2013 CO Fall Bear
Hi all, I keeping getting a pop-up saying I haven't posted in a while, and always aiming to please, or kill, here's my 2013 Colorado Fall Bear hunt:
About mid-day yesterday the question of why do I get myself into these situations crossed my mind. Working conditions in direct sunlight with the temperature reaching mid 80šs started to take a heavy toll, I felt nauseous from the heat and being a 60 year old with a desk job. Skinning and quartering took most of the shine off the machismo of slaying a bear, the pack out took the rest.
The good news is a big check mark in front of a lifetime goal of filling my tag the first day of fall bear season with a fine bear. Telling grand daughter Brooklyn it was Mor'du, the bad bear from the movie Brave is an indication the story will get more interesting with each telling. But this is the original so it's as near to no BS as it gets.
Estimates from the taxidermist, other hunters, and the C.O.W. averaged out at a 400 pound bore about 6 years old. My aching back put the weight much higher....
About 3 in the afternoon of opening day while moving to a spot for the evening hunt I spotted a bear sitting like a dog looking my way. As soon as I stopped he disappeared into the brush at a slow walk so I continued driving past and the circled back and set up in the edge of a stand of trees about 200 yards from where I'd seen the bear. Then the wait started, three hours later I got the shot. During the wait the bear occasionally came into view though I would never have seen him if I hadn't spotted him there earlier and knew the exact area to watch. Mostly his head and ears were visible but the body blended into the brush like a shadow.
In the few minutes before the shot the bear stood erect on two legs pulling the top branches of berry bushes within reach. I contemplated taking the shot through the bush but waited unsure of how much a 300 grain bullet would deflect in a few feet of travel. Shortly after considering it the bear solved the problem by pushing enough branches down for a clear sight picture of his left side in the scope. After some hesitation trying to figure the aim point on a bear standing on his hind legs I touched off the shot. The heavy rifle settled quickly on the spot but I could not see the bear or any movement in the brush around the area. I spent 10 minutes watching intently through the binos for movement but saw none.
Since this took place in a canyon setting a line of bearing between a land mark on each side gave me confidence I could find the spot where the bear was at the time of the shot. What didn't give me confidence was going into the brush by myself with the sun already below the west side of the canyon. I must have looked pretty funny tip toeing, head on a swivel, pistol cocked, and finger on the trigger. About every 10 feet I stepped over a pile of bear scat heightening my awareness of this bear's appetite.
Looking beneath every bush, or so I thought, I damned near stepped on the bear and had a heart attack. Full darkness had set in now so I gutted the bear drug him as far as I could from the gut pile, and propped the chest cavity open with a stick as wide as possible for cooling and left for the night. Being hearing impaired many of the sounds I do hear are not recognizable and it's hard to tell where they come from. It would an understatement to say I was scared standing over a gut pile covered in blood in the dark.
Last year I bought my long range weapon, a 338 Lapua from Jered Joplin at American Precision Arms but so far everything has been close range, last year's bull at 90 and this year's bear at 200 yards. I used an off the shelf HSM 300 grain VLD bullet that absolutely turned the chest cavity and off side shoulder to jelly. The bear could not have gone more than a step or two after the shot.
With the fur in excellent condition it made the decision to spend the $$ to have a rug done on this bear easier. With a European skull included the cost is $1375 and will take a year to get back.