Experience some of the finest hunting available on Prince of Wales Island (Unit 2) and Misty Fjords wilderness area (Unit 1) for trophy coastal black bears. This is a spot and stalk hunt which takes place by boat in the bays and inlets of southeast Alaska. Generally he takes two people on the boat for maximum comfort. Butch and Joan have hunted this area, with Joan taking a 7’2” bear – very good but not super for this area! Bears are plentiful, scenery awesome. In this maritime environment with the abundance of fish, bears can grow 19” skulls in 6-7 years, while in many areas that black bears live they would require twice that to reach those sizes.
The nice thing with this operation is he has the ability to follow the bear activity, in a manner of speaking. For instance, if he just hunted the shorelines of Prince of Wales Island and it was a bit slow, or if the bears were spooky there due to pressure, then he can switch the next group over the Ketchikan Island, or else go deep into the very untouched Misty Fjords area, where the scenery is mind boggling! We have seen it ourselves – towering mountains and cliffs, and waterfalls tumbling into the deep fjords of the sea! Has to be seen to be believed! And all these areas produce consistently well, with 7 footers relatively routine.
This outfit hunts from a custom built 31’ aluminum boat with twin 225 HP outboards all the latest navigational instruments. It has comfortable bunks for two people, as well as a nice galley, an enclosed cabin, private head, and the finest fishing gear. Meals can vary from fresh caught shrimp, to fresh Dungeness crab, to beef steaks and more. You will eat well. He trails along a skiff or two, so when bears are seen you can approach them; also you may hunt from the skiffs as they probe the back coves and inlets. Normally opportunity is 100%, and harvest rates close to that. But a wounded bear by law means your tag is filled and you are done. Many of his bears will push 7 feet and some larger! ANOTHER BIG PLUS: GUIDED HUNTERS CAN PURCHASE A BEAR TAG OVER THE COUNTER! THE OUTFITTER WILL ASSIST YOU IN PICKING THE AREA AND GETTING YOUR TAG.
He normally takes only 2 people on his boat, to ensure maximum comfort and attention. However, if you have more than 2 people, no problem! He can arrange to rent a cabin on the island which can handle 4 comfortably. In that case, he will arrange for a second boat and guide. In fact, some of the return clients who are a bit older prefer the cabin (add $500) to do this. You can then day hunt from the boat, returning at night to a comfortable cabin.
He offers both spring and fall bear hunts. Hunts are 5 days in length.
The itinerary is usually like this:
• arrive on Friday, leave on Friday.
• arrive after 3PM on a Friday. Earlier in day he is cleaning and getting boat ready following the prior parties leaving that morning.
• early morning on Saturday head out on boat to chosen area.
• hunt Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (5 days).
• Thursday return to his B&B on Ketchikan Island. Overnight there (included in the price).
• Friday morning departure.
Spring involves primarily cruising the coastal beach and kelp areas. Fall often means wading up the streams in your chest high waders, so it is a bit more strenuous, but bears may end up in your lap and it is a great situation for bowhunters as well as rifle hunters. You will often find an area of heavy bear use, and will sit and wait for them to appear. On one recent fall hunt, a bowhunter took his big blackie at 15 feet, while his buddy with a gun took his at 25 yards! And you may have seen this outfitter guiding the late TV hunting and fishing star Tred Barta.
Fall hunts can be scheduled at most any time, but he likes to catch the bears on the streams eating salmon, so he wants to have the first group hunt opening week: arrive August 30; head out to the field the 31st and hunt September 1-5; then back to town the 6th for departure the 7th. Other dates are also available. The fall groups sometimes add days for fishing, during both bear and deer hunts.
Wildlife is abundant on these hunts and allows you an excellent opportunity to view whales, porpoises, seals, and sea lions. On the beaches, many small animals such as mink, pine martin and otters may be seen, as well as Sitka blacktail deer, wolves, bald eagles, and black bear.
This is a comment from Robert J., a client of ours who hunted with this outfitter in late May of 2017:
“By the way, we had a great bear hunt with him. I got a great bear a little over 7’, and my buddy Bob hit one that we could not recover. Thinking about doing that trip again. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks.”
NOTE: Fishing is possible in the off hours during your bear hunt or if you both tag out early, but the bear hunt takes precedent.
In the spring, bears gather on the beaches and tidal flats in search of crabs, mussels, and green grasses. In the fall, they congregate on the salmon spawning streams and berry patches. This is a high success hunt which offers multiple opportunities at bears that average right around 6.5 to 7 foot squared. On average, with normal conditions, expect to see multiple bears per day, and you could see 10 or more in a single day. Expect anything from blue skies and sun to heavy rain and wind on both spring (April, May, & June) and fall (September & October) hunts. They also commonly set crab and shrimp pots while hunting, so fresh seafood is usually on the menu.
The spring hunts are not very physically demanding and tend to be both relaxing and enjoyable, making it a great hunt for two or more, such as father and son, husband and wife, etc. Fall is a bit more work, but you can move at your own pace, so it is do-able for most outdoor folks. But you likely will be walking on slippery rocks in waders.
