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Thread: Survival Man--Awesome Trip

  1. #1
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default Survival Man--Awesome Trip

    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.
    Last edited by akrstabout; 09-18-2009 at 22:54.

  2. #2
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default More pics

    Other of me and the bear us blurred. Should have taken more but was in the tidal zone and was in a hurry before tide came in on us. I ranged the large rock from where we ended up and where I shot from. It was 44.5 yards from where the bear dropped. Pretty cool and also helped the bullet do it job. The second pic is of our camp from on top of the sand dune just above the bay.
    Last edited by akrstabout; 09-18-2009 at 22:51.

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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default more pics

    the first pic is of the second bear we had to shoot at. It sat there on the hill side huffing and puffing for a bit. then proceeded up the knoll and eventually over. Ended up about 75 yards down wind of camp and sat on mossy rock still huffing and going nuts. partner fired a 338 round his was and that shut him up. He harrassed us quite a bit and was very cool to hear and see the display. He wanted our hides. He was nick named chit head. Partner thought for sure we were going to have DLP him but he got lucky, will post that pic later. the second pic of a bear that poped up. Charged down that dune and headed for camp. Partner had his rifle drawn and the bear went with in 5 feet of storage tent and then walked just out side of camp and milled around then left.
    Last edited by akrstabout; 09-18-2009 at 22:51.

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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default some more pics

    the first one has 3 bears right out side of camp on the beach. I think there was another down at the creek in the back ground. Not sure why pics turned out blurry on some. They were all good bears but that one in the previous post. The second pic is of a lone bear in the morning before first light. Every day for the first 4 days we seen these bear pretty regulary with tide flow and mornings on their way back from the creek side. Never got a pick of the pure grayish silver bear. On the day before opening day we hiked up on top of the knoll where chit head liked to hang out to glass the bay. 20 minutes later the silver bear appeared for the first time and was foaming at the mouth sniffing our trail up the knoll. We called him the human killer. Seen him the next morning from the pile of rocks about 75 yards out of camp. Just sitting with his head between his paws watching us. Didn't have the video cam until later, was left on the plane by accident by the pilot. We could have had some killer footage.
    Last edited by akrstabout; 09-18-2009 at 22:51.

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Default

    That is one nice looking bear! Love the pic looking over your Taurus barrel at the brownie. You did a great writeup and sounds like one heck of a trip. Glad you survived the rain and high winds along with the curious and aggressive bears. Talk about one heck of a first day!

  6. #6
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default more pics

    first is of bear tracks outside of our sleeping tent and the bear fence. two tracks out to the right of the pic. The one by the bear fence didn't really show up. partner woke up during the night saying he heard a bear. I didn't hear it. The night before I heard but never came into came. this was the only bear that really came "into" camp. freaky thing was he was sniffing our heads over the bear fence about 2' from our heads. The cook tent was outside of the fence and no tracks near it or anything disturbed. We figured it was chit head came in for us. Not sure if partner heard him get shocked or if the bear just simply left after hearing us wake up. We will never know but it was a great piece of mind to have that bear fence. Second pic is of me wearing my new gear. Helly hansen rain "wind" gear. Sporthill Brand New camo clothing. Great stuff. Glad I bought it. Then my new chest holster made by the guy out in wasilla. Feels good. Wore every day and all day. Only came off once I hit the sac or changed clothes. I love the thing actually. Very comfy and stays out of the way. As far as money goes, that was the best $70 I spent. Nothing better than having your saving grace at your finger tips and it easily draws out of the holster. Slick material. The only bad-good thing about it. I had unbuckled the holster when we had bear troubles. Then I would bend over to get back in the tent or whatever. My taurus fell out 3 times. Once on a rock and put a couple nice nics in the barrel ramp and the cylinder. I always wondered how somebody would drop a pistol on a rock. Keep them buckled in is all i can say. Very nice holster and did I say I love it.
    Last edited by akrstabout; 09-18-2009 at 22:51.

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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default You guys have no idea

    How much fun we had. Once I got past the weather issues I really enjoyed the trip. Sorry about my typing. I get so excited and have so much to say I word stuff funny or forget words or mix up letters. I think you will get the point though. I will pick up the bear tomorrow at NAC. Will try and get is sealed and get the skull measurements and measure the pads and maybe get some more pics. Beautiful fur around the head and shoulders. Chocolate with bright gold tips. Bright gold muzzle, huge muzzle. We talked with a lot hunters at the air port. Biggest we have heard of so far is only 9'. Lots of 8' sows taken like ours. Not sure where the bigguns made off to. But I am very pleased with my bear and lucky I shot when I did.

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    Member 8x57 Mauser's Avatar
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    Question Fence question

    Quote Originally Posted by akrstabout View Post
    ... Not sure if partner heard him get shocked or if the bear just simply left after hearing us wake up. We will never know but it was a great piece of mind to have that bear fence. ...
    What kind of batteries did you use in that fence? How long did a pair of batts last you?

    I know somebody with the same kind, and he only got about a day out of each pair of lithiums. 'Course, he was in a brushy area, and it was never clear if the wind blew bushes into the fence periodically, or if he got snookered on buying rechargables over the Internet...

