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Steve's Alaskan Bear Adventure III

BEARS SPOTTED! West chronicles Alaskan hunt

Steve West spots a bear den a mile away. Steve West spots a bear den a mile away.

By: Steve West

This is Part III of a five-part series of Steve's Alaskan Bear Adventure

Click here for Part I | Part II

Steve West of "Steve’s Outdoor Adventures" took his show on the road for bear hunts in the Alaskan wilderness. Through April into early May, West and his team awaited the warmup that would bring bears out of their dens. West, a professional hunting consultant who books clients for trips, teamed with DeLorme inReach to update followers of the bear hunts, which will be featured on his Outdoor Channel show starting in October.

Following is West’s daily account and photographs of this Alaskan Bear Adventure.

See his entries and photos from April 13-17.

See his entries and photos from April 8-12.

April 18, 2013
After sleeping until 10 a.m. and then eating breakfast, the planes hit the sky. The temperature is skyrocketing today and is up to 44 degrees when the planes take off into the blue sky. Mid-afternoon the report comes back, BEARS SPOTTED!!!

Doug spots a small boar on his den … too small to hunt and only one bear a long ways out. But this is a good sign that things are opening up! We all head to bed that night with high expectations for tomorrow, because the weather forecast we got looks very good!

April 19, 2013
No sleeping in today, we are all amped up about the possibility of finding some more bears. Planes lift off at noon, and by 2 p.m. the daytime high hits 45 degrees at the cabin!

Good news rolls in, pilots return to tell us about a sow with two cubs at one den and another small boar on his den … and right below him a giant bear that left the den and headed to the valley bottom where they also saw some moose he was likely hunting. All of these bears in one valley … tomorrow we plan to ride the snowmobiles and haul a spike camp there, 30 miles away, and start hunting these bears!

We are ready!

April 20, 2013
No sleeping in today either, we are up and packing sleds and equipment. The temperature is almost 40 degrees by late morning and the river is thawing out in front of the cabin!

As we are preparing to roll out one of our pilots flies out and returns quickly. He tells us two resident snow machine hunters killed the big bear in the valley bottom. The only shooter bear that had been seen. This floors Scott -- today was his last hunting day. So we give him an option, stay on and keep hunting or head home for 10 days and come back with warmer conditions and lots of bears out of the den. He opts to fly out the next day and come back. This guy is awesome and we all want him to get a bear very badly.

April 21, 2013
Scott flies back to town and Dan McArthur and Jerry Munk are flying in later today. The sun is warm and by lunch time the temperature is 46 degrees! Why are we not hunting today?! I am sure bears are popping out, sure of it!

We do a photo shoot today for 5.11, Stormkloth II, and Kershaw as well as shoot some video for the shows. All of the things we try to get done on a down day.

About 5 p.m. the pilots return with a resupply of groceries and two new hunters! They turn out to be awesome guys, and we are all stoked to go hunting.

We take the last few good hours of light to shoot rifles and figure out which rifles the guys want to hunt with, etc.

Jerry Munk falls in love with my Bergara .338 Win Mag that is topped with the new Burris Eliminator III scope and loaded with Corbon’s 225-grain T-DPX bullets. We have killed a few big brown bears with this rifle; it is a bad-ass gun. Dan McArthur likes the Bergara .300 Win Mag that Scott was shooting. They have their rifles settled on and we are off to the races!

April 22, 2013
We awoke to a spectacular day. By noon it is almost 50 degrees in the sun and the snow around the cabin is melting fast. The planes take off at 1:15 p.m. to start looking for bears … by 3 p.m. they are back with news of multiple bear dens located in a valley about 30 minutes away.

We scramble to gather our gear and fly everyone out to a location Jeremy decided on for a spike camp at the top of Hayes Pass, 1,982 feet in elevation, where we set up a two bomb shelter tent camp. One 10x10 and one 8x8 with a view you cannot fathom, only in Alaska!

We can see one of the bear dens about a mile away. Cold, clear night and we go to bed with high expectations and anticipation for tomorrow's hunt. I expect two things at this point. One, that we are now on the bears; and two, I have probably seen the last of the cabin and that I should get used to sleeping in a small tent!


Click image to view photos from April 18 to April 22



Click here to read Part IV

“Steve’s Outdoor Adventures” Show Page

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