I recently took a nice black bear with the help of Tim Picket with Southern Oregon outfitters. Here is how it went down.
I arrived in Glide Saturday and met with Tim and his partners and went over the basic game plan. We were going to just take a drive and look around a couple of places that afternoon and officially start the hunt the next morning. So we drove to a couple of clearcuts and glassed but did not see any bears.
Sunday morning I set the alarm at the crack of 3:30 am to discover I left my coffee at home. This was not a good way to start my day considering I had not got much sleep the night before! Tim and his hoodlems arrived at 4:00 and we were off to glass some units that were a good hour or so away. It got light about 5:30 and we hiked to a clearcut and glassed seeing only a few blacktail deer. It was probably a good thing we did not see a bear since I was still in a half sleep state. We spent the next couple of hours glassing clearcut canyons. Tim spotted a bear way down in the bottom but it appeared small. We also spotted more deer. Tim suggested we go to a spot where they had spotted a big bear before.
We arrived in this unit to find it completely fogged in. We hiked a little ways down the canyon and took a stand waiting for the fog to clear. We ended up sitting there for about an hour and a half. Throughout this time we could here braches braking below us out of site. This sounded like a bear so we stayed in this spot. Finally the fog lifted and I got a glimpse of how big this canyon was. Well over 1000 yards to the other side. Almost immediatly Tim spots a bear and gets real exited. Its a BIG BEAR he said when I finally spot the beast (which took a good five minuets) my heart started racing. He was big. He was over 500 yards and Tim wanted me to use his .338 edge due to the distance. We scrambled to get in position and get the gun on the bear. The bear was moving toward the timber and was going to dissapear over the ridge soon, so the pressure was on. I rushed my shot and clearly missed. I had a case of the flinches! The bear ran to the top of the ridge and and looked back at the dirt were I had shot over him. I took one more shot and missed again. I could not believe it. I had a chance at a 400 lb+ bear and missed, twice. The second shot felt good but Tim was sure I missed because he did not hear the bullet smack the bear. We looked for the bear but did not find him. I missed. After getting a fair amount of flack for my miss we decided to try again in another spot that afternoon.
That afternoon Tim and I went to another spot that looked real good but saw no bear and decided to try it later. Then we went to a canyon and had a bear walk out of the trees not 40 yards from us. He dipped over the ridge out of site before we could decide how big he was. On the other side of the canyon Tim spotted a nice color phase blonde bear. Then we saw the first bear feeding up the other side of the canyon. Tim concluded they we both small bears. Too small to shoot so we just watched them feed until dark. I was really wondering if I would get another chance at a shooter bear.
The next day we went to the spot that looked good. It was at a low altitude and was about the only spot we could hunt because all the high spots were fogged in. Fortunatly, This spot held a bear. We got out of the truck and started glassing. Imediatly Tim spots a nice bear below us @ 350 yards. As I am fumbling to get the bi-pod on my gun the bear starts heading tward the tree line. I quickly settle in for the shot. At 375 yards Tim says shoot him he is getting away. He turns broadside and I fire my 30-06. The 165 grain partition makes a clean shot through the chest but the bear does not go down. Tim says he is hit, shoot again. But I could not find him in my scope so Tim fires his .338 edge to ground him. You could clearly hear the 300 grain SMK thwack the bear as it hit him in the ham anchoring the beast. Then we drove down to him and got the feathers out. He weighed 250 lbs gutted so he was probably a 300 lb bear. I was very happy.
If you want a fun hunt get hold of Tim. His website is; www.cathunts.com
Southern Oregon is true long range Territory with many canyons well over 1000 yards. Very well suted for .388 edges and such (or nuclear weapons as Tim calls them). And there are LOTS of bears!
I took this photo from where the bear was finally anchored. We were shooting from the top of the ridge.
Here is the Bear