Camofire Hunting store
Alaska - 2003


day 1

day 2

day 3

day 4

day 5

Discuss this hunt
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Weather. Expect a lot of it and expect it to be wet. That's one of the 'givens' when hunting southeast Alaska. And Day 2 was no exception. After yesterday's look at the beaver swamp, and less than exciting bear sign, Johnnie and I started to discuss moving down the canal to explore new salmon runs. We heard reports from one fisherman that the COHO were backed up at one spot down river. This is what we were waiting to hear.

But high tide needed to be just right, and the wind report from the Coast Guard would make the ride down the canal dangerous. So we decided to head back up to the beaver swamp again, spend a bit more time there, and look for any fresh sign, left since yesterday. We'd try the canal tomorrow - weather permitting.

The hike back to the beaver swamp was uneventful. It was wet, and there was minimal stress fighting alder brush and devil's club. We got to the swamp in the afternoon and saw no new bear sign. We pushed further forward in search of bears - or minimally, better bear sign.

We found one pile of salmon remains. Not a good indication for high bear traffic. But we did find a good bit of chewed up skunk cabbage. According to Johnnie, the bears will feed on salmon all fall, and then move to the skunk cabbage - a kind of herbal laxative. This purges their digestive systems prior to denning.

As we examined the cabbage closely, the stalks had turned brown. An indication that this sign was probably a few days old. We discussed hunting this beaver swamp. There is definitely bear activity. But, the activity is inconsistent and spotty. We agreed that a bowhunter could sit here all week and probably see a bear. But if that opportunity didn't pay off - a blown stalk due to any number of reasons - then the hunt would likely be over.

We decided the best bet would be to boat down the canal where there are several salmon runs. But weather would be the limiting factor.

After dinner, we drove to the dock in Hyder. A cold North wind was whipping down the canal. We met Johnnie's friend Jimmy, who was unloading his crabbing boat. Jimmy had left the dock mid-morning but had to turn around due to the weather. He reported the seas were too rough. This was bad news. We hoped for best in the morning.



Next - Day 3

Our grizzly hunt takes place in Southeast Alaska with Johnnie Laird of Muskeg Excursions.

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