Bear hunting in Alaska can be exhilarating and the best adventure of your life. Before you leave home, make sure you do a lot of pre-hunt research on the type of Alaska bear hunting that you want to do. There are several species to choose from, and it all depends on what one appeals to you.
In general, other things you will need to know before leaving to go bear hunting in Alaska are bear body language signs. This is mostly relevant if you happen to surprise one while you are out Alaska hunting, and are not ready to harvest or this is not the size or quality of bear you want for your hunt trophy. If the bear you surprise looks you in the eyes directly and has its ears back, it is clearly warning you that you are too close and it feels threatened. It may make barking, woofing or moaning sounds to reinforce this.
If the bear pops its jaws (snaps its teeth), it’s extremely agitated and most likely will charge. Often bear charges are a test to resolve a situation and are bluff charges. Meaning the bear stops short of you, veers off and runs right past you. This might happen many times before the bear leaves or comes at you from a different angle.
If the bear charges you and knocks you down, it is trying to eliminate a threat and will use as much force as it thinks is needed to remove the threat. Don’t try to out run a bear, it only makes the situation worse and they can reach speeds of 30-35 mph in a split second. So while the bear season in Alaska can be a thrill, you need to be prepared for any eventuality.
Another thing you will likely be told by your outfitter while you are bear hunting in Alaska, is that cubs and females with offspring may not be killed. Whatever you do harvest in terms of bear meat (if the plan is to eat it) must be thoroughly cooked to prevent contracting trichinosis, a parasitic disease that may be fatal to man. One of the main causes of this disease is eating raw or undercooked wild game meats. Freezing this meats, unlike freezing pork (even for long periods of time) may not effectively kill all worms. This is because the species of trichinella that infects wild game is more resistant to freezing than the species that infects pigs.
You will want to spend time glassing prospective bears prior to harvest while you are hunting bear in Alaska. Check out the pelt as well for rubbed spots that would mean a poor quality hide. Taking your time to observe the bear will also prevent you from inadvertently taking a female that has cubs hidden. With a bit of care and attention to detail, while bear hunting in Alaska, you can learn to spot a fair harvest and a quality trophy animal.