Mathews Inc.
Baywatch Alaska - 2001


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We both woke late to rain and fog. My legs were hurting bad and my feet were starting to develop hot spots and blisters. We could not see the mountains from camp and as much as I hated to suggest it, I told Bryan that I probably needed to regroup, build a fire and dry some clothes.

Brian and I dry our clothes over a campfire.


While neither of us were too keen on the idea, it was the smart thing to do. To continually keep pushing it was risky for me, sometimes its better to listen to your instincts. Besides, the weather sucked and visibility was seriously limited.

So bryan and I started to gather firewood and I built a makeshift clothesline. By afternoon the rain had stopped and visibility was returning. Bryan spent a good deal of the day spotting the far mountains and at one time he saw 4 grizzlies in his spotting scope at one time. By late afternoon we were regretting giving up the day, however my body thanked me. The fire lasted well into the evening. Tomorrow we were going to hump it again.

As the day ends, I stoke the campfire one last time before heading to bed.


Bowhunting Mountain Grizzlies in the fall

Unlike Brown bears on salmon streams, bowhunting mountain grizzlies depends on just one thing: Blueberries. The area that we are hunting is an old burn. Several years ago a forest fire decimated the landscape. The pines and undergrowth had burned off and within a few years, the blueberries took over. There was a considerable area which consisted of about 5 mountains that were loaded with blueberries. And that is why the grizzlies were here. Bears love berries. They prefer them to salmon. In this area, the berries were so plentiful that the bears were territorial over them. This was the reason we saw so many large boars, and virtually no sows or cubs. It was just too dangerous from small bears to be here.

The hunt is conducted by long range glassing. The bears are pretty easy to spot from a distance and they will remain in the same general area, sometimes for a few days. So long as the berries are here, so are the bears. Once the berries drop off the bears will leave the mountain and search for kills, roots, or other foods until they search for winter dens. Once we spotted a bear, Bryan would analyze certain characteristics to determine an adult boar. Once determined, we would have a long hike, sometimes several miles to get to that hill. Generally the bear would still be in the general area so long as he did not wind you. The time on the mountain was trivial, most of the time was spent getting to or from the mountain. Needless to say, physical preparation is imperative on this hunt. I would honestly say it was harder than my two Alaska goat hunts.




Next - Day 5

Our grizzly hunt takes place in Northern British Columbia with Bryan Martin of Canadian Mountain Outfitters.

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