There I was, minding my own business, with back pack on gun in hand slowly walking through the woods.
Let me start at the beginning, please. I started hunting the Petersville area on the 20th of August when season opened. I did a lot of riding around on the six wheeler looking for moose or the tell tell signs where they had been. Little did I know that the bear population has spiked tremendously in the area. All I saw was bear sign EVERYWHERE. When I talked to the locals they were so fed up with the bears they asked me to please 'thin them out' if I could. My next trip in I had all intentions of focusing on bear hunting, then the 6 wheeler broke. Spent the entire weekend getting the 6 wheeled beast back home and into a shop.
The broken machine did not detour me as I figured I would just hike, stalk and set up on some of the creeks looking and waiting for bears. I parked my truck and headed in to the woods. I had my back pack on gun in hand, acutally I use a safari sling and am very glad I do so. I made it approximately 100 yards in from the road, moving slowly and taking a lot of time. When I came upon a clearing I had stopped and stood still for about 10 seconds when I heard a very loud 'shiiooosh' sound coming from the other side of the tall grass weed filled clearing. Expecting a small moose to pop up I looked with high anticipation as to where the sound came from that's when I saw a small yellow streak move quickly at an angle away from me only to be followed up by a very very large brown object running straight at me!! Her head was as low as it could be, ears pinned back on hear head and she was coming, the grass was getting churned up in the air from her claws digging in so deep and fast. My 460 Weatherby hanging off my shoulders quickly came up in to shooting position, scope covers off, safety off, squeezing trigger as I'm following the my target in the scope coming at me...my grip is getting harder any second now the rifle will go off...keep the brown target in scope....then she makes a dead in her tracks stop, brakes on at about 15 yards from me she stands straight up, ears are out and listening. My hand eases its grip from the trigger but I keep the cross hairs on her chest, both eyes open to see what she does. I figure if she turns and goes after her cubs that's great but if one more step in my direction back to squeezing. She turned her head on her shoulders like an owl and saw one of her cubs standing, looking around trying to figure out what was going on but the cub was safe. She turned and looked at me and saw I had not moved at all. So she turned and left, took a few steps then looked at me and that was the last I saw of her. All this happened in 1.5 seconds (from later reflection).
I walked out of the woods and crossed over another field that was more than a 100 yards wide so I could feel more comfortable about being there. I wanted to reflect on the situation and learn. What I came up with is what I wish to share.
1) I was using a very large caliber rifle with, 350 grains barnes X bullets that I shoot very very well. I figured one shot would have done her in and from the distance I was able to start with her I could get two shots off maybe. Ok, she would be nibbling on the barrel for the second shot but I'm very confident that would do it.
2) I was walking, stalking, going very slowly through the woods, hoping to see something. This leaves me vulnerable to 'jumping' something. So I was thinking about what could happen.
3) I carry my artillary always at the ready and practice with it there.
I love hunting bears and I guess all the years I've hunted them and harvested them I increase the odds of this happening, but I do not wish it to happen again.
Going after bears again this weekend, enjoy your hunting!