This hard-working outfitter is based out of southeast Alaska, but most of his hunting is done out of either Kotzebue in far northern Alaska or on the Alaska Peninsula. The outfitter excels on brown bear hunts at Cold Bay and Port Heiden for giant brownies to well over 10 feet, and some over 11 feet!
He offers hunts for brown bears, black bears, grizzly, caribou (guided and unguided drops), big moose and goats. The outfitter is a registered fishing guide and hunting guide, plus is an excellent bush pilot that owns his own plane. He is personable, friendly, easy to get along with, and he has been quietly producing some outstanding trophies of all his species for his clients with very high success rates. The outfitter’s clients have taken brown bear to 11 feet 7 inches; moose to over 70 inches; and many black bears with skulls consistently in the 20-inch range. One measured 8’2”! His Arctic grizzly tend to be blondish and make awesome mounts. He also runs an excellent charter fishing service for salmon and halibut around Ketchikan in SE Alaska.
The outfitter’s moose hunts take place in a draw area in NW Alaska. The outfitter’s clients have had a 90% success rate on moose for five straight years with several bulls exceeding 68”. You must apply between Nov 1-Dec 15. Check with us for the hunt codes. The draw is about 40%, but this hunt is well worth waiting for. The average bull taken here is 62 inches. Most of the hunting is by calling. The season in this area is Sept 1-20 and the outfitter offers two 10-day hunts. Guiding is 1 x 1, and the outfitter transports the meat and antlers back to Kotzebue which is included in the price set below. You stay in wall tents, and spike out in dome tents with cots. This area has excellent caribou hunting (Western Arctic herd) and some very good grizzly hunting too!
Hunt description: Hunt Northwest Alaska for trophy moose, caribou, and grizzly. He has had 100 % success on his moose hunts from 2003-08 with several bulls exceeding 68 inches. Butch saw bulls in the 55” to 64” range. He harvested the potential new #1 B&C moose in 2014- scoring over 270 and having 39 scorable points with a 72” spread and giant palms. The average bull harvested is 62 inches. This is a spot and stalk fair chase hunt, with calling being the primary method of locating moose.
GRIZZLY BEAR HUNTS: Formerly you needed to apply and go into the draw. NO MORE! Yes, it is a draw permit but clients do not need to put in for the draw BECAUSE over the past few years many things have changed with this situation. The number of permits available have been more than doubled and this Outfitter is the only one in the entire unit. This means the bear permits have lots of leftovers available over the counter to all his clients. Around July or August the clients can call him and he will help them secure a permit. Clients do however need to buy a hunting license in August. You must have that to get a griz permit. We will then contact Kotzebue fish and game to secure a permit and have it held at the Kotzebue office for him to pick up for you, when he gets there in late August or September.
This is a good area to take a mixed bag of trophy class species. WE ENCOURAGE HUNTERS TO APPLY FOR A GRIZZLY TAG. THE GRIZZLY POPULATION IS EXTREMELY HIGH IN THIS AREA. YOU MUST HAVE PURCHASED A HUNTING LICENSE TO SECURE THE BEAR TAG!
He offers a 7 day Arctic grizzly hunt; a 10 day combo griz/caribou hunt; a 10 day moose/grizzly hunt; a 10 day Moose, Caribou and Grizzly hunt. Prices are at the end of this writeup.
Approximate DATES: First hunt is September 1 – 10, Second hunt is September 11 – 20
There is also good caribou hunting in this area. The outfitter hunts along the migration route of the Western Arctic Herd, Alaska’s largest Caribou herd. Grizzly bear is also available in this area on a drawing basis only. This is a good area to take a mixed bag of trophy class species. We encourage hunters to apply for a grizzly tag. The grizzly population is extremely high in this area. Book early to enter the drawing. You must apply between Nov 1-Dec 31. Do not apply until we verify hunt codes the outfitter wants you to use! You must have purchased a hunting license to apply!
