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Thread: Drift River Valley Bear hunt, DH01 and Stangracer

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    Default Drift River Valley Bear hunt, DH01 and Stangracer

    Another Great Alaskan Adventure for me and Brian this spring. We wanted to thank everyone that provided information on the Wolverine Creek Area. We however ended up hunting Drift River Valley a few miles in after talking to our flight service. Their staff, facilities, aircraft were second to none. Great hospitality and an awesome service I would recommend to anyone who flies for either sightseeing or a hunting adventure.

    Tracks from Browns were extremely abundant from the flats to the mountains from the air as we approached, and timing could not have been any better considering the trips the both of us had taken to get to this final destination. The weather called for sunny skies and high temps...great glassing weather and something similar to what you would find in Florida..was crazy, bathing in sunscreen daily and making makeshift shade devices was the only thing that provided relief.

    Day one found us flying into DR Valley and establishing camp..numerous black bears were spotted from the super cub on the flight in and sunning themselves on the mountainside. I went in first and discussed options with Doug on the area. After seeing the sign we did..I knew we were in more of a black bear area..and would have to establish base camp and hike a few miles daily in search of a brown for Brian. After Brian landed we set up our camp, packed up daypacks and headed down the valley a few miles to do some glassing for blacks.(We both agreed on me getting my black early and then focusing on his brown for the remainder of the hunt).brian unloading.jpg

    After a couple of miles we started seeing blacks all over the mountain side, then our Brown walks out about 400 yards upwind of us and excitement started to kick in..we both glassed and watched as he crossed the mile wide valley without even stopping, rubbed on some trees and headed over a small ridge to the south. Great positive feeling for the area started to take over the both of us as the hunt had just begun. We headed back to camp and settled in. Great anticipation for tomorrow's hunt was all we could think about. Our base camp was set up about 500 yards from a 1200ft waterfall and provided that relaxing sound while we ate and prepared for the next day.

    camp.jpg


    Continued:
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
    http://akwaterfowl.com
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alask...78020265619952
    AlaskaWaterfowlAssociation@gmail.com
    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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    Day two found us up early and moving to the same location to get my black. We were not settled in for 15 mins and Brian started picking them up left and right. There were 5 working a small knoll about 600ft up. Since the valley provided so many water crossings neither of us had worn our hunting boots and were in light waders. I decided to go back to camp and pack the boots for us to make the stalk. While I was returning I could see Brian was glassing parallel with the ground and waving me to get to him as fast as I could. When I arrived he had seen 4 feeding within feet of each other on the same knoll, and stated that one had moved down a chute..he had lost sight but assumed it was working its way to the floor. We hurried and while moving into position it appeard on the floor and started working right to left. I steadied the LR1000 7mm, Brian ranged him at 123, I turned the turret to 115, power to 24, checked the hide, squeezed the trigger and watched him drop through the scope!..great feeling getting this done on the first day of hunting. We gave high fives and thanks as we approached a great looking Black Boar. The hide was in the best possible condition it could have been in..long and jet black with a nice white V on the chest. Awesome day! We did the photo shoot, skinned it, recovered the meat and headed back to camp. The day could not have gone any better.

    Black bear 2012.jpg


    Day 3-4 we hunted hard, hiked over 8 miles crossing rivers, climbing mountains in snowshoes and spent 17 hour days glassing for Brian's Brown. The boots (Lowas) that he had purchased prior to the hunt did not do him justice. After day three the toe fell in the front of his right boot and it provided some extreme discomfort that alleviated us from getting into the valley we needed to to get his brown. We both knew they were in there, ton of tracks leading from the mountains, moose sign and moose all over the valley floor. We contribute the boot issue to trying to dry them out near the fire, the rubber that surrounds the boot must of constricted to the point where it caused the leather to buckle. We both worked this section for hours with every tool we could to soften up the leather and get it to conform, even shaved away the band leaving just the leather. Everything, outside of cutting the toe off..lol They never got to close to the fire to burn, nor no closer than my Kenetreks and I have never had any issues with them on any hunting trip. Quality leather oil was applied to both provided by Kenetrek as well. regardless...Brian endured some blisters and discomfort...but continued to pursue and endure some obvious discomfort as we continued our quest.

    Day 5-7 After the boot issue..we decided to at least get him a black for the trip. We had a nice black boar working the hillside right in front of camp for the last 5 days and decided to take action on this big ol guy. We moved down the valley a 1/4 mile and set up to glass for the day. After about 10 mins, Brian located him high in the rocks, after about 6 hours he started to work his way down and we both anticipated him to cross a snow chute. We rushed into position and at 200 yards he walked out, stopped and looked right at us. Brian let his 338 200gr bullet fly..no sign of a hit..but he did hunch over a bit as he ran for the alders. Brian rushed over to the other chute about 200 yards to the right to catch him if he crossed. After 2 hours he never did. We decided to climb up the 600-700ft chute and check for any sign of a hit. We did not notice any blood nor any sign of a hit upon arrival and decided to ease our way through the alders in search of the bear. There was a huge rock face that came straight down to the alders.. I think both of us knew what that might have meant..but we continued around the face, waiting for the worse to happen. As Brian eased his way around the corner of the rock face..he noticed a trail leading to a small lip that descended into the rocks...without hesitation he continued to work forward..as his eyes reached the top of the trail, he was about 5 ft from the rock face, peered over the ledge and came face to face with the bear! I was just rounding the corner of the rock face, when I hear him make some kind of gasp as he was slowly retreating back toward me...his face said it all..the bear he had just shot at and missed was lying just inside of the den. I ask him what he saw..and all he said was "the bear is in the den, those shinny beady black eyes and claws is all I saw, and that was enough"..lol..


