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Kodaik Island…Alaska

This past spring Nicole, against all odds, knocked down a huge Alaskan brown bear with her Mathews at just 23 steps…This fall it was Pat’s turn to try to knock down a monster brown bear with his bow. Pat harvested a huge brown bear back in 2007 with a gun, but it has always been on his bucket list to check one out with his bow. We were headed to Kodiak Island to hunt with Paul Chervenak and guide Cole Kramer. Brown bears and sitka blacktails were on the hitlist.

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The trip started out in Chaos. We fly into Anchorage, and the next morning we boarded a plane to Kodiak. We boarded the plane, and took the short flight to Kodiak, but on our final approach the weather was socked in and the pilot pulled off at the last second because he couldn’t see the runway. We flew back to Anchorage and were forced to wait until the 3:30 flight, hoping the weather would clear. We boarded the plane again, but again same thing! Back to Anchorage to stay the night and we would try again the next day. Unfortunately the weather stayed, and all the flights to Kodiak were cancelled the next day!

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On the 3rd day, we took off with high hopes of landing. Once again, upon arrival we had to pull off! We were diverted to the small town of Homer to wait a bit. After waiting for about an hour, we got back on the plane and the pilot was determined to make it. As we approached the runway, the fog cleared just enough that we could see the runway… the pilot cranked the plane around and put it on the deck. We made it…finally!

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We met up with our guide Cole and spent the night in the Kodiak Inn, and were going to fly out the next morning on a float plane to where we would hunt. The story continues…bad weather prohibited us from taking off on the float plane. Nobody was flying. We got stuck in the hotel in Kodiak for 4 days! This was frustrating to say the least, but you can’t control mother nature.

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Looking at the bright side, Pat was able to connect with Nicole and his kids over Skype and watch his son Carson’s first wrestling meet of the year!

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On day 8 of our trip, the weather finally cleared enough that we could make it out. After about an hour flight over the beautiful island, we landed on a remote lake and started our hike to where we would setup camp. Now this wasn’t an easy hike by any means. It was about 8 miles from where we got dropped off to where we were going to camp. We had basically all of our gear on our backs, and had to hike in chest waders because of the wet conditions and the rivers that we had to cross to get there.

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We hiked all day and made it to our camp spot just as the sun went down. We were exhausted. We unpacked all of our gear and setup camp.

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The next few days brought more bad weather conditions but we were determined to get out in the elements and chase Pat’s dream of harvesting a brown bear with his bow. We spend several days glassing from our spotting knob, and saw several bears. Lots of sows and cubs, and a few big boars, but just not in the right spots that we could go after them.

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At night we would head back to our small tents and try to dry out our gear which was virtually impossible. We had really no heat so all we could do was hang our clothes at the top of the tent and hope that they would dry even the smallest bit for the next day. We ate mountain house freeze dried food everyday. It may not sound too appetizing, but after a long day out glassing in the rain, it sure tasted good!

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Everyday we would wake up in that cold tent, and our sleeping bags would be wet from condensation. Frost lined the inside of the tent. On the fifth day, we decided to hike around the mountain and checkout a drainage that we couldn’t see from our spotting knob.

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Just before the sun set, Pat spotted an old mature blacktail down by the river, and was headed our way. We got into position above the deer and he fed along below us at about 100 yards. Pat settled the crosshairs and hit him perfect with his Thompson Center Muzzleloader. This was his first sitka blacktail! No mountain house tonight…. fresh backstraps for dinner!

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The next day, we packed up camp and all of our gear and were going to head down river to a new location to try our luck there. We blew up a raft that we had brought along and loaded all of our gear onto it. We floated all day down the river and setup camp all over again.

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That next morning, we climbed up the mountain and spotted a nice blacktail buck with a doe. It was cameraman Bryan Lemke’s turn to get in front of the camera and try to harvest his first blacktail. The buck followed the doe into an opening and Bryan made it count, also with the Thompson Center muzzleloader. We had two awesome sitka blacktails on the ground!

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Unfortunately, the next day, as the hunt was coming to an end, we had to load up again and float the rest of the way down the river to the ocean to be picked up by float plane and fly out.

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What an adventure! Pat was not able to harvest his brown bear, but we had an incredible hunt and knocked down two beautiful sitka blacktails. Whenever you hunt, especially in Alaska, you  can only control so much. The weather and conditions were brutal, so all you can do is be prepared for as much as you can. We battled the entire hunt, and stayed optimistic and determined. This was the hunt of a lifetime, and one that both Pat and Bryan will never forget.

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You can count on one thing…. Pat will definitely be back after those monstrous brown bears and fulfill his dream of harvesting one with his bow!

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Special thanks to Cole Kramer and Paul Chervenak for an unbelievable experience and an unreal adventure!

Kodiak Outdoor Adventures

Paul Chervenak

kodiakoutdoors.com

907-486-3008

 

Cole Kramers Guide Service

Cole Kramer