Here is a answer to a client’s question, “What happens if my Alaska bear hunt is unsuccessful?
First of all, you need to understand that this is a fair chase, free range bear hunt and there are absolutely no guarantees that you will harvest a bear. Moreover, making a statement that we will guarantee a bear is not only unethical, it is illegal. I can no more guarantee that you will kill a bear than I can guarantee that you will win the Power Ball lottery, as this is something that is completely out of my control. Bears have a mind of their own, their activities are influenced by a number of factors including, but not limited to, weather conditions, temperature, availability of food and response to human presence. By the same token, I have no idea as to your abilities and desire to hunt for a bear – which may require extensive hiking, long hours sitting and glassing in inclement weather, ability to close the distance on a bear in a short period of time over rugged terrain, or your ability to actually hit the bear with a well-placed shot once the distance has been closed. These are all variables that are beyond our control.
What we can offer is a fair chase hunt that is conducted in an area known to have a huntable population of grizzly bears and in accordance with Alaska state law in regards thereto. We can provide you with a licensed and experienced guide who will work hard to get each individual in your party a bear, but we cannot be held responsible for hunters who are not willing to invest the time and energy in the hunt to pursue a bear nor can we be held responsible for individuals who don’t know how to shoot. In Spain, you get three opportunities to shoot an ibex – three misses and you are done with your hunt.
So, if booking a bear hunt is predicated on a guarantee, then you are 1) talking to the wrong person, and 2) you are hunting for the wrong reasons. Hunting is all about the chase, the overall experience and honoring the animal sought.
Now, having said that – if you are still interested in an honest Alaska bear hunt at a fair price, then the outfitter is willing to make a concession in the event that an opportunity to harvest a bear does not present itself short of circumstances outside of our control such as weather-related delays, terrorist attacks, war, famine, etc. For these situations, Global Sporting Safaris offers, and strongly recommends, that you purchase Trip Cancellation Insurance to reimburse you for the cost of your hunt plus travel expenses in the event that something unexpected happens.
Now, in the event that a reasonable opportunity to harvest a bear does not present itself, the outfitter is willing to offer a replacement bear hunt at a reduced rate at another time or a discount on another species in the future. He is also willing to extend the hunt to ten days from seven to give your group an additional three days to harvest a bear considering that your represent four individual hunters who will be hunting 2X1 at the same time – at this point we have not discussed if there will be an additional cost for these extra three days waiting for your response.
Considering that the hunt would be in 90 days, we would prefer to have the full hunt cost paid at the time of booking. If that presents a problem for you, we would then consider 50% at the time of booking and the remainder in 45 days.
Additional Costs not Covered in Hunt Package
Once the hunt is booked, we will provide you with an invoice outlining all costs associated with said hunt and what is covered in the actual hunt costs. We will also determine your final entry/exit points.
As I understand the current proposal, you will need to travel to Anchorage, Alaska where you will be met by the Outfitter and escorted to your hunt area – depending on your time of arrival.
Those costs not covered in the hunt package would include:
- Airfare to/from Anchorage, Alaska.
- Hotel/Meals before and after the hunt in either Anchorage or Wasilla.
- Hunting licenses and tags required by the State of Alaska.
- Transportation of your trophies back to your home or taxidermist.
As previously stated, you would be hunting in Unit 12 in the Wrangell Mountains
Barring any changes, I would expect that your entry/exit point will be Anchorage, Alaska. Will be confirmed upon booking and included in the invoice as stated above.
I believe that this answers most, if not all of your questions. Going back to your comment about having had a bad experience: Most of us who hunt have had a bad experience at one time or another – particularly in those cases where we attempted to book the hunt ourselves, myself included. This is one of the reasons that most experienced hunters utilize a hunting booking agent, because we try and do our homework and we try to represent only those outfitters that we believe to be honest, hard-working and, perhaps more importantly, those outfitters that will provide our clients with a memorable and positive hunting experience. That is not to say that things don’t change because they do – we have just recently had one of our South African outfitters do things that we would not have believed possible a year ago. So this just goes to show that people and situations do change, but most booking agents try to stay on top of these changes – which is something that is almost impossible for the individual hunter to stay abreast of.
Going back to your need for a guarantee, as I said earlier there are no guarantees in hunting. Again, most people that have hunted for any period of time have had unsuccessful guided hunts, with the lack of success attributable to any number of issues. I have hunted for more than forty years and I have my share of unsuccessful hunts. I went on a guided trophy mule deer hunt in Idaho about five years ago and never saw a shootable buck because it was warm and we did not have a sufficient amount of snow to push the bucks down out of the high country in Wyoming – not my fault but certainly not the outfitters fault either and I neither sought nor expected any recompense from said outfitter. I had a similar expedience in Arizona about three years ago on a guided elk hunt – this time the weather was initially hot and dry and the elk were not moving. Then the weather turned and we received about a foot of wet, heavy snow that made travel in the back country impossible so I went home empty handed. Once again, this was not my fault, just bad luck I can keep going about Coues’ deer hunts in Arizona, bear hunts in Alaska, elk hunts in New Mexico, etc. which were unsuccessful – that’s just hunting and there “ain’t no guarantees”!
In closing, I want you and your party to have a good hunt but I don’t want you to have unreasonable expectations or get angry because you expected to take a bear and didn’t. You need to keep the overall experience in mind and remember that there is much more to hunting than merely pulling the trigger.
Now, if you are still interested, I will be happy to book a hunt for you and I will do everything in my power to make your hunt both safe and enjoyable, but I will not guarantee that you will kill a bear or any other animal for that matter.
Worldwide Hunting Consultant and Certified Wildlife Biologist
Global Sporting Safaris, Inc.