Experienced a definite confirmation to the idea of “Dinner Bell Bears” on Kodiak Island a few days back.
Here’s the Story:
My partner Steve is glassing a valley on Western Kodiak Island, and spots a Sitka Blacktail Buck slowly making his way directly toward us.
Waiting in Ambush, judging the Antlers, and considering Freezer space at home.
This Buck is going down, if he keeps coming, and he does.
A nice Forkhorn, gonna taste mighty fine this winter.
His Weatherby MkV .300magnum is "Mt. Goat Loaded," with Hornady 220gr Roundnose and will be sent to the target animal with Fed 215 primers, pushing 80 grains of H4350 at approx 2700fps of speed.
At 122 yards, that fine young Buck "encounters" Steve’s first handloaded ammo delivery, right dead center ribcage, and staggers a few steps, then rolls over and down into the grass.
His First Handload kill, is a One Shot Finished deal. Yeah, Right On
We sit on the hillside for a few minutes talking about the shot and immediate deadly reaction.
Having recently introduced my friend to the details of Reloading, I am as interested as he is, to see the results of that huge projectile on this Deer. The kill was as clean as you could ask for, we’re both excited.
But we wait a bit to “Amp Down,” I mention, “Punch your tag, yet?” as a reminder, having recently read somewhere that this is the most common violation in ADF&G books for hunters,
“Forgetting to punch out the tag immediately after a kill.” Seems like something very easy to forget, for a while, in the heat of the moment.
So I mention it as a hunt partner though, we are in the middle of nowhere,
as they say,
“Integrity is what you do/who you are, when nobody else is watching.”
So, then no sooner than Steve pockets his knife, after cutting out the slot for his second Buck of the year, we stand up to go on down there and, walking down to the saddle where the Deer was hit, Steve looks down to the Northwest and says, “There’s a Bear, coming up this way.”
A Sow with two cubs is strolling determinedly up towards this saddle from the upwind side of the ridge, with her kids in tow.
As she is some 150-200 yards away and WAY upwind, (a steady 30 knot wind is coming up towards us from her direction) we figure she is out for a stroll and could no way be tuned to this Deer down. We watch her for a while figuring she may just go on up that same side of the ridge.
She doesn’t, but seems to be heading directly toward this notch in the ridge where she will definitely come upon the blood sign of a Deer Kill, and soon.