Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Kodiak 'BearSpeak' for, "Dinner's on Kids"

  1. #1
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Kodiak, Ak
    Posts
    3,175

    Default Kodiak 'BearSpeak' for, "Dinner's on Kids"

    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.




    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  2. #2
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Kodiak, Ak
    Posts
    3,175

    Default Trying to "Lay Claim," to Our Meat !!

    Steve cuts loose a little, “Hey Bear” stuff to let her know we are here, we both are certain she will avoid our presence on the mountain with plenty of room to avoid confrontation with Men.

    But she DOES NOT, instead she immediately starts loping directly at us !!
    So we both vocalize our presence clearly, decide to separate a bit so she can see there are two of us and we advance toward the saddle and towards her to show we are not backing down.

    She is now almost running, certainly not intimidated or bothered by our presence on Her Mountain in the least.

    As she nears 100yds distant, Steve pulls the trigger on .300 magnum worth of Noise/ Intimidation into the gravel in front of her, she hesitates only slightly to look at the gravel spitting up in front of her then she continues, NOT SLOWING a bit, directly toward these ,“Providers (?)” now.

    A few more yells, I also cut loose a round over her head. No altering of course whatsoever.
    This is definitely a confrontation that is escalating, and that’s the wrong direction for it to turn with a Mother followed by two yearling cubs.

    We are both totally amazed that she is “Bringin’ It On,” like she is, and within a few seconds we are in Full Realization, she is heading for the “sound of that first harvest shot.”
    Now has realized where we are and is focused on our position. Rifle shot heard, Hunters Found =Warm meat for the family, “Let’s Go, Kids.”

    No possibility she winded the kill, plenty of time to avoid “An Issue with Mankind,” she is “Coming to Dinner” and training her kids to follow up for some fresh Blacktail for lunch.

    We really have no choice but to back off the saddle, up the ridge a ways as she is a Sow followed by some of the future of the Bear Population,in the midst of the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, land dedicated to the preservation/management of these magnificent animals.

    There is no fight that can be pushed here.
    We back up even turn away a bit to show her we are giving ground.
    She leaves us behind and turns to the smell of Blood, now, grabbing her full attention.





    We watch in amazement as she finds the saddle and immediately hones in on the fresh blood on the grass.
    Mom is accelerating in her tracking, the cubs behind are learning the smell, (and association with that Rifle Crack they heard earlier, "waking them from their afternoon nap?") stopping to investigate further while Momma blows off the skinny little hunters and bores in on the Fresh Deer carcass just thirty yds away.



    A hit to the lungs, there’s blood everywhere, as we found later. The excitement level for the Bear Family only intensifies til Mom is on the kill.
    Where She Grabs the Entire Animal and drags the 200 pound carcass like a dog with a little rag in mouth, down valley, away from those Pesky/Noisy hunters and into an Alder thicket some 100yds away from our position.




    We continued to watch her for most of the next couple hours as we hunted the ridge above her stash position.

    They ripped into the entrails, dined for a short while, then she proceeded to bury the rest deeply, in mud and sticks, she dug up from the midst of the Alder thicket.

    Coming back later, apparently much later(?) to enjoy “tenderized meat” was our thought,as they apparently did not eat to their fill, all three of them, the cubs getting the lion share by our observation.

    Is the fresh muscle something she’d like a little softer by a few days/weeks underground? Or will they finish it sooner?
    We saw another Bear chasing Deer off a riverbar in the bottom of the same valley, less than a mile away that afternoon.

    Anyway, that's the story, I thought this might be a bit interesting for those who have “heard of Dinner Bell response of Bears on the Kodiak Archipelago and thought, “Yeah, right !?!”

    This was the most clear case I have ever seen of this response to a Gunshot alone from the next valley over, and upwind.
    Interrupting some napping Bears (I imagine anyway) and announcing, “Dinners On,” to the Mama and Now, clearly to the new little ones following her lead.

    And this was in one of the more remote areas of the Wildlife Refuge, far from the city bears of the eastern side, about as Non Acclimated to men as you could be, but still seemed to be very trained.

