Wife's First Bear Stalk
We went down to southern PWS last week for an intentionally early attempt at bears, hoping to catch them when they would be forced low on the beach for archery spot-n-stalk. Priority was my wife. We tried last year, no bears low, so I took one with the rifle to get some yummy chorizo.
Delayed a day for snotty seas, got out Sunday (16 May). Got to our island by 1030, spotted a bear on the beach first thing. Poor approach, and a seemingly small bear, so we just enjoyed spotting, glassing, and talking about various aspects of judging the bear and how we might stalk. Pressed on around the island intending to glass, decided to fish. After unsuccessful fishing, we decided to press on to our intended anchorage. As we motored away, I spotted a bear eating grass on the beach. We talked about a stalk, and he disappeared. We continued to where we thought we should anchor, just in case, and it happened - he reappeared!
Gather the gear (her bow, my rifle and videocam). Row ashore. Start the stalk about 1/4 mile dead downwind. I take the lead, stay backlighted by the foliage. We move up the beach quickly. Upon crossing the last rockfield (I wanted to stay in the lead so she would be able to concentrate on foot placement without sticking me in the butt) she took the lead, nocked an arrow and pressed. About 100 yards out.
She did everything right, stayed low and slow. Got to about 55 yards, and a small tree was between us and the bear. Beat feet while we have cover! She dropped to a knee and hooked up her release. The bear started to move to our left. Holy cow, this is gonna happen! This bear is gonna walk broadside at 20-25 yards. Then he veered slightly and disappeared into the trees at 19 yards without ever presenting a shot!
What an awesome experience! She did great. Only thing is maybe she could have tried to stop the bear, but we had every reason to believe he was unaware. She loved it - "I wasn't really nervous, but I was afraid the bear could hear my heartbeat." Me - "Baby, that's the definition of nervous."
I got a rifle shot at a good bear on the last morning, but I must have choked and missed, cuz I could find no sign of blood whatsoever. But a great hunt, and she learned from our stalk. We know there will be many more unsuccessful stalks in her (and my) future, but we revel in learning from reviewing the good things we did, and any mistakes we might have made.
No photos, cuz I was videoing, and nothing on the ground to show for it.
Nice! How long has she been hunting?
Good stuff Mort,
Always like to hear about hunting as a family experience.
She's been hunting with me for about 3 years, since just before we got engaged. But this was the first time she really got to stalk a bear for a bow shot. We got a stalk on caribou last fall, but that was far less dramatic, as it ended when another hunter shot with the bou well out of range.
Now that my friend is sweet. Man Id have loved to been there. I'll never forget the 1st time I got the wife stalked up to within feet of a herd of Javalinas, and she said she felt her heart bumping her chest......totally awesome dude. Congrats to the wife on a superb stalk.
I think a lot of folks on here like the gear and camp pics as much as the dead animal pics. Feel free to post some camp, scenery, or anything you want pics.
Sounds like a great hunt you shared with your significant other.
Did you end up with any fish?
My wife used to shoot indoor and outdoor archery competition with me but would never do a bear stalk I am sure.
Happy to see you have someone special to share the outdoors with!
Very cool. I wish I was out doing it right now. Thanks for sharing.