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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default Mauser

    We rented it from Wiggy's Alaska. Mark is a cool guy. The fence used two AA batteries. I only use Duracell batteries. Mark said the fence is good for 72 hours. We changed them once while we were out there. Only left camp twice for a long period of time. A couple more times briefly. Was only on at night for the most part. I think Mark said if you leave it on a lot to change the batteries more frequently. The unit never failed and never had a glitch while setting it up. We were in high winds but no brush. Nothing touched the wires luckily.

    We rented the sat phone from Surveyors Exchange. The Iridium phone was awesome. Even in the tent in rain and high winds we got coverage and calls made it through just fine. Nice little package also. Greg also was a great guy. He also just got the same bear fence in and is renting them also.

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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default and some more pics

    first one is of our make shift cook tent and bear watch tent. Used a few logs to hold her up as every pole broke. Still offered somewhere to get out of the elements and not be so confined in a smaller tent. Was worth the effort to keep it built, had to rebuild camp nearly every day. the second is of partners bear. Very nice bear just to bad the wolves got it. Should be able to get half mount out of it. He is still very upset and swears to punch the next person in the face that says the like wolves or they should be protected. He is dead serious, that is what makes it funny.
    Last edited by akrstabout; 09-18-2009 at 22:54.

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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default pics of problem bears

    first is another of ol' chit head. he eventually left his post and went up and over the knoll and further up the valley but continued to complain and partner eventually then fired a 338 round his way. needless to say that shut him up for a bit. the other is the same bear on top of the dune that was watching us. He ran down the bank, not really a charge but came within 5' of first tent and thought he was going to destroy camp. He just mossied on hung out for a few minutes. Not really a problem bear I guess. Still will get your heart a racing.
    Last edited by akrstabout; 09-18-2009 at 22:54.

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    Dig the pics....Looks like quite the adventure!

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    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akrstabout View Post
    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.
    Good story, but the above quote is my favorite part.

    I do not agree with your pilot about size/population. Fumble through the record books.

    But, aside from that, congrats on the adventure!

  14. #14
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default wasn't supposed to be an adventure

    By the time I got caught up with the plane again the pilot said, "It is already turning out to be quite the adventure for you." I instantly remembered a phrase Michael Strahan posted somewhere before that said something like, "an adventure is a result of poorly planned trip" or something similar to that. I started thinking, "NO NO NO THIS IS NOT AN ADVENTURE!" We did our homework and had everything under the sun covered. It all worked and we truely had a blast.

    Soggy, I was really surprised we didn't see monster tracks. Not even any old ones around. The largest was 7.5 inches and it came near camp. They all looked pretty similar, except for the young bears, mostly what is in the pics. I think the food source, salmon run was long over, and the moved on for the berries or other parts of the bay we had not access too. We were happy with what was provided to us. Just lucky we shot when we did. Both bear wise and weather wise. This trip was just what I needed.

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default thanks

    Thanks for sharing your ADVENTURE with us. Sounds like you had a good and interesting hunting trip. Loved reading the wirte up and looking at the pics. I'm looking forward to my first Brown bear hunt next year.

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    Sounds like a "trip of a lifetime." Where, generally speaking, were you hunting? Brown bear hunting IS on my list of things to do.

  17. #17
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default sealing measurement/ more pics

    My bear only had a 20 0/16 skull. I measured the pad at 6" but the hide is salted and shrinking. I know it will be a good 7' maybe more squared. I have a good place planned for it and will save the bigger wall space for the 10' bear I hope to find on the next trip.

    I was on the Pacific side of the Peninsula. Flew out of King Salmon on a beaver. I have a couple places in mind I would like to try next, or the same bay I was in but in the spring time. Less hunting pressure in the spring.

    First pic was from a ridge where we looked for the wolf my partner popped a shot off at. Looked like he hit so we hiked up there. No luck finding it but took a pic of all the bear trails just in this little section.

    Second pic was jumping in the plane and leaving the bay. I little part of me wanted to stay, but the bigger part was ready to heck outa there.
    Last edited by akrstabout; 09-18-2009 at 22:54.

  18. #18
    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    Great pics and story. I bet before next year you spend a lot more time reading up on tents thoughas you could have been in real trouble with your gearYou did good!
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

  19. #19

    Thumbs up Right ON!

    WOW! What a great story! Congrats to you and your hunting buddy…nice looking bears. What a rush this trip must have been.

    Now this is what I would call a true fair chase hunt!

  20. #20
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default We were more of the chasee than chaser though

    but it was fine. Awesome trip and highly recomend it if you are looking for a nice trophy hunt. We had bears pop their head over the knoll and just look at us at any point during the day. It is weird what your eyes catch out of the corner of your eye. I was a little scared with the thought of living with the bears, as I usually stay on my boat when bear hunting. But it was cool, had a sense of if you leave me alone, I will leave you a lone type of feeling in the air. The camera had next to no zoom. The bears were alot closer than they appear. We were always down wind but they had smelled us knew who we were eventually. We were confronted by all the bear pretty much. But after we identified ourselves by yelling and saying Hey Bear. They would still come by just not TOO CLOSE and would eat and meandor up and the down the beach and roam around the dunes. It was until we saw the track near our heads we almost freaked. We knew one of them, most likely chit head had us on his menu. But never gave us too much trouble and never seen him, just his tracks after the warning shot. This trip brought a whole new meaning to bear hunting. Can't wait to do it again.

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