My girlfriend shot ten feet of black bear with one shot. I have been baiting a site in 16a since the middle of april in hopes of watching my girlfriend shoot a bear. She is new to hunting more or less, she shot a caribou when she was like nine. I have been going out every weekend since I put out the barrel and had yet to see anything come in to the actual bait, although evidence suggested it had been getting hit regularly since early may. This saturday is only the second time I have gotten her to come with me. Previously I had been going alone in hopes of arrowing one, but with no luck. Anyways, we got up there about noon on saturday and we sneak out to the stand.
I had wanted to sit awhile before making trips in with bait, but since it was the middle of the day and blazing hot i decided to start hauling. After fixing everything the bears tore up, I set her up in the stand while I made trips back and forth hoping just maybe one would come out hearing me leave after hauling in 70-80lbs of bread. After four trips I tell her to get down and we hiked back to the truck. It was about 6pm so we drove back to the Talkeetna turn-off and stopped at the H & H Cafe for a great burger, I think the name of the burgers we got was "Gut Buster". It was awesome. Now with are bellies full and feeling a little sore, her from sitting still for 6 hours and me for hauling about 300 lbs of bait, we decided it was time for a nap. We get back to the pull off and there is a truck parked there and a guy standing next to the truck. I had hoped I would run into someone, knowing there was another person baiting in the area. After about an hour of talking hunting stories and bsing, I got the info I was after. Where he was baiting and what he was seeing. Which turned out to be about a half mile from me and mostly a young brown bear. Thoughts of all the damage to my bait site went through my head as I told my girlfriend not to worry about any grizzly bears.
After a short nap and messing around with the dog and I tell her its time to head back out. She doesn't seem all that excited about hunting at night. I assure her that our best chances of seeing a bear are from about 10:30 to 2am. So we sneak back out to the stand. She gets into her stand and puts on her safety harness and pulls her gun up with the rope while I get into my harness and pull up my bow. Earlier during one of my trips I moved my burn bucket so I could fill/refill it from my tree stand. I raised up the bucket and took out the inside bucket that I filled with anise tea I made at home. I then pinched the old paint can that holds the bucket between my knees to take out the old sterno can. Just about then I hear Jolene whispering "don, don, don don, Don, DON, BEAR". I look up and there is a little 3 footer coming right to the bait. Now being an equal opportunity bear hunter, I figure give it fifteen or twenty minutes and if no momma, bam, first bear. But, here comes a second bear. "Ok, here is momma" I think to myself while I shake my head at Jolene telling her not to shoot. Well I still have the bucket between my knees. Not wanting to stay like that forever I slowly move the bucket to the platform of my tree stand. Apparently not slow enough I made a small metal to metal noise, sending the sow running into the brush. She doesn't run out of sight since the little bear didn't even miss a beat at the barrel. She turns and starts to come back when I notice another larger bear following her in.
This bear comes in and faces straight at me and I immediatly recognize the features of a boar, square shoulders, square head, long neck. I start whispering to Jolene to shoot the bear, which is now closing in to ten yards of her. She doesn't shoot it. It grabs some bread from the pile and walks off. Then the bear drops the peice of bread, turns and charges the other bears. The sow runs off aways , while the boar heads for the barrel. anticipating a shoI I steady the video camera. No shot. All the while the little bear has been stuffing its face with bread ten yards from my girlfriend and it just found the sweaty shirt i left behind for the bears to get used to my scent. The little guy apparently likes the way I smell as it rubs its face all over the shirt and then tries to rip it down off the dead tree I tied it to. This makes a loud snapping noise sending the other larger bears back into the woods.