The outfitter currently also has hunts on the southeast Alaska mainland running from behind Ketchikan right down to the Canadian border (BC). This is spectacular and breathtaking country! It has very low to no bear hunting pressure and there are some color phase bears. This is a boat hunt only.
SCI ISLAND BEARS: If you want to collect the new SCI classification of the “Island” sub-species of black bear for the SCI book, then you must hunt Prince of Wales Island (or Vancouver Island), but he only hunts Prince of Wales (“POW”). FOR POW, HE IS ALLOTTED ONLY ABOUT 12 TAGS PER YEAR, ONE PER HUNTER. We personally feel that the Misty Fjords bears may be easier to hunt (less pressure) and are just as big as those on POW, but SCI regulations do not qualify Misty Fjords bears as Island bears. This is only important if you intend to register the bear as an Island bear with SCI. Otherwise, just let the outfitter pick the area he feels is best at the time of your arrival. You won’t be disappointed!
All hunts, regardless of which area you hunt, are boat-based hunts, with you living aboard the boat. The cabin-based hunt for 4 persons adds $500 per person to the hunt cost. Fishing off the boat during slack time is allowed, but is a bit hit or miss, although the crab pots and shrimp pots are sure to produce a feast!
IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT SINCE YOU ARE GUIDED, HE CAN GET YOU YOUR LICENSE HERE WITHOUT HAVING TO APPLY IN THE DRAW THE PREVIOUS DECEMBER! THESE ARE ALLOCATED TAGS THAT THE OUTFITTER HELPS YOU BUY OVER THE COUNTER, SO NO DRAWING. If you wish to extend your trip to add hunting or other activities such as salt OR freshwater fishing or waterfowl hunting, days can be added depending on the time of the year; just tell us what you want and we will work it out for you. This is a top notch area for salmon and halibut, depending on time of year.
2021 BEAR PRICES (prices subject to change without notice until deposit received)
5-Day Black Bear Hunt – $5,800 per person 2×1 Guiding
Alaska Hunting License Approx. $160
Black Bear Tag Approx. $450
Includes: Complete guide service, lodging, airport transfers, meals while in the field, trophy & meat care.
Not included: Hunter’s personal gear, all tags & licenses, gratuities, travel to/from Alaska. He has some sleeping bags to use, or bring your own.
Southeast Alaska boasts some of the densest mountain goat populations in the world, and is known to produce many trophy class animals. After arriving in Ketchikan, you will fly into one of the many high alpine lakes located in the Misty Fjords National Monument wilderness area and set up base camp near the lake shore. You will then negotiate 1,000 to 3,000 feet elevations in sometimes very steep terrain to where you will set up spike camps and proceed to locate goats to stalk.
For the most part, goat hunting is probably the most physically demanding of all the big game hunting. The quality of this hunt is very much determined by the physical condition of the hunter. We recommend that you be in good condition and utilize the best equipment you can. In fact, this outfitter likes to screen prospective goat hunting clients in advance because, as he puts it, “these hunts are not for all.” Hunting takes place from September through the end of October, and weather also plays a significant role in determining the enjoyment and success of your hunt. You must generally draw for these goat tags. Please inquire.
2021 GOAT PRICES (prices subject to change without notice until deposit received)
7-Day Mountain Goat Hunt – $13,500 1×1 Guiding
Alaska Hunting License Approx. $160
Mountain Goat Tag Approx. $600
Includes: Complete guide service, flight to alpine lake, lodging, airport transfers, meals while in the field, trophy & meat care.
Not included: Hunter’s personal gear, all tags and licenses, gratuities, travel to/from Alaska.
The rainforests of southeast Alaska offer superb hunting for Sitka blacktail deer. He can arrange August and September high alpine mountain fly-ins when the weather is nice, but his preferences for success are the rut hunts and post-rut hunts. He generally starts hunting deer about November 1. The rut hunts and late season hunts are in both the timber and muskegs and, as the season gets later, you hunt also along the beaches. By around December 10, about 50% have lost their horns. The limit is currently 4 bucks, which would require the purchase of 4 tags.
Some bucks may still have velvet on the antlers and sleeker reddish colored summer coats in August/September. Late October and November presents the bucks looking their best with heavy winter coats, thick necks, and polished antlers. During this rutting time, they will hunt lower elevations and use calls, as the deer are responsive. Post-rut bucks hit the beaches for the kelp to restore lost nutrients, making themselves very vulnerable to boat hunters. The early hunts are often more physical.
All deer hunts offer the opportunity to combine fresh or saltwater fishing, black bear, and waterfowl if you wish to extend your visit.
2021 DEER PRICES (subject to change without notice until deposit received)
5 Day Guided Deer Hunt – $4,500 per person 2×1 Guiding
Alaska Hunting License Approx. $160
Deer Tag Approx. $300 each
Includes: Complete guide service, flight to alpine lake, lodging, airport transfers, meals while in the field, trophy & meat care. All lodging before and after the hunt in Ketchikan is included at his B&B.
Not included: Hunters personal gear, all tags and licenses, gratuities, travel to/from Alaska.