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Thread: Grizzly Story!

  1. #1

    Default Grizzly Story!

    My quest for moose kept me in my normal stomping grounds of Pt. Mckenzie for most of the 6-week season last fall. I took the last week off of work to spend some good time in the woods rather than just after work. I hunted day in and day out and was just having terrible luck. I couldn't find a legal moose to save my life and it was not looking like it was going to happen. Finally, Friday came along (Sept 29th) and I decided to do something different. I had my sleeping bag, food and plenty of warm stuff in the truck so I called my wife and told her that I was going to check things out somewhere around Trapper Creek and I would probably spend the night. I stopped and topped off the gas tank and headed up the highway, finally reaching Trapper Creek about an hour and a half later. I really had no plan so I just drove up Petersville Rd. and hit Oilwell Rd. I had never been down Oilwell Rd. so I was exploring some new turf. I did not know how far the road went or where it went but I just kept driving. I was driving slow (yeah, I was trolling) and finally reached the end of the road about 18 or 19 miles down. At the end of the road there were about 20-25 rigs parked. It appeared that I had just arrived at the trailhead of the moose superhighway. I parked my truck, dumped out my wheeler and geared up for a ride. I went over to the trailhead to have a look and instantly turned around when I realized the first 100 yards of this trail was nastier than dirty diaper. It was about 5:00 pm with about 3 hours of daylight left so I decided to just find some game trails and see if I could find something. I also remembered going past a lumber road just before hitting the end of Oilwell Rd. I drove the Wheeler back up Oilwell and hit a couple game trails on foot and didnt see or hear anything. I then went back up Oilwell and hit that lumber road. I passed a couple that was camped out along the side of the road and gave them a wave. They waved back and I proceeded down the lumber road. This road wound up making two right hand turns doing sort of a horse-shoe then ended at a giant puddle that I did not want to go through. I turned around and stopped. I was just sitting there and noticed a nice trail that went southbound into the woods. I rode the wheeler in about 50 yards then got off. I chambered a round and started walking. I did not notice any moose sign or fresh game trails as I walked. I kept going at very slow pace, keeping real quiet. Then...the trail came to an abrupt end. I stood there for a few minutes and looked around. I noticed there was an open meadow through some alders to my immediate left. I decided to go check it out breaking branches along the way and making a bunch of noise. I got to the edge of this meadow and standing no more than 30 yards from me was an absolute monster Grizzly. It didnt even register as a Grizzly at first. I just stood there hoping he did not hear me making all that noise. I felt like a kid on a rollercoaster. (A little excited and ready to crap my pants) I had a couple branches in front of me and I was in full cammo. I got down low and tried to stay cool and wait for a moment to back out of there. I probably kneeled there for about 30-40 seconds watching this beast when I realized the wind was at my back. Then, the bear stood up and started sniffing around. I knew he had made me. Although I was partially visible to him, I was sure he could not see me. I did not move because I know that he would have seen me if I did. I waited for him to relax a little and luckally he did. He was feeding on something and he went right back to it. I was kicking myself in the you-know-what for not having a Griz tag. I had just harvested a Blackie the year prior and did'nt want to pay for another rug so soon....so I did'nt buy a tag. Big mistake! I was thinking that the bear may have been a 10 footer. I creeped out of there with my tail between my legs looking back the whole time. I changed my underwear, got back on the wheeler and rode out. I thought this was the end of the bear encounter but there is alot more to this story. I will finish it up the next day or two. I have to hit the bed!

  2. #2
    Member aktoklat's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Good story thus far! Now you have me in suspense and I am looking forward to hear the rest! Thanks for sharing your adventures!

  3. #3
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Come on finish the story! I'm anxious to read what happens next!...by the way ...Is this bear still alive???

  4. #4
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    Great story!! As for the rest??

  5. #5

    Thumbs up The rest of the story!

    OK, now for the rest of the story!

