Hunting Alaska Kodiak Bear
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Bows, Firearms, Cartridge, and Ammunition for Hunting Alaska:

The rifle you bring hunting should be one with which you are comfortable. many hunters have been convinced that a .300, .338, .375, or .416 magnum is needed for personal protection and to take large Alaska game. This is simply not true.

1.Rifle/handgun: State regulations require that rifles and handguns must fire a 200-grain or larger bullet, which retains at least 2000 foot-pounds of energy at 100 yards. A .30-06 with a 220-grain bullet is about the minimal weapon that meets this specification. Please do not bring your favorite firearm and expect to use it if it does not meet the above criteria. 

2.Muzzleloader: Muzzle-loading rifles must be .54 caliber or larger, or at least .45 caliber with a 250-grain or larger elongated slug. Further, for safety reasons, those hunting with muzzleloaders must also have within easy reach a smokeless powder rifle meeting the centerfire rifle requirements listed above. 

3.Bow: Longbows, recurve bows, or compound bows are permitted, but they must have a peak draw weight of 50 pounds or more. Arrows must be at least 20 inches in overall length, and tipped with unbarbed, fixed or replaceable-blade type broadheads. Arrow and broadhead together must weigh at least 300 grains total weight. As with hunters using muzzleloaders, ADF&G strongly recommends that bowhunters have a rifle close at hand. 

* If you are planning on packing out moose meat, caribou meat, or a brown bear hide weighing hundreds of pounds, you can carry a 9- to 11-pound rifle including scope. A rifle of this weight in .300 or .338 magnum can be mastered with a lot of practice.

SUMMERY:  You can’t go wrong with a stainless steel bolt-action rifle chambered for a standard cartridge that you are comfortable with and can shoot accurately, loaded with a high quality bullet. 
The Kodiak archipelago is arguably the best bear habitat in the world. Thus, it supports one of the densest known populations of brown bears. Brown bears on Kodiak Island are classified as a distinct subspecies from those on the mainland because they are genetically and physically isolated.They are the largest brown bear and are comparable in size to polar bears. An adult male can stand more than 10 ft tall when on his hind legs and 5 ft when on all four legs. Kodiak bears weigh as much as 1,300 lbs. Females are about 20 percent smaller and 30 percent lighter than males.

The People of Kodiak are the Alutiit. They hunted bears, using their meat for food, hides for clothing and bedding, intestines for rainproof parkas, long bones for tools, and teeth for adornment. Because of the spiritual relationship between the bear and the Alutiit, skulls were left in the field.

Hunting tips -  Hunting in Kodiak
About 5,000 resident hunters apply each year for a chance at the 319 bear permits (107 in fall and 212 in spring) available to them.

Hunters who are not residents of Alaska vie for some 153 permits (53 in fall and 100 in spring) and must hire professional guides, paying $9,000–15,000 per hunt. 

You also need proof that you will be guided by a licensed guide or a close relative.
(download a guide-client agreement ) 

You need a valid Alaska hunting license, a Big Game Tag Record, a brown bear locking tag, and a registration and/or drawing permit for the area you plan to hunt.

We strongly urge non-residents to make arrangements with a qualified big game guide prior to applying for any Kodiak bear hunts.    

Shelter is the first consideration when hunting on Kodiak. Rain, snow and high winds can be expected at any season. Temperatures can fall as low as 0°F during the fall. Spring temperatures are usually from the mid-30's to 50°F. A limited number of cabins on Kodiak Island are available to the public. Inquires should be made to Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, 1390 Buskin River Road, Kodiak, Alaska 99615. Public use cabins on Shuyak and Afognak Island may be reserved by contacting Alaska Division of Parks, SR 3800, Kodiak, Alaska 99615. Several lodges and Native Corporations also provide hunter accommodation. 

All hunters must come into the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) office in Kodiak prior to going into the field for a brief orientation and must check out before they leave the island. Every bear that is legally killed on the Archipelago must be inspected by an Alaska Department of Fish and Game wildlife biologist before it can be taken from the islands.

