So You Want to Hunt Black Bears in Alaska?

If I told you that all you had to do to kill a Black Bear in Alaska is first; fly to Anchorage; next, rent a car; and finally, drive 2 hours and start glassing, would you think I was kidding? It is not a joke. That is all you have to do to kill a bear in Alaska, but here are a few tips for making those steps easier.

Timing is everything. The best time to fly to Alaska (strictly for bear hunting) is August. The weather is great and the bears are starting to put on fat for the winter, which comes earlier in Alaska than it does in the lower 48. In August, most salmon runs are over and the bears are searching for berries. However, in Alaska, berries play the cruel prank of mostly only growing in higher elevations so you are going to have to look high.

Before you get to the hunting grounds though, you will need to get to Anchorage. There are plenty of other places in the state to go bear hunting that are not based out of Anchorage, but since Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska, it makes sense to have a town full of resources. I would recommend that you get here at any time in August. It is possible to fly in, kill a bear and be home all in a long weekend. The ultimate bonus of arriving in Anchorage in August is that it is daylight around 20 hours out of the day. Just like Las Vegas, the constant light keeps you awake and energized longer and allows you to hunt as much as your body can handle.

The best place to drive is to simple hop on Highway 1, called the Seward Highway and drive south. It’s that simple. There is enough public ground to get lost in for years, so getting a map and looking for heavily brushed drainages that have water in them is a good place to start. There are hundreds of those to choose from. It really is a matter of keeping it simple. 

Once you get to your area, all you have to do is have the leg strength enough to carry you and some gear uphill for a couple thousand feet. If you can do that, you will have to be blind or unlucky not to have success.

After your kill, there are plenty of taxidermists in town who will take care of your hide if you don’t have the time. You can either get it turned and salted and shipped to you, or have a local taxidermist turn your skin into a rug or a mount and later shipped to you.

It really is simple to fly in and kill a bear, but there is a secret to making it happen and that secret is to make it happen. Buy a plane ticket and just go.