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Bowhunting Brown Bear in Alaska

The difference between Brown bear & Grizzly is basically defined in 2 ways. First, the Pope and Young Club, along with the Boone and Crockett Club have determined a physical boundary, in Alaska, which divides the two classifications. Bears taken north and east of this imaginary line are classified as grizzly, while those taken south and west of this line are classified as brown bear. Many bowhunters use a "rule of thumb" stating that if the bear is within 75 miles of salt water in Alaska, it is a brown bear, and anything farther away, in Alaska, is a grizzly. Coastal bears in British Columbia are considered grizzly bears.

Grizzly and Brown Bear bowhunting, like polar bear, should be carefully considered by the bowhunter before booking a hunt. Bowhunting requires you to get up close, and it becomes a very personal relationship! Both grizzly, and brown bears are bowhunted in the spring and the fall. In the spring, bears are coming out of hibernation, and are searching for food. The breeding season also takes place in the spring. While most bowhunting in the spring and fall is done by spot and stalk, there are some hunting opportunities, that well suit the bowhunter by setting up blinds, or even tree stands, near creeks and streams where there are bears coming to feed on the fish coming in to spawn. In the fall, the grizzly and brown bear can be bowhunted in combination with other big game species as well.

Compared to many of the North American big game species, very few bowhunters pursue the "Big Bears", and having an outfitter with some bowhunting knowledge, and experience is important. BSC, through constant communications and research, knows who most of these outfitters are. Grizzly P & Y minimum is 19", while Brown Bear minimum is 20".

Mark Buehrer
North American Consultant
mark@bowhuntingsafari.com

Jay Osting
North American Consultant
jay@bowhuntingsafari.com