    Maybe it is the time of year also, where”Protein stashed just before Denning/Winter” may trump the caution of other times when Salmon are abundant? It was not a great year for Salmon this year, so are they a bit hungrier than usual?

    Anyway, Certainly Confirms to me the importance of rapid meat removal from the field on Kodiak as well as High Alert to the Hunter when field dressing your animal.

    If we had not waited and had immediately descended to that killsite, and maybe been caught up in the gutting/ picture taking (?) during the moments that she found that smell,
    That might have been a fair bit more exciting.

    One of the more cool moments of this whole story was when we were boarded the two days later by Wildlife Troopers for the standard license/tag check.

    Noticing that Steve had a kill punched on a Deer tag just days before, they also seemed amazed at the timing of it all.

    Smiling at the conclusion of the story, the lead Trooper pulled out of his pack a “Junior Trooper badge," and awarded it to Steve for "High Integrity Hunting," in the punching of his tag. Cool, eh?

    Doesn't he just look like a Junior Trooper ? (heh heh)


    So, see what you get for obeying strictly the letter of the law? Junior Trooper badge, and what’s way better, the Feeling of Having done it right, even though it cost you some potential meat.

    Steve mentioned, “it was worth the loss of the meat to have made that move quickly, and be able to tell that story to those guys.”

    I admit, also, it was cool to have a story to tell them that countered the usual feeling of undercover suspicion that usually enters the scene when being checked over.

    Why is it like that (?)
    I guess “Suspicion,” is just not life bearing, but the opposite.
    Fun to pull the rug out from under that spirit.

    Good Job Steve, and congrats on that First Handload Kill.
    And on your Mt Goat by Bow on “Saturday night, as in we’re waiting for details……..”

    PS, Those Troopers were Exceedingly cool also, venturing out in pretty extreme weather by small boat.

    Really Appreciate you guys out there helping manage the Refuge,
    Was good to meet you, kinda surprising tho I admit. You guys are Tough.




    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  3. #3
    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Wasilla, AK
    Posts
    574

    Default

    Great Story!
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

  4. #4
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Big Lake
    Posts
    8,465

    Default

    thats cool story. i lost a deer to a bear once right after i shot it, but the bear ran straight to the deer (300 yards away from me) and not towards the shot. i've shot near bears to see how they react and never had a bear come in after a gun has been fired...
    my video is on youtube search for BRWNBR and bear taking deer i think is the title.

    i'm think some bears might actually check out gun shots, but i think its a rare case still.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

  5. #5
    Member IndyCzar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Just 55 miles north of ANC ... on the lake
    Posts
    351

    Default

    Kodiak "Part Deaux" was just as awesome as the steep goat...What a great adventure...Looking forward to part Trois..."Goat with a bow"...thanks for the very cool write up...

    Sempre Paratus

  6. #6
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Kodiak, Ak
    Posts
    3,175

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    thats cool story. i lost a deer to a bear once right after i shot it, but the bear ran straight to the deer (300 yards away from me) and not towards the shot.
    i'm think some bears might actually check out gun shots, but i think its a rare case still.
    I wonder if the Bear you mention could see the Deer that was shot, or smell the kill? So knew what was being shot?
    This one in the story was on the other side of a fairly major ridge so I figured it could not have been reacting to any other than the shot sound, though probably just investigating as you say, not necessarily heading to the shooter but the general area?

    Interesting, Thanks for your input BRWNBR

    Oh, PS. I made a major miss on the handload info, more like 68grains of H4350,NOT 80gr (for those who'd notice),
    Shoot, a guy could have a Real Bad Day, using that load, Sorry

    Maybe Steve'll chime in on the velocity also, I was just guessing from memory of another guys loading logbook, to get the story out there.
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  7. #7
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,601

    Default

    Great story and shows why many of us go way over gunned for deer. Just maybe one of those cubs denning extra fat this winter will be a super bear in fifteen years.When the oil is gone Alaska will still be able to make money with its great bears
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  8. #8
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Ketchikan, Alaska
    Posts
    2,032

    Default

    I've seen a similar situation with a large boar at the head of an alpine bowl. It didn't have the wind and I shot a deer. It sure enough came right on over to inspect the situation and find something. He found me screaming and raising a stink. It left hesitantly. It never saw the deer or got it's wind but certainly showed great interest in the commotion going on in his alpine bowl. BTW I knew it was in the area before I shot the deer.

