Bear 2...Dave 0
I had 2 chances/shots at bear this season and didn't score on either. the first was moving along left to right and was only 450 when i first saw it. had a good position on the ground and things were good for a shot but it just wouldn't stop in the open. every time it was behind trees. then it worked into a hollow where i couldn't see it much at all, but came out still moving side hill at about 520. mind you i'm doing it all, ranging, dialing, adjusting the gun. when you long range hunt by yourself, you're busier than a one armed paper hanger with the crabs! i keep pivoting to my right as it just kept moving along, i even yelled at the top of my lungs to try and stop it for a shot, but it just kept going. finally i have the gun pointed in some branches at the edge of my opening but i had to keep going like they weren't there. finally it stopped and i had my chance. about 575-580, and i let it fly. of course the only thing that flew was one of the branches 10 feet in front of me. mind you there weren't many limbs there at all and they were very small but i guess Murphy was helping me as i managed to hit one.
The second opportunity came last Friday. i'm sitting there glassing the mountain when i hear a deer snort. when it snorted the second time, i realized it was on my mountain and down to the right where i could see a little of the ridge adjacent to my location. i grabed the ole trusty "06" and moved to the other side of my opening where i could see down there and low and behold a bear is in plain view. well they seem like they are in plain view, they sure stick out in the woods.i couldn't get on the ground because i couldn't see the bear from that angle, so i leaned along a tree and managed to get stable enough for a shot. the bear cooperated and stopped where i could see it at about 180 yards,with nothing to rest on i had to take the shot which looked good when the gun went off. i was very confident i nailed it, but when it didn't move and then started walking back towards me as if nothing happened. well i'm sure you know that rapidly sinking feeling when the animals feet are still pointing down instead of up! then it shuffled off out of sight. i went down and looked, even found the bullet impact. i'm pretty sure i went over it, not positive as i couldn't make out exactly where it was at the shot, and it kindof did a 180 right there before it came back towards me.when i shot i didn't notice anything between but when looking back up hill, there were small limbs there that could have deflected my 178 a-max. of course ones ego tends to blame it on something other than us making a good shot, but in all honesty it looked good when it broke.
Next year i have someone that wants to go along and he has much better equipment than i, namely a 338Chey-tac that's a tac driver. i won't mention any names but he supplies people on here with laminated/custom stocks. i need to get rid of some of these bears, i hunted 6 days and saw bears on 4 of them. the deer population is really low. i only saw 9 deer in those 6 days and 7 were on the last day. one was a nice buck which i didn't get a shot at and maybe i'll see him next year.
Wish i had a successful story for ya, but it wasn't the case. thought i'd eat some crow and tell about my "misses" in all honesty it was a great season, i love sitting on that hill side and just watching.i basically didn't hunt last year in an attempt to save my marriage, i packed all my gun stuff away and didn't shoot or hunt. of course it didn't help and my marriage is over but i appreciate getting out there even more.