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Thread: Eklutna Archery Brown Bear!!

  1. #1
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    Default Eklutna Archery Brown Bear!!

    I was able to score on this big old gal last week! It sure was a fun hunt. One shot. One kill.

    299998_10101238019675464_2312215_76290479_960726632_n.jpg

    299157_10101238021691424_2312215_76290497_1626606582_n.jpg

  2. #2
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Wow! She is a beauty! Nicely done.
    AKmud
    http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j96/AKmud/213700RMK1-1.jpg


    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  3. #3
    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Wow! That's freakn impressive! Bet the heart was running like a freight train!!
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Fantastic! I was just thinking about this hunt the other day. They give away a relatively large number of permits (25?), but I was wondering if anyone had ever been successful on this hunt in the two or three years it's been going. I guess I know the answer now... Very well done, sir. I think I speak for others here when I say that we want more details and a story when you can find the time. In the meantime, congratulations!

  5. #5
    Member Marc Taylor's Avatar
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    That's a tough hunt. You did GREAT to pull it off. Congrat's on a fine trophy archery bear!!!

    Taylor

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Large number of permits?......I put in for it, and never got one.

    Congrats on that awesome bear .....theres one similar to it runnin around in Arctic valley/ Ft Rich side just feasting on hunters leftover moose kills and base conservation won't do anything about it......

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kahahawai View Post
    Large number of permits?......I put in for it, and never got one.

    Congrats on that awesome bear .....theres one similar to it runnin around in Arctic valley/ Ft Rich side just feasting on hunters leftover moose kills and base conservation won't do anything about it......
    Nor can you carry a side arm. Just sharp sticks! Lol
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  8. #8
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    Default Story: The Hail Mary Bear

    The events leading up to my opportunity to take this bear are an excellent representation of what can happen when a plan completely falls apart…


    When I drew this tag I knew right away that I was going to need some back up. Thankfully, my friend Randy came up from Michigan to back me up with a rifle on this hunt last week. Our plan was to travel down the lake and try to gain access to a hanging valley above tree line. We saw two nice brown bears along the lake shore on our way to our eventual campsite. However, we were not able to close the distance for a shot.


    We arrived at the camp site I had scouted the week before and began to make our way up the hill toward tree line. However, it was quickly apparent that one of us was not going to be able to make it to the spot that I wanted to go. The first night it began to rain and didn’t stop for about 30 hours. Randy’s clothing, which he was told was waterproof, turned out not to resist water at all and he got incredibly cold on the second day of the hunt. At this point, I seriously doubted our ability to be successful on this hunt. Luckily, it stopped raining and we were able to get things dried out.


    The forth day as we were about to ascend Bold Ridge trail on the opposite side of the lake, it again looked as if was going to rain. I told Randy that we should head to ER and get him some Hellys before we went up the hill or we would risk a repeat performance of the soggy shakes. We stashed most of our gear and headed for the truck. We were able to get a ride from a great couple from Wasilla in their side by sides. That really saved us a lot of time! Thanks Fred!!


    We hit Boondocks and the Alehouse and were back at the lake in time to meet a couple of moose hunters that would entirely change the course of the hunt. While looking for moose Doug and Galen told me that they had seen a brown bear that had been dragging some remnants of a moose gut pile! Thanks for the tip and the ride Doug!!


    Immediately, I knew what we had to do…find those guts. The next day we got up, moved our camp and all of our gear. Then we got to work looking for the remnants of the moose kill. We looked and looked, but could not find a single trace of a kill site. Our new found hope was slowly slipping away. However, I had noticed earlier in the day that there were a lot of ravens and magpies flying around a ways away. Randy was pretty disappointed and tired from searching for the first kill site, but I convinced him to come check out all of these birds with me.


    As we got closer, it was clearly apparent that there was something dead in the area. It wasn’t long and we had found a moose kill site that had not been visited by bears! Well, at this point, I was about as excited as Skookum Jim at Rabbit Creek. But now, how were we to hunt this area? Very tall grass, lots of dead fall. There were no good ambush points to post this area without feeling like a piece of cheese in a rat maze. In solution to this problem we reverted back to our Michigan whitetail hunting tactics and decided to go vertical.


    The next morning at first light we arrived back at the kill sight and discovered that it had been found by a bear overnight. Fortunately, the bear had left much of the entrails for later munching. We got our set in place overlooking the kill site and a number of trails surrounding it and started our vigil. Because the sight had been hit by a bear less than 10 hours before, we were both hopeful of the bear’s speedy return.


    The wind picked up off the lake and we got pretty **** cold sitting there. But, there was no way that we were going to leave our post. Doing everything I could to keep my mind off of how cold I was, I read the majority of a book before 3pm. Closing in on prime time, I decided that I should have my bow in my hand and not a book. Thankfully the wind slowly died, but I was feeling rather ridiculous for forgetting my long underwear in the truck and now I was shivering quite a bit and making the spruce bows around me shake in the process!