  9. #9
    Member Vince's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks most the time, Ancorage some of the time,& on the road Kicking Anti's all the time
    Posts
    8,989

    Default

    lost a moose to one once...Man i fretted over that for two dang years.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    739

    Default

    Another great story and good ethics on display. Way to go guys!

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Anchor Town
    Posts
    30

    Default

    As the "new guy to Alaska", let me ask: do you feel there is any more appropriate way to keep the bear off the kill when they want it that bad? It seems like you did all the appropriate stuff of letting her know who and where you were, and that you didn't want to reinforce her behavior, but shy of killing the bear, I am at a loss to know how a person could do it.

    PS- you really take great pictures!

  12. #12
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,230

    Default

    Sorry to hear you lost the deer, but what a cool experience. Great write up and photos as well.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  13. #13
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Kodiak, Ak
    Posts
    3,175

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleJake View Post
    As the "new guy to Alaska", let me ask: do you feel there is any more appropriate way to keep the bear off the kill when they want it that bad? It seems like you did all the appropriate stuff of letting her know who and where you were, and that you didn't want to reinforce her behavior, but shy of killing the bear, I am at a loss to know how a person could do it.
    Honestly I don't know of anyway around the giving up of the Deer, part of my reason for posting.... gather ideas?

    As you mention, I think we did all the appropriate stuff.

    In my opinion, have spent quite a bit of time in Bear Country, many animals taken out from under their noses, actually having NEVER lost an animal like this in the past,

    I have an "understanding that some areas are just Theirs and Not Ours," the western part of the island especially, we just don't own that country, they do.

    So I don't see any other than backing off if they are not intimidated or leary of contact with Man.

    In this case, I really do think the circumstances of the time of year, (just pre denning) and other factors like the somewhat poor Salmon harvest, etc. may be an exception to the rule in most years.

    It seems by my experience that, "usually," they are much more likely to back off to the sight of two men, two gunshots, etc. Very common to see them NOT want to confront Mankind,
    but maybe the most Predictable thing about Bears is their Unpredictability?

    Keeps it real in Bear Country, so, get your kill out quick, ......

    I know a guy who spent an entire career as a Fisheries Biologist with ADF&G, all over the Island, (mostly the densely populated Bear country around Karluk lake), and his experience suggested this,

    "They really don't like fire," mentioning using a flare gun (pistol type). I'm fairly sure he has serious experience with them beyond most anyone else I know. He's definitely not the joking around type. Probably works pretty well.
    Smokey the Bear might not like that idea much either, tho.

    I actually do often carry a flare or two in my pack, but not this day.... darn, would have been interesting to see the response....

    So, again, I think usually, they'll back off, avoid the confrontation, but in this case, no option but to let her have it.
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  14. #14
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,601

    Default

    I've found that if a bear ain't eating at a salmon stream it knows its next best chance to make it through the winter is going to a rifle shot and looking for dead game.Some bears run off the stream or a bad run means takeing every advantage of dead game they can as life depends on it.I would guess Kodiac is much like the SE for bears comming to the shot.I regret to say I have seen deer shot from fishing boats and a bear had the deer in the woods before the shooter could even start to retrive it and go on to lose deer all day.Hunting like that caused some of the 223 uproar last year.Not really the bullet but hunting or sould I say killing style was the problem.I can't picture a day that a deer would be worth the life of three bears unless of course the deer was tied to your packframe on your back
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Soldotna
    Posts
    1,131

    Default

    Well, the problems with bears running to shots is even more pronounced in heavier hunted areas. That bear will now harass hunters until someone kills them. Some guys on Kodiak carry shotguns for protection and I wonder whether pepper spray shells would teach such bears to avoid hunters. I have heard of rangers using pepper spray for nuisance bears in parks. Another option given the fire thing is roman candles and flare guns. Once when we were there the fisheries guys were using these to scare bears away from their cabin on the Karluk with only some success....
    “I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. “ Fred Bear

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •