August 20, 2017

2014 Season Report

Our 2014 guiding and hunting season has started off excellently with another very safe, successful and enjoyable spring trophy brown bear season in our exclusive guide-use area on the Alaska Peninsula in the Izembek NWR. We were once again 100% successful with all four of our hunters this spring harvesting beautiful, large boar (male) bears that all had excellent hair quality. The bears were 10’4”, 10’3”, 9’10” and 9’8” with an averaged skull size of 27 1/16”, the largest being 28”! The weather, as is so often the case on the lower Alaska Peninsula, was dynamic this spring with the first half of the season being unseasonably warm, dry and sunny which seemed to make the bears even more nocturnal than normal but as the season progressed the weather became more typical for that time of the year with some cloud cover and cooler temperatures returning, which brought with it an increase in the bear activity. This was perhaps the only bear season that I can recall that we might have been able to go the entire hunt without a raincoat – quite a feat for the Peninsula – though they always remained in our backpacks and were often used as windbreakers. Congratulations to our four bear hunters on their tremendous bears and a hunt well done!

During the August 2014 season, between our three Trophy Dall Sheep Camps, which are spaced approximately 25 miles apart in the Brooks Range, 7 of our 12 hunters harvested Dall sheep rams and the 8th hunter had multiple shots over two different occasions at a really nice double-broomed ram ranging in distance from about 400 yards to 175 yards but unfortunately he was not able to place his bullet(s) where they needed to be.  The poor physical fitness of three hunters significantly contributed to them not having an opportunity at a nice ram and the final hunter, who had previously harvested a trophy ram, simply didn’t see one that was significantly superior to the ram he already had.  The reports we received from other guides and pilots across Alaska is that overall the ram harvest was lower in the fall of 2014 than in 2013 and of note was the lack of lambs that were seen while in the field.

September 2014 was overall a good Moose season for us.  The end of August and first few days of September were clear and chilly, which often helps to trigger the rut so we were all excited to perhaps have a bit of an “early” rut this fall but were surprised when it suddenly turned rather warm just at the beginning of our moose hunts and so things were off to a bit of a slow start in terms of good rut activity.  A number of decent bulls were seen during this period but it took a few days for the season to really pick up and get into full swing.  Two of our hunters harvested beautiful bulls and one of these hunters also harvested a beautiful Arctic Grizzly at about 10 yards, in addition to his big bull!  Our third hunter had to leave camp a few days before the end of the hunt due to business / work commitments he could not get out of, which was a real shame as the bull activity was really heating up just as he had to leave, but he would very much like to come join us again in the next few years and is committed to staying for the entire hunt period.