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Thread: Quest for the Pope and Young class grizzly

  1. #1
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    fairbanks, ak
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    Default Quest for the Pope and Young class grizzly

    It took place in the spring of 2012. My wife and I had talked about going shed antler hunting and found out that a couple of friends were going to be in the same area archery hunting grizzly at the same time. I never had a desire to bow hunt bears or grizzlies for that matter. So plans were made and as the designated weekend rolled around we were off. We did eventually run across our friends that had seen bears but so far were unsuccessful in finding one in a stalkable location. After chatting with them awhile we headed up the road. About 15 more miles I spotted a bear. We watched it for a few minutes then I realized I had my bow. After consulting with my wife and her utter refusal to be my backup I reluctantly turned around and headed down the road to find my friends. We met up a plan was made and off we went. The bears were close to the same area we had seen them in originally. 2 bow hunters and a backup make a lot of noise walking down a gravel path, I was sure the bear would hear us and spook. Not so. I spotted gold hair about 150 yards away and the hunt was on. The wind would be perfect, it was moving diagonally closer to us so we moved in for a closer shot opportunity. At about 50 yards it changed direction and headed almost straight toward us. With adrenaline pumping and my heart pounding I waited till it's head disappeared behind a tree at 30 yards and then drew. As I reached full draw an arrow came loose in my quiver and made a tinking noise. This got the bears attention and it stood up and looked right at us. A staredown ensued. The adrenaline rush was out of this world! After what seemed like forever (45 seconds maybe, I have no idea) with no shot except straight on shot at the brisket it went back to 4 feet and walked straight away a few feet then I puckered my lips and made the best imitation I could of a mouse and it whirled around and stood up again. Again no shot. After a few seconds back to 4 feet and running away. Wow I was shaking. That was awesome! I was hooked. No other bear opportunities were presented on this trip.

    Fast foreword to the fall of that same year. My bro and I were hunting caribou for 3 days and after some close calls and nothing we headed back home. On the way in the rain I noticed a dark animal a hundred or so yards off the road. I stopped and quickly realized it was a bear. Grizzly even. I asked my bro to grab his bow and he said no way. He'd come play backup but with a rifle. He asked me if this was a "good idea" before we got out of the truck and I replied "probably not but we were going to do it anyway". We sloshed through the water and soggy ground to the last available cover. A scrawny willow bush with only a few leaves left on it. The wind was blowing right at the bear from us and I figured we had no chance. I asked my bro to range the bear and after hearing nothing I turned and saw the problem. He was shaking worse than me! I got the range finder. 65 yards. Too far. He was feeding in a general direction toward us. Dark was only a couple hours away and home was a lot further still. I puckered up and imitated a mouse again. His head swung right at us and his direction of travel was a lot more direct to us. I set the bow down and grabbed the pistol. He angled quartering toward us so I set the pistol down and grabbed the bow again. I ranged him. 58 then 52 then 48 then 45 then 42. That was close enough. Now if he would only turn broadside. There was the turn, wait for it now the close front leg is forward. Before I even realized it the arrow was gone and I watched it burry into him. Not a perfect hit but liver and lung. He moved a little and my second shot was a miss. We followed him a couple hundred yards and put another insurance arrow or two into him. We took some pictures. He was all soaked so I thought he was a dark bear. With darkness quickly closing in on us we gutted him and drug/carried him to the truck and loaded him up. The skinning would have to wait till there was more light. A surprise awaited me the nextotnimg after he was dried out. He had a dark base and 1/4" long blonde highlights on most of his coat. My wife convinced me to get him rugged and we had the skull prepped for a European display. The rug is beautiful. The skull is awesome as well. The taxidermist kept saying that the Jed on this bear was quite large for its body size. Oh well whatever. I was happy.

    Fast forward to spring of '13 same friend were out bear hunting and one of em shoots a bear in hre same area as mine. He takes it in and gets it measured 19 7/16. Puts him alone at 100th spot in the book. Now I was sure my bear was bigger so after life settled down a little at my house from a recent move I came across a box labeled bear skulls. I pulled it out and took a quick measurement. I got 20". Sweet. I took it to an official measurer here in fairbanks and it officially scores 20 0/16. 3 way tie for 85th. I had no idea. I think my hide squared 6 1/2 feet.

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  2. #2

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    Awesome, congrats! I took one up north that I'm getting mounted right now that was about the same size and color. He was further up around Ice Cut. I think the skull was right around the size of your buddies. Nothing like the rush of bowhunting grizzlies!

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    fairbanks, ak
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    495

    Default

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    Just for a reference he is laying on a queen size bed.

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