August 19, 2017

2016 Season Report

For the most part the weather was cooperative during our 2016 season, which proved to be another good season for us.  It started with a good Spring Trophy Brown Bear season with three of our four hunters harvesting great bears!! They averaged 10’3 (10′ 2″, 9′ 11″ and 10′ 9″ respectively) and the largest skull was 28 12/16″ B&C (29 3/16″ SCI)!!!

Our fourth hunter went after a 10′ + bear but between a sow that suddenly appeared as the big boar was approaching and the ensuing zigs and zags it just didn’t come together for him that hunt (though he did harvest a huge male wolf during his hunt) but that unsuccessful hunter said it was the best hunt they have ever been on and is joining us again for another brown bear hunt in October of 2017 !

We saw again a very strong population of bear this spring, with an estimated 70+ different bears being spotted during the course of the season from the four different camps and there was a noticeably strong population of cubs, which bodes well for future years. Our assumption that the low sightings and activity during the fall 2015 season was due to the bears being fully satiated because of an exceptionally strong, record breaking salmon run and simply lying low in the alders appears to have been correct All indicators now are that it should be a fantastic fall season in October of 2017, when we will next be allowed to return to our area and pursue this great animals once again!

August found us again, for the 26th year in a row, in the Brooks Range where we had a good Dall Sheep season. 7 of our 9 hunters and one guide harvested beautiful rams, the largest being 39 1/2″ ! Of the two hunters that didn’t harvest rams, one was 75 years old and found some aspects of the hunt rather challenging and the other missed an opportunity at 440 yards.  Two of our hunters also harvested wolves, in addition to their nice trophy rams, and based upon our on-the-ground field observations our sheep population across all ages classes seems solid and stable!

In September we enjoyed the company of two fine moose hunters, one in our Salmon River Camp and one in our Moose River Camp.  Our Salmon River Camp hunter harvested a beautiful 58 1/2″ trophy bull moose and passed on a younger, smaller grizzly.  In the Moose River Camp, my hunter and I passed on three legal bull moose early and mid-way through the 12 day hunt waiting for a slightly older and larger bull to materialize, which unfortunately didn’t happen before the weather took a turn for the worse and pretty much obliterated the last part of our hunt.  My hunter, who has previously harvested a trophy Dall Sheep and Arctic Grizzly with us, took it all in stride and understood that is part of hunting and we can’t control the weather nor did he regret not shooting any of the three legal bulls we easily could have.

Regardless of where, or with whom, one hunts the weather is always a key factor in the ultimate success of a hunt, though the measure of a good hunt is not always in what was harvested but in the overall experience and effort put forth to try to harvest a nice, old trophy animal.  The importance of favorable weather during any hunt in Alaska, and its correlation as a major factor in potentially harvesting an animal or not, can never really be overstated; good weather is a huge help and poor weather can make success only a hope but as none of us can control the weather it’s far better to simply accept whatever Mother Nature delivers and do the best one can with it.

We have a few openings remaining, for some species in some of our camps, in the 2017 season and are already looking forward to being back in the field with our hunters next year for more of adventure hunting at its finest so come join us!