DATES: First hunt is September 1 – 10, Second hunt is September 11 – 20
Transportation: Alaska Airlines flight # 151 into Kotzebue from Anchorage. Depart Kotzebue on Alaska Airlines flight #153.
License: Moose tags are $800, Grizzly $1000, Caribou $650, Nonresident license $160. License and tags should be purchased online prior to arrival in Alaska. All
Moose hunts are in GMU # 23. http://wildlife.alaska.gov/license_form/permit/spring_supp.pdf
Includes: 1x 1 Professional Guide service, in-field transportation, trophy preparation, in-field accommodations, and meals, transportation of meat, cape, and antlers back to Kotzebue.
Not Included: Expediting of antlers, capes and meat beyond Kotzebue, lodging and meals in Kotzebue before or after your hunt, or due to the inability to fly due to bad weather, gratuities.
Camp: Camps are remote spike camps with outfitter-style tents for cooking, dining, and storage, and with dome tents used for sleeping quarters equipped with cots. Basic, but adequate and you will see game from your tent. Bike; hike, bicycle and train for this hunt. You will find waking very difficult.
ASK FOR BUTCH’S SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT LIST FOR THESE KOTZEBUE HUNTS!!
BROWN BEAR HUNTS:
The outfitter hunts brownies from three locations: Port Heiden; Illiamna and Cold Bay. The outfitter offers fall hunts in the ODD numbered years and spring hunts in the EVEN numbered years. Bears stretch from 9’ to 11’ 7”! In 2018 Cold Bay will be hunted; and in 2019 Port Heiden will be hunted. Cold Bay is about 200 miles south west of Port Heiden. Both are on the Peninsula. Here is a comment from Butch’s client who had done an early Spring bear hunt with another outfitter and had failed to connect (not thru us!). He called Butch, Butch made a special arrangement to have him go to this outfitter’s camp, and hang out until someone scored (which did not take long!). Then this client, Larry B – got to try his luck. He passed on a 8.5 footer, chased a 10.5 footer and ended up killing a 10’ plus !! Larry said this:
“Butch -I enthusiastically recommend you and this outfitter to anyone who wants to actively stalk the planet’s biggest bears in their best habitat with a very successful, well-equipped outfit that gets up and goes after the game!”
There were lots of beaming faces in this bear camp. You need to be in shape. Snow and climbing is involved. You will spot the bears and then climb 1000 feet or more in elevation to reach them. The outfitter has multiple spike camps, and will fly you to another camp if your area is not producing sightings. It is very reasonable expectation to kill a bear in the 9 to 10 foot range, with some hitting 11 feet. Cold Bay is big bear country! PRICING and MORE DETAILS APPEAR AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS WRITEUP.
To reach Cold Bay you fly to Anchorage, take Penn Air to Cold Bay where you meet the outfitter. Flight cost is about $850. The outfitter’s clients have been taking some truly giant bears with the largest squaring 11’7”. Success rates approach 100% in the Cold Bay area on brownies. Most bears will run 9 to 10.5 feet. These areas both have a high density of bears and have been very lightly hunted. The guides work very hard for you. Base camp is wall tents with 6-man dome tents for sleeping. Spike camps are the dome tents with cots. Spring season dates normally are around May 10-25 with two 8 day hunts. Fall dates Oct 1-10; and Oct 12-21. Bear tags are currently $500. Port Heiden hunts are described below. Only one brown bear per four years is the limit for hunters in this unit.
Cold Bay, Alaska Brown bear hunts: Spring
The Alaska Peninsula near Cold bay is his premier brown bear hunting area. This is an area they only hunt on even numbered spring years. It is probably the best location for trophy brown bear in Alaska. This region is as good if not better than Kodiak Island for huge coastal brown bear.
