This dream of my father was to have the opportunity to hunt Grizz in Alaska's back country. Well after 15 years everything finally fell into place and he was able to make it up to Alaska.
After a short packing list verification we where headed out West for a week long bear adventure. Something to this day I come to admire about my father and that is the fact that during all his hunts it has never made a true impact on the hunt if he harvested or didn't harvest any animals, it was the adventure and just having the opportunity to be out hunting. Dad had never been on a bush flight nor has he been any futher then 30 miles from civilization at any given time, so when our bush flight drifted back into the horizon and we stood alone, 150 miles from anyone that is when I think it finally sunk in that his dream came true.
After setting up camp on a beautiful calm day we decided to go do a little scouting. We spotted about 10 head of 'Bou but no sign of any Grizz. As most, if not all of you guys can imagine how that first night in the tent went... I can't count how many times I was woke up to "Did you here that?". The second day dawned to another great sunny/calm day. After oatmeal and a quick pack load we headed out for a walk but at the end of the day still no sighting except more 'bou.
Now the third day was a different story, warm weather but our valley was one thick fog bank. At around 11 am the bank finally began to give way and dad thought he would go filter more water but within 2 minutes of leaving the tent all I heard was "those things weren't there yesterday!" After a quick glance he had spotted a silver tip Grizz. with 2 cubs on one side of our valley and a boar Brownie on the other. It was amazing to watch that sow just stare at that boar even though they had a half mile between them. Needless to say we attempted a stalk on the boar but he had a change of plans that didn't involve us, and he was headed to the next valley in short order. At that point in time dad considered the hunt a total success and didn't make a difference if we seen another bear again or not.
Later that afternoon him and I walked out on a point down by a creek and just sat and glassed for about an hour when I was almost knocked over and dad pointing at a total blonde grizz boar running toward us at 500 yards and closing fast. We made a change in location to keep him down wind and after 10 minutes I had him within 50 yards coming up the creek right in front of us. With rifles at ready I got dad lined up for a shot in a clearing that I hoped the boar would cross into. I love it when a plan comes through and sure enough the boar stepped into the clearing and dad's .416 Rigby barked. Perfect shot just clipping the outter shoulder blades on both sides. After a quick insurance shot the stalk was over and dad had his bear. Didn't matter to him if the boar was 6 ft or 11 ft, it was his bear and he was/is **** proud of it.
For those who like dimensions, I did a rough tape of him and he's right around 7.5 foot with a big ol' nugget. We got him salted out with that TTC 50 salt substitute, which to my surprize worked great. I had to laugh at dad because he wasn't gonna let anything come near that hide come hell or high water and that included other bears, birds or even marmots. After a few days of bad weather and alot of story telling we made it back out of the bush safely. What a trip to say the least and new dreams were made all at the same time. I also harvested a awesome silver tip and 'bou but that's another story....Sorry for the lack of good picture taking, darkness was coming fast and I had to skin a bear.
Great job dad, way to get it done!!!!