Alaska’s Interior Grizzly Bear Some grizzlies are blond on the shoulders with a brown diamond on the back with dark feet, others are dark brown with silver tips. These bear average about 6 feet and some can be as large as 9 feet. When possible, camps are set up where evidence shows a bear has been working. Glassing is done from a high vantage point and watching for activity does take patience and time, but it’s well worth the effort. A large caliber rifle is recommended, perhaps a 338 or 375. In our area, the grizzly population is high enough so that we are allowed to take one every year compared to one every four years in other areas.
In addition to the Wrangell Mountain area, we also have a brown bear and black bear hunting area on the coast of Alaska at Katalla, near Cordova. These tent-camp hunts consist of rafting down rivers, glassing from high ridges, and some hiking. There are times when it takes just getting still on a hillside and watching an area for activity; the less moving around the better to keep the scent down. Brown bear range in size from 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 feet and we have occasionally taken some up to 10 feet. Black bear are from 5 to 7 feet. The Katalla area can be sunny and beautiful as can be, or the weather can be brutal with high winds and heavy rains. Regardless, the country is harsh with thick brush, many with thorns and stickers, but this is where those big boys live. This time of year in Alaska there is very little “dark”, so one can hunt as many hours as one can stay awake.
The brown and black bear hunts at Katalla are offered the last two weeks of May. The grizzly hunts are conducted out of Nabesna during September.
Question: What type of bear hunts are offered?
Answer: We offer Grizzly, Brown, and Black bear hunting trips. Here are some pictures of each type:
Interior Mountain Grizzly Bear
Coastal Brown Bear
Coastal Black Bear.
Location of hunting areas:
Grizzly Bear hunting takes place out of Nabesna, the north side of the Wrangell St. Elias National Park.Coastal Brown Bear hunting takes place on the Copper River Delta, out of our Katalla camp. Katalla is 50 miles east of Cordova.
Hunts are ten days.
Guided, one on one (unless you specify otherwise)
Fly out to spike camps.
The camps consist of tents complete with heaters, cots, and cook stove. All food is provided.
Bear hunting consists of long periods of spotting, and the possibility of having to move very quickly to get into position for a shot when the bear is spotted. Bears tend to roam large areas.
Hunting in Katalla is done by foot along the rivers, and the marsh flats. Sometime small inflatable boats are used, depending on how and where the bears are moving.
Nabesna bear hunting consists of spotting and stalking in the mountains or along the rivers and glaciers.
We do NOT bait bears, or hunt from the road.
General recommendation for level of physical fitness required:
We recommend that regardless of the hunt, you should be in as good a physical shape as possible.
You will not need to climb as much as a sheep hunt, but you may be required to cover some distance quickly.
The better shape you are in, the better the chances are that you will get your game.
When are bear hunts available?
You can hunt Grizzly in the spring (June 5-14) and fall (August 10 – September 30)
Coastal Brown and Black Bear hunts are offered the last two weeks in May
Topography of hunting areas:
Katalla = Dense heavy brush and forest, fairly flat, some hills. You will be wearing hip boots all the time.
Usually it is VERY wet, it has been hot on occasion, it just depends on the type of spring we get.
Nabesna = Mountainous terrain, a lot of climbing, can be cold near the glaciers. Temperatures range from 32 to 60+ degrees F.
Transportation to and from the hunting area:
Transportation to and from the field is by using small Piper aircraft, Supercubs.
It is your responsibility to get to the main camps of Katalla or Nabesna.
You will fly in to Cordova via Anchorage, and then charter to Katalla
You will need to rent a car and drive to Nabesna from either Fairbanks or Anchorage.
Type of gun you should bring:
A large rifle is recommended, perhaps a 338 or 375.
However we highly recommend you bring a gun that you are comfortable shooting.
You should also be able to fire several rounds in a row. Bears can be very resistant.
How many bullets should I bring?:
We have shooting ranges on our property to test fire your rifle when you arrive. Due to the nature of airline luggage handling these days, it is likely they are less than kind to objects resembling gun cases.
Typical distance for shot:
There is of course nothing typical in hunting, but the average shot for a bear is around 75-200 yards.