Steve's Alaskan Bear Adventure IV
After being in Alaska for more than two weeks, Steve finally has something to celebrate.
This is Part IV of a five-part series of Steve's Alaskan Bear Adventure
Click here for Part I | Part II | Part III
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 18-22.
See his entries and photos from April 13-17.
See his entries and photos from April 8-12.
April 23, 2013
8 a.m. We are shocked to wake up to zero visibility and falling snow that has all but ruined our day’s hunt. What a shock from our 10-plus days of sunshine that had been warming the Alaskan landscape and making our bear hunt finally come together.
2 p.m. Clouds are lifting and we hike 1/2 mile in snowshoes to a vantage point to glass for bears and watch the one open den. It is cold and cloudy, so odds of the bear emerging again are slim.
8 p.m. We retreat to camp with no sight of the bear.
Cold and cloudy night as we head to bed, hope tomorrow is better. Today could not have had a daytime high over 25 degrees up in the pass.
April 24, 2013
8 a.m. More cloudy weather but a high ceiling, so we leave camp around 11 a.m. and hike to the bottom of the mountain below the den. A cow moose is browsing the willows and gives us our first wildlife sighting.
1 p.m. No bear yet but blue sky is coming from the north as the breeze changes direction.
2:20 p.m. I spot a BEAR one ridge over, looks to be a good one and the chase is on, we parallel the bear until he comes down below the rocks.
My left snowshoe breaks and I have to stay back and watch as Jerry Munk closes the distance to 369 yards and hammers it with one shot from my .338 Win Mag and Bergara Custom rifle. He takes a scope shot above the eye that bleeds profusely. Shot the bear at 6:20 p.m.
We finish filming and skinning and we are on the way back at 7:35 p.m. Three hours later, around 10:30 p.m., we are wore out, sunburned, and back in camp where we collapse into bed. The 50+ mph winds and sub-zero wind chill and oversized snowshoes made this one of the worst walks of my life. Bataan death march for sure.
April 25, 2013
Blew hard all night and is still blowing all morning but no clouds in sight. Great day to recover and fly Dan McArthur to camp when the wind settles down. Transferring video and meeting with my cameramen to script a plan for the day. My face is sunburned and I look like a raccoon where you can see the outline of the 5.11 sunglasses. I need a day like this. My muscles are sore and equipment scattered.
8 p.m. Too windy all day, used my inReach to text with our pilots and we are hoping the wind lays down tomorrow so we can switch out hunters and get back to hunting. Spent the day getting organized and ready to roll, but we got word of really bad weather coming. Our window to get these shows filmed is closing fast. My legs still ache from yesterday's hike but I am recovering fast.
Miss my wife at home, called her today and that made me feel better.
April 26, 2013
9 a.m. Warm and sunny with light winds from time to time. Warming up the tent to burn the dew off my sleeping bag. Sent inReach messages out to pilots that weather was good and to get rolling. Need to recon another bear, get Danny McArthur into camp and Jerry Munk to Anchorage with his bear. If the weather holds this is a busy day!
1:20 p.m. Hicks and Doug fly both cubs into camp and pick up Jeremy. They have Dan, too. They are flying for bears and open dens now. We might have to relocate camp. A lot of work but necessary if you want to hunt April grizzlies. Stay mobile, stay patient, and stay ready!
3:00 p.m. We move camp to the backside of a small mountain where we dig down three feet in the snow to keep the tents out of the wind. There are five dens on the other side of the small mountain/ridge we will hunt tomorrow. They saw one sow with two cubs and one other single bear on a den. No one has seen this many bear dens in one spot before. They are all very close together!
Click image to view photos from April 23 to April 26
Click here to read Part V
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