The Aleutian Range with its 4000-foot peaks rising from the ocean’s edge makes the perfect backdrop for glassing giant coastal brown bear. This is truly Alaska’s trophy brown bear area. Brown Bear in these two units (9E and D) can grow to more than 11 feet square, with skulls measuring over 30 inches. More SCI record book brown bear have been taken from these two units than any others in Alaska. His clients’ largest brown bear taken from here in 2008 measured 11.6 feet squared, with a skull measurement of 30.5 inches.
Ten foot brown bear are taken each spring by his clients on this hunt, and most brown bear taken will measure over 9 feet! Many outfitters have never taken a true ten foot bear.
Hunting is done from a spike camp, only accessed by a Super Cub with large tundra tires. He and his pilots are continually checking on their camps and moving them as conditions change. As winter looses its grip and snow melts, the big boars bears will emerge from their dens. They are continually looking for such activity and place camps accordingly. With his base camp closely located to the Bering Sea, they are also searching the beaches looking for dead whales and walrus that have washed up on shore. Brown bear, wolves, and wolverine will come to these carcasses to feed. Camps will be placed near these locations as well.
Glassing mountainsides you will see brown bear, moose, caribou, wolves and wolverine. Brown bear will move off the mountains to the lower elevations looking for food and females. Quite often you will see large boars chasing both smaller boars and adult sows up and down the mountains. Sows with young cubs are at high risk. Large males will kill and eat young cubs for food, and to bring the female back into heat. This has been witnessed first hand over the years while hunting for both brown bear and grizzly bear in the spring.
Most brown bear are taken less than 2 miles from our spike camps. Spring hunting is more physically demanding than fall hunting. Hunters will need to be able to climb the hills or mountains to go after brown bear emerging from their dens high up in the mountains. Quite often you will see bear laying down high up in the mountains basking in the sun. Brown bear will remain close to the den for days before they move off any great distance. This is the ideal situation to find a big brown bear that has just dug itself out from the den and to remain close by for days allowing hunters to make a successful stalk.
Brown bear will go back in the den to sleep during the cool spring nights, and once again emerge mid day as the sun warms the hill or mountain side causing the den to fill with water from the melting spring snow. Depending on the snow conditions it may require snowshoes to travel up the valleys to the bear, but the good thing is, often the alders are still covered with snow allowing for easier and faster travel. The biggest difference between spring versus fall brown bear is that the male brown bear are more active during the spring due to the breeding season.
SPRING – COLD BAY ALASKAN PENINSULA- GIANT COLD BAY BROWNIES! Cold Bay has been written up a number of times in the outdoor magzines. It produces MANY huge bears. This outfitter’s best to date was an 11’ 7” and an 11′ 2″!! Giants!!!
PRICE: Dates are approximate. Prices subject to change due to aviation fuel costs.
DATES: BROWN BEAR- COLD BAY: : Availability as of 10/6/17 for SPRING 2018
5 SPOTS = MAY 10 – 20, 2018
2 SPOTS = MAY 11, 12 & 13 (AS STAND-BY’S FOR OPENING DAY HUNTS)
6 SPOTS = MAY 21 – 31 EVEN YEARS ONLY FOR SPRING ON THE PENINSULA!!!!
TRANSPORTATION: Illiamna Air Taxi from Anchorage to Illiamna, or Penn Air to Cold Bay from Anchorage. Outfitter will meet you at Illiamna or Cold Bay, Alaska.
INCLUDES: 1X1 Professional Guide service, In-field accommodations and meals, trophy care, and
all in-field transportation.
NOT INCLUDED: In-town lodging before or after your hunt, or due to the inability to fly due to bad weather. Commercial airfare to Illiamna or Cold Bay, shipping or hauling of trophies beyond Illiamna or Cold Bay. Licenses or tags, gratuities.
License: Brown bear tags are $500, and the non-resident hunting license is $85. Both should be purchased online before arrival in Alaska.
CAMP: Base camp will be made up of wall tents for cooking, eating, and storage with 6-man dome tents used for sleeping. Spike camps are made up of 6-man dome tents with cots.
