HOWEVER, WHAT SETS Kamchatka apart from Alaska and everywhere else is the fact that there are more brown bears on our huge peninsula (both total number and bears per square mile) than anywhere else on Earth. Though the Kamchatka wilderness is massive, brown bears are very concentrated in the fall and spring and are found in predictable areas. It is thought the annual harvest of brown bears does not approach ten percent of the population, and our conservation-oriented regulation authorities believe the vast majority of bear mortality in the wild of Kamchatka is due to natural causes and predation.
THE BEST OF OUR SEASON BEGINS with our mid-August hunts, and is a hunting spectacle that continues through early October. The weather is breathtaking, with few insects, and bears that are fixated on salmon and preparing themselves for the rapidly approaching winter.
THE AVERAGE SIZE of mature fall Kamchatka brown bears taken by our hunters ranges from eight and a half to nine feet. Though that average is impressive, of course, there are larger bears. A few are enormous trophies, though slightly less than twenty percent of our hunters are fortunate enough connect with these imposing monsters.
RECENT POPULATION ESTIMATES by wildlife biologists confirm that there are over 24,500 animals on the Kamchatka Peninsula, and our scientists estimate that slightly more than a thousand of those inhabit our exclusive and extensive hunting reserves.
OUR OUTFITTING COMPANY has been in operation for more than seventeen years. Much of that time we’ve been conducting hunts for the most famous agents in the hunting world. Recently we became independent and now offer our services directly to hunters. Though our prices are comparable with other Kamchatka outfitters, our location, the quality of our camps and our success rate is superior to most and second to none.
NO OTHER HUNTERS, Russian or foreign are allowed in our region, which is the largest and most heavily populated brown bear hunting reserve on the Kamchatka Peninsula!
Sample Fall Hunt Itinerary
OUR HUNTS take about two weeks, including travel time. Eight of those days are dedicated to pure hunting from our strategically located wilderness base camps. It takes a full day after arrival in Kamchatka from Moscow to travel nearly 400 miles north of Petropavlovsk to the perimeter of our remarkable hunting region.
DAY 1, THE FIRST IN KAMCHATKA
The Aeroflot flight from Moscow crosses 9 time zones, taking less than 9 hours, and arriving in Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka at ten the next morning. The Domodedovo flight arrives two hours later. Retrieving luggage is easy and uncomplicated, (since everyone already cleared customs in Moscow). Again, you’ll be met by our English speaking representative, who will accompany you on our comfortable bus during the first leg of the journey, to Esso.The drive takes about 8 hours, with scheduled breaks along the way for lunch.There’s coke, water, and beer on board for the trip to Esso, a cultural native center and one of a very few rural Kamchatka villages. There, guests spend the night in comfort at the Paramushir Hotel with a fine restaurant, bar, and pool.The hotel is a surprising and welcome contrast to the isolated village location.
DAY 2, THE FIRST IN CAMP
After a good night’s sleep and breakfast you’ll be taken to the heliport to meet the chopper. Helicopters don’t usually begin to fly earlier than ten in the morning, after receiving weather conditions and the forecast for the peninsula.We’ll inform you beforehand if there are going to be any anticipated weather delays. But, assuming the weather is fine, you’ll be in the heart of the bear’s kingdom and in our camp in an hour.The rest of the day will be yours to get acquainted with the staff, camp, check your guns, and organize your gear.
DAYS 3 TO 10 ARE DEDICATED TO HUNTING
DAY 11, RETURNING TO PETROPAVLOVSK
Hunters return as early as possible on the heli flight to Esso, then continue by bus ride to Petropavlovsk, for an overnight stay at either the Avacha or the Petropavlovsk Hotel in our capitol.
DAY 12, RETURN FLIGHT TO MOSCOW
The eastern flight across nine time zones arrives in Moscow at the same time of the day it left Petropavlovsk. There hunters are met by our English-speaking representative who will take your firearm from the airport authorities, help with the luggage and take you to the hotel. We strongly recommend using the Sheremetyevo Airport Hotel, eliminating city transfers and traffic delays, and simplifying your departure the next morning.
RETURN FLIGHT TO THE STATES
Our English-speaking representative will take you from your hotel to the airport, and provide the CITES and veterinary certificates necessary to take your trophy out of country, and assist with the preparation of your declaration for your trophy, firearm and the cartridges left after your hunting trip.
The Fall Brown Bear Season
EARLY IN THE SEASON, at the beginning of the month of September, we begin hunting along the rivers and creek basins, where bears are feeding on salmon and pre-occupied with gaining the weight that they’ll need for the harsh winter ahead. The Fall weather and scenery are reliably fantastic.
