It all started on the 9th of Aug, 2 days after my son's 15th birthday. I'm a teacher and it was my last week of summer before school started, so I wanted to make it a good one. We were heading out on his first sheep hunt. As we neared the sheep mountains, the sideways rain and the forecast prompted me to ask him if he'd rather go bear hunting instead. After all, he had never shot a bear before. He thought that that was a pretty good idea. I didn't need to explain to him that hiking several miles in rain, to set up a tent in the rain, to sit in it for a few days, was not fun. Call me a sissy, I'm ok with that. So we continued south to the secret bear hunting grounds. After arriving, we quickly set up our tent...in the rain, and then sat in the truck for a while hoping for the rain to lighten up. Me made a quick supper and headed out for an evening hunt. After a while we spotted a black bear and made a move on it. We were not able to find it and it was nearly dark, so we headed back to camp. After waking the next morning and eating a quick meal we headed out again with high hopes. It didn't take us long to spot a bear and the stalk was on. On our way to that bear, we ran into another. It winded us and trotted off. It was only about 50 yards away and not moving too quickly, but I counciled my son not to shoot unless it stopped and was standing broadside. We weren't concerned since we could still see bear #1. We closed that gap to 150, the closest we could get. We were on one edge of a large ravine and it was on the other, eating berries. We had to wait several minutes for it to get into a good position to shoot. I had the video camera ready and gave him the ok. BOOM! no reaction from the bear except it looking for the origination of the sound. My son had just pulled off his famous "warnig shot." I told him to crank another one in and shoot. He did and it seemed to be a good hit. The bear went down and then flipped around and then took off. We made our way over the the scene and quickly picked up the blood trail. About 75 yards later we came upon the bear, which was back up now and my son gave it another shot to put it down. He had just killed his 1st black bear. Way to go boy. I suggested we take a little walk before we started skinning. About 30 minutes later, we said in unison, "there's one." So we made up about 100 yds and I waited for a good broadside shot. It was a 170 yard shot and my bullet found its mark. We climbed the hill up to my bear and quickly located it. It turned out to be a chocolate sow with an orange mowhawk that squared 5'9". We got her skinned and packed up and headed back to my boys bear. We got his 5'3" boar taken care of and headed back to camp with an extreemly heavy pack.
We had pulled off his 1st successful bear hunt. We were both very excited and pleased.
We headed home and stopped around Paxon to see if any caribou were around as we had subsistence tags to fill as well. We saw some that would have been easy to get, but my son said that he had killed bigger and wanted to wait for a bigger bull. Fine by me. We got the bear meat and skins home so we could get them taken care of. We did that the next day since we arrived home after midnight. The next day, I loaded up the rest of the family, wife and 3 other kids. My oldest boy stayed home to go to soccer practice. We had my 8 year old son shooting the .243 and he was first up. After a few hikes and disappearing caribou, we got one to stand broadside within his range. BAM! It seemed like a good hit but the cariobu was leaving so I followed up with a quick gut shot. Darn my hide. My favorite quote from my son as soon as he had shot, and the caribou was down was, "Mom, my legs are wobbly." I looked and him and he was shaking all over with excitement and adrenaline. He had just killed his 1st big game animal at 8 years old, outdoing our current record holder. (my 15 year old son killed a moose at 9) and it was a bigger caribou than all of the other caribou that my other kids have shot. So he was thinking he was pretty cool. We had it almost packed over to the 4 wheeler, when my 12 year old daughter pointed another one out. We got her set up and she dropped the small bull with one perfect shot to the shoulder. So in 3 days we had two 1sts, and 4 animals down. We were very thankfull for our success and our full freezer.