Spring Brown Bear Hunt.
I am relaying the story of one of my customers. (Bob Freil)
I was in the process of building a rifle for Bob that was to be his go to, kill anything rifle. We went over the options and of course I asked, "What are you going to hunt with it". Bob talked about a possible trip to Africa this spring, and that he was sure to draw his limited entry elk tag in Colorado or Utah. 10-12 points in both states. And Bob is 3/4 of the way done with his Grand Slam, if only he could draw a Rocky permit. (Max points in a few states).
So Bob says, it has to be light enough to carry, big enough to kill elk, moose, bears etc. And flat enough for Sheep and goats. Bob already has a 7mag so he wanted something a little heavier. I suggested a 338 Ultra Mag.
So here are the specs. on the rifle.
Remington M700 Long action Left Hand.
Broughten 4.1 magnum contour 1/10 twist 5 L/G 26" SS barrel
McMillan Remington Sporter stock in black with gray marble
Vais muzzle brake
Leupold VX-III 4.5-14x40 B&C reticle 30 mm tube.
The whole package is right around 8 3/4 pounds and is perfectly balanced.
Before I was finished with the rifle, Bob calls. He asks "How do think that rifle will do on a brown bear, and will it be finished in three weeks?" We hadn't talked about a brown bear so I ask, "Are you going brown bear hunting?" And Bob proceeds to tell me about an unfortunate hunter who won a guided stone sheep hunt at the Sheep banquet and can't go brown bear hunting this spring. And so I ask "What does that mean to you?" And Bob continues to tell me about another banquet after the sheep banquet where Bob was the only one to bid on a cancelation brown bear hunt at half the price of a normal tag. Poor Sheep Hunter! Poor Bob!
So I tell him that the rifle will be perfect for the bear and to get some loads worked up for the gun. The rifle shoots 3/4-1 inch groups with about everything that he puts through it. Including Nosler partitions.
A few weeks went by and finally I get a call from Bob. He goes on about bad weather and a late spring and hunting for 6 days without seeing a single bear. Apparantly the bears had slept in because of the cold weather. Then, on the sixth day, Bob sees a furry brown thing at a mile and a half through his spotting scope. He says "It looked like a small truck!" BTW, everyone else got tired of humping all of thier gear to the top of the hill every day, so, Bob was the only one with the spotting scope.
So they all took off at a dead run to intercept the only bear in Alaska up until now. They pop over a ridge and the bear was still 300 yards away. So they duck behind the ridge and angle towards where the bear is headed. So the two guides and the other hunter get to the ridge before Bob does and they hit the ground. So Bob tells me,"The bear has got to be close", Bob hurries up to the ridge, tries to catch his breath after running a mile and a half, drops to one knee and hold the reticle on the bears shoulder and fires. The shot was 200 yards and the bear decided to turn just as Bob pulled the trigger.
Bob says "The bear spun back the other way and flop" no more movement. Bobs guide tells him to reload, and the other hunter tells Bob, "No need, Bear meet 338 Ultra Mag."
The guide said that he had never seen a brown bear drop so hard, and stay down. Well, as the bear was turning at the shot, the bullet hit him in the brain instead of the shoulder.
The bear squares just over 10 feet and the skull green scores Boone and Crockett.
So, needless to say, Bob is very pleased with the rifle.
"It was perfect for the hunt, I didnt want it to be any different, except lighter" he said with a laugh.
Bob hunted with Becharof Lodge Outfitters. And his guide was Carl Adam.
Their area was about 40 miles south of King Salmon on the Egegik River.