DEPENDING ON THE location of the camp and time of the season that the hunt is scheduled, our hunters and their guides make the decision to approach the hunting area on horseback, ATV, or using one of our well-maintained powerboats. We are intentionally quiet and use the outboard motors only for the swift return to camp at the end of the day.
EACH OF OUR HUNTERS is accompanied by an experienced guide, (ratio 1:1). They’ll leave camp together before daylight, heading upriver, and often begin a quiet float downstream in the dusk. The brown bears are quite active in the early morning and the late evening hours and it’s normal to spot several mature bears each day. Hunters and their guides will stop frequently to glass the tundra and hills. Usually our guests pass up several animals in a day before selecting their trophy.
AS THE SEASON PROGRESSES, and salmon populations in our rivers and creeks begin to decline (at the end of September and October), our hunters and their guides usually turn more to the west slope of the Peninsula, concentrating on the hillsides, valleys, and coastal areas that are rich with pines, pine nuts, and berries.
WHEN THE bear is taken the guide will skin it, and begin the trophy process, salt and boil the scull. If the bear is taken early in the hunt, and several days before the departure, the skin will be salted & dry to make it lighter. Partially dried, most bear hides weigh between 50 and 80 pounds.We prefer to leave some salt on the skin in order to to help properly cure the hide and continue to protect it.The weight of a moist, salted trophy bearskin will range from 80 to 130 pounds.
EQUIPMENT, CLOTHING, GUNS AND GEAR, AND EVERYTHING ELSE
We’ll send very detailed information on absolutely everything that you’ll need to make your hunt successful and comfortable once the trip is scheduled and deposits are collected. In a nutshell, you’ll need warm and waterproof clothes, knee-high boots and water-proof pants. There are some insects in the early season, and you’ll need repellent until the first frosts in September. Plan on having light, warm clothes for stalking, walking, and hunting on foot. Hunters should bring trophy bags. All weather, heavy .300 caliber rifles and larger, with plenty of stopping power are preferred. Our favorite is the 300 Winchester Magnum, 375 H & H, or their equivalents for the kind of hunting and terrain where Kamchatka brown bears are found. Bring along about 40 cartridges. It will be more than enough.
SHOTS AT BEAR range between 50 to 275 yards, but most are around a hundred yards.
OUR HUNTING CAMPS
Our hunting camps are located nearly 400 miles north of Petropavlovsk, dead-center in the middle of nowhere. Our comfortable tent camps are positioned in the areas where we know from year or experience that bears are going to be concentrated. Our scouts will have reconnoitered the area surrounding your hunt, and have an idea where bears will be when you arrive. Sometimes, we’ll choose to use our comfortable, permanent fishing camps for hunts in the late fall.Those are equipped with hot showers that are very welcome at the end of a long day.
Accommodations are warm and very comfortable in all our camps. Each campsite features roomy, double-walled, wood stove heated tents that have been proven by experience to be the best style in our climate.
YOU’LL need to bring sleeping bags, towels, and your other essential, personal toiletries
WE PROVIDE electricity (220volt) and satellite phones for emergencies, a shower and kitchen in every camp. Our professional cooks prepare and serve healthy, hearty European and Russian cuisine. We use fresh foodstuffs, fruits and vegetables, and our food would be the pride of many hotels. You’ll enjoy the hot, steamy soups that are the staple of nearly every Russian meal. During the day, your guide will carry a filling lunch and Thermos with tea or coffee when you leave the camp.
WEATHER IN THE FALL is generally pleasant. Though September are normally pleasant, temperatures can be as low as the 30’s during the days. Hunters can expect frost at night, and weather turns predictably colder in October when the countryside can be snow covered.Top quality rain gear, boots, and outdoor clothing are essential, and contribute much to the comfort and success of the hunt.
Fall Brown Bear Hunting Packages
INCLUDED IN OUR PACKAGES are the invitation that you’ll need from our government to get your visa, as well as all firearms permits, trophy permits, CITES, and the veterinary certificate.
You’ll have a an English speaking receptionist when you arrive and depart from the airport in Petropavlovsk to assist in the smooth entry and exit from Kamchatka.
The extensive helicopter service from Esso to camp and back, bus transfers from the Petropavlovsk airport to Esso, and the return bus journey from Esso to your Petropavlovsk hotel, guide service (the ratio of our very qualified guides to every hunter is 1:1), field preparation of the trophy, all camp accommodations and meals, and the initial trophy fee are part of the package.
What isn’t included are your expenses prior to arrival in Petropavlovsk, and after your departure from there to Moscow. Neither are alcohol, items of a personal nature, or gratuities part of the package. You’ll be responsible for accommodations and meals in Esso and in Petropavlovsk, and also have to pay for the excess airline baggage charges that you’ll accumulate for your trophy or trophies.
Our hunts are very popular and usually fully subscribed each year. We recommend that reservations be made as early as possible.