Wild Alaska Cruises Self Guided Bear Hunt FAQs
1. What days of the week do your Black Bear hunts start and end? How do you schedule your hunts (i.e. are they always Sun thru Fri)?
Our trips commence on Sunday am and run through the following Friday or Saturday am, depending on your preference. We can custom build a trip for you.
2. What does your schedule look like for 2017?
At this time, we still have some availability. We typically book up 12 – 18 months in advance.
3. What is the itinerary for the hunt ( i.e. when to show up, schedule during hunt, & when to leave)?
Historically, we ask our guests to arrive in port ( Petersburg) the day prior to our departure, allowing leeway for lost luggage or delays in air travel. That requires an overnight in a local hotel at your expense. On the day of departure, we normally depart port at approx 8am, depending on tides and more importantly the wishes or needs of our guests.
4. Where does the hunt take place( Unit #)? Is this a multiple bear unit?
Our guests choose to hunt areas within the region in which we operate. Those are units 1A, 1B, 1C, 2, and 3. That comprises the mainland of central-southeast, Kuiu, Kupreanof, and northwest Prince of Wales islands Alaska. Your harvest would be defined by the regulations set for the specific Unit area for the time of your hunt.
5. What port do we depart from on the hunt? Where do we return?
In 2017, all our big game transport operations depart and return to Petersburg.
6. If it is required to take a flight out to the boat where does that leave from and what are the cost? If we are to fly in / out is it on one of the days included in the trip length or is it a day before and after the trip length?
No such flight is required. Our 7 day, 6 night trips depart port early morning, and return early morning on the 7th day, essentially giving our guests 5 full days and 1 partial day of hunting or fishing opportunities.
7. Do you allow fishing during the trip & is fishing equipment provided? What type of fish can we expect to catch in May?
Our self-guided bear hunts in May include fully guided sport fishing for Big King salmon, Halibut, Lingcod, Yellow eye and numerous other bottom fish. May and June are peak months for Big Kings, and great for Lingcod and Yellow eye, Halibut start to reach peak in June. We love to fish and are equipped as well or better than any sport fishing lodge in Alaska! We provide ALL fishing equipment from boots to bait including brand new tackle each and every year.
8. Will we set out crab and shrimp pots at this time of year to catch and eat onboard?
Yes, you will have the chance to crab and shrimp virtually every day.
9. What is the mode of transportation during the hunt? If we take small boats ashore how many and what type of boats are they? Do we drive these boats ourselves in an unguided hunt situation?
We have two 26’ all weather guide boats we use for guided fishing. We also use these for transporting hunters to and from the beach. In addition, we have two 14’ aluminum skiffs, fully equipped with 4 stroke Yamaha outboards, safety and communications equipment.
10.How much walking is typical in a day?
How much is entirely up to you, but virtually all of the hunting in the spring is done on the beach/tidelands, spot and stalk or from a ground stand/blind. I’d say it involves much less walking than most big game hunts, but it’s your choice.
11.What type of accommodations is included in the hunt / boat? If you have pictures it would be helpful.
The Perseverance has 4 guest staterooms with accommodation for up to 3 in each. We prefer to have only 2 per room with a total of no more than 8 per trip to allow for a very roomy and comfortable atmosphere. Each state room has either a queen bed and overhead twin bed or a full bed and overhead twin. Each state room has its own private, full size en-suit bath room with toilet, sink and full size shower. Hot and cold water 25 hours along with 24 hour 110 volt electricity. Pics are available on the website. We maintain a crew of 6 aboard the Perseverance to care for our guests needs- 3 skippers, an executive chef, deckhand and hostess- all geared to provide a safe, secure and enjoyable environment. My crew is well balanced with a gal or two in the mix which tends to make a suitable and comfortable setting for both our lady and gentlemen guests alike.
12.Is it possible for a non hunting guest to come and go along on the hunt? If so what is the cost and what does the cost include or NOT include( ie can they fish/ crab/ or accompany the hunter during the hunt)?
Guests are welcome to join in on any of the activities providing they are properly licensed for them. No significant price break exists for non combatants -we offer everyone the same under-market-rates! Unlicensed guests can accompany hunters or fishermen any time so long as they do not hunt or fish themselves. No license is required for a guest to assist so long as they are not guiding per se. Aside from accompanying fishermen and hunters, they can lounge aboard the yacht, read selections from the library, sightsee, kayak, beach comb, hike, photograph the incredible scenery and wildlife or nap like they have never napped before. (our boat sleeps very well).
13.What is the total cost of the hunt (unguided)?
Our rates for 2017 for a combination self guided hunt is $5150 per person, $4450 for either hunting or fishing alone during May. Rates for 2018 have not yet been set, however, when I book a year in advance, we use existing prices, 10% deposit hold the space, dates and pricing.
14.What does the cost include & NOT include? What is the total final cost( or approx cost of things not included)?
