Baywatch Alaska - 2001


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Untitled Document
Looking over a fresh grizzly dig at Tombstone.

We woke to another beautiful day of bright sunny skies and moderate temperatures. The canal was a bit choppy but we decided to head up to Tombstone to where the fisherman tipped us off to a brown bear. Johnnie, Tom and myself hit a few beaches along the way but found no obvious bear sign. When we reached Tombstone it was much different than I had expected.

I knew that Tombstone was given to Johnny K's family when they had petitioned the US government for rights to the land - his family's burial ground was here (hence the name). In fact, Johnny K. has the deed signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt himself. But what I did not realize was that Johnny K. had his home here as well. It was one of only two privately owned parcels on the 100 mile canal. Then the situation took a dramatic twist.

Johnnie told us that Lori (the gal working for Johnny K. on the boat) was once a man. The story was the talk of the Portland Canal. To make the situation more outrageous was that the old salt; Johnny K., was unaware of this and simply thought she was "really strong for a girl."

OK, so here I am in the middle of Alaska, preparing to "urban bowhunt" grizzlies in a burial ground, next to a house, where a transsexual is living. Wow. I never anticipated this scenario - who would have?

The area was littered with brown bear sign. Johnny K. was right.


As we walked down to the flat, several hundred yards from Johnny K's home. It was being worked over by a brown bear - no question.

There was large piles of scat across the meadow. The bear was feeding on roots and grasses and by his stride, clearly marked in the grass, he was big. We were on guard while we moved near the edges. I sensed that the bear was in there - watching us.

Johnny Tom and I headed back down the Canal from Tombstone.


We were not prepared to hunt this area today. That was fine with me, I had reservations about hunting brown bears near a house anyway. The wind picked up in the canal. It was a rough ride back in the skiff.

Caution must be exercised when checking legal requirements for "take." This crab had to be thrown back because we couldn't quite determine the sex (only male crabs are legal). We nicknamed him "Boy George." He didn't like it.

On the way back to the float house we checked the crab pots for our dinner. Another crab feast tonight! After dinner Tom and John headed for the flats and Johnnie and I went back down the canal to Sandfly. There we saw 5 black bear, including two jumbo's, but no brown bear. John and Tom had a few stalks but is still holding out for a big one.

Tom and John walk the Zodiac back into the grass flats for their evening hunt.


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