Hunting tips - Where
Kodiak Island Archipelago parallels the Katmai Coast along the Alaska Peninsula for 177 miles. Sixteen major islands and many smaller ones encompass nearly 5,000 square miles. Kodiak Island is the largest island in the group and Raspberry Island is the fifth largest island in the Kodiak Aechipelago. Thirty miles across Shelikof Strait lie the coastal lands of Katmai National Park & Preserve. 

Kodiak can be reached via several regularly scheduled one-hour commercial flights from Anchorage, and is easily reached in one day travel from anywhere in the lower 48 states. 

Shuyak, eastern Afognak, western Raspberry, northeastern Kodiak, Sitkinak, and 
Tugidak islands are primarily state lands. Native landowners control most of Afognak, Whale, Spruce, and Sitkalidak islands and coastal areas on northern Kodiak Island. Much of the Karluk and Sturgeon rivers, the Akhiok area, and the eastern part of Raspberry Island are also managed by Native landowners.
Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge (KNWR) encompasses the southern two-thirds of Kodiak Island, the northwestern portion of Afognak Island, and all of Uganik Island.

Afognak Island’s bear habitat has experienced considerable alteration in the past 25 years because of commercial logging on private lands. These logging activities have not had major adverse impacts on the bear population. The bears still have access to healthy salmon, and berry and grass production has been enhanced in many areas. Hunting regulations in these logged areas have become more restrictive to limit the effects of direct persecution, and general access to logging roads has been restricted.

It is illegal to shoot cubs or a sow accompanied by cubs. No part of a bear can be sold or purchased. It is illegal to hunt or kill a brown/grizzly bear within one half mile of a garbage dump or land fill.

Sometimes people feel they have to shoot a bear that may be threatening life or property. Use your best judgment. If you do kill a bear in defense of life and property you must immediately bring the hide and skull to ADF&G for sealing and make a thorough report on why you killed the bear. If you take the bear with legal methods and means, have a valid hunting license and tags (if necessary) and the season is open, you can keep the bear. Otherwise, you will have to forfeit the bear. It is not legal to shoot a bear and claim defense of life and property if the bear is feeding on the carcass of a game animal that you have shot. The carcass is not considered property in this situation.

Hunting Tips - The Trophy
A brown bear hunt on Kodiak becomes truly exciting when the hunter sets his sights on an old boar of nine feet or better.  Sows with cubs are not legal quarry, and young bears do not make a good trophy.  As a bear ages and grows in size, his intelligence and elusiveness increase.

Hunts are usually 10-15 days. Trophy Kodiak brown bears like to be as far away from any human activity as possible.  This usually means that you need to spike camp far back in the canyons to find the big bears. In some areas you can travel from one canyon to the next by boat or Zodiac, and in other areas, you need to travel over land carrying a backpack, from one canyon to the next. By far the best way to hunt Kodiak Island is to find a prominent knob and set up with binoculars, a spotting scope, and glass the area hour on end with the least amount of movement as possible. You can look at a mountainside for hours with no activity, and then all of a sudden, seemingly from nowhere, a bear will be feeding on the mountainside.  Once a bear is spotted, several things need to be determined before you go after the bear:
1)  Size of the bear, age and the quality of his hide  (An experienced guide
              can help you with this)
2)  What is the Bear doing? If he lays down, and you have time before 
              dark, you can make your stalk.
3)  Which way is the wind blowing? You need to make an UP-WIND stalk.
4)  Get within 100 yards for the shot...Big Kodiaks are hard to bring down
              and its not ethical to shoot at them greater than 100 yards.

Hunting Tips - Shot placement
The objective of every conscientious hunter is to kill an animal as quickly as possible to avoid its suffering and to insure the highest quality meat. An animal that must be shot several times will have muscles flooded with lactic acid and adrenaline, resulting in poor tasting meat. 

Before a hunter takes a shot, it is his or her responsibility to be sure they can make a clean and accurate shot, so use a weapon you can shoot accurately.  Alaskan game animals will quickly die when both lungs and/or heart are hit by a bullet or arrow.

