My son took this Washington State black bear on a spot & stalk hunt. Used the 95 year old .30-06 Model of 1917, and put a 165 gr Nosler Partition into the bear at 320 yards. I was impressed, and he was pleased.
That old rifle has served our family well for four generations. The original barrel was bobbed to 21" a few years ago, it's got a Timney trigger and a 6x Leupold. The young man is doing pretty well with it. In the last few years he's taken two bear and two whitetail bucks, all here in Washington.
Of all the game available to us, black bears appeal to me at or next to the top. Thanks for the post. Nice looking bear and I appreciate the history of the rifle. I also took my bear this year with a 30.06. Is there a plan with the hide? Rug? Full body mount? Appears to be a deep chocolate.
Thanks guys, it is a nice bear and I think the young man is justifiably proud of it.
First: the meat was all made into bratwurst & pepperoni snack sticks. Yummy! I've been cooking the brats by boiling them in beer, butter & onion, then grilling them for a few minutes over the coals. Oh my goodness that is good! I think the bear meat is just oily enough that it makes excellent sausage type meats.
Second: we've already got a couple of real nice bear rugs taking up wall space around the house, so this one is just becoming a tanned pelt. I think my son wants to use it as a bedspread for a while, and when he's tired of that, he'll just hang it from a peg on the wall. Hopefully the hide comes out looking good. It is a deep chocolate, and looked real good. Kind of warm when we got it, but we got the hide off quickly and cooled down. Long hike, all uphill, back to the truck. Ugh. Gotta talk to that young man about shooting bears that are UPHILL from the truck instead of DOWNHILL from the truck...
We don't have the skull back from the taxidermist yet. Just getting it bleached. I'm eager to measure it. Looks like a pretty good one.
Here in Washington State, it's all spot and stalk hunting. No dogs or baiting allowed. So the shots tend to be on the longish side. Not always, but often. We hunt an area with an abundance of berry bushes and a couple of old, long vanished homesteads with some leftover apple and pear trees. This one was in the vicinity of an old apple tree when he was taken.
I really enjoy bear hunting. As far as I'm concerned any adult bear is a real trophy. That they taste good and have terrific hides is just icing on the cake. Love spotting them, then closing to shooting distance and making it happen. Can be a bit exciting if following up a wounded one into the brush. A fellow realizes real quickly that "this isn't a deer!" Yeah, okay, it's not grizzly or cape buffalo, but it's a bigger animal than me, well equipped with teeth & claws. I'm careful on those occasions when I've had to follow one into the brush!
BTW - about the rifle. It was pretty funny. He hadn't been shooting that rifle much this year. We headed to the range for a little pre-bear season practice. I put up simple 8" paper plates at 100, 200 and 300 yards.
He put the rifle on the tall bipod, and shot from sitting, as he often does afield.
100 yds, one shot, center
200 yds, one shot, a little off center so I fiddled with his scope windage a little and he shot again, centered in the plate
300 yds, one shot, centered in the plate.
He grinned at me and I knew he was confident in the rifle/scope/load combo again. It hasn't changed in a long time.
We spotted the bear a ways off and scrambled to close, then set up on a rocky outcropping. The laser read 320 to the bear. I told young John that, and looked over. He had the rifle on the tall bipod, was sitting, and looked just like he did at the range a few days earlier. Calm, confident. I turned my eye back to the scope and watched the hit. Pretty cool.
The young man can shoot, there's no doubt about it.
The old rifle means a lot to us. My father and grandfather used it, and I remember shooting it a lot when I was in high school. Each of us has changed it in some way, to suit our individual tastes. Someday I'll likely have Pac Nor replace the barrel, and probably go with a 24" tube.
I think my son would like a newer, brighter scope, but that 6x Leupold isn't bad, not bad at all. He can do that when he wants.