Port Heiden, Alaska Brown Bear Hunts: Fall
If you prefer hunting in the fall and are truly after a ten-foot brown bear you may want to consider this outfitter’s fall brown bear hunting area in unit 9E near Port Heiden. Success at this location runs 90 to 100% normally. For this hunt you will fly from Anchorage to Port Heiden with Pen Air. Season dates for this area are from October 1st through the 25th in odd numbered years. This part of the Alaska Peninsula is managed by the state of Alaska to ensure trophy-sized brown bear. Only one brown bear per four years is the limit for hunters in this unit. Over the years, many of the outfitter’s clients have taken record book brown bear on this hunt. A 9-foot plus brown bear can weigh as much as 1,400 pounds. Each year the outfitter’s clients take brown bears that qualify for SCI and Boone and Crockett. Hides can square 10.5 feet plus from this area. Hunting is done from spike camps that are only accessed by a super cub airplane equipped with large tundra tires.
Hunting is primarily done in the low areas along the streams and rivers that are full of returning sockeye and silver salmon. Brown bear will be feeding on salmon to put on the necessary weight needed to go into hibernation. After feeding, bears will lie in the thick alders. This is another location where they place camps, as the bedding areas have been very productive for them over the years as brown bear move off the rivers, many times shortly after day light. You will move towards these bedding areas and wait along the many deeply worn trails, waiting and glassing for big brown bear to return to the brush. The larger older bears are most often the first to take cover in the dense alders, often returning right at daylight. Hunters will be intercepting bear to and from their feeding grounds. The average day is spent sitting along the river glassing for brown bear feeding on salmon. When doing so, scent control is a MUST!! It will make the hair stand up on your neck when you hear the water splashing from a large brown bear chasing salmon in the river as he is about to round the bend that you are sitting at!
Bow hunting for brown bear can be very effective in this area, as most of the streams start from an under ground spring. As salmon move up these systems, they reach a dead end in the stream, and begin to pool up by the hundreds. This makes for a perfect area to bow hunt. They have had numerous clients take record book brown bear with a bow in this area.
This fall hunt is generally less strenuous then the spring hunt, which can be physically demanding. You will not be climbing the mountains, not likely have snow and spend more time glassing and watching.
Dates: Oct 1st-10th Oct 11th-21st of odd Years. Port Heiden Fall 10-day hunt
Transportation: Fly to Anchorage. Penn Air to King Salmon and the Grant Aviation into Port Heiden.
Includes: 1X1 Professional Guide service, In-field accommodations and meals, trophy care, and all in field transportation.
Not Included: In town lodging before or after your hunt, or due to the inability to fly due to bad weather. Commercial airfare to Port Heiden, shipping or hauling of trophies beyond Port Heiden. Licenses or tags, gratuities.
License: Brown bear tags are $500, and the non-resident hunting license is $85. Both should be purchased online before arrival in Alaska.
Camp: Base camp will be made up of wall tents for cooking, eating, and storage with 6-man dome tents used for sleeping. Spike camps are made up of 6-man dome tents with cots.
GRIZZLY BEAR HUNTS:
He hunts two different areas (Kotzebue and Illiamna), for two different sorts of griz!
KOTZEBUE: He hunts the so-called Arctic Grizzly near Kotzebue in the fall season. These bears have a very wide color variation, with light blonde being most common. Bears there will average from 7 to 8 feet. Hunts are spot and stalk, glassing mountain sides and river valleys. You can combo with caribou as well, if the timing works out. We normally want our grizzly hunters to start about Sept 1, before bears start wandering. This Kotzebue area as of 2014 now has over the counter and registration grizzly tags! Too many bears, so no draw any more. Hunt April/May or else September. One hunter in fall of 2014, simply sat in camp in his chair and saw 19 bears one day! They walked by at breakfast and at dinner! Needless to say he took a good one, and another they estimated at 9 feet got away. The river necks down in front of camp so bears are forced close. A reasonable expectation is between 7 and 8 feet. Nice thing is, due to the regular Spring flooding, the river valley is almost like walking on a sidewalk- flat and relatively easy! The bears key on the chum salmon that run the river in droves. 1X1 guiding, meals and lodging and includes your charter flight! Tag is over the counter, pick it up in Kotzebue and outfitter assists you.
