The Best Places to Hunt Grizzly Bears in North America
Grizzly bears are one of the most famous predators on the planet, and it’s many hunters’ dream to take their shot at one. While they could previously be found throughout much of North America, their numbers have rapidly dwindled in the last 50 years, due to habitat loss and other conflicts with humans, making it much more difficult to find them. They are listed as a threatened species in most of America, meaning they can now only be hunted in two areas: Alaska and Canada.
Alaska is the primary hunting spot for grizzlies these days, with a decent enough population size to be considered “least concern” and some of the largest sizes in the world—in fact, male Alaskan grizzly bears have an average weight of 550 pounds! It’s best to hunt for them in the least populated parts of the state, where bears are able to live and thrive on their own, with little human contact. There are two highly recommended spots in particular to consider when planning a grizzly hunting trip to Alaska.
First up is the Kodiak Archipelago. This is a closely grouped set of islands just off the southern coast of Alaska, and it features some of the largest bears in the world, like the Kodiak grizzly, which can reach up to 1,400 pounds and is unique to the archipelago. The islands are known for their rugged and challenging environment, and the success rate for bear hunts averages 35% without a guide, but it’s worth it to try your hand at one of the biggest hunts in America.
Another great grizzly spot in Alaska is Brooks Range, a northern mountain range located in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge portion of the state. This area is known as one of the last “untouched” parts of nature and is a wonder to behold, in addition to having an excellent population of arctic grizzlies. This area has harsh winter climates that cause the bears here to have long, thick fur that is unmatched by any other bear.
Canada is the only other location for hunting grizzly bears in North America. While grizzly bear hunts are allowed in both the Yukon and Northwestern Territory, American citizens can only hunt in Yukon, as Northwestern hunts are limited to only Northwestern residents. The good news is that the Yukon Territory has plenty of opportunities to hunt grizzlies.
One of the great things about the Yukon Territory is that grizzly bears can be found almost anywhere and in any type of terrain. This means that hunters visiting the area have a lot of freedom when it comes to choosing the type of hunt they want to have. As for the bears themselves, they can be more aggressive than other northern grizzlies, but this makes them even more rewarding (don’t worry, outfitters and guides will still ensure a safe hunt).
Grizzly bears are an almost legendary creature, as core to the mythos of the untamed West and American spirit as Lewis and Clark themselves. While the world isn’t quite as untamed as it used to be, it’s still possible to get some of that frontiersman feeling nowadays if you know where to look. So, the next time you want to bring out your inner mountain man, maybe plan a grizzly hunting trip in one of the last remaining wilds of North America.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash.