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Thread: Short Bear story.....and a word of caution.

  1. #1

    Default Short Bear story.....and a word of caution.

    While on a guided Dall Sheep hunt, that appeared to be headed towards no sheep harvested outcome. We were in the process of breaking camp to head to the lake for extraction. Spirits were not joyful at the moment, when on a forty foot rise just thirty yards from camp there is a adult Grizzly standing there looking down at us. The sky was a bright blue framing the front half of the Grizzly it would have made for a wonderful classic photograph.

    The hunter dove for his rifle and jacked a cartridge into the chamber, while loudly whispering, "Can I shoot it". Over and over asking "can I shoot it", and me over and over whispering, "Just wait" or "Don't shoot yet". Watching the bear through my 10X40 Zeiss Binoculars, it was clearly a nice adult late September Grizzly, and at only thirty yards an easy shot. Still the hunter kept begging, "Can I shoot it" and I continued to say, "No.....wait a bit". Things were getting very agitated and anger was rising, as now his son also had his rifle loaded and pointed at the bear exclaiming, "I am going to shoot" when three little fuzz balls appeared looking down at the commotion.

    It is prudent to watch and study a bears behavior before rushing into action. This is even more important in the fall hunting season. Any time you see more then one bear in close proximity, and even if they appear to both be nearly the same size, it is wise to observe them for a period of time, to see how they interact with each other. While common to see two bears in the spring close and interacting (likely a mating pair) it should trigger caution in the fall hunting season, as it may be a small'ish sow with a large'ish male cub, or also possible to be siblings that were run off in the spring, still more or less hanging together.

    We want to be successful and we tend to see what we want to see, not what is really there before us. We tend to rationalize why two bears are together in the fall, we tend to see them as larger then they are, or similar in size, if we act quickly without a period of observation to see how they interact, or if they interact at all, it is easy to reach the wrong conclusion.

  2. #2

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    Good story with some good points. well done.

  3. #3
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    I almost shot a black bear that was sitting on a beaver dam in the sun. As I was squeezing the trigger 2 cubs ran out. It was a good size early spring black bear too, easily a 6 footer. Lucky I don't have a hair trigger - the Ruger trigger and it's heavy pull that many seem to complain about saved my day. Gotta be careful!

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    If you are fall hunting and see two or three bears together that all appear to be adults and about the same size, it is legal to hunt them; correct?

    I guess my question another way is; under this scenario in the fall they are almost certain to be a sow with offspring. Is it safe to assume black bears would be at least 1.5 years old and brown/grizzlies 2.5 years old and therefore legal to hunt?

    I am interested in the pure legality of this, not anyone's views of the ethics of hunting young bears.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBC View Post
    If you are fall hunting and see two or three bears together that all appear to be adults and about the same size, it is legal to hunt them; correct?

    I guess my question another way is; under this scenario in the fall they are almost certain to be a sow with offspring. Is it safe to assume black bears would be at least 1.5 years old and brown/grizzlies 2.5 years old and therefore legal to hunt?

    I am interested in the pure legality of this, not anyone's views of the ethics of hunting young bears.
    The short answer is, "tis far better to know, than to assume".

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBC View Post

    I am interested in the pure legality of this, not anyone's views of the ethics of hunting young bears.
    Read up about "Milk Tooth".

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    At your suggestion I did and it appears milk teeth are only present in very young bears (cubs), which would be illegal and provide very little meat.

    Let me try asking the question a different way. A few years ago I was in the Kenai Mountains on a fine October day. Three black bears, all about the same size, were feeding in the alpine and I was meat hunting. I made an unsuccessful attempt with the understanding that it was a sow with subadult offspring. One hunting friend said they were all illegal (simply because he believed all sows with cubs were off limits) and another said they were all fair game.

    I think spring cubs (.5 years old) are pretty obvious with black bears and these were much larger. Were they all legal?

    I haven't seen as many brown bears so I am also interested in how difficult is to tell 1.5 year old bears from 2.5 year old bears. If it is difficult, one should be very careful pursuing multiple bears in the fall which is I think part of your intent with this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    Read up about "Milk Tooth".

  8. #8

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    Sad ending to the story. Thanks for sharing.

    Should of shot them all.

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