The History Channel is premiering a new reality TV show called The Hunt. A select group of hunters head to the island of Kodiak, Alaska every year to hunt bear. (The Alaska Department of Fish & Game gives out 496 “tags” via a lottery system.) The TV show follows a handful of them, including husband and wife team Hal and Michelle Barber, as they live off the land with only the supplies carried on their backs, face a charging Kodiak bear and, well, kill it. The average Kodiak brown bear hunt is ten days. Once a bear is shot, the hunters must skin the bear. P.S. It’s narrated by Metallica’s James Hetfield, a veteran hunter.
The tradition of bear hunting on Kodiak dates back to the early Alutiiq people who hunted bear for food and raw materials. Today, only about 4,000 Alutiiq people live in Alaska but it’s reported that “their cultural heritage is living in their Regional Native Corporation, Koniag, Inc.,” which owns and operates the Kodiak Brown Bear Center which offers a safe and exciting bear-viewing experience to tourists. Hunting is not part of the package.