Wanting to book an Alaskan hunting trip but feeling nervous about being so close to famous Kodiak bears? Here is our guide on what you should know about Kodiak bears, how to protect yourself, and what to do if you see one up close.
Want to experience the thrills of a Kodiak Island vacation? Contact us to book a stay at Kodiak Sportsman’s Lodge!
Kodiak Island Bear Attacks: Statistics
Kodiak Island bears only live on the Kodiak Archipelago in Alaska, but they are the largest brown bears on earth. According to statistics cited by A-Z Animals, 29.6% of fatal bear attacks in the U.S. happen in Alaska. Over a thirty-year period, an average of four fatal bear attacks have happened each year in this state. As natural habitats are disrupted, the rate of bear attacks is beginning to rise.
Still, your odds of facing a bear attack is about one in 2.1 million. On the other hand, the more time you spend in areas where Kodiak bears thrive, the greater your chances will become. Behave the wrong way around bears while on your Alaska fishing trip or hunting adventure, and you put yourself at an even greater risk of injury or death.
How to Protect Yourself from Kodiak Bears
Bears usually live in harmony with nature and its inhabitants, including the occasional human hunter or fisher. As long as you keep your distance and avoid causing the bear distress, you can usually stay safe and have a good time.
However, when you know you will be in a location where Kodiak bears live, it’s best to be proactive and prepared. Avoid meeting bears if you can. Don’t get so caught up in Alaska’s breathtaking scenery that you don’t notice the animals surrounding you.
To avoid surprising bears, you can hum, whistle, sing, call out, or hit the trees as you pass them. You can also attach bells to your gear and jangle them as you go. When you stay silent, you take the chance of startling a bear. At that point, they are more likely to attack you to protect themselves and their cubs, if any.
You can also bring bear repellent spray with you. Get familiar with how to use the bear spray before heading out on your adventure. Even a bullet might not be as effective at slowing down a bear as a well-placed shot of bear spray.
We recommend that you don’t go out in the wilderness alone. Read our blog, Can You Hunt Alone on Kodiak Island? to learn more. Our guides can direct you to the right paths for spectacular views. We know where to find the wildlife on Kodiak Island. Plus, we know how to prepare for the often unforgiving weather and help you protect yourself against animals, such as the Kodiak Island bears.
Staying Safe When You’re Close to a Bear
Know the warning signs of a bear attack. When a bear is about to attack, it may do any or all of the following things.
- Stand up on its hind legs
- Clack their teeth
- Bluff a charge before actually charging
Staying safe when you’re face-to-face with a bear requires you to be calm and focused. The best move after a bear attack begins varies depending on the type of bear. Here is what you should do with a Kodiak bear, other brown bears, and grizzly bears.
- Play dead.
- Don’t fight back!
- Cover your neck and head with your arms.
- Lie flat on your stomach, and stretch out your legs.
- Stay still, waiting to get up until you are sure the bear has gone away.
The Best Way to Experience Kodiak Island Hunting
Each year, many hunters and fishing enthusiasts travel to Alaska for the most exciting excursions of their lives. Considering how many come to Alaska, the number of bear attacks is relatively very low. If you want to know more about how to avoid Kodiak Island bear attacks or what to do if they happen, ask your Kodiak Sportsman’s Lodge guide.
We take every step to ensure you enjoy your Alaska hunting or fishing trip to the fullest and arrive back at our lodge safely at the end of the outing. In addition, our home-away-from-home atmosphere includes drinks by the fire and excellent Alaskan cuisine by local chefs. We look forward to your stay!
Looking for the best hunting and fishing spots on Kodiak Island? Book a stay at Kodiak Sportsman’s Lodge and let our guides take you there safely!