Interior Alaska Black Bear... Seeking Advice

cscalvin

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
30
Location
Alaska
Curious if any Alaskans on here could share some knowledge. Just some quick background on me... just moved to Fairbanks from WA state and been a die hard hunter for the past 10 years, but def a novice when it comes to bear hunting. I will be limited to 4 day weekends throughout the spring and summer to hunt. I'm not interested in baiting, just spot and stalk. I've been looking around Cantwell (east of the hwy) and the Denali Hwy, as well as areas to the east and west of Fairbanks (white mtns, etc). So first question, are there decent black bear populations in these areas? Second, what do I look for as far as terrain? I'm used to a lot of glassing from knobs and such, but not exactly sure what to focus in on (chutes, south/north slopes, etc?). Do I focus in on bigger mountains or the lower hills? I brought my snowmobile and atv up, but I mainly use those to get to a spot to hike in. My goal is to see some great scenery, be away from people, and maybe get lucky and see a bear. I appreciate any tips thrown my way and thanks for your time!
 

Stid2677

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2012
Messages
2,273
It is thick around Fairbanks, up north near Coldfoot, out on the Taylor hwy near Chicken, Cooper Landing, PWS, near Valdez, Hope. The Whites has a low population. Spring they will be on the green new growth. Lots of bears, just hard around Fairbanks to do spot and stalk. Canoe or raft down the Yukon and you will see some. More grizzly than blacks off the Denali in my experience but there are some.


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BRWNBR

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
725
With your four day weekend you can access anywhere in the state via the road system. For spot and stalk lookinto Russian lakes trails around Cooper landing and the resurrection creek trail south of hope. Use the trails to get back into the country then get off the trails. Spending time in the glass is a good bet. Early September when the blueberries are ripe is a great time. Also mid may before things green up to much. Denali and Cantwell area are slim on black bears. Spend time somewhere. No one shoots to much surfing the net for hunting locations.
 

hodgeman

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2012
Messages
801
Location
Delta Junction, AK
The Interior is mainly baiting for black bears as spot and stalk is limited.

Concentrate on south facing slopes with green grass...tough to do in the flat and forested Interior. Much better bet to head south toward Valdez or down to the KP as Jake mentioned and glass avalanche chutes which green up first and provide easier access up the mountain.

West side of Denali Highway has low numbers of black bears, east side is all grizzly country. As a rule of thumb...if there are arctic ground squirrels, you're probably looking at griz country.
 

Nick Muche

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2012
Messages
2,802
Location
Alaska
I know you said you are not interested in baiting, but living in Fairbanks offers some pretty good baiting opportunities with a few hours drive. Get away from the people, set a bait and you will see bears. Let me know if you'd like any help, I live up here as well.
 

SLDMTN

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2015
Messages
951
Location
Palmer, AK
Seward/Cooper Landing area is a long haul for you but I would lace up and hike the trails around there. Glass, glass and glass some more, they're around.

As Nick mentioned above, baiting bears is really a great option for interior. Much like long range hunting, it catches a bad name from a lot of people as cheating but I would almost bet a paycheck those people have never run a very active stand. I even used to thumb my nose at it honestly, until I tried it...
 
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cscalvin

cscalvin

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
30
Location
Alaska
Hey guys, thanks for all the help. Brwnbr, the last thing I want to do is ask for a hunting spot. Alaska is just a huge state and I'm only up here for 3 years, so I want to maximize that time. Nothing against baiting at all, just don't know anything about it and get bored easily sitting in a stand! Always open to new things though, so I might check it out. I was down in Cooper's Landing a few weeks ago fly fishing and fell in love with that area, but it is a long drive. Again, thanks for putting me in the right direction and what to look for. If any of you are ever in Fairbanks, I'll buy you a beer.
Coty
 

engineered2hunt

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2015
Messages
14
Location
Troy, Michigan
I've got to add to the Cooper Landing area love. The amount of bear sign is unreal. My only addition to what's been said is that the terrain is much steeper on the Russian trail side, south of cooper landing than it is on the cooper lake side. Much easier to get up high on the lake side. Also, there was a fire there two years ago. It probably full of nice lush greens.
 
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