At this time of the year when the days are getting longer and the sun is brightly shining melting the winter snow I’m continuously thinking of chasing black bears. In my early years in Alaska two or three of my Air Force buddies and I would head down the Seward Highway glassing the slopes for black bears. I want to thank all of the following guys for the many wonderful memories that I have hunting black bears on the beautiful Kenai Peninsula: Gary Wadkins, Chuck Berry, Dennis Bush, Doug Simmons, Bill Burgess, Walter Burkett, Russ Langston, Skip Phillips, Dan King, Earl Boucher, Marv Buckley, Dave Fannin, Mike Herbert, Lyle Thompson, Dave Brotherton, Bobby Butler, Eddie Lanoue, Marty Turnbow and Jared Juliussen. This is quite a gang and I have about the same number that hunted black bears with me in the Prince William Sound area. But this story is about the bears on the Kenai Peninsula. Follow along as we go black bear hunting.
Alaska is a beautiful and wild place. It has mountains, the ocean, rivers, tidal mud flats, glaciers and those unpredictable bears. Add the quick changing and bad weather and you have an accident waiting to happen. Spend 60 to 90 plus days a year in the wilderness for 45 years and your chances of something out of the norm happening is high. Add small airplanes and small boats and the odds go up. I think about this story and some of the other ones that I’ve shared and wonder if you readers are asking if this guy is a little nuts! Not really. I have made mistakes and have learned from them but no matter how safe you are or how well you plan in this environment, things just happen.
So far this year in Alaska we have had two bear maulings, several hikers rescued, a kayaker die and a couple of airplane crashes that I know of. If you live in Alaska and hunt, fish, backpack, mountain climb or any other outdoor adventure, you will have had or know of someone who has had the same type of experiences that I have written about.
Hopefully some of you will learn from my mistakes and some will laugh or cry because you have been there.
Follow me on my black bear adventures in Prince William Sound.