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Thread: Spiridon Lake - Kodiak Brownie Tag

  1. #1

    Default Spiridon Lake - Kodiak Brownie Tag

    Cinco de mayo brown bear tag punched. I never get tired of Kodiak, but for those considering future Kodiak tag apps, focus on the south end of the island for bear. I've hunted up and down the AK Peninsula, PWS and SEAK for brown bear and I've never seen such few bears as I did on this Spiridon tag. Some of it could be attributed to the weather, but after talking with the bios, they concur...the numbers just are not there as they are further south.

    Saw a nice bear flying in on Day 1 (outside my unit).

    Day 1-3, did not see any bears in my hunting grounds.

    Day 4 & 5, I saw one bear, same place, same time about 1.5 miles away. Couldn't judge him/her at all through the vegetation. Elected not to investigate to keep my scent down in the valley.

    Evening of Day 5, climbed off the spotting knob early and made it back to camp at 7pm. You could say I was discouraged with the quantity of bears and bear sign. No scat and only two sets of tracks up high in the snow.

    Buddy tooled around in camp boiling hot water for coffee and tea as I sat above the tent on a berm glassing the "distant" mountains and flats. As I lay there in the grass with noculars glued to my eyes, my buddy climbs up on the berm, bends over to set my tea on the ground beside me and as he is straightens his body he whispers two faint words..."Jim...BEAR!"

    I look up to see where his eyes were fixated and sure as heck, 100 yards away from camp a nice boar lumbered along the water's edge headed right into camp. I jumped up, scrambled into camp for my rifle, my budro in tow, and advanced forward.

    I realized at 40 yards I was taking a chance on this bear. I knew he was a mature male judging from his nugget and his swagger, but the quality of the coat was in question. Considering his proximity to camp, the low numbers of bears and I wasn't going to get a bear any closer to our pickup point, it seemed a no brainer.

    For the bear, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He had nothing going for him...he couldn't smell us (the wind was blowing straight at us), he couldn't hear us (the slosh of the water hitting the beach made it quite noisy) and he couldn't see us (he had his head buried in the ground and we were 12' above him on the berm). The last thing I wanted was for him to taste us or anything in camp.

    After a brief pause, the bear finally gave me a profile shot and I pulled the trigger. The first shot launched him into the lake...six additional shots followed. Three more from my gun and three total from my partner's.

    For my buddy and I, we were merely in the right place at the right time. Truer words could not be spoken when you say, "It's better to be lucky than good." A lot of "what if's" come to mind had we not made it back to camp early, or had we simply not noticed an intruder in camp. It could have escalated into something you read about in the ADN. I consider myself fortunate.

    Lesson learned...never get complacent in bear country.

    The cape turned out to have no rubs with exception to the typical burn mark on the crease of his head. Good full hair all over, but the back lacks length. Nice white claws. Squares 9'4" and skull measured 25 6/16". A very good bear for such short decision making time.

    For those who like to know calibers and loads. I was shooting my Tikka .300 WSM. I made the decision to leave my .375 H&H home after experiencing a malfunction with it the week prior to leaving. I was shooting 180 gr Accubonds. My buddy had his pre '64 300 H&H. He loaded it up with 250 gr Barnes tsx's.
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  2. #2

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    More pitchas...
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  3. #3

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    Two more pitchas...
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  4. #4

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    Two more for the pitcha whores...
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  5. #5

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    1 and 2 more...
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    Last two pics. I'm going to load them up on my Pintrest account now. Thanks for looking.
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    Congratulations on a great trophy!!! Great story of not quitting and shooting a bear in camp. How did the two of you muscle that bad boy out of the lake to skin him? Looks like Seahawk air took you guys out?

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    With all the skulls I've taken in from Kodiak this spring- that's a very respectable catch. Guides aren't even having much luck of that size.
    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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    Member PacWestFishTaxidermy's Avatar
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    Congrats and thanks for sharing.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKHUNTINFOOL View Post
    How did the two of you muscle that bad boy out of the lake to skin him? Looks like Seahawk air took you guys out?
    I dialed up Rolan on the sat phone and had him fly us in a backhoe. Worked out nicely. Okay, it actually turns out these big creatures are relatively buoyant. We had to roll him up on the rocks the best we could...would have liked to dry docked him all the way, but was able to manage.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by TWB View Post
    With all the skulls I've taken in from Kodiak this spring- that's a very respectable catch. Guides aren't even having much luck of that size.
    I checked him in at F&G on the morning of the 7th. At that point, they had nothing larger than a 29. I know the guide who was working in and around my draw area took some nice bears to include a 29.

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    28+ is a giant skull for sure.
    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

  13. #13

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    Awesome stuff Jimmy. Thanks for sharing!!

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Congrats on a fine bear for sure. How did the 300H&H bullets do?
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  15. #15

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    Way to go fellas! Apparently shooting your big bruin right next to camp wasn't challenging enough so you tossed him in the drink for a little challenge . It sounds like we have the same taxidermist. Be fun to see your rug when it's done. Wow, 29" skulls are about as big as they get. Congrats on your hunt.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Congrats on a fine bear for sure. How did the 300H&H bullets do?
    Will, you're (accidentally) mixing apples and oranges, but I think you are probably asking about the 300 WSM. The pic above is from my buddy's 375. Here is one of the 300's I recovered. Poor quality photo, but I think you can tell it expanded and peeled back well. None of the pedals are broke off...haven't weighed it yet, but appears to be 90+.
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpost View Post
    Way to go fellas! Apparently shooting your big bruin right next to camp wasn't challenging enough so you tossed him in the drink for a little challenge . It sounds like we have the same taxidermist. Be fun to see your rug when it's done. Wow, 29" skulls are about as big as they get. Congrats on your hunt.
    Yes we do...Rich has been telling me all about your adventures. Some nice critters...WTG!

  18. #18
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    You stated your pard shot three times and used 300H&H with 250gr bullets,thats what I wondered about.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member SLA's Avatar
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    Great bear, story, and pics! I heard last week the overall number of bears taken was low this spring? Can't wait to be back in Oct. chasing goats.

  20. #20

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    Congratulation.

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