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.
IT IS THOUGHT the annual harvest of bears does not approach 10% of the population. The vast majority of bear mortality in the wild of Kamchatka is due to natural causes and predation.
THE AVERAGE SIZE of mature Kamchatka brown bears taken by our hunters ranges from eight and a half to nine feet. That average is impressive, there are, of course, larger bears. A few are enormous trophies, though slightly less than 20% of our hunters are fortunate enough connect with these imposing monsters.
Though our portion of the Kamchatka wilderness is massive, our Spring bears are concentrated in predictable areas.
KAMCHATKA TROPHY HUNTS has been in operation for more than 27 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!
RECENT POPULATION estimates by wildlife biologists confirm that there are over 24,500 animals on the Kamchatka Peninsula, and our scientists estimate slightly more than a thousand of those animals inhabit our exclusive, extensive hunting reserves.
Sample Spring 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 about 8 hours, and arriving in Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka at ten the next morning. 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/Kozyrevsk. 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/Kozyrevsk, 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 nine 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/Kozyrevsk, then continue by bus ride to Petropavlovsk, for an overnight stay at either the Avacha or the Petropavlovsk Hotel in our capital.
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.
Spring Brown Bear Hunts
The hunt begins early during the long spring days. Hunters leave camp immediately after a hot breakfast and are on snow machines by six or seven in the morning. We use our snowmobiles only to locate tracks, to get hunters into remote country, and for transportation of the trophy. Once bear sign is found, the hunter and guide follow on foot. Snowshoes and skis are available in camp.
Each hunter and guide (our ratio of hunters to guides is 1:1) usually spend the entire day outdoors, much of it tracking, glassing and selecting the right bear.
OUR CAMP LOCATIONS VARY. Often they’re set up in the birch-covered hillsides, or even on the seashore. It isn’t unusual for our guides to use boats on the western shoreline of the peninsula, stopping and glassing the terrain frequently from promontories. It’s normal during spring hunts to see quite a few bears each day and hunters usually pass up several before choosing their shot.
IN THE spring the ground is often covered by three to twenty feet of snow. Nights are cold (~18 Fahrenheit) and the days are sunny.
WHEN THE bear is taken the guide will skin it, and begin the trophy process, salt and boil the skull. If the bear is taken early in the hunt, and several days before the departure, the skin will be salted & dried 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 help properly cure the hide and continue to protect it. Weight of a moist, salted trophy skin range from 80 to 130 pounds.
EACH OF OUR GUIDES is an expert hunter, thoroughly familiar with the area and game trails. Locating bears usually isn’t too difficult. Brown bears are quite active throughout the daylight hours during the spring season.
EQUIPMENT, CLOTHING, AND GEAR.
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. But, in a nutshell, you’ll need warm and waterproof clothes, knee-high boots and waterproof pants. Plan on having light, warm clothes for stalking, walking, and hunting on foot. Hunters should bring trophy bags.
SHOTS AT BEAR range between 50 to 275 yards, but most are around a hundred yards.
RIFLE AND CALIBER SELECTION
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’ll be more than enough.
OUR HUNTING CAMPS
Our hunting camps are located nearly 400 miles north of Petropavlovsk, dead-center in the middle of nowhere. The comfortable tent camps are positioned in the areas where we know from years of experience 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.
Accommodations are warm and comfortable in all our camps. Each site features roomy, double-walled, wood stove heated tents that have proven to be the best style in our climate. Traditional Russina banyas (hot baths) are a warm and welcome end to each of the long, hard, hunting days.
YOU’LL need to bring sleeping bags! OR you’ll need to ask us in advance.
WE PROVIDE electricity (220volt), satellite emergency phones (majority of camps has satellite internet), 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 camp.
Spring 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/Kozyrevsk to camp and back, bus transfers from the Petropavlovsk airport to Esso/Kozyrevsk, and the return bus journey from Esso/Kozyrevsk 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/Kozyrevsk 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.