Brooks Range, Alaska. Near the head waters of the Noatak River & the Ambler River. We are on a private six week hunt, just my hunting partner and myself. 1970 or 1971 we had a base camp on a large lake in the main valley. And we would do three or four day trips back different valleys, sometimes together and some times go our separate ways and report back at base in four days. We had shot several wolves, and one Dall Sheep.
We decided to go together back this one interesting valley for three or four days. But we saw no shoot-able game. We did get to watch two huge wolves pull down three sheep. Dejected we are returning to camp, which was out of fresh meat. Having seen nearly nothing for days, about a mile out of base camp is one caribou. I shoot the caribou, and we back most of it into base camp.
It was a very hot and sweaty day, and we had most likely logged 12 to 15 miles, plus packed the caribou in. We get to base camp exhausted, and hot, and stinky, and bloody. So I proclaim I am going to the lake and bathe, my hunting partner wants to clean he's gear and eat.
So I am naked at the lake washing in ice cold water, and I see movement to my right, which just happens to be a good size interior Grizzly Bear. The bear is about 40 yards away, I did not take a rifle, just soap & a Towel. The bear is not charging but is walking quickly toward me, and I do mean Quickly.
I look up toward base camp and see my hunting partner studying the bear for size, and color through his binoculars and spotting scope.
Now the bear has stopped maybe thirty feet away from me. It is watching me, and does not see my hunting partner who is evaluating the bear for harvest. I look up expecting to see my buddy with rifle in hand, but NO he is looking at the bear still studying it. The Bear slowly walks toward me, I am buck naked, head covered in soap, the bear is about 15 feet away. And I am looking back and forth between the bear and my friend. The bear moves closer to about to feet, I look up and my hunting partner now has his rifle, but is not aiming at the bear.
So I said are you going to shoot......? He said, No it is the wrong color. Now mind you while we are talking the Grizzly Bear is just standing there on all four feet watching me ten feet away. It never looked up toward base camp or at Bill.
Bill yelled, "Go on, get out of here". and to my good fortune it did a 180 and left the way it came. We later figured it followed the bloody trail of the blood dripping off the Caribou meat we packed it and hour earlier.
When I was Homesteading in the "Clearwater Country" about 74'ish I had no neighbors. Winter comes very early up there. One October when there was about 6" of snow I went for a long walk. The next morning as I went to the Outhouse, I discovered Grizzly tracks all around the cabin and the outhouse.
I decided to backtrack the Grizzly to see where it came from, and to my discomfort discovered it had intercepted my footprints from yesterday and followed them to the cabin.
So I decided to make a new loop of fresh me footprints and return to the cabin from a different direction. Yes, the next morning it was clear the Grizzly Bear had slept just outside my cabin door. And had followed every step I made the day before.
Me is not the brightest pumpkin in the pumpkin patch, but was clear I had a problem. And I had still not seen the bear. To make things even more un-nerving at night the sky was clear and the northern lights would moan/hum/crackle/pop. Few people have ever experience this, but it is very disconcerting when one is alone in the middle of a vast wilderness.
The next night I had the feeling I was being watched, and I took my sawed off shotgun to bed that night out of pure fear. The cabin had 30# roofing felt for siding, which is black tar felt paper held in place with roofing nails. The next morning as I went to read the signs of what my elusive friend was up to. I was shocked to snowy paw prints on each side of two of the windows.
I had still not seen the bear, the next night I saw it looking in the window, it was standing on it's back feet with fore paws on each side of the window. It dropped down and I never saw any sign of that bear again after that. I realize this is a hard to believe event, but it is 100% true. And it gives me the willies to retell even after 36 years.