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AK bear hunt

Old 09-21-2010, 02:37 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default AK bear hunt

Just back from my trip up to AK, scored a nice big blackie up there in addition to catching so many halibut, rockfish, and salmon my arms still ache. Our first 2 days up were spent on a charter boat halibut fishing. The plan was then to fish for coho in the rivers for the rest of the trip, but due to unseasonably warm weather with a lack of rain they weren't in the rivers in numbers. There were a large number of spawning pinks and dog salmon in the rivers and creeks and with them being so low the bears were definitely keying in on the fish. The first day I had my tag we were packaging fish at my buddies cabin when I saw a nice bear 700 yards across the bay from us on an island. We jumped in the boat and tried to get over there but it was gone. The next morning we tried our hand at fishing coho and it was horribly slow so I decided to hunt that evening. With the tide up I boated over to a creek mouth and sat down to watch a huge grassy salt flat for the evening. I sat there for an hour before I heard a couple kayakers paddling my way making a bunch of noise. A little annoyed, I worked my way up the mouth of the creek 100 yards and took a stand at a likely bear fishing hole for about 20-30 minutes before I moved again and did the same thing. After an hour or so I had worked about 400 yards up the mouth of the creek and I found fresh blood all over the rocks along the river. Very fresh, it ran down my fingers when I touched it, a bear had just taken a fish here. I looked around for the fish, usually they take a few bites and leave it on the bank, but it was nowhere to be seen. That's when I saw a well beaten trail coming from the underbrush and I thought maybe the bear takes his fish into the bushes before eating them, smart bear. Investigating the trail I could see this was the case, just yards in the brush were several half eaten fish and lots of fresh bear scat. I eased back down to the creek and hid behind a big moss covered log. I was sitting there for only about twenty minutes when he ghosted down his trail at only 20 yards. Not wanting to mistakenly shoot a sow I let the first opporunity at a shot pass as I tried to judge him. He then walked behind a bush out of view, and having done this before knew my chances were about 50% of ever getting another glimpse, these things are ghosts down there in that brush. Luckily he thrust his head out the other side and I got a good look at him and as soon as the shoulder came out from behind the bush the gun went off. Now this is where it gets exciting. The first shot passed clean through at 20 yards and he let out a big old bawl and ran full tilt straight at me! Instinct took over and another round from the hip took out his neck vertebrae and he dropped less than ten yards from me in the creek. He taped 6 1/2 feet nose to tail and we estimated his weight at over 400 lbs. He was a very old bear with his front teeth wore down to nothing. I left him there and went to get some extra hands for packing and skinning and by the time I got back there were wolves howling all around on the ridge tops, I thought for sure they were eating my bear but he was just fine. It took until midnight to get the bear packed back to the boat and by now the wolf songs were accompanied by a nice display of northern lights. This is one I will never forget!

The bear where he expired, notice the pink salmon swimming behind him.

He was standing near the log in the background at my first shot and halved the distance pretty quick before my second quick shot took him down.


I took the following shots by myself with the timer they came out pretty good.



Old gummer.
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Old 09-21-2010, 03:01 PM
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Very nice bear, congrats on him
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Old 09-21-2010, 03:07 PM
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Thanks! The most exciting hunt I've been on!
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Old 09-21-2010, 03:20 PM
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Congrats on a fine old bear... I love the white diamond on his chest...

Good story.. That's a hunt you won't forget....

I hope you got to bring some of that succulent halibut and rockfish home with you... As far as the bear meat after eating that spawning salmon...... That's a different story.........

Alaska is a VERY special place..I have been there a few times and I wish I could afford to go there every year..
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Old 09-21-2010, 03:25 PM
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Thank you! He is going to make a very fine life size mount. Yes I did bring home plenty of fresh halibut and rockfish as well as some shrimp and fresh and smoked salmon. I flew back 2 boxes of fish and the bear. Funny how friends come out of the woodwork when they find you have fresh halibut in the freezer! I hear on the cost of going there, it isn't cheap but I feel like a stuffed a years worth of hunting and fishing into a 7 day trip!
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