HuntStand Hunting App
Alaska - 2003


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day 4

day 5

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The rain pounded our little cabin all night. When we got up, the weather report called for high wind and rough seas on the canal. Things were not looking good for a trip down the Portland. We drove down to the docks and confirmed the reports. Rough weather ahead. To make matters worse, the forecast called for building weather over the next few days - a major storm was headed our way.

Instead of bumming out, we made the best of it and suited up for a day back at our little beaver swamp. We got there early and did a bit of scouting along the way up. There was one particular spot we had seen some tracks on Day 1, and when we checked it out this time, there was fresh bear sign. We found the fresh tracks from a sow and cub, and recently killed salmon remains. This was a great sign for us because until now, we had found no evidence of bears' fishing.

We continued up to the beaver swamp and set up a lookout at a high vantage point. From this spot, we could see the entire swamp, and the downstream alder flats. A big splash focused our attention at a beaver dam below. There were a half dozen salmon building a nest. It was a 20 yard shot down to the dam and if a bear came here to fish, it would be like sitting in a treestand. After last years' grizzly, having a cliff between me and the brown bear was OK by me.

We watched the swamp for a few hours. By now, it was 6 PM and just starting to get dusky. Johnnie suggested that we might want to get going. We had a long hike back through some major bear country, and we had to carefully wade a fast moving river to get back to the rig. I agreed, but in the spirit of pushing things till the bitter end, I asked him for 15 more minutes. He agreed. Several moments later, he quietly whispered: "action".

There, standing in the swamp just north of us was a brown bear. He had quietly appeared from the thick forest and walked along the swamp. He looked big to me, but Johnnie corrected me - "young bear, probably a sow."

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Brown Bear at the Beaver Swamp
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Johnnie was right. The bear acted young. It was nervous, constantly checking the wind and quite cautious. A big boar is confident, arrogant, and deliberate. They move slowly and they don't check the wind unless they smell something wrong. This bear did not react like a big boar.

We watched the bear for a while, then snuck out quietly to head back. An hour later we were back across the river. It was a good day despite the bad weather.


Next - Day 4

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

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