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Thread: First Griz

  1. #1
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Default First Griz

    I posted a picture in the photo gallery, so I suppose a story should follow.

    We took off from the Merrill ski strip Friday afternoon and headed west, into 16B. Twenty-five minutes in the cub and we were in Alaska! We flew further, towards some likely denning areas. We spotted one den, but the tracks led down the mountain and into the creek bottom. We flew to a bear that was hanging out at his den that my partner had spotted earlier in the week. We expected that the bear had headed down in search of moose. We circled the den from a far, but could not spot the bear. There were no tracks leading off the mountain, so he must be down the hole. The closest place to land was about one and a half miles down the mountain. My partner made a flawless landing, circled back onto his tracks, and cut power. I unfolded my six and a half foot frame from the back seat and proceeded to sink to my crotch. Snowshoes were a must. We proceeded to set up the camp and prepare for the next morning.

    We were like two little kids on Christmas Eve. We lay awake until after midnight talking. Ptarmigan woke us up at 6:30. We had a few slices of cheese and caribou sausage, pounded some water, and strapped on the snowshoes. We had about a mile and a half climb up to the den. Through out the climb I had been thinking about a hunt out in Prince William Sound that I took my father on several years before. My dad took his first black bear. I have shot several black bears with a rifle and took one on this hunt, too. I do not think my heart rate even changed. It was special because it was with my father, but at the same time kind of anticlimactic. I now chase the black bear with a bow, but that is another story. I was packing my 375 this time and hoped that that adrenalin rush would be there.

    After about an hour and a half we made it to the top. The den was on the north side of the hill. Before cresting the ridge top we traversed to the right a couple of hundred yards so that the wind was directly in our face. We slipped over the ridge and headed into the slight breeze.

    The north face of the hill had multiple little ravines and hills running down it. Perfect for a den. We scanned the north face and planned our stalk. We both agreed on where we thought the hole was and headed into the wind. We were nearing the site when my partner stopped and thought to himself “Huh. There’s the den.” He turned to tell me and we both saw him at the same time and he was CLOSE! My heart was pounding in my throat. No lack of adrenalin here! We backed up out of sight and took off our packs. We both agreed that he was a good bear I chambered a round and crept to the top of the little ridge. He was moving slowly, moving his head from side to side. He looked pretty out of it. It was a quartering shot. I had a solid rest off my knee. I put the cross hairs on the front shoulder and took a couple of deep breaths to calm my nerves. The 375 barked and the chocolate boar bit at his shoulder and spun to his left. I jacked another round into the chamber just as he bolted down into gulley straight at us. Here he comes! I ran up the ridge about ten yards, but could not see or hear him. I went a few more feet and saw that the gulley was a little deeper than we had thought. He had rolled down the ravine and ended up into one of his day beds. I put another round through his shoulders for good measure and took a knee. The rush was back!





    Here is a picture of my hunting partner in the den.


    The pack back to the plane.


    A candy bar break. Life is good!
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  2. #2
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Default one more pic

    Shaking out the bones at the plane.



    All hunts are good, but when you can share one with a life long friend or family member makes it that much better.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  3. #3
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    awesome country over there wow.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Hey man any stats on the bear (square, skull size?)

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    Thanks for the story, that is a life long desire of mine to be able to take a Grizzly. I don't know if I would have gotten in the den. What if there was another bear in there. Or do bears do that?

    Great story Thanks

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    What a fantastic story - thanks for sharing!

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barko View Post
    Thanks for the story, that is a life long desire of mine to be able to take a Grizzly. I don't know if I would have gotten in the den. What if there was another bear in there. Or do bears do that?

    Great story Thanks
    My partner spotted this bear on Tuesday. He was alone. We did approach the den with caution. We could see thewhole den from 15 feet. Not much room in it. I am still pumped!

    Honest squared measurement was just over 8 foot. We stretched it to over 9. Pretty easy to get an extra foot with a little tugging The skull was just under 24".
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Looks like you and Derek had a great time in some beautiful country. Great pictures too; thanks for sharing them.

  9. #9
    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    Nice going, buddy! Great pictures and a heck of a story. After all this excitement, I suppose you don't even have the interest anymore to going black bear hunting in PWS with me this spring, do you?

  10. #10
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Talking sign me up!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan in Alaska View Post
    Nice going, buddy! Great pictures and a heck of a story. After all this excitement, I suppose you don't even have the interest anymore to going black bear hunting in PWS with me this spring, do you?
    You don't have to twist my arm...too hard. Nothing like enjoying a Patron Margarita on 10,000+ year old glacial ice after a successful evening hunt. That is if you can shoot straight with the 338-06!
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  11. #11
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    Great story, congratulations. thanks for sharing it.

  12. #12
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    Default Not to pee on your wheaties....but....

    Just kiddin, great bear and congratulations

  13. #13
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Talking Nice job

    Nice job, nice bear, nice pictures! Congratulations!

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
    Cancer from Agent Orange - Aug. 25th 2012
    Cancer Survivor - Dec. 14th 2012

  14. #14
    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spoiled one View Post
    You don't have to twist my arm...too hard. Nothing like enjoying a Patron Margarita on 10,000+ year old glacial ice after a successful evening hunt.
    12 year old scotch on 12,000 year old ice is another one of my favorites! Accompanied by a good cigar, as well.



    Quote Originally Posted by spoiled one View Post
    That is if you can shoot straight with the 338-06!
    I've been known to get lucky every now and then.

  15. #15
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Default Mob!

    "I've been known to get lucky every now and then. [/QUOTE]"


    I have seen you shoot MOA on paper. We are looking for MOB...Minute of Bear!
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  16. #16
    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
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    Thanx For Sharing The Great Story And Pictures. Congrats.
    I Head Out A Week From Tomorrow To Try And Arrow My First Brown Bear South Of Cordova.
    RETIRED U.S.A.F. CAPT.; LIFETIME MEMBER NRA; LIFETIME MEMBER ALASKA BOWHUNTER ASSOC.
    MASTER BOWHUNTER EDUCATION INSTRUCTOR; MEMBER UNITED BLOOD TRACKERS; POPE & YOUNG MEASURER

  17. #17
    Member Queen of Kings's Avatar
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    Default Another one

    Took this one this weekend on the Denali Highway about 35 miles in. Cantwell side. about 7 1/2 to 8". Beautiful coat with no rubs!

  18. #18

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    Did you go back there with a liquid cooled or fan cooled sled or was this a fly in?

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    Default Me?

    We had 2 liquid cooled and one fan. Other than the hard snow in the AM and then the slush slush in the afternoon, we had no problems

  20. #20

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    ya sorry that was towards you Queen of Kings . I have both just wondering how the snow was. I have been wanting to head up that way. You think the snow will hold up pretty good over the weekend?

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