Well, like many have experienced, it's hard to come home to reality after a good hunting trip. Even though I make an annual spring bear hunting trip, I can never schedule enough time to hunt bears.
This year's bear hunt was another gem. We ended up on the Prince William Sound for a 10 day escapade with four guys on a 40 foot boat and 19 foot jet boat for beach landings and glassing. We came home with four dandy black bears and a smallish brown bear. I was carrying my McMillan stocked 375 Ruger loaded with 270 grain Barnes TSX. She hits them like a hammer.
We spotted the brown bear on the beach in the morning as we were traveling to check out another hunting location. We approached the bear in the large boat for a better look, and even though this brownie wasn't breaking any size records we decided to make a go for it. Soon after we spotted the bear, he quickly made his way along the beach away from us and we knew there was no chance for spot and stalk, we'd have to get him from the boat (which by the way is legal in AK for brown bears) Anyway, two of us headed to the top of the boat with guns ready. My one friend was the primary gunman, so I went up as backup support.
As we approached, the bear continued moving away, easing his way into the tree line. I tried to get a reading from my rangefinder, but a slight drizzle of rain kept the Leica 1200 confused, so I looked at my buddy with my best guess and said "400 yards.. Get him now!". It must have been a close guess, because one of the first two shots center punched him right as he was stepping into the tree line. The successful shot made him spin back down the beach towards the water and a third shot anchored him right there on the beach.
The black bear was a textbook spot and stalk on the beach. We spotted him from the big boat and made a hasty plan as we jumped into the jet boat to head for the beach. The bear was feeding on fresh grass along the tree line and as we approached the beach in the jet boat the terrain became more favorable, as we noticed a place to make a beach landing and a small rocky pensinsula separating us from the bear's vision. As we arrived at the peninsula, we noticed the bear was still feeding as we watched him from 35 yards, so I found a good shooting position and sent a 270 grain TSX through his shoulders, laying him straight down on the beach.
Both bears had beautiful hides and will make fine trophies.