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Old May 7th, 2003, 08:49 PM
Brent Taggart
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Default Anybody Want to see Grizzly Bears on Admiralty Island on 05/

I'm trying to book a trip from Juneau to Admiralty Island to view and photograph Brown Bear on the morning of Wednesday, 05/28/2003. I'll be on the HAL Statendam, arriving in Juneau at 7:00 a.m. that morning, and planning to fly out from Juneau about 8:30 a.m.

HAL does not offer a shore excursion package to Admiralty Island, so I have been trying to arrange my own. The operator I'm working with is Alaska Fly n' Fish Charters LLC. See their website at http://www.alaskabyair.com. They have a 3 hour tour for $350 per person, and a 4 1/2 hour tour that includes flying over an icecap on the way back to Juneau, for $400 per person. The tour is guided by the pilot/naturalist. All equipment (rubber boots, rain gear, binoculars, etc.) is provided.

The bear at Pack Creek are Ursus Arctos (a/k/a Brown Bear or Grizzly), rather than Ursus Americanus (a/k/a Black Bear). That makes Admiralty Island different from the bear viewing excusions HAL offers in its excursion brochure, which seem to involve primarily Black Bear. There's obviously no guarantee of safety when in proximity to large wild carnivores, but Admiralty Island is a part of Tongas National Forest, and access and viewing are strictly controlled by the Park Service. Moreover, there has never been an injury or death in the sanctioned viewing areas since the program started. The chances are apparently pretty good of seeing bear even this early in the season, since there are an estimated 1500 bear on the island - nearly one per square mile!

Problem is, Alaska Fly n' Fish requires a minimum of two people, and there's only one of me. I'm willing to shell out the $350 or $400 price of this trip, since I don't get many other chances to photograph Brown Bear, but paying for a second fare takes it out of my price tolerance. Alaska Fly n' Fish's Cessna 206 float plane has a 5-passenger and/or 800 lb. maximum load capacity. So, I need one to four volunteers to go with me (at their own expense).

Anybody interested?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old May 7th, 2003, 10:33 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 395
Default Re: Anybody Want to see Grizzly Bears on Admiralty Island on

I wish I could, but I won't be there until June.

You might want to just walk around Juneau. They've become a problem! http://www.juneaubears.com/ has a list of bear problem areas and bear sightings in the area. I know hanging out in a messy person's backyard isn't the same though.


"3/26/03 -- The sun and relatively warm temperatures are slowly waking up Juneau's urban bears.

There's been a least two sightings of bears. One was around South Franklin in the downtown area and the other near Kmart in the Valley."

Too bad Kmart went out of business! It could have had a whole new advertising campaign. "Come to Kmart, see bears!"

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Old May 8th, 2003, 02:36 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default Re: Anybody Want to see Grizzly Bears on Admiralty Island on

Problem is you are going too early for any sure sightings. Mid July - mid August is peak viewing. http://www.state.ak.us/adfg/wildlife...e1/pacreek.htm

You are too early for any black bear trips as well, look closely at your HAL list they don't start until mid July out of Ketchikan.
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Old June 6th, 2003, 05:58 PM
Brent Taggart
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Default Re: Re: Anybody Want to see Grizzly Bears on Admiralty Islan

As it turns out, the timing was perfect. We saw about a dozen bears, including 2 at very close range on the ground at the Pack Creek viewing area, from the sandspit. Money and time well spent.
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