    I needed something else to captivate my thoughts other than the penetrating cold that was gripping and shaking my previously sweat slicked skin. Finally I had the cure. I started saying a rosary for everyone in my family. I think I covered everybody including all of the 2nd cousins I could remember that I had. With dozens of family members accounted for, it was getting noticeably darker after the sun had gone behind the ridge. I decided to say some final prayers for a bear to come. On the 5th Hail Mary, with the woods so quiet you could hear a mouse fart, I heard something coming through the brush. There it was!! The bear came into view about 65 yards away down the hill. It looked so fat and filled out that it appeared to be an over stuffed teddy bear. At any moment this bear might have burst at the seams with stuffing exploding in every direction! This bear looked stacked! After traveling through the small opening it went out of sight.


    The next moments were excruciating. I couldn’t see the bear and I heard it stop twice. Each time the bear stopped my heart sank. Would it keep coming this way? What if it smells us?? Each moment the bear was out of sight was agony. Thankfully the bear kept coming toward the kill.


    At last, the bear rounded a bend in the trail around a big clump of alders and instantly any resemblance of teddy bear qualities disappeared as the bear caught our wind. She began to breathe heavily in and out and then exploded with three big bounds up to the kill site, which now resembled a bull ring with the main event front and center. The furious sow came within 8 yards and she was extremely pissed that she could smell us but she could not figure out where we were. She swatted at some of the tall grass like a bull ready to charge the first available target. Then she stormed out of the kill site that was ringed by fallen trees.


    As the bear bounced up and down on a log huffing and woofing I drew my bow. The pin settled behind her shoulder for a great quartering away shot and I squeezed. THHWWAAACKK! She was hit hard. It was a complete pass through, the arrow sliced through over two feet of bear, finally stopping only after it had driven 8 inches into the ground.


    The bear took off with a snarl, she quickly looked to her left from where she had come from and then headed straight away the best she good. Within 25 yards, arterial spray covered the grass. However, the fact that she was still breathing clearly out of one lung was a bit unsettling. She stumbled through some alders as her breathing became noticeably more labored and then went out of sight. Randy and I heard her stop running and then after about 10-12 more raspy breaths she stopped breathing, but no death moan…


    After the forest fell silent once more, I noticed that I was now shaking uncontrollably with adrenaline and still freezing cold. Finally, another frigid twenty minutes had passed after the shot and we left our post. It was almost completely dark now. Neither of us wanted to surprise a bear that may not be totally dead, so we decided to return in the morning. I slept for about 2 hours that night. When morning finally came we found the bear right where we heard her stop breathing the night before!!


    Her pelt is really gorgeous, but she was probably the worst smelling thing I have ever encountered. As I approached the bear I could hear some flatulence. I thought it was my partner preparing his morning movement, but when I looked at him for an admission he pointed at the bear. That bear farted the foulest smelling vapors imaginable the entire time we were snapping photos and skinning her. We made it through and packed it out in plenty of time to make some stops in Anchorage and catch a celebratory dinner at the Double Musky.


    The beautiful sow measured 7’ 7”. It was an experience I will never forget.





  9. #9
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    Awesome read dude, just awesome. I've seen and heard some creepy stuff in the Eklutna valley, but never a bear to tie it all together. Congrats.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  10. #10

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    Freaking outstanding! Congratulations and what an awesome story. Man, you must have nearly overdosed on adrenaline and I can only imagine the post shooting shakes! Being that close to a really irritated bear with a bow in your hands has to be one he11 of an experience!

  11. #11

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    Well done, very well done, congratulations. And thank you for the story.

  12. #12
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Man, that was a great story! What an incredible hunt that turned out to be. Thanks for sharing that - I was hanging on your every word.

  13. #13
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    Very cool and a nice looking bear!

  14. #14
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your experience. What a rush, eh?
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member Mountain Man Jack's Avatar
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    Thats a helluva story. What a rush. Way to get a good clean stick on her. That fur looks real nice. Good job man.

  16. #16
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Awesome story and beautiful bear. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  17. #17
    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    Great story and nice looking bear!
    Just wondering can a non res back up with a rifle on a hunt like this when they can't hunt brown bear with out a guide?

  18. #18
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by power drifter View Post
    Great story and nice looking bear!
    Just wondering can a non res back up with a rifle on a hunt like this when they can't hunt brown bear with out a guide?
    Non resident guides, guide hunters all the time. Yet they cannot hunt browns themselves. Interesting, eh?
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  19. #19
    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spoiled one View Post
    Non resident guides, guide hunters all the time. Yet they cannot hunt browns themselves. Interesting, eh?
    Odd eh? They can guide for profit but for personal use I'm limited to immediate and specifically identified extended family. I've always felt guiding should have a residency requirement but that's just me.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  20. #20
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TWB View Post
    Odd eh? They can guide for profit but for personal use I'm limited to immediate and specifically identified extended family. I've always felt guiding should have a residency requirement but that's just me.
    I agree 100%.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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