Bighorse connects on 'Big-boar'. Southeast Alaska Brown Bear Success!

Bighorse

New member
Joined
Apr 25, 2006
Messages
2,038
Reaction score
198
Location
Ketchikan, Alaska
Glad a few fellow hunters enjoyed the story. It would have been really easy to walk away from that bear. After following those heavy footprints all day long I knew he was a big boy. His movement wasn't too bad either. At one point he had stopped and dug up some skunk cabbage root for a snack. The only thing that kept me going was the continuous steady, albeit light, arterial blood. My wife is a nurse and asked the amount of drops and frequency and performed an approximate volume loss calculation. I knew with due diligence his energy would fade and slow. Going in the third day I had no expectations but to hike until he either showed me a few more miles in the mountains or I found him. If he would have drug me around and up another peak I would have counted him as non mortally wounded and notched my tag.

Z is a field bred English Springer Spaniel. His grandfather is a three time National field trial champ Saighton Scud. He also has many more accomplished field dogs in his pedigree. So really he's just a high performance bumper/bird dog. I used him for grouse recently but primarily he loves working a ball or bumper. All that fine pedigree has produced an excellent nose and a strong will to please. He has tracked wounded bear before and doesn't shy away. He's fast enough and smart enough that when I release he can dodge attack. He's not a bear hunting dog. I've only ever used him in extreme cases when tracking is needed. I sure like him and felt he earned his purchase price and dog food on this deal.

The bear skull is 24" and displayed lots of maturity. The body on this bear was very massive and proved to be impossible for me to roll around effectively. I had to remove quarters to get it rolled. The hide was only 8.5 feet aprox. I fleshed it, salted and dried it myself. I shipped it to a tannery on Monday. It's gonna be a nice tanned hide in my home to help remember an exciting tracking job.

I got a few other good hunts in the works for this year. My wife drew a Ketchikan area goat permit. I've scouted it twice now with a really nice animal located for her. There's one other really special hunt I'm working on......that one I'll keep a secret for now.

Good luck to all my fellow AOD members! I hope your hunts come together as planned and your gear holds up. Travel safe, shoot straight, and hunt hard.
 

hunt_ak

Moderator
Joined
Mar 30, 2007
Messages
4,601
Reaction score
263
Location
Wasilla--Cantwell Transplant
I got a few other good hunts in the works for this year. My wife drew a Ketchikan area goat permit. I've scouted it twice now with a really nice animal located for her. There's one other really special hunt I'm working on......that one I'll keep a secret for now.
I can't wait!
 

AKBEE

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 30, 2011
Messages
1,698
Reaction score
155
Location
Anchorage
Great story and determination! Z sounds like a great dog and I am sure you showed him some appreciation for a job well done.
 

Gooch

New member
Joined
Apr 25, 2006
Messages
864
Reaction score
75
Location
Coffman Cove, POW, Alaska
Sweet! Good bear, I went up this spring to Admiralty and helped a friend get one 24 and 12 on the head but only 7.5 square. Your old boy had a nice body. Good job again.
 

mtncowboy

New member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
99
Reaction score
2
Location
On the mountain
Great story, and an even better effort! I wish more hunters were this concerned about recovering the animal! Congrats and thank you for a great story!
 

ramhunter

New member
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
705
Reaction score
86
Location
Wasilla
That's a dandy southeast bear!...great story and good job recovering the bear!....congrats

Good lucky on your wife's goat hunt, I've hunted that hunt a few times, bet you do good...grin!
 

kodiakrain

New member
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Messages
3,174
Reaction score
326
Location
Kodiak, Ak
Great Story and write-up,... the photos,... Just Extraordinary

maybe the part I liked best was when you, "turned the boat towards home. I wanted my dog,..." and,
then, "Take me to the Boat, Z,..."

that must be really fun to have a partner with nose and skills like that.
 

Burke

New member
Joined
Apr 25, 2006
Messages
759
Reaction score
44
Location
Palmer, AK
Well done!
Thanks for sharing and masterfully writing up an adventure to make all hunters want to feel a part of something great....Inspiring us to be better.
 

ninefoot

New member
Joined
Feb 15, 2010
Messages
986
Reaction score
185
Location
alaska, all over the state
Ha! I love that story! Nice recovery horse...that effort shows a pile of integrity. I dont know what the percentage is of "bearhunters" that would have left that bear....but ive seen enough guys quit on em or want to quit on them to know the number is disgusting. Heres my respect to you for finishing what you started.

Shooting a bear at a safe distance is exciting...following one with holes in it for hours or days is a quite different endeavor, and a chore that is difficult to prepare for. Keeping a heightened sense of awareness is simple when starting on a track, the adrenaline dump of the initial hunt and stalk is coursing through ya....however...hours later when still on it and complacency and fatigue are manipulating your judgement it becomes far less exciting and feels exactly like what it is: very [email protected]#$ing tedious and dangerous.
Thats when alot of guys quit.
Thats when guys start sayin things like "he cant be hit hard" , "he's fine we'll never find him" , "bears are tough! If he can go uphill this long he will surely live..." blah blah blah.

Truth is that bears are indeed tough. And a badly shot one can go days. He can also be extremely dangerous to other humans and animals he encounters, and sadly if shot in the guts or liver he will die. A bio i respect once told me that it can take over a week for a gut shot or liver shot bear to die. Thats horrible.

Props to the efforts you went through to fix your mistake Bighorse...i dig that. I always figured that if a guy isnt prepared and willing to deal with a bear at Yogi's monstrous worst then he hasnt any business attempting to take one's life... in other words: it aint a deer, and theres a responsibility involved that exceeds other hunting. There toughness not only defines them as a dangerous game animal...it also defines the respect they deserve when hunting or recovering them.

I lost a few bears early on in my career...the recovery effort was there of course, but the fact is that more are lost than are found (at least from what ive seen and other experienced sources have related to me) and while ive found and killed wounded bears enough times to find it rediculous and extremely humbling, its the few that i havent found and what i learned from them that stand out.
Im finding lately that im at the point where i need to be reminded (or refer to my journals) of details to some of the successfull hunts ive had with clients in the past...my mental adventure file is gettin full i guess. Some stand out...some not as much for one reason or another.
But not so on the few i couldnt find. i remember vividly details of those hunts, and get nearly as sick about them now as i was initially. Those are ****ty memories...tons of learning gleaned...but at an amazing animals expense. And thats not ok.

Again good job... Thats a dandy mature boar for lower southeast...and what a good story. Thats the kind of high drama that bear hunting is potentially about. I'll be honest...as a guide my clients almost never get to see that potential, and having seen it plenty dictates that my respect for the ak bear hunting experience is many times different (and maybe more humbling) than theres is....as a solo Ak hunter, now you can surely relate.
A great example of a hunter with some integrity and respect for what hes doing out there. A finisher. Well done Chris.
 
Top