NAME: Ursus Arctos Horribilis
LOCATION: Brooks Range, Alaska
TYPE: 8-12 Day Base Camp
HUNTS: Spring and Fall Offerings
Hunting Grizzly Bears With Dave Marsh
I hunt grizzly bears (spring and fall) in my exclusive 795,000 acre guide use area (25A) located in the heart of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. I have been doing this professionally in the Brooks Range since 1994 and have an intimate knowledge of the animals and the country we will be hunting. My pilot flies a Cessna 185 out of the small Athabascan village of Fort Yukon which is typically about 1 1/2 hours flight time from my hunting camp and should give you some idea of how remote this area is. This bush flight, in and out, is included in the price of the trip.
We will establish a base camp at the edge of the landing strip and fairly close to a water source. It will consist of a roomy dome tent or screen canopy that will serve double duty as a kitchen and storage area, and smaller domes will be utilized for sleeping. Because of weight restrictions and the limited space available on the plane, food is primarily high quality freeze-dried meals or other one dish mains prepared with boiled water. This is supplemented with various high energy snacks and more traditional items from time to time. I put a lot of thought and devote a good deal of effort to make this entirely satisfactory and clients have been very complimentary in the past.
A typical day begins with plenty of hot coffee and a simple breakfast. After packing a lunch and snack pack, we’ll make our way to one of the numerous vantage points that ideally gives us a near panoramic view of a particular valley. This is where you’ll likely see a bear digging for squirrels along the lower mountain slopes, foraging along on the tundra flats, or grubbing roots on a willow bar. If the bear suits us, a stalk will be executed based on our overall chances for success. This is determined by many factors including distance, time of day, wind direction, etc. We will continue these daily treks throughout these 8-12 day adventures but we will always return to the main camp for a hot evening meal and the comfort of our sleeping bags. Generally speaking, I consider grizzly bear hunting among the very easiest of my offerings from a physical stand point but the Arctic demands that you are a healthy weight and in excellent shape with top gear. As always, patience and mental toughness are a must.
Inland grizzlies never reach the great proportions of their coastal cousins but what they lack in size they more than make up for in attitude. These bears are as likely to fight as to run when encountered making for some interesting moments to say the least. Each single bear older than 2 years is considered legal game. A mature male bear will often have a dark hide and a female will be somewhat smaller of course, and commonly blond with dark legs. Please note that we have killed a variety of sizes and colors in both sexes so this is only a general observation. With one exception, every hunter that I have had specifically hunting grizzlies as their primary animal has killed a bear and most who have wanted one as a secondary trophy have been successful. Bears are hunted in the spring on 11 day 1x1 or 2x1 trips that I personally guide from approximately June 5 - June 15 and June 15 - June 25. They are also hunted in the fall on varying length hunts that I personally guide from late July to mid September.
Michael Perry Vinemont, AL (256) 654-6873
Kevin Troyer Waterford, PA (814) 490-5877
David Chace Carlsbad, NM (505) 235-0353
Michael Cudlipp Hemlock, NY (585) 746-8132
Lacey Fuller Clinton, KY (270) 254-0528
Don Chisholm New Lenox, IL (708) 717-3166
David Detraz Bowling Green, IN (812) 240-4077
Frank Munoz Los Angeles, CA (323) 855-0146
Mitch Glenn Lexington, KY
Willow Street, PA