Shot my first bear. A roughly 5 1/2 ft, 17 11/16" spring black bear in Prince William Sound.
I had an opportunity to join a friend from Wasilla and some of his friends from Anchorage who had a 26 ft Hewescraft. We headed out of Whittier friday afternoon in 3-6 ft waves and rain for "our bay". About 3 hrs later, we dropped our 2 strings of shrimp pots and anchored near by and settled in for the night.
The next morning, I couldn't sleep any longer so I eased out on the back deck to get a good look in the daylight and take some pictures. Just as the rest of the crew began to get up, I spotted a bear on the beach about half mile away.
We scrambled to unbuckle the raft, fasten the 2.5 tehatsu, grab our guns and finish getting dressed. A few minutes later Norm and I were easing towards the beach to get behind a large rock for cover. We beached and slowly walked towards the bear using large rocks for cover. The wind was in our face, the bear was near a waterfall and feeding in our direction. He was feeding and watching a seal who was watching Norm and I, a perfect opportunity. Norm and I set up on a large rock and waited for him to turn broadside.
A few minutes later he turned to look up towards the waterfall and I told Norm I was going to shoot. I settled in and squeezed the trigger and watched the bullet hit. A second later Norm made my ears ring. The bear sprinted towards cover. I had to get up to shoot over a rock in front of me and just before I pulled the trigger, Norm got a second shot in and rolled him. No need for me to shoot again, he went down hard and never moved an inch.
It ended up being a 57 yard shot. Norm and I both hit just behind the shoulder about 3 inches apart and then Norm hit him in the neck to finish him off.
By 9 am, we were back aboard the Hewescraft and looking for the next bear. We had 4 more people with tags.
We pulled our pots and were blessed with about 7 gallons of spotted shrimp. We re-baited and set them again and went back to looking for bear.
A couple hours later, I spotted another bear. This time Norm was up. He made a very nice 150 yard uphill shot in the snow and the bear slid down a little ways. It was a pretty good hike up to retrieve his bear and slide it down to shore. Now we are 2 for 2, wow.
We caught a couple rock fish and cruised around the rest of the bay looking for another bear. Along the way we saw some orcas, otters, and sea lions. Then pulled up another 8 gallons of some of meatiest and sweet shrimp I have ever tasted.
Now we are headed around the rest of the bay we anchor in and we see another bear on a small beach and cruise past it. Bill, the archer, and Chris, the captain, make there way to shore. As it sometimes turns out, they lost track of where they wanted to land and ended up motoring right up to the bear. He was at 37 yards, but not the right angle for an arrow, then only went another 30 yards into the edge of the trees and watched them some more. No shot, oh well, that's bow hunting, still a great day.
An hour later and we see another bear, round 2 with the bow. Unfortunately they could go no further than 100 yards out. Bill decides to use Chris' gun and show his daughters a bear. Bang, bang, bang, now I have had my new havalon knife from Barney's skinning 3 bear today, I never would have guessed.
Sunday was much nicer, hardly any rain, some sun and mid to upper 40's. Caught some more rock fish and cod. We pulled the pots one last time and had about 10 gallons of shrimp and a couple small crabs.
I cooked up some MN wild rice I got from one of my spray pilot buddies as we headed back to Whittier. I added some left over rock fish, moose bacon from Indian Valley Meats (is that stuff ever good), boiled some fresh shrimp, diced up some bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and celantro. Not a bad dish for just throwing some stuff together.
We saw a couple hump backs and a few mt goats on the way back to the trailer. Then saw a few dall sheep and some moose on the drive back.
One heck of a weekend. Now its time to get to work so I can get back up this fall for moose.
Special shout out to Norm for inviting me, Bill for helping out skinning, and
Chris and Emma for taking me on their boat. I will never forget that weekend
I will have the rest of the photos in my gallery.
Good luck to everyone else.