    Bear Den we approached and came face to face with a black bear.jpg
    We both laughed and I ask him why didn't he shoot it..he looked at me like what the H$$$!, then mentioned it was kind of hard even through a 6 power to see him..lol...we decided the bear was probably more scared than anything else and was the reason it did not charge him. As I approached the den it was not in the same place he had seen it, but had worked it's way deeper into the den. We looked around the den for a place to sit and wait it out, thinking it might eventually work itself out as the evening came on. We walked around the rock face and found a ledge about 12 ft up that provided a perfect perch for us to sit and wait this guy out.

    Continued:
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
    http://akwaterfowl.com
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alask...78020265619952
    AlaskaWaterfowlAssociation@gmail.com
    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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    After 4 hours of sitting there donating over a pint of blood to the famous Alaskan insect..
    DSCN2839.jpg


    we decided he was not going to come out and had won this battle. We retreated and decided tomorrow would be our day. for the next two days this old Blackie gave us the slip a few times and even pulled some serious disappearing acts on us a few times...lol
    Overall, we never saw another brown. but the trip was extremely beneficial for the both of us in many ways. A great time for the both of us to get away from the stress of war and the fast pace of life. What a great experience it was to be out in the Alaskan wild with nothing but the sound of an occasional bush plane, rock slide, the cry of a lone raven, and the waterfall. Great times with a brother in arms. I know we worked hard, and in spite of Brian not getting his Brown..it was a huge success and very rewarding adventure. I am sure he will get one this fall with his DB309 tag.

    snow shoeing the hills.jpg

    Time to start planning his sheep hunt for next fall when he returns, great tag in a pretty good area. Might grab me another black after his ram is down that is.. Something about chasing these bears... I love it!

    DH01
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
    http://akwaterfowl.com
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alask...78020265619952
    AlaskaWaterfowlAssociation@gmail.com
    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

  5. #5

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    That was a great story - congrats to both! Face to face with a bear in it's den - wowser

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Congrats on a nice bear and a great hunt! Looks and sounds like you guys had some outstanding weather and saw plenty of bears can't beat that! Sorry to hear about the boot issues and lack of brown bears.

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    Wicked cool!!

    Great pix, thanx a lot!
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  8. #8

    Default Great Trip

    DH01,

    Great hunt and story my friend. Memories and stories to be told for years to come. I have written Cole Johnson to commission him to draw the picture in my mind of the close encounter with ole' blackie in his den. Glad to be a part of your black bear hunt. We will have many more down the road I am sure. As for me, have to give some blood and lose one before I am found worthy to be successful. So DB309 had better be ready for this falls hunt. All you guys licking your chops for the registration hunt need to leave me one.

    Will definitely be making some sweeping changes in my gun package I take. Need to be more consistent with my shot, even though I consider my shot more an anomaly than the norm. All things considered when we were at the range prepping. Still not sure what was up with the scope. Will be putting the 3x9 back on for sure.

  9. #9
    Sponsor Duckhunter01's Avatar
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    I agree....Great adventure and many more to come.

    If you dont get the Brownie this year...there is always the next. Eventually we will get him...

    Take care over there
    H


    Quote Originally Posted by stangracer72 View Post
    DH01,

    Great hunt and story my friend. Memories and stories to be told for years to come. I have written Cole Johnson to commission him to draw the picture in my mind of the close encounter with ole' blackie in his den. Glad to be a part of your black bear hunt. We will have many more down the road I am sure. As for me, have to give some blood and lose one before I am found worthy to be successful. So DB309 had better be ready for this falls hunt. All you guys licking your chops for the registration hunt need to leave me one.

    Will definitely be making some sweeping changes in my gun package I take. Need to be more consistent with my shot, even though I consider my shot more an anomaly than the norm. All things considered when we were at the range prepping. Still not sure what was up with the scope. Will be putting the 3x9 back on for sure.
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
    http://akwaterfowl.com
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alask...78020265619952
    AlaskaWaterfowlAssociation@gmail.com
    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

  10. #10
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    Glad you had a good time, just getting away is rewarding enough for those that enjoy the outdoors. Sounds like you guys did.

  11. #11
    Member bnkwnto's Avatar
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    Thanks for the write up and the pictures!

    Nitro is trained better now and even has hunter certification so let me know when you want to go duck hunting again.

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    Member Bullwinkle50's Avatar
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    Duck,

    Thank you for the story. I really enjoy reading them and have grown to really look forward to the bear hunting stories.

    Randy

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