Unimak Brown Bear & Tent

carter33

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Apr 12, 2017
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Fairbanks
I was fortunate to draw the unimak tag for this spring and will be heading down there in May. I already have everything lined up and will be doing a fly in drop off hunt. A friend that has some experience on the island warned me of the wind, he said he is still in search of the right tent.

I believe the best I have found would be the slingfin Arctic 6 which is the same as the large stone glacier that’s never in stock but the price may be out of the zone of what I am willing to pay. Also considering the Cabela’s Alaska guide tent. Hoping someone with some experience there or on the peninsula in high wind could give me some tent recommendations?

Also happy to hear any stories from unimak or tips. I have talked to a few that have hunted there and my partner and I have both read the Tony Russ book. This will be my first dedicated brown bear hunt and though I have been around some Kodiak bears and interior grizzlies my other concern is that I will get excited and shoot a bear smaller than I am hoping for with the tag.

 

wildwilderness

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Eagle River, AK
What about a Hilleberg or an Artic Oven? A black label would be up for the task



 
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carter33

carter33

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What about a Hilleberg or an Artic Oven? A black label would be up for the task
I have considered a hilleberg but for a large roomy tent a hilleberg would cost just as much and I prefer some of the features of the slingfin such as the zip out floor and stove jack. I will likely bring a Niak in case we don’t spot any bears in our area and have to cover some ground.

The guy I know specifically mentioned Arctic ovens being blown over on unimak. I do have some experience with them and though I haven’t checked the price I think they would be just as costly and they are heavy. I think I would get more use out of the slingfin if I do decide to spend that much.

I know you get what you pay for but spending over $2,000 on a tent is tough to swallow. Hoping for some recommendations in the $1,000 zone that will work.
 

ramhunter

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Jan 11, 2014
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Alaska
Been there, done that hunt, also Cold Bay three times for bear! Hilleberg Saitaris is what I would have!

My bombshelter got trashed last spring in Cold Bay from high winds, not that they are a bad tent, there a great tent, We couldn't set it up in a very good area to be protected from high winds, same thing happen on Unimak too...LOL.

Moral of the story is get your tent somewhere there it is protected from high wind, trust me you are going to see some high wind down there!
 
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carter33

carter33

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Been there, done that hunt, also Cold Bay three times for bear! Hilleberg Saitaris is what I would have!

My bombshelter got trashed last spring in Cold Bay from high winds, not that they are a bad tent, there a great tent, We couldn't set it up in a very good area to be protected from high winds, same thing happen on Unimak too...LOL.

Moral of the story is get your tent somewhere there it is protected from high wind, trust me you are going to see some high wind down there!

Thanks, the saitaris is the one from hilleberg I was considering. Sounds like you have had some similar experiences as my friend. Not happy about it but may have to spend the cash I suppose on a truly high end tent.

Slingfin is lesser known but they do make true mountain tents, some are used on Everest climbs even. Hilleberg is more known/proven but as I mentioned above I like some of the slingfin features. May have to give the company a call.
 

ramhunter

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I have considered a hilleberg but for a large roomy tent a hilleberg would cost just as much and I prefer some of the features of the slingfin such as the zip out floor and stove jack. I will likely bring a Niak in case we don’t spot any bears in our area and have to cover some ground.

The guy I know specifically mentioned Arctic ovens being blown over on unimak. I do have some experience with them and though I haven’t checked the price I think they would be just as costly and they are heavy. I think I would get more use out of the slingfin if I do decide to spend that much.

I know you get what you pay for but spending over $2,000 on a tent is tough to swallow. Hoping for some recommendations in the $1,000 zone that will work.
You're going into some of the what could be the ugliest weather in Alaska, last thing I would do is go cheap on a tent! Its not worth the stress of being in high winds and side ways rain and some times snow for days, hoping your tent doesn't fail! I ways bring my hillberg Nallo 2 GT for back up too!

The AO's and bombshelters are high tents, great room and I really like standing up to get dressed in the morning, but they won't take high winds for days with out some protect like a buff etc.
 
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carter33

carter33

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You're going into some of the what could be the ugliest weather in Alaska, last thing I would do is go cheap on a tent! Its not worth the stress of being in high winds and side ways rain and some times snow for days, hoping your tent doesn't fail! I ways bring my hillberg Nallo 2 GT for back up too!

The AO's and bombshelters are high tents, great room and I really like standing up to get dressed in the morning, but they won't take high winds for days with out some protect like a buff etc.

I appreciate the info. I will plan to suck it up and pay for the right tent. Not worth the risk of getting out there and winding up in a survival situation and ruining the hunt especially with all the other costs that go into it.

Did you hunt fall or spring? Any other gear recommendations that are more unimak specific?
 

ramhunter

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Jan 11, 2014
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Alaska
I appreciate the info. I will plan to suck it up and pay for the right tent. Not worth the risk of getting out there and winding up in a survival situation and ruining the hunt especially with all the other costs that go into it.

Did you hunt fall or spring? Any other gear recommendations that are more unimak specific?
Spring 2005, flew in with Warren Johnson Bear Lake Lodge, he dropped us off at Winding creek west side of Tugamak Range on the Bering sea side, first day of hunting passed and two 9 footer and a bear that was pushing 10 foot at 80 yds in head of Nipper Creek all on video too, looking back I should have shot that bear, very pretty long hair and prefect coat! The video snaps most people that I could pass up a bear like that, he wasn't 10 and I wanted a 10 footer...LOL

We hunted around Winding Creek for a few more days, saw lots of bears but nothing over 9', Warren flew back in and asked if I wanted moved, so we moved to Urilla Bay 6 miles inland to a place they call Whale Back Ridge, we saw bears every day, and some hogs, but too far away and they were walking, and you are not catching up with them when they're on the move! we tried! I ended up getting a 9.5" with 27-3/4" skull at Urilla

You will see a lot of bears, just depends on what you're looking for! Best way to get something big, is don't shoot anything small!
 
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carter33

carter33

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@ramhunter

Sounds like an awesome trip. I will be flying out of Cold Bay with Rod Schuh. I do feel a little unprepared for field judging the bears but plan to prepare as much as possible through videos and pictures, honestly I’ll be thrilled with anything over 9’ but will try my best to be patient. A close friend actually drew the tag for this next fall also, would love to join him on that as well but have a second kid due this summer so it will be more of a quiet fall for me.

Is the video of the hunt on YouTube or a similar platform? If so I would love to watch it.
 

Mykolaivka887

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Jan 15, 2022
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I wouldn't run with a high profile tent down there. You're asking for trouble if you do. When I hunt down there, I run with VE25's for each person. You definitely want to setup in a ditch or behind a bluff, for sure. Good luck.
 

TXCO

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How was your hunt?


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