    After I got back on the wheeler I road back out to the logging road, went back through the horsh-shoe turns and rode past the folks I had waved to about an hour earlier and was thinking about where to go next. I got back on Oilwell Rd. and was just driving and thinking about what had just happened. I started realizing that the bear was not more than a mile from where those campers were. I turned around and got back on the logging road and stopped at their camp. They had a fire going and were just hanging out. I walked up to them and introduced myself. I asked if they had any luck hunting. They said that they had only seen a few cows and had been camped out and hunting all week. I led on to tell them why I had stopped and told the story of the Big Griz I had just encountered and to keep an eye out for him. Their camp was really only about 3/4 mile away from the Griz as the crow flys. We got to talking and I mentioned I had never been to this area before and had never encountered a Griz that close before. I told him that the bear may have been a 10 footer. It did'nt even occur to me to ask him if he had a tag. Before I could get my next sentence out he told me that he had a tag and was in the market for a bear. He (Stan) asked exactly where I had seen it and I explained where it was. I told him it was feeding on something and there was a pretty good chance that it was still there. Since I really didn't know what my next move was (for moose) I offered to take him back to the LOGG (Location of Gigantic Grizzly). His girlfriend decided to stay behind and mind camp (and their 3 Labs). Stan and I geared up and rode off down the logging road. When we hit the trail, I stopped and looked back at him and said "this is it". We got off the wheelers and I explained about how far down the trail ended and where the bear was. Again...a round was chambered, this time in two guns.... and we started the walk. We stopped a couple times briefly. The first time to tell him that we were getting close and the second time to ask him what he was shooting. He said he had a .300 Winchester (same as me). We began walking again and finally reached the end of the trail. Needless to say...it was an exciting moment. I truly love hunting and being in the woods. It really gets my heart pumping when I am walking through the woods not knowing what is around the corner. This time I knew what was around the corner and I was about to be a part of something pretty cool (If the bear was still there). I did not care one bit that I was not the shooter. I was there to back up my new friend and be a spectator. I pointed to the alders and asked if he saw the meadow on the other side. He did. I told him that I would stay with him if he harvested the bear and help skin it out. He asked me to back him up and I agreed. Stan led the way and I followed about 10 feet behind him. I stopped at the edge of the alders and watched him as he penetrated to the other side. He got close to the edge and looked back at me and gave me the thumbs up. The Griz was still there! IT WAS GO TIME! He waited for me to get through the alders and as I approached, he put his rifle up and waited for the right moment. The bear turned perfect broadside and he fired. I could not tell where he hit him but the bear went down with all four feet in the air. It was only about a 30 yard shot. We stood there and the bear was waling around and he let out a big roar. I'm sure you all know what roar I am talking about! I was thinking that he should take a second shot. I swear I was just about to tell him to fire again and the bear got on his feet and headed for the tree line. As he approached the tree line Stan fired a shot and missed. I could not get a shot off because Stan was close to my line of fire as the bear was moving from right to left. The bear made it to the tree line and was gone. We gave chase and could not see him anymore. Stan and I decided (quickly) to make a beeline in the same direction that we saw him enter the woods. All that excitement had quickly turned into disparity (and fear) knowing there was a wounded bear very close to us and we may not find him. Stan and I seperated and did a fast walk into the woods. I got about 60-70yards in and started changing directions hoping to come across him. Stan was quickly out of my sight and walking straight in. I could not find him and was worried wew may never find him. I kept pressing on knowing Stan was doing the same thing. After about 15 minutes or so I heard a shot go off fairly close by. It was far enough away that I questioned wether or not Stan had fired the shot. I called out and got no response. I walked toward the direction of the shot and kept yelling out...again with no response. I kept on doing the same thing and finally we heard each other. We were pretty far apart and we could barely hear each other as we yelled out to make contact. Finally I got close enough to tell exactly what direction he was in and I heard him yell out "I got him"! The excitement came right back instantly knowing the deed had been done. It took me about 5 minutes to zero in on him and when I got there he was standing next to his trophy and smiling. It was totally awesome! The bear was still alive and still walking away from the location of the shots. Stan did what turned out to be the right thing and kept walking straight in after him. He managed to actually pass the bear by at some point. He had stopped for a moment to listen and heard the bear walking towards him. He hunkered down and when the bear was about 15 yards away he finished him off. It turns out the first shot was a spine shot under the bears hump. We found the bullet lodged in his spine right up against his spinal cord. The second and final shot got him through the good stuff. After celebrating the occasion, we walked back and got the ATVs...then rode back to the Griz and winched him to some dry ground. (Stan finished him off in about 3-4 inches of muck water). It was dark out when we finished him and thanks to the the flashlights and knife sharpeners we got the job done! The bear was about 12-14 years old and went around 1000 lbs. Stan and I rode back to his camp, drank a few beers and his girlfriend kindly made us a steak dinner. They offered for me to stay in their camp that night and I accepted. He rode me over to where my truck was parked and I returned to begin a new friendship with two total strangers. We stayed up for hours around the fire talking over and over about the great adventure we had just had!
    The next morning I decided not to hunt and just head back home to my wife and kids. I could not wait to tell the story! Stan and his girlfriend (Ricki) walked back into the kill site the next morning so he could show her where it all happened. They walked into the meadow and saw what the bear had been feeding on. He was on a moose kill and had been working on it for several days. I got a call from Stan a couple days later and he told me that the bear squared out at 9'2''. Pretty dang good!

    Everybody have a great hunting season!

  6. #6

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    Great "grizz" story Judd, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Thanks

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the awsome story. I've met some some great people out hunting in AK. Can't wait for this year to start. Good luck to all, hope you get your moose this year Judd.

    D

  8. #8
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Great story...Bummer you didn't get the bear, a lesson learned...Always get a griz tag, because you never know. Just curious, what did he score on the Boone and crockett scale? also can you post some pictures??... don't tell you forgot to buy or bring a camera...hehehe...............K

  9. #9

    Default Forgot to mention....

    I forgot to mention the bear had a fantastic coat with zero rub. Yeah..kakahawai...we did take some pictures...I'll call Stan to get his permisison to post them since he is in them. I am not sure if he did any Boone and Crockett scoring....I'll try to find out.

  10. #10

    Default oops...

    Sorry...kaHahawai..I spelled you name wrong..didnt mean to call you KAKA!

  11. #11
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    Wink Thanks

    Judd, what a neet story you should write for a living! Thanks
    ; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 SAMUEL 2;30

  12. #12
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    He had to take the skull into F&G to get measured. This wouldn't have been an official B&C measurement but gives everyone an idea of it's size. Any chance you know what it scored at F&G?
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  13. #13

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    Great story. Good of you to put Stan on the bear when you didn't have the tag. Maybe someone will return your graciousness one day.

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