*Guide Required* Kodiak bear hunts are managed under a draw system different than the rest of the bear hunts across the state. With the exception of one open registration hunt near Kodiak city, all hunts are regulated entirely with a draw system for residents and non-residents. This is a standalone draw system as most of Kodiak is federal land where outfitters have exclusive rights to these concession areas. What this means for applicants is that with non-resident quotas set aside and the requirement to have a guide-client signed agreement prior to applying, you could have draw odds as high as 100%. Most Kodiak outfitters will handle brown bear applications on the hunter’s behalf.
Prospective applicants should look at Kodiak with a “guide-first” approach. Guided Kodiak bear hunt prices range from $19,000 to $36,000, depending on the area and hunting style. Hunters should speak with our Hunt Advisors to narrow down the type of hunt desired. All Kodiak applications must be submitted by December 15th. For more information, see page 2 of the Drawing Permit Hunt Supplement.
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*Guide Required* Outside of Kodiak Island, brown bear inhabit many units in the southern portion of Alaska where salmon-filled streams are a central part of their summer and fall diet. Hunters looking to target brown bears have options from southeast Alaska to the island of Unimak, more than 1,100 miles to the west.
Splitting the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea, the Alaska Peninsula lies at the top of the Pacific Tectonic plate and is home to frequent earthquakes, volcanoes, brown bears, and some of the worst weather in the world. Mainland peninsula falls within unit 9, which uses a registration-based system for all brown bear permits. The spring and fall seasons alternate each year, meaning even years have a spring season and odd years have a fall season. All hunts on the Peninsula are conducted through open registration permits and only allow hunters to harvest one bear every four regulatory years. High success hunts range from $22,000 to $35,000 with most quality outfitters and should be reserved years in advance.
All of the permits on Unimak Island (unit 10) are handled through the draw. Keep in mind, you must sign a guide-client agreement before applying for these special Unimak monsters. Outside of Kodiak Island or the Peninsula, brown bears can be hunted in south and southwest Alaska. Many times, these hunts can potentially be combined with moose, Dall sheep, or caribou on a trophy fee basis. Typically, these guided hunts are cheaper than the Peninsula or Kodiak hunts, but the average bear size follows suit.
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*Guide Required* Grizzly bear populations in Alaska continue to thrive, and hundreds of bears are taken each year by hunters. These large omnivores are almost immune to deep, cold winters and the huge weather swings that are more common than ever in Alaska. Often an added species to a combination hunt, the grizzly bear is managed with both spring and fall seasons. The majority of the state is managed with general season, over-the-counter permits. Depending on which unit your outfitter operates in, grizzly bear bag limits are either one bear every four regulatory years or one bear every regulatory year. However, there are a few units that allow two bears to be taken every regulatory year. The biggest variance in grizzly bear hunt options and prices is generally determined by the body size and hair condition of the bears in the area. Just about every option is available from baited hunts to spot and stalk open country hunts and everything in between. It is important to consult with a Hunt Advisor and with your intended outfitter while considering a grizzly hunt that fits trophy expectations and budget.
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Almost all units in Alaska offer black bear seasons with non-resident opportunities available almost year-round. With bag limits ranging from one to five bears per regulatory year, there’s no shortage of opportunities to chase black bears any season you would like. Remember, a guide is not required to hunt black bear in Alaska.
The three units that require unguided non-residents to apply and draw a permit in order to hunt are in the southeastern corner of the state. These hunts exist to limit the non-resident hunting pressure on the area. Keep in mind that you cannot draw the same permit two regulatory years in a row.
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Alaska’s application deadline is 5 p.m. (AKST) on December 15, 2023.
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|Annual Hunting License||$160|
|Application Fee (each choice)||$5|
|LOCKING-TAG FEES (Purchase Before Hunt)|
|Brown/Grizzly Bear Tag (Guide Required)||$1,000|
|Black Bear Tag||$450|
Alaska Bear Hunting Articles from Huntin' Fool Magazine