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May 2008 Brown Bear Hunt

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May 2008 Brown Bear Hunt

Old 04-04-2009, 01:48 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default May 2008 Brown Bear Hunt

The Barter Hunt... My good friend and godfather to my children has a cabin that he has been building on a remote island in south east Alaska. My brother is a contractor, so I put together a plan that we would head to Tom's cabin and help him, and we would take some time to go bear hunting. My brother, Jon, has never bear hunted before, so we thought we would start him off right by going after coastal brownies.

We flew in to Juneau and stayed with Tom that night. The next morning we got ready to head out, but the boat was having problems. It wouldn't get full power, so we turned and headed back to town. It was a quick fix, and we were on our way around noon. We headed north to go up and around admiralty island, then hugged the coastline on the way south. In a couple of hours, we spotted a lone bear turning rocks on the beach. We had a good set up with a large rock face just down wind from the bear, so Tom dropped Jon and I off on the beach and we worked in towards the bear. We managed to sneak in to about 40 yards, and watched him for a while. We knew it was a small bear, but with bad weather in the forecast, and the possibility of not having much time to hunt due to the work we had ahead of us, Jon decided to take the bear. He used a .338 that he built himself, and hammered the bear. It ran for about 30 yards, and piled up on the beach. Jon was all jacked up and real happy with his bear. He is having a rug made out of it that will hopefully be done soon.

We skinned the bear out in about an hour, and headed south to try and find me a bear. My main goal was to get a brownie with my bow, so I wasn't going to be picky on the bear. We went south for about 45 minutes, and just as we were getting ready to split from Admiralty and head to open water, I spotted a bear working along the beach at a pretty good pace. The beach was well over amile long, and the bear was headed north along the beach, so we turned to get ahead of it. Jon dropped me and Tom off at the north end of the beach where it turned into rock cliffs. We pushed the boat out and Jon tried getting video from the boat, but the wind pushed him behind some rocks so he didn't get much on video. These next few pictures are off the video...

The bear disappeared behind this big rock outcropping. We decided to head up to it and see if the bear was on the other side. We had been hiding behind the big rock on the bottom, center of this photo.

About half way to the big rock outcropping, I spotted the bear come out of it from up in the woods. All we could do was squat down. We were in the wide open, but could tell the bear was just ambling along without paying much attention. The wind was right in our face, so we just needed to sit there and look like another rock.

This was the last little bit of video my brother got before the boat drifted behind some rocks. Tom was over my shoulder with his .375H&H and I had an arrow knocked and ready to shoot.

The bear was walking straight at us. It never looked directly at us, but kept wandering along with its head down. When it was about 20 yards away, I noticed it had a collar on. The hide wasn't all that great either, so I considered passing on it. The bear walked up to less than 15 yards away and was going to cross by us at around 10 yards. I slowly began to draw back but was thinking if the bear keeps on walking, I'll let it go. My mind was playing games though, would I ever get an opportunity like this again? The bear was at 10 yards by this point and slightly past us, then I hear a whistle come from Tom. The bear stopped, broadside with its front leg forward and looked right at us. Talk about a gimme shot! I went ahead and touched off an arrow. It flew perfect, right behind the shoulder. The bear ran on top of the rocks, saw the boat and turned back towards us. It made it a couple of steps and fell over dead. All in less than 30 yards.

The bear was in pretty bad shape due to the collar. Fish and Game said the last time they collared bears in that area was the mid 90's, so this was a pretty old bear. It measured out to around 7&1/2 feet, and was a dry sow. The collar had grown into the hide and flesh in a couple of spots, and the rivets on both ends of the collar kept tearing into its neck, keeping an open wound that was infected and stunk like nothing else. Poop was matted up all around the collar as well. The hide ended up being worthless. I had it tanned and the head nearly came off because the skin was so worn down and torn up. I've got a nice large section of hide off the back that I might make a small blanket or pillow out of.

Here's a shot of some of the damage the collar had done.

Since the bear hunting was done less than 5 hours into the trip, we spent the rest of the time building Tom's cabin. It was mostly interior work, but we got a lot done in a few days. We set some crab and shrimp pots as well, and unfortunately our dungy pots were filled with king crab, which were out of season at the time, so we had to toss them all back. We did catch a meals worth of shrimp that we cooked up right after pulling them from the pot. Here's my brother about to toss a nice king crab back into the ocean.

I've got to wait three more years before I can head down and go after bears again since it is a 1 bear every 4 year area, but next time around I'm going to hold out for a big boy. The skull on mine measured out around 23", so it makes pope and young. They get some big bears in this area, so my brother and I plan to go back down and find them.
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Old 04-05-2009, 01:41 AM
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Default RE: May 2008 Brown Bear Hunt

Another great hunt, story and pictures.
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Old 04-05-2009, 01:47 AM
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Default RE: May 2008 Brown Bear Hunt

Sounds like you may have done her a favour. That shot of the collar is just nasty!

Nice write up thanks for posting it.
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Old 04-05-2009, 03:36 AM
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Default RE: May 2008 Brown Bear Hunt

Another great story Arctic. Yes, it sounds like you did that bear a huge favor! I can only see him doing a lot more suffering from that tight collar. That's a pretty big skull at 23". It's a shame you couldn't get a good rug from the fur, but still a great trophy. Congrats.
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:45 AM
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Default RE: May 2008 Brown Bear Hunt

Sounds like the F&G screwed up with the collar thing!

Congratulation's though on an awesome trophy, I love reading and hearing about bear hunts!!
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Old 04-05-2009, 06:59 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: May 2008 Brown Bear Hunt

Wow great hunt. Congrats.
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:22 AM
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Default RE: May 2008 Brown Bear Hunt

ORIGINAL: Schultzy

Sounds like the F&G screwed up with the collar thing!

Congratulation's though on an awesome trophy, I love reading and hearing about bear hunts!!
Who doesn't know that Steve! How are things going buddy?
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:23 AM
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Default RE: May 2008 Brown Bear Hunt

That would break my heart to throw back big ole king crab. I heard they put you under the jail if keep em. Man, I getting hungry.
Old 04-05-2009, 08:35 PM
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Default RE: May 2008 Brown Bear Hunt

Sounds like a great hunt gotta feel bad for that bear with the collar though!!
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:48 AM
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Default RE: May 2008 Brown Bear Hunt

Awsome hunt, congrats to both you and your brother.
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