Kodiak Brown Bear Hunt
I just got back from a Kodiak Brown Bear Hunt with Joe Klutsch and his guides (a great group of guys). I had a week to put it together and I decided from the first to use my 340 Weatherby that Bill Wiseman made on a Sako AV action and I stocked some fifteen years ago. The whole idea for the rifle was just such a bear hunt so do not give up on that rifle you made some time ago for a hunt that has not yet happened. It was a fantastic adventure in one of the most beautiful spots on earth. You arrive at the camp on a Grummen Widgen sea plane. The camp is a real hunting camp, but comfortable. The only complaint was too much good food that would match the food from any Dallas four star restaurant. When I checked my ammo, all I had was some handloads in 250 Nosler partitions that came from two different powders. All I could find in factory ammo in our area was the Barns 225 TSX and they really shot well in my gun as I feed them one at a time at the bench. I got half inch groups and 3100 fps. I ran all the ballistics, used a turret to match my trajectory, and sighted it in at the two hundred yard range. I was using a Leupold 3.5 X 10 tatical. I was all set to go just one day before I was to leave. I was cutting it close, but did you ketch that I feed the new shells one at a time. The day before I was to leave, I decided to check to see how they feed through the box. Yep, those led free bullets are longer and they do not feed well. Working the action I found that I could get two shells to feed, so I thought I would put one in the barrel by hand and have two in the box. It was late in the day that I got an opportunity to go ashore and get a shot. We had watched the bear for sometime as it moved around a point, but had lost it. When they again located it, the fire drill begin and for the first time in a long time, I had buck fever. Getting out of the skiff, I slipped, but recovered before water got in my hip waders. It was a quick move up a slight draw and a quick chamber of a round. I zoomed down to 4X in case we had a close incounter. We climbed up a few feet of the draw, which I slipped on a fell on my a--. Regaining my composure I got into a setting position just in time to see him walking off about 275 yds. It was not a good shot and I was still excited. We decided to pull out, go back to the skiff and try and get ahead of him. I removed the shell and put it back in the magazine and zoomed back to 10. By now I had regained my composure and I got into the skiff in good shape. We moved about half a mile up the bay and again went ashore. My comfidence had returned as we went ahore, climbed up a small burn and moved into a position to ambush him as he came by. After making one position change, I was set up using my Stoney Point tripod. I manually slipped a shell in the chamber with two in the magazine. The guide gave me a range of 225 to 275 yds. along the ambush area. I change my elevation turret to 250 yds. First came the sow followed by a cub about ten yards behind. She and cub walked past without detecting us, then came the boar about 100 yards behind. He was up to no good and that cub was in danger. We saw him first way up the trail to our right. He stopped for a minute, looked around, and then proceded down the trail into a small draw where we lost sight of him for a few minutes. He came out of the draw and started out of the brush into the ambush area. After looking it over carefully, the guide said take it. By now it was left of center. I put the first shot just behind the left shoulder as it huntched up and just stood there weaving a little. I rechambered and the firing pin fell on an empty chamber. What had worked at home in my work shop would not work in the field when the recoil of the first shot settled the shells hard in the box. I dropped the floor plate and tried to push the two in the box without any result. I reached in my pocket and placed one in the chamber and again. What seemed like an eternity was fairly quick as the bear just stood there as I kept an eye on him and reloaded. Again I hit him behind the left shoulder with the bullet going through him slightly forward. It was the second shot that got him to turn and run backwards toward the brush and draw. Joe and Joey oppened up, nocked him down and he rolled down in the draw out of sight. I rechambered.
All was quite and Joey took his time as he carefully got into position to see what had happened to him. After what seemed an eternity he gave the all clear and I went with Joe to claim my 9.5 ft. Kodiak. The shot was at 6:10 PM and we did not get back to camp until 10PM. My thanks go to Joe, Joey, Rockey, and Rockey 11. I learned a lot from all of that. When you change anything, make sure it will work as it should and alway have good guides to back you up. At my age it was a hard hunt for an out of shape 68 yr. old, but with the group I was with, I had complete confidience I would be sucessful. Again thanks to all. Bob Dunkin