Is who I felt like. First we got picked up and the King Salmon airport by the ramp rat from Branch River Air. He took us to the shopping we needed to do and then off the the river to meet the pilot and crew. Pretty nice bunch of guys. After we pay and chit chat a little with some other clients of theirs the pilot comes in and asks me, " So show me on the map where you want to go so I know where to fly today." I thought he was joking as my partner booked this bay months ago. I guess thier boss don't prep the pilots in advance. So I soon learn he is not joking and has no idea of where we are supposed to be dropped. Not to reassuring for my first drop off hunt. I show on their huge map and he said he had been there before and then he disappeares. We finish up the paper work and they started to load the plane. Would post pics of all but had a hard time trying to figure out the software. Will try again later. Then we are off. We spotted one brownie while flying to the bay and two instantly in the creeks in our bay. We land and my partner tries to convince the pilot he wants our camp closer to the creek than planned. I knew it was a bad idea and turns out to be even worse. The pilot tries to be accomodating and tries to taxi in. Well quite a ways off shore we hit rocks with no way of getting to shore to unload. I tell him we are going to where we originally planned and the pilot also said it was to dangerous. Well he has me get out in 2' or so of water and hold the tail until he get the plane started and headed off the rocks. In the few seconds all this took the wind starts ripping out of no where and then I get hit by rogue wave and get knocked away from the plane. The pilot starts cussing and I said sorry but I just got hit by a huge wave. So not a good start to the trip already. Soaked to the bone from elbow down. Make it to shore and take of hip boots and shaking the water off my legs. I then start running down the beach ended up about a mile from where the plane finally stopped. I look back to see a huge brownie running my direction. No guns, they are far away from me, plane still running. I start freaking out. The bear stopped pursuit at the creek and I kept haulling tail to the plane. We unload and the pilot takes off. We hike the gear up and find a place to camp. The wind really starts ripping and destroys the first tent-cook tent and the biggest tent. We proceed to make camp in dunes and get the other two set up. We go back for gear and already have a bear on the beach just upwind of camp. I had my pistol on and the partner grabbed the beneli super nova with Black Majic 1 3/8 oz Slugs. Nice bleach bright blond and he charges my partner. My partner proceeds to run to me, I was up hill and had pistol drawn-8 3/8" Taurus 44mag with cor bon 320 grn bullets. He stands up on his hind legs and sniff my partner as he was running. The bear turns and heads for camp. He was leaving us alone by I was frazzled already and shot at him just to give him some encouragement not to come back, and he never did the whole trip. So all was well now. 2nd day more wind and more bears. By 2am on the 3rd day I was ready for a rescue flight by the coast guard. Our tent were tore up. Our sleeping tent had the two rain flys ripped off. Sideways rain came in and soaked us and our gear and sleeping bags. I had enough. But we got up and fixed everything and went back to bed. Next day dried everything out and was fine. We had high winds every day but a couple. By evening though it was ripping no matter what. We think the winds had to have hit 70-80mph. Just unreal. But I needed a good butt kicking and this trip seasoned me pretty well. Now I know how to handle different situations while no attempt at being rescued or picked up. Turned out to be an awesome trip and I can say I had my CHERRY BUSTED.
We seen tons of bears. 29 brownies up until the night of the 30th. Opening day only two. I busted one of them. Spotted her on the side of the bay where the big ones were supposed to be. The smaller bears were on our side of the bay a mile from the creek and a mile and half or more from the lakes. But like BRWNBR said. The longer you stay the bears start to disappear. They did but I think it was lack of food. No fresh salmon kills on the beaches. Scat was turning to be full of berry seeds. From opening day to the 3rd when we left we only seen 6 more bears.
So opening day we get up late because of wind and rain. Get moving and head to where we wanted to be to glass. We no longer take of the packs and I spotted a bear moving from the lake to the river and then to the beach. We decided it was a shooter. It worked its way to us from about a good 3/4 of a mile or more away. It takes its time walking the beach and doing its thing. It comes to the creek about 200 yards away and I am still glassing it checking it out. It sticks its head under the water looking for salmon, thought that was cool. Pops its head out of the water and proceeds our direction down the beach but up wind. We decide to move down off the high look out to the beach for a better shot and to hide in the rocks. As she is about ready to wind us I put her in my scope. I still cannot decide if I want her. She is now facing us but didn't know we were there. She turns to her left a 1/4 and I place 200 grn Swift A frame from Remington Safari Grade out of my Ruger MK II 300 win mag with a luepy 3.5x10x40mm between her head and her shoulder just below her neck. My gun barked and she didn't know what hit her. She took one step to her right and put another in her lungs behind her shoulders and mid body. She dropped in her tracks. Both bullets were pass throughs. I was mighty impressed my gun and bullet selection. The first shot went through both shoulders and still put a nice exit hole. The second took out the lungs completely and also severed the heart just from impact and transfer of energy. Pretty sweet I think. My ruger is the only rife I have and was told it was all i need for alaska 13 years ago when I moved here. Bought when I turned 18. So out over 100 rounds of ammo I took between my personal 3 guns. I only fired three rounds, two rifle and one pistol. Even with seeing 35 bears. Never had to kill one is self defence. I never measured my bear, not yet. One of the biggest we seen. I hope she clears 8' but might be only 7. She had 7" plus pads and huge head. My partners bear was about the same. These two bears left the biggest tracks we seen. The air service said when there gets to be so many bears in one area they don't grow as big. We didn't tell him how many bears we seen though. So we were happy with them. My parnters finally came off the mountain tops and he ran from a mile or more and tagged in the butt and dropped. It tried to move and he shot it 2 more times. He decided to leave it till morning because it was dark and tide was coming in and the creek was already hip deep on him. Went back the next morning at day break to find it half eaten by two wolves. He was not a happy camper. He is still pissed off at those wolves. I had a feeling it might happen but he thought leaving it whole it not get bothered. From the hump to its poop shoot down the back bone and part of the rib cage the hide was destroyed. They chewed threw the hide and rigs to get the guts. A guide told him on the plane home that if he had gutted hit it would have been fine.
So there is no need to go in five days early. 3 at the most. We had one plane drop in on us about day 3 and put a pile of rocks with a stick and white flag by the creeks mouth. He never came back though. He won't be happy camper when he gets there as there no bears left and two dead one on the beaches. We had plenty of food and gear. Used 300' of parachute cord. Could have used more of that but we got by with rocks, lots of rocks. I am hooked now on brown bear hunting. What a trip and an adventure.