Metallica's James Hetfield will be the off-screen narrator for the upcoming History Channel series "The Hunt," a show about a select group of hunters who head into the Alaska wilderness for a struggle against the elements and the largest land predator on Earth, the Kodiak brown bear.
"The Hunt" premieres Sunday, June 8 at 9 pm CT on the History Channel.
Bear hunting on Kodiak traces back to the early Alutiiq people who hunted the bears to provide food and raw materials. Today, the bear hunt remains a cultural fixture on Kodiak and is crucial to the delicate natural balance on the island.
Strictly regulated by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, every year, thousands of hunters apply for one of 496 tags that are given via a lottery system. While Alaskan residents may hunt by themselves, outsiders must hire seasoned guides who are experts in both the Kodiak brown bear and the island terrain. At the root of their craft, these guides have a profound reverence for this animal.
The average Kodiak brown bear hunt is ten days, most of which are spent living off the land with only the supplies carried on the backs of the guide and hunter. During that time, expeditions trek miles of treacherous terrain, often enduring weather changes that can become extremely dangerous at a moment's notice.
Most of the hunters look at Kodiak as the hunt of a lifetime, yet less than half walk away with their tag filled. Most hunters still value traditions of hunting with bow and arrow, black powder single-shot rifles, and use the minimum amount of technology possible.
The game they're hunting can grow to be 12 feet tall, 1,500 pounds, and have razor-sharp claws and powerful jaws.