Let me start out by saying thank you to AGL4NOW for the idea to go to Hope to get a bear.
The work-week ended Friday with me in the office going over next week's schedule with my boss. We got the game plan for work situated, and I decided to show him a couple of my plans for hunting. Plan one was just outside of Anchorage with the bow, Plan 2 was to go North to go for brown bear. Hadn't given south any thought.
We went over the Atlas and I decided the Talkeetna area was out of the question because its so low, and no spot to glass. I'd need better info on where bears have been seen. My boss is big in the Eureka area as he has a cabin there, but I decided against that.
Talking with a fellow forum members, akrstabout, we decided to head outside of Anchorage, but he couldn't go until Saturday morning due to work restraints. So, I jumped on the forums and decided a night hunt out in Hope would suffice my need to get out and enjoy the warmth/sun that is about to disappear.
I headed down, got the truck angled toward the mountains and started glassing. Within 5 minutes I had my bear I wanted picked out, and I was tearing up the mountain. Very well-UNprepared, I took out all of my pack belongings for camping and went on out. I must state, although ashamed of the fact, I was in my "skater" shoes and blue jeans, as when I left the house I was in a hurry. (I had a feeling I was going to kill a bear that night, since I packed on Wednesday and could smell blood, I know weird)
I didn't have a path to go up, so I bush wacked through the worst of it. I went through dead-falls, alders, devils club, holes, streams (lost my shoe twice in mudd) and just pushed myself to the limit. On the way up I was able to snap a picture to show just how hard I was pushing it. In this picture it wasn't raining, I'll leave you to think of how I got soaked. sweat.jpg
I got near the top, so really just out of the ankle-grabbing alders, the slick weeds, the fallen trees, and anything else I may have slipped,tripped, or tumbled on. I should state, I was glassing the bear the whole way up to make sure he was still there. When I got to where I could see the bear (still 800yards away) he started running away. I thought, ****, here goes my shot, he's running for the hills. I drop my pack, swing the rifle up, get him in the cross-airs, and WAIT, he's chasing some sort of ground animal. He hadn't seen me, he was just chasing something around. If I would have shot, he would have taken off. There's no doubt in my mind I would've missed. Here is a picture of where he is on the mountain as I came out. You can't see him, but he's to the left of the two bushes right under the right ridge. closing in.jpg
So, now that the bear isn't running and back to eating berries, I get my game plan back on track. I decided, due to wind, to approach from the left side. I would climb the ridge from the left to right, and come in right along side of him (as the wind was blowing uphill a little ways) By this point I'm passed physical exhaustion. I'm absolutely worn out. I knew he was there, and I had to get to him though. So I dropped everything but my gun and climbed on up. I had to side-hill to him, but didn't know exactly where he was. So, I took my time, glassing with the scope as I went. When I came around the last bump out, where I thought he was I spotted him.
There was a series of four rocks between me and him for me to get my rest on. And, as I knew he was facing awauy I wanted to get into the best possible position. It ended up being the forth rock that gave me the perfect rest. I let him have all 180 grains of it into the heart. He turned and ran towards me, and I gave him another one in the brisket. He stopped and looked like he was going down, but to be safe I gave him one more and he went tumbling down the mountain. <object width="224" height="400" ><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="movie" value="http://www.facebook.com/v/595937709612" /><embed src="http://www.facebook.com/v/595937709612" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="224" height="400"></embed></object>
It's the second bear that I've harvested, and was one of the hardest day hunts I've ever done.