The Brown Bear is Alaska’s most sought after big game trophy. Sightings are very common in Southeastern Alaska, but to harvest a trophy will require much patience and perseverance. The ABC Islands (Admiralty, Baranof, and Chichagof Islands) of Southeast Alaska have the highest density of these bears in the entire state of Alaska and is a prime location for Alaskan brown bear hunts.
Alaskan Brown Bear Hunts; Spring and Fall
There are two hunting seasons for Alaskan brown bear hunts; Spring and Fall.
- Spring. Brown bears begin to emerge from their dens in the spring seeking food. The first thing to turn green in the spring in Southeast Alaska is the beach grass at the coastline so when the bears awaken they head straight to the beach to eat the fresh grass. This helps to know where to locate the bear for chances of a more successful hunt. Spring hunts can be enjoyed by hunters of almost any ability as they tend to be less physical than a fall hunt.
- Fall. From August until late September, the brown bears will begin feasting on salmon in one of Southeastern Alaska’s thousands of salmon streams. This time of year, millions of salmon return to the springs to spawn. Brown bears feast on the high protein salmon to prepare for winter hibernation.
Brown Bear Hunting License and Tags
In order to hunt brown bear you must have an Alaskan hunting license, and the brown/grizzly bear tag. Parker Guide Service operates on Tongass National U.S. Forest Service Land under an Authorized Special Use Permit. There is no need to put in for a draw. All hunts are allotted to us. Please note, however, that many of our hunts are reserved a year in advance so plan early. License fees are in addition to the cost of your hunt with Parker Guide Service. You may purchase your license and tags through us.
Basic Resident/Nonresident Brown Bear Hunting Rules
Hunters who do not reside in Alaska have some more regulations to follow than those that are Alaskan residents. (When you book an Alaska brown bear hunt or Alaskan black bear hunt with Parker Guide Service, we take care of these requirements for you.)
- Nonresidents must also purchase a locking tag in addition to their license to hunt the brown/grizzly bear. Harvest tickets and permits may also be required. (Locking tags are generally not required for resident hunters.)
- Nonresident brown/grizzly hunters must be accompanied by a resident relative with second degree of kindred, or by a guide/outfitter. (Parker Guide Service is permitted by the US Forest Service to accompany nonresident hunters.)
- Nonresidents whom harvest a brown/grizzly bear and their guide/relative are both required to sign a sealing certificate or temporary sealing certificate.
- You may not transport or export any untanned bear skin or skull from Alaska until it has been sealed.
- You may not harvest a brown bear within a half a mile of garbage dumps or landfills. (This goes for both resident and nonresident hunters.)
- You may not take brown bear cubs or sows with cubs. (This also goes for resident and nonresident hunters.) A cub is defined as a bear in its first or second year of life.
- Legally a hunter can shoot only one brown/grizzly bear every four years, except for in select areas of Alaska where it is legal to harvest a grizzly bear every year. The season is more liberal in those areas because the bears are limiting the growth of the local moose or caribou populations.
Brown Bear Sealing Requirements, Taking your bear out of Alaska.
(All hides and trophies are cared for in a professional manner. Parker Guide Service will handle trophies to be sealed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Trophies will be frozen and shipped via Fed Ex or air freight overnight to your taxidermist or expeditor or address of choice.)
- When hunting brown/grizzly bear you are required to salvage both the skull and hide of the bear killed anywhere in Alaska.
- Evidence of sex (penis sheath or vulva) must remain attached to a brown/grizzly hide until the hide has been sealed.
- Grizzlies from any location in Alaska must be sealed within 30 days of the date of kill.
- You should bring the hide and skinned out skull to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game or to a registered sealer to be examined and sealed. They will pull a small tooth from the skull to obtain age information on your bear. It is important that at the time of sealing the skull is not frozen solid so the tooth can be pulled. If you are interested in learning how old your bear is you can call the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in late winter and they can tell you. They will need your name, location of the kill, and the date of kill. (Parker Guide Service will handle trophies to be sealed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Trophies will be frozen and shipped via Fed Ex or air freight overnight to your taxidermist or expeditor or address of choice.)
- Any unprocessed bear hide shipped out of Alaska to another state will need an export tag. These tags can be obtained from any Alaska Department of Fish and Game office, post office or commercial shipper. To take a bear out of the United States you will need a federal CITES permit. These are found at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Fairbanks.
This is some information to help you to get started on your brown bear hunting adventures. For more information about brown bear hunting with Parker Guide Service specifically you can contact us directly by calling (907) 747-6026 or emailing us at ParkerGuideService (at ) gmail.com. It is important to note that this is in no way a substitute for the Alaska Hunting Regulations and that before you hunt you should look up more complete information. You can find detailed regulations in any of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game offices and at establishments that sell hunting licenses and tags.