Prices do not include: Fishing or hunting licenses and tags, travel to and from Alaska, hotels and meals while not in our care, beer and spirits. 7 day Fishing license & king stamp: $85. Hunting Lic: $85 + $225 bear tag.
15.Is the trip guided or unguided?
All hunting operations conducted by Wild Alaska Cruises are self guided. Fishing is fully guided with skiffs available if you choose to fish self guided.
16.What is the hunter to guide ratio?
Again, we supply No hunting guides. We have 4 USCG certified captains aboard for your transport and guided fishing. The normal guide to fisherman ratio is 4:1 but often 2:1 during hunting season.
17.What are your hunter’s harvest & opportunity rate (%) for these hunts? What do you classify as an opportunity?
Our hunter’s success rate is near100%. Our hunters tell us and have been published in various media stating as having multiple opportunities to take an animal, and many sightings during each and every hunt. By Alaska state law, I am not allowed as a licensed transporter to indicate your chances of success.
18.What size are your average bears?
Our guests have access to the largest black bears in the world. We often see bears in the 500 to 700 lb class, with many in the Pope and Young and Boone and Crocket class.
19. How many bears do you average seeing during a hunt at this time of year?
Our guests indicate seeing several bears each day to upwards of 15 each day. On our web site, you can read published articles written by our guests outlining their experiences.
20.Do you have small kayaks onboard to paddle on in the protected coves?
Yes, we have sea kayaks for your use.
21.What type of marine animals and other animals do you typically see on this trip?
We operate in perhaps the most remote and wild place in south east Alaska. On any typical day we can find and see: Humpback whales (literally hundreds on a good day), Orcas, sea lions, seals, sea and river otters, mink, wolves, moose and Sitka deer. We operate adjacent to Admiralty Island, home to the highest density of Brown Bear on the planet and Kuiu Island has the highest population density of Black Bear on the planet. We also see numerous sea birds and water fowl. From the sea during this time come King salmon, halibut, lingcod, grey cod, black cod, up to 12 varieties of rock fish, Dolly Varden, Dungeness, hairy, tanner, king, red rock, and a variety of other crab, pink, stripe, coon stripe shrimp and Alaska Spot Prawns, sea cucumbers, octopus, and on and on.
22.Do you have any Glaciers in the area we will be traveling?
We have numerous glaciers. The LaConte glacier, the southern most tidal glacier in North America is just outside Petersburg. Numerous other tidal glaciers are located just north, between Petersburg and Juneau and are a highlight of many trips, especially if one of our ports is Juneau. Many other glaciers can be seen along our route of travel, although they are not tidal.
23.What is the weather like? What is the temperature range in your area for the time of year we are looking at doing our trip?
May is the second driest month for this area of south east Alaska. Temps range from the 40s at night to 50s or low 60s during the day. The heart of our operational area, Fredrick Sound receives 300% less rainfall than does Ketchikan or Juneau due to a rain shadow caused by Baranof an Admiralty islands. This anomaly makes our little part of south east super special.
24.What type of clothes and things do the passengers just fishing and relaxing need to bring?
Bring layered clothing- jackets, sweaters or fleece to suit the temps as above. We fish from protected boats and provide high quality rain gear and foot ware for your stay, so pack light.
25.Does the ocean area we will be in get rough?
No. We pride ourselves in providing a comfortable environment for our guests. Although we can’t control the weather, we stay in the inside passage at all times and are always vigilant of weather changes to stay ahead of things. We have never lost a day of fishing to the weather and we don’t want our guests getting sea sick. Our vessel is perhaps the most sea worthy and smooth riding charter boat in Alaska allowing us to move from location to location without discomfort to our guests if and when the weather changes and requires us to relocate to smoother seas. Our trips are about having fun and at no time do I as owner think getting sick while fishing is considered fun. We just don’t subject our guests to that kind of an environment.
26.How do we pay for the licenses and tags (cash, credit card, check), and where and when do we purchase them?
You can purchase them any time on line, at the local tackle shops in Alaska or from us aboard the vessel with all of the above.
27.What do we need to bring to take home any fish / bear meat / bear skulls & hides? Do you provide any of these items?
Included in your trip are all fish processing, vacuum packing, freezing and packaging in airline approved wet-lock boxes. These boxes are packed 50lbs maximum per box to allow for shipment home with you as checked baggage. You are required by law to recover the meat from your bear. You are also required to recover for examination by ADFG the hide with skull and proof of sex attached. After you skin and process your bear’s meat for transport, we will provide you with the above boxes to store the meat and hide for transport.
28.Is there anyone to donate the bear meat to?
Normally there are charity organizations available to donate your bear meat.
29.What is your Alaska Registered Guide # or Transporter #?
Alaska Big Game Transporter License number 850.
30.Do you have a list of references that has done this trip in the last 3 years?
Yes. You can find several high profile endorsements on our website. If you would like others, please contact me and I will be happy to provide more.