Team Keslar member Bruce Matthews drew the coveted Kodiak Brown Bear tag on Kodiak Island AK.
Needless to say Bruce was very excited about his good fortune. I was very excited about his good fortune especially when I did not draw a tag for the 5th year in a row. This meant I could be his assistant guide on the big bear mission. We were set up with Jim Hodge of Hodges Outfitting of Anckorage AK. A long time freind of mine, and my Alaskan guide for over 13 years, on more than 20 Alaskan adventures. So you can safely say we know each other pretty well. It was a 10 day hunt we had to get ready for, and it did not take us long to get ready for that mission. I can get ready for a 15 day mission in about 2 hours, but I am a professional guide and hunter any way, so for me getting ready is easy. May 3rd we arrived in Kodiak to meet up with Jim, and off to camp we went. We had great weather for being on Kodiak at this time of year. So we met up with Steve Harvey of Harvey Flying service, and headed to camp.
Bruce was excited when Steve fired up the old widgeon for our flight to camp. I dont care how many times you go to Kodiak Island its beauty will take your breath away every time you step foot upon her.
Before you knew it we were sitting on the beach in front of our camp with supplies enough for 20 days, and we had a camp cache of supplies for another 10 days so we were set. Why so much?? Well on Kodiak Island the weather can turn ugly and stay ugly for long periods of time. I remember one trip we were ther for 20 days waiting for a plane, so you need to be prepared for the worst mother nature can throw at you. 100 mph winds are not uncommon here at camp ooozinkie, and fog so thick it takes a week for the sun to burn through.
When people ask me about Alaskan weather I tell them as always it is the only place on earth you can get sun burn on your face while you get hypothermia on your back, and this trip would prove my observation on more than one occasion. Good weather bad weather it does not matter to the giant bears they roll no matter what.
We were very lucky we had some great weather the best I have seen in a long time.
We were seeing lots of bears. We were after the 10 foot plus monster. Bruce said it was 10 foot or nothing. See, Bruce has taken 9foot bears already so he did not want anything less which I agreed with him 100%.
We are extreme trophy hunters, we have been hunting so long now we have taken so much game that the monster males are what we are after. In other words we do not kill just to fill our tags.
After several oppertunities at close range for smaller bears, time was running out on our 2010 adventure.
Then on the last day, KAABOOOOM he appeared. A 10 foot plus giant. We had only one problem he was on top of the mountain next to us, and way out of our range. It was disappointing, but not really. I had seen a bear that ranks up there with the largest I have ever seen. Spring was alittle late, the bears were slow moving.
It did not matter to us we had a great trip of a lifetime, Bruce got to see Kodiak Archepelico for the first time, everything could not have been better. As I always say, sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes the bear gets you…
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