This outfitter’s third bear area is in Unit 9A at the head of the Alaskan Peninsula, not far from Illiamna. This unit has one of the state’s highest brown bear populations. Most of the outfitter’s camps are along the coast of Cook Inlet. Bears average in the 8’ to 9 1/2’ range with a few bigger. These bears can weigh upwards of 900 pounds or more. The outfitter’s clients boast almost a 100% success on this hunt over the years. The area is mountainous, with thick alders and spruce forest. Due to the high bear density, it is one of the easier brownie hunts around, with clients frequently seeing dozens of bears. Weather and your physical condition of course can play a part. Bears hear go into hibernation in late October, emerging in April. Camps are situated to take advantage of these general patterns, being placed near denning areas or feeding areas.
Date is roughly Sept 1-7, 2018. VERY LIMITED OFFERING!
ILIAMNA AREA SPRING AND FALL BROWN BEAR HUNTS
This outfitter’s third bear area is in Unit 9A at the head of the Alaskan Peninsula, not far from Iliamna. This unit has one of the state’s highest brown bear populations. Most of the outfitter’s camps are along the coast of Cook Inlet. Bears average in the 8’ to 9 1/2’ range, with a few bigger. These bears can weigh upwards of 900 pounds or more. The Clients boast almost a 100% success on this hunt over the years. The area is mountainous, with thick alders and spruce forest. Due to the high bear density, it is one of the easier brownie hunts around, with clients frequently seeing dozens of bears. Weather and your physical condition of course can play a part. Bears here go into hibernation in late October, emerging in April. Camps are situated to take advantage of these general patterns, being placed near denning areas or feeding areas.
GUIDED CARIBOU HUNTS:
These hunts are based out of Kotzebue. This means you will overnight either in Anchorage and fly out the next morning to Kotz or you may overnight in Kotz. You will be hunting the largest caribou herd in Alaska, the Western Arctic herd, which numbers over 500,000 caribou. The Mulchatna herd is not doing well, but this Western Arctic herd is in excellent condition with lots of trophy animals. You are allowed now to take two caribou here. Hunter success on both guided and unguided hunts usually runs between 90 and 100%. But every so often the bou just do not show up- and that can happen. The outfitter’s camps are mobile and he relocates them as the herd moves along its migration route, to ensure you the highest opportunity for success.
Trophy bulls are quite common, and seeing 300 to 500 caribou is not unusual. You need to realize though that caribou are vast roamers and caribou here today may disappear tomorrow!
We advise taking the first decent bull you see, then trophy hunt. You can also take wolves at no extra charge.
Wolves require a $60 tag. During Butch’s 2011 hunt one client took a gorgeous black wolf using a predator call. (HINT!) All prices include airport pickup, and charter transport to the field and back.
Guided hunts (2 x 1) meals and camps etc… are all set up for you. Extra days are $175 per day. No extra fee for charter to camp. The muskeg and tundra here is some of the toughest walking you can do! If you are overweight or out of shape, you’ll be worn out in a single day. Call and discuss this to be sure you are up to the task. It can take most of a day to get a caribou back to camp. You will sink into the muskeg at nearly every step.
Dates: Mid August to end of September
Licenses: $650 per caribou and $160 for hunting license. Buy on line before arrival!
Transport- see details spelled out in the unguided hunt description.
UNGUIDED CARIBOU HUNT:
Hunt Description: You will be hunting the Western Arctic Herd, which is currently the largest caribou herd in Alaska, with over 500,000 animals. The camps are mobile and will be relocated as the herd moves along its migration route, to ensure you of the highest chance for success. Outfitter makes every effort to assure clients will be placed in areas that are productive. The average hunter will see 300 to 500 plus caribou on this hunt, according to the outfitter. Trophy class bulls are very common. Unguided hunts include all food, six- person guide model dome tents, cots, all cooking supplies, propane, water containers and transport of meat and trophy parts back to Kotzebue.
The muskeg and tundra here is some of the toughest walking you can do! If you are overweight or out of shape, you’ll be worn out in a single day. Call and discuss this to be sure you are up to the task. It can take most of a day to get a caribou back to camp. You will sink into the muskeg at nearly every step.
Unguided Includes: Airport pickup, air transportation in/out of field, food, 6-person Guide Model dome tent, cots, stove, propane, pots, pans, and cooking utensils, water containers, transportation of meat, cape, and antlers back to Kotzebue, and expediting assistance.
Not Included: Shipping of antlers, capes, and meat beyond Kotzebue, lodging and meals in Kotzebue before or after your hunt, or due to the inability to fly due to bad weather, gratuities.
DIY CARIBOU HUNT DATES:
2018: SEPT 5 – 11, 2018; SEPT 7 – 13, 2018; SEPT 10 – 16, 2018 SEPT 15 – 21, 2018
2019: AUG 27 – SEPT 2, 2019 AUG 30 – SEPT 5, 2019 SEPT 9 – SEPT 15, 2019 SEPT 13 – 19, 2019
Transportation: Overnight in Anchorage with an AM connecting flight #151 or #152 on Alaska Airlines to Kotzebue, Alaska, where your outfitter will meet you. Depart on flight #153.
DISCUSS THIS HUNT WITH US BEFORE BOOKING SO YOU UNDERSTAND IT FULLY!
Camp: 6-person guide model dome tents with cots.
License: Caribou tags are $650 per caribou. Non-resident hunting license $160. License and tags should be purchased online before arrival in Alaska.
2018 PRICING (subject to change without notice)
50% deposit due in order to reserve hunt date and price. Remaining balance due 60 days prior to hunt.
10 Day Fall Brown Bear Hunt – Port Heiden Area $20,500
10 Day Spring Brown Bear Hunt – Cold Bay Area $22,500
7 Day Arctic Grizzly Bear Hunt $12,500
10 Day Arctic Grizzly Bear/Caribou $17,000
10 Day Trophy Moose Hunt – draw area $16,500
10 Day Moose, Caribou Combo $19,500
10 Day Moose, Arctic Grizzly Combo $22,500
10 Day Moose, Arctic Grizzly, Caribou Combo $26,500
5 Day Guided 2×1 Caribou Hunt $8,500
5 Day Unguided Caribou Hunt $3,750
Observer Rates : $400 per day, min. 5 days
BROWN BEAR- COLD BAY: : Availability as of 10/6/17 for SPRING 2018
5 SPOTS = MAY 10 – 20, 2018
2 SPOTS = MAY 11, 12 & 13 (AS STAND-BYS FOR OPENING DAY HUNTS)
6 SPOTS = MAY 21 – 31
Fall Caribou & Grizzly COMBO hunts: AVAILABILITY AS OF 10/6/17: SEVERAL spots available with hunts beginning August 25, 2018 and running through the month of September.
HUNT-NATION – WE KNOW ALASKA AND WE GO TO ALASKA NEARLY EVERY YEAR!
HONEST ADVICE- HONESTLY GIVEN
CALL US: 307.637.5495 OR EMAIL: email@example.com
KOTZEBUE WEATHER: If you’re coming from the Lower 48 for our Alaska caribou hunting, or Alaska moose hunting, you may be checking on the weather in Kotzebue as an indictor of the kind of weather you’ll see out in the field. Our advice: use it for some guidance, but remember that you may be a hundred or more miles inland, higher in elevation, and away from the ocean. Generally, expect temperatures to be a little colder and conditions a bit windier, depending on the camp site you end up at for your hunt.