Great now we might not get another opportunity. I was just starting to get bummed when I see the sow coming back. Now the little bear not knowing what is going on decides to leave the same way the other bears did. Just as the little bear disappears the boar comes back to the barrel and begins to dig in. So now the sow is digging in some roots to the left of the barrel where I hid some beaver scraps, the boar is at the barrel chewing away, and the little bear has made a big circle and is coming back in from behind my left shoulder. At home since Jolene said she wanted to shoot a bear I have been coaching her how when and where to shoot the bear. I told her to shoot through the chest cavity behind the near shoulder while aiming for the far shoulder, hoping to break some bones. All this time she has been waiting for the perfect shot not wanting to let the bear get away and not to disappoint me. Well with the boar standing with both his arms straight forward on the barrel she decides this is when to shoot. What she didnt' see is the sow coming from the left going behind the barrel. BOOOM. At the shot both bears let out a howl. The boar at the barrel flips over backwards several times and dies twenty-five feet from the barrel. The other bear, however, is bawling like crazy. Jolene shoots again as it crawls toward a trail. The bear flips over on its back and is still causing quite a commotion. Still less than 25 yards away I let the bear have a couple of shots from my pistol, with no immediate results. I hurry down from the treestand and run over the first bear which is fully dead. Slowly walking up to where the second bear is still thrashing around, it comes into view still fully aware of whats going on. But not for long as the .454 speaks twice more. Now, if your still reading this, here's where things get interesting. I walk back over to the first bear and check it, yep its a boar about 5-51/2 feet. Walk to the second bear and its a boar too, just a little smaller and with bad hair. ***, I would have bet almost anything that smaller bear was a sow.
I holler up to Jolene that both bears are dead and she can come down now. We both thought that the second bear was a sow. It looked like a sow, it acted like a sow. A sigh of relief from both of us. I drag the littler bear over to the first for a few pictures, before it gets full on dark. Pictures taken and congratulations given, its now time for the work to begin. Me being anal about scent around my stand and grizzly bear around I want to take the bears out whole. I load the girlfriend up with all our gear in the backpack and I put the bigger bear with good hair on my shoulders and start walking. A few breaks and we're back at the truck at 2am. I am literally half soaked with blood, a great feeling knowing that there have been several sightings of a young stubborn brown bear less than a quarter mile away. Ok its time for bed its been a long day.
Did I mention that I forgot my sleeping bag. Of course I brought one for Jolene. So i put on most of the clothes that I brought with me and snuggle up for a nice short cold sleep. About 6am I wake up too cold to go back to sleep. I roust the great bear hunter and tell her its time to go get the little one. She is pretty unhappy about this but nonetheless complies and gets ready to hike back to the stand. We quickly walk the most of the way back stopping only to peek at the site to check for other bears or if brownie made off with the dead bear. The coast is clear. I load up the bear in the tote I have strapped to my pack frame and start the walk back to the truck. Now with the bears back at the truck and all the heavy lifting done, another sigh of relief. On the drive back Jolene and I have a good laugh about what just happened. I tell her how happy I am she got to her first bear, or bears. Also how good of a shot she put on the first bear. I did ask her what she learned from all this. She told me that she learned to only go hunting with me so that I can carry the heavy stuff out. Although that is probably true, I told her she needed to be aware of what was behind her target. I also said she wasn't allowed to pull that trick moose hunting, or I would leave her there. She also said that I did a great job skinning the bears and taking care of all the meat.
I finished working on the hides today at work, the fleshing and all. The larger bear squared 5'6" with a 15 and 5/16th inch skull, the smaller bear had a 14 and 11/16th inch skull and squared around 5 feet. Of course she wants a rug out of the big one and shoulder mount for the smaller one since the back end of the hide was no good. Tonight I spent a couple of hours boning out the quarters to take the meat to the butcher, gonna have some sausage made, fried up some of the back straps and they were great.
Well I hope you all enjoyed the story of how my girlfriend shot ten feet of black bear with one shot. As for the gun she used it was a marlin 45/70 lever action, 405gr bullet. The bullet went clean through both bears. Double lunged the first and through both front shoulders and spine of the second bear. Range 21 yards and 23 yards respectively.