Brown Bear Adventure in Alaska

Part One

While turkey hunting keeps us sane from the end of one fall-winter season until the next, the ultimate “off-season” pursuit is bear hunting, and the ultimate bear hunt is for Alaska’s giant brown bears. (Yes, I’m discounting polar bears now that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has stopped issuing import permits for hunting trophies.)

My chance to experience this springtime mega-adventure came last month as I tagged along with Trijicon’s Stephen Bindon and Andrew Chilkiewicz for an outing with the Grizzinator, a.k.a. outfitter Greg Jennen, who conducts brown bear hunts from his 58-foot boat, Ruffinit.

Our objective was to put the Trijicon AccuPoint scope to a grueling test—hunting in a constantly wet, salt-water environment where our guns were bound to get rough treatment getting in and out of boats. Then to boot, these big coastal bears are right up there with the most dangerous game on earth. It’s no place to have your scope go haywire.  Furthermore, the hunt would be filmed for a new TV show, “Trijicon’s World of Sports Afield,” that will debut on June 29 on the Sportsman's Channel with premiere showings on Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m.

After a long boat ride we motored in to a remote, sheltered bay surrounded by snow-capped mountains. It was sunny, postcard day, and as if on cue, halfway into the inlet Greg spotted a big bear foraging on the along the shoreline. That set off a scramble, as Andrew, videographer Tyler Hill, and guides Craig Hill and Dan Ondersma, grabbed their gear and jumped into one of the aluminum skiffs tethered to the Ruffinit. Though they didn’t intercept the bear before it vanished into the timber, the exercise revealed just how intense our hunt would be.

Brown Bear

Stay tuned to "Gun Culture" in the coming days as I post the rest of the story from my brown bear adventure.

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