The story starts the previous night...
My stepson and myself had a 54ish inch bull come out of the treeline and into the spruce thicket in the bottom of the shallow valley.
We got within 400 yards but couldn't seal the deal that night. Figured I'd spray down the area with some cow in heat pee, try to get that bull to hold until day break.
We were back in the area at 1st light.. no bull to be found. %&#*&@!
There was a lone cow moose across the valley, meandering around. Watched her for an hour or so and figured I'd take a short hike down the ridge line to see if that bull had slipped up valley.
I walked only a few hundred yards from where we usually glass from and after having a better look down low I could see the bull was nowhere to be found.
Suddenly the cow across the way starts running at a full on run and is not stopping. This chick was covering lots of ground, fast. Very strange, I thought.
Within a minute I start hearing a very loud "WHOOOF WHOOF WHOOF WHOOF" coming from the other side of this patch of thick alders.
The whoofing is moving from left to right, getting louder, an occasional stick breaking. And I'm curious if this is an angry bull or possibly a bear(nahhh). All I know I hadn't ever heard that noise, it sounded big, and getting closer. Click goes the safety....
About that time I catch a glimpse between two trees of something brown, moving fast, and not moving like a moose would. It registered.. BEAR!
Within seconds he cleared the alders and took a sharp right, not in my direction but parallelling me downhill. He was on a full and fast run. With every stride he'd exhale...WHOOOF.
I was close enough to see everything, his breath, the white of his gums, his muscles bulging with every lunge.
I had enough time to figure there was nothing behind it(cubs), I picked a spot between 2 of the chest high bushes where he was headed, a split second later he emerged in the opening, I waited for my reticle to touch the brown of his shoulder and squeezed the trigger. Dead silence... See nothing. Hear nothing. Guuulp...
I grab my cell phone and call my stepson, who I left at the glassing area, a few hundred yards away, but out of sight. Told him what happened and asked him to come cover my azz so I can go look for the bear.
10 min later he was with me, I asked him to be ready, I started downhill thru the tundra bushes. After about 40 yards I see brown and not moving. A few more yards and I could see he was down for good.
One shot, ranged later at 71 yards, Browning A bolt 300 win mag. 165 grain Fusion ammo. Tagged him where the shoulder meets the neck. Holy crap!!!!
Had his hide and skull in the freezer within hours of the kill.
It's currently thawing at the taxidermist. I'll report back when I get final measurements.
Edit: in the 1st pic, I was standing where I shot from, the white spot near center is the carcass where it laid.