Heart & Double Lung Shot
The best shot placement is when the animal is broadside to the hunter or slightly facing away. A heart-lung shot from either position will likely puncture both lungs with the following advantages: 

1.When an animal is hit in the heart/lung area, a quick death is certain because an animal cannot function with a loss of both lungs and heart. If the bullet exits, the animal will probably leave a visible blood trail. 
2.The heart-lung area is likely to remain stationary. Because an animal’s head and neck frequently move its more difficult to accurately place a shot in those areas. 
3.A heart-lung shot minimizes a loss of meat if the bullet enters and exits through the ribs. 

Salvaging Hide, Skull, and Meat
You are required to salvage both the hide and skull of a bear killed anywhere in Alaska.  Hunters must leave evidence of sex (penis sheath or vulva) attatched to a bear hide until the hide has been sealed. This is a legal requirement. This information is used in bear research and management.

Sealing Requirements
Bears from any location in Alaska also must be sealed within 30 days of the date of kill. Bring the hide and skinned out skull to ADF&G or a registered sealer to be examined and sealed. A small tooth (a premolar) will be pulled to obtain age information on your bear. At the time of sealing please make sure the skull is not frozen solid so the tooth can be pulled. If you are interested in learning how old your bear is, contact the ADF&G office in late winter and they can tell you. they will need your name, date of kill, and location of the kill. 

Every bear that is legally killed on the Archipelago must be inspected by an Alaska Department of Fish and Game wildlife biologist before it can be taken from the islands.

Hunting Tips - Summery
For more information contact the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (907) 486-1880
or Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge   Toll Free: (888) 408-3514 or (907) 487-2600

This is not a substitute for the Alaska Hunting Regulations. For more complete infomation read the regulations and the permit hunt supplements. They are available at Alaska Department of Fish & Game offices and establishments that sell hunting licenses and tags. 

Always Check the Alaska Hunting & Trapping  Emergency Orders before planning to hunt an area or species as restrictions may apply.

CLICK HERE - For more information on hunting the Kodiak Brown Bear
Click Here - For information on permits for Drawing hunts, Regrestration hunts, or General Season hunts 
Click here - For Guides / Outfitters and more
Kodiak - facts and figures
* If you are a Nonresident or a Nonresident Alien, you must be accompanied by a licensed guide / outfitter OR by an Alaska resident (who is a close relative) to hunt in Alaska.

* You are allowed to report your harvest in person or via U.S. mail for all hunts. For some hunts, you may also report online instead. Failure-to-report (FTR) penalties apply for many hunts.  Click Here for more information

* Hunters may not take any bear cubs or sows with cubs. For this regulation, a brown/grizzly bear cub is defined as a brown/grizzly in its first or second year of life. 

* Hunters must leave evidence of sex (penis sheath or vulva) attatched to a bear hide until the hide has been sealed. This is a legal requirement. This information is used in bear research and management.

They are:  Kodiak brown bear, Sitka black-tailed deer, mountain goats, Roosevelt elk, reindeer, beaver, red squirrel, red fox, river otter, ermine, snowshoe hare, and pine marten. 

       * Taking Your Bear Hide
                    Out of Alaska
A raw (unprocessed) bear hide shipped out of Alaska to another state needs an export tag which can be obtained from any ADF&G office, post office or commercial shipper. If you plan to take your bear hide out of the United States, you need to obtain a federal CITES permit from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Law Enforcement.  Your guide and /or Outfitter can give you information on this BEFORE your hunt. 

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If you have a trophy that you believe may qualify for B & C's Big Game Awards Program - contact one of their measurers to have it officially scored.  
Minimum Scores      Awards    All-time
       black bear                     20             21
       grizzly bear                   23             24
       Alaska brown bear         26             28
       Alaska Kodiak bear        26             28  
       polar bear                      27             27

Trophy Scoring Form

Alaska Kodiak Brown Bear
 (Ursus arctus middendorffi), 
Backcountry Taxidermy
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