cut and noticed something sticking up on the logging road that looked out of place? As I got closer I seen what I thought were morel mushrooms, do they have those up here I thought to my self? I picked one and it was hollow like a morel, smelled like a morel, hmm I found morels in AK. I ended up picking 2 gallons worth in a 20 yard radius, these will go well with meals this week!


Well back to hunting, these clear cuts are treacherous, not sure how many times I slipped on rocks you couldn't see or fell up to my knee in a sink hole, but figured out quickly to avoid trying to climb up in them. I would follow a two track or old logging road until it didn't have any good grass or the road ended unexpectedly. I just got to the top of one of the mountains (snow was still present in spots) when a rain storm was blowing in from across the way. I was headed down when a bear stepped out onto the trail crossing it from left to right. I am not sure if it smelled me or heard me walking as it paused to look at me when it stepped out. I knelt down quickly taking the rifle off my shoulder to prepare for a shot. I popped the scope cover off and went to put him in my crosshairs when my lens were condensated from all the rain. Crap, now he is walking off, I quickly wipe them with my shirt and re-shoulder the rifle. I am trying to quickly figure out if he is a good bear as he is about to be out of sight a 175 yards away. He pauses and looks at me again, I make the decision that he is good enough and put the cross hairs right on his shoulder and squeeze off the shot. He drops in his tracks and rolls off the side of the trail out of site. I quickly run towards him expecting him to have taken off into the thick of it, but he was just about 3 feet lower than the trail. Luckily he stopped there as it was a pretty nasty drop down into some thick stuff. I drug him out of the little depression so I could better skin and quarter. These things don't drag easy either, I am glad my adrenalin was still going or not sure I would have been able to get him up and out whole. I took some pics and started to go to work. I started my stop watch on my phone and I had him skinned and quartered in 42 mins. Not sure if that's good or not but I was happy to have knocked it out in that time.

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His paws were rubbed pretty bad as was a large spot on his right side right behind the shoulder about 16-18 inch diameter. He measured right at 7 foot and had a 19-7/8" skull. A great bear and a heck of a first in my book.

Here are some other pictures of the scenery, I can't wait to do it again!

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For those interested:
I shot him with my newly put together semi custom rifle.
Blue printed Rem 700 long action
26" Wilson arms barrel chambered by ragged holes barrels
HS precision stock w/ bedded action
Vortex diamond back 4-12x40 scope (temp scope)
Chambered in 375 RUM ( I have never been told I was under gunned LOL)
Bullet was a 300 grain bulldozer 2 from badland precisions
Brass was Bertram new unfired.

No bullet recovered, (not surprised had a little over 4400 ft-lb of energy at that range ) bullet passed through both shoulders leaving an exit that appeared to be just over an inch diameter, lungs sounded like jelly while moving around.

Yell Co AR Hunter

Very Active Member
Dec 10, 2015
Yell County Arkansas
Thank you for sharing your hunt enjoyed. I noticed those tides really cover a lot of area. When we were there we went to the beach at Kenai. It was kind of funny. We walked around the berm only to see no water and a few people playing in the sand. Water had to be about 900 yards from the beach. Congratulations on a nice bear.