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Thread: Grizz 1, JP zero!

  1. #1

    Default Grizz 1, JP zero!

    I thought I would share with you my recent effort to harvest a grizz.

    I hiked up to the "spot" on May 8th in the AK Range and did not see any bears or tracks. There was fresh snow and it was still kind of winter like. I did see a band of about 8 rams with a nice lead ram. The next day I was glassing at a pull out south of "the spot" and spotted a bear. It took me just over an hour to hike up a river bed and up a hill through some nasty alders to get close to the bear and within about 1 1/2 hrs I was sitting 140 yards away from it. It had been digging for roots and was now napping with his head resting on a big hummock. The wind was in my favor and there was one small bush between myself and the bear which allowed me to approach w/o being seen. I didn't have a 100% clear shot due to the small bush. It would have been risky too move any closer as I would have had to expose myself and with the bear turning it's head every 30 seconds or so I didn't want to risk being seen.

    I decided I wanted to harvest the bear. It wasn't real big, a 6 1/2 to 7 foot bear. It was very blonde in color and seemed to have a larger head than my 2 previous grizzly (20"). It was interesting to watch a band of about 8 ewes and lambs walking in the wide open tundra (escape terrain was hundreds of yards away) not 200 yards from the bear. When the bear finally noticed them, it got up on it's front legs and gave them a good stare. That lasted for 20 seconds and then it simply laid back down staring in their direction. I thought, oh boy, I am going to get to observe nature at it's best! No such luck, the bear just kind of forgot about them and went back to it's restless resting. So I had been sitting here at 140 yards away for maybe 40 minutes, always at the ready in case it got up. I figured if it got up and took only a few steps in any direction I would have a clean shot. That was my plan, just sit and wait until it made a move.

    Well, it did! Unfortunatley, the wind finally swirled and the bear took a big whiff of yours truly, stood up (still no clear shot), and took off running straight away and up the hill. At this point the safety is off and I am SO ready to knock him down with a shot to the spine but I just couldn't be 100% positive that I could make the shot on a moving a target. I didn't shoot. I could have made that shot (150-200 yards) but my good senses told me not too. The bear continued up the hill, went right, then left, and continued along a small barren ridge until it finally stopped. I ranged it at 320 yards and again contemplated taking the shot. However, it didn't stand still long enough and that distance would have been stretching it for a first shot at a amped up bear. It took off again and stopped once more at over 400 yards for a brief moment and soon it was up the mountain and into the snow covered peaks above. It was apparent that this bear had a injured right front leg as it didn't want to put much weight on it. I made a serious calorie and thigh burning effort up the mountain (in vain) in the hopes that the bear might be just over the ridge. I knew better and never saw it again.

    One for the grizz and zero for JP! Good for the grizz, if it was easy it would be called shooting and not hunting! Now I get to try again........

    Good luck to the rest of you bear chasers.

  2. #2
    Member ozhunter's Avatar
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    Default

    Great story jpost. Takes a lot to hold off on a shot like that, my respect to you for knowing your limits and staying within them.

    Good luck on your next venture

    oz

  3. #3
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    I second Oz's comments. Well Done

  4. #4
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Nice story, good job passing on the shot you'll get another chance.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  5. #5
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    Default i wonder

    if you could have called him in with a rabbitt squealer.

  6. #6

    Default Thanks...

    for the kind words.

    I had my predator call with me in case I got in a similar situation where I ran out of cover and wanted to call a bear closer for a shot. However, at 140 yards away, there's no way I have the kahonas to call a grizz in closer! At least not solo. That bear could cover that distance in seconds and I would rather not have to shoot one charging in. Although, that would have made for a better strory!

    I am curious, would other hunters have used the predaotr call in the same situation?

    I am very leery of blowing on my call for bears. Mainly becasue I am almost always hunting solo, not from treestand, and I don't want to leave a call station and unknowingly have a bear coming in while I have my back turned leaving the area. Maybe I'm a chicken, but maybe I'm still ALIVE!

  7. #7
    Member Queen of Kings's Avatar
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    Default Calling

    A friend of mine was calling his rabbit squeaker a few years ago. He called every 20 minuts or so. He was positioned in the middle of a gravel bar with good veiwing all around. Well, he ended up falling asleep for a while, and woke up to what sounded like a herd of horses coming down on him, In a half awake situation he turned to see what the comotion was behind him and saw 4 griz bearing down on him at a full run. He spun around, or twisted around from a sitting postion and shot from his hip. ONe shot the lead bear, drop in her tracks, rolled and flipped to a stop just 10 feet from him. The other three turned, slid and bolted out of there. It was his very very lucky day. He was also lucky that these were 3 year olds cubs and was able to keep the sow.
    2003 220 Hewescraft Sea Runner 115 Yam'y, Soft Top "Schmidt Happens"

  8. #8

    Default Wowsers!

    Yes, that is why I am reluctant to call for grizz! However, I would like to try it under ideal conditions because it sounds like it really works.

    Actually, I wonder what the call success is like for bears?

  9. #9
    Member akula682's Avatar
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    Its nice to see that people still believe in "true" hunting, (its not about the killing its about being in the woods enjoying yourself), and doing the right thing.


    good luck next time,

  10. #10
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    Default respect

    lots of respect for you for passing on that shot. that's the mark of a real hunter. Great story.

  11. #11
    Member nrc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozhunter View Post
    Great story jpost. Takes a lot to hold off on a shot like that, my respect to you for knowing your limits and staying within them.

    Good luck on your next venture

    oz
    Ditto.


  12. #12
    Member Alaskacajun's Avatar
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    Good story and good choice on not taking the shot.... There's a thousand more where that one came from. Good Luck!

    - Clint

  13. #13

    Default Thanks again

    I am looking forward to getting out every weekend I can for more grizzly hunting. I have been fortunate to harvest 2 since I moved to AK in 2003 and I have the BUG! I still get a rush everytime I see a grizzly out in the wild. As a kid growing up in SE Washington state hunting grizzlies seemed like a world away and now I can be in good grizz country within 2 hrs. That's pretty cool. Good hunting to all, JP

  14. #14
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    When in doubt.............that`s what hunting is all about. You know your a hunter and not just a shooter when you can access the good and the bad and do the right thing.

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