My buddy ran a black bear bait station last spring in Unit 7. He never hunted his stand because all he got were pictures of brown bears. Lots of pics. Some of them looked like pretty impressive bears. So when we found out that we would be able to hunt brown bears over bait this year, he was very disappointed because he moved out of state last fall! He told me where his site was so I could run it this spring for brown bears. He had trouble last year with brown bears ripping his barrel right off the chains. So this year we reinforced the barrel with steel pipe. I decided to move the site about 400 yards simply because I liked the lay of the land better. We got bait out pretty early - around April 18th. So it took a while before we got any hits. We were using expired bread products mixed with some Bait 'Em 907 products. Once they started coming in, we had to haul a lot of bait to keep them fed! Those brownie's can eat! We got a lot of good trail camera videos of at least 6 bears. Two or three would have been shooters. But there was one in particular that we had our eye on that we nick-named "scar butt" for obvious reasons. I was pretty sure he was the same boar we had noticed in the 2013 pictures.
We hauled in a lot of bait on our backs since our stand was 3/4 of a mile in without 4-wheeler access. Sometimes we would haul over 100 lbs each on our backs and 30-40 lbs in a sack in our arms. Hard work!
The first three trips out hunting, we never saw any bears. I would sit for 4 to 6 hours each time. Sometimes early in the morning. Sometimes in the evenings. I worked it in when I could since I was still working 40 hours per week in Anchorage. One evening, we could hear two bears huffing and making a wide circle. They came to within 50 yards of us but we never saw them. They sounded mad. At the time I couldn't tell if it was a sow with cubs that was mad at us or two bears that were mad at each other.
The fourth time in the stand, after sitting for about 3 hours, Scar Butt came in with a sow with a collar on. In 2013 we got a picture of a big boar mounting a sow with a collar. I'm sure it was the same two bears. They were making the same huffing noises as they came in and obviously weren't initially aware of our presence in the tree stands 20 yards away. After a few minutes of watching them, I got a perfect broad side shot at ol' Scar Butt. I put the arrow right behind his shoulder and it went all the way through. He didn't make it 50 yards before he expired. However, the sow that was with him stuck around for quite a while making a lot of noise. After about 30 minutes it sounded like she had left. He was easy to track. But not easy to haul out. He was exactly 9'0" from nose to tail and the same measurement claw to claw. The green skull measured 26 7/16" at fish and game.
Hauling him out was a lot of work. It wouldn't have happened without help from two good buddies. We got all the meat out and I was able to share it with some friends who were willing to try it. Actually, it's not half bad. Much better than expected. An edited video of the hunt is attached below. Enjoy!