KING SALMON, Alaska (WHNT) — Wednesday, October 5 is the first official day you can start voting for your favorite chunky grizzly – that’s right Fat Bear Week 2022 has begun!

The competition pits bear against bear in Alaska’s Katmai National Park & Preserve, and this week’s contenders have been announced following the release of the 2022 bracket.

In Wednesday’s matchup, we have bear 335 pitted against bear 164. While some competitors have names, the first few sets are simply numbers and will be named once they make it further into the contest.

On Thursday, bear 747 (affectionately referred to as Jumbo Jet and King of Chonk by some fans), one of the largest bears in the 2021 competition, is up against bear 856.

Voting for matchups will be open from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. CST. from October 5 through October 11.

In this single-elimination tournament, voters are encouraged to vote for the bear they believe best exemplifies fatness in each matchup. The bear with the most votes advances to the next round.

Only one will be crowned champion at the end of Fat Bear Week!

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Fans can expect to see some familiar faces in this year’s contest, including Otis, who won in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2021, but some other competitors have been showing out this year.

According to, several factors should be taken into account when voting, explaining that Fat Bear Week is a subjective competition. Especially in younger bears, who experience growth spurts and can grow more than the adults; while other adult bears, such as mothers or older bears, might face obstacles that make their weight gain more noteworthy.

Officials suggest campaigning for your favorite candidate using #FatBearWeek on social media and by downloading a blank bracket to predict the winner. Voting is held online and the only requirement for voters is an email address.

To meet all of the contestants or to cast your vote, click here!