Bou

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by philny1, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. philny1

    philny1 Well-Known Member

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    Another one of my adventures. May of 06 booked a brown bear hunt in Alaska.
    Arrived in Anchorage via American West less my duffle and rifle. Continued on to Bethel where I sat for the next four days waiting for my gear to show up. While in Bethel, two hunters came in with a bear each, one nine ft plus. They were out along the Bearing Sea coastline and bear were emerging from their dens.
    Would like to mention how friendly everyone was, had several offer to loan me a rifle and gear. Before long had a Rem Custom shop 375 H&H w/Leu scope, no where to fire a gun in Bethel. Have a strange gun and can't check the zero. Day three my duffle showed up, gonna go with a borrowed rifle. Not happy.
    Meanwhile, I was told conditions had changed and it wasn't possible to go to the coast. Day four went scouting (flew inland),saw three bears and when I returned my rifle finally made it.
    Another interesting fact; SW AK normally gets very little snow, but it seems 06 was the worst winter they have experienced in 35 years. THIS, I found out when I got there.

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    Can only post one pic, have to continue in seperate posts.
     
  2. philny1

    philny1 Well-Known Member

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    Another day. Can't posts anymore pics for some reason.
     

  3. philny1

    philny1 Well-Known Member

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    Bear camp, two tents. Cook tent on the left, sleep tent for me and my guide. We are in a huge drainage bot a 100 east of bethel.
    How deep was the snow??? Never found bottom.
    Spent the next four days here, no bear not even a track. Thousands of caribou, ptarmigan were plentiful and saw two wolverines.

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    Thats is part of a herd of Caribou behind me. Stretched out the length of the valley, the beginning and end were not in sight. What we could see was probably 3-4 miles long.
    The deal was, if we weren't seeing bear he would move us. As it turned out there was only one plane equipped with skis and it took three trips to move a camp and two hunters, so it couldn't be done with the time remaining on my hunt. Plus ya can't hunt the day ya fly.
    So it was decided to cash it in and return in September.
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    Airlines! Finnally arrived in Bethel, 12 hours late. My gear and rifle was shipped ahead this time. Dogpatch to Bethel, three days--$200.00.
    The weather was good and was taken into camp that afternoon.
    Had several blue bird days, 20s at nite and approaching 60 during the day. Beautiful, but cost quite abit of our 10 day food supply we had frozen in a cooler. Our camp stove didn't work so we survived on corn flakes til we got that sorted out.
    We were in another huge drainage bout 15miles from our May camp. The river was loaded with salmon and we had to be 150-200 miles from the coast. We were seeing caribou constantly. Resident animals, single bulls to groups of a 100 or more.
    New guide this trip, turned out to be an inexperienced one regarding bear hunting. The practice is to book a hunter and then find a guide that is available--luck of the draw. Letting him talk on, he spoke mainly of trips guiding fisherman.
    Anyhow, third morning I spotted our first bear. He was probably a mile out and it appeared he might follow the river. We made an end run trying to get ahead of him, good plan never saw him again. Ended up on a good vantage along the river and decided to hunt there til dark, which was about 10:30 PM. Around 8:00 we spotted another bear working our way. My guide called him a good gear, a shooter. Took the shot, got the bear. When I approached him, couldn't beleive my eyes, talk about shrinkage!! Was so upset, didn't even take a pic. Have the tanned skin on the wall, every time I look at him I think of that guide!! Wife calls him Boo Boo--the bear!!.
    Still had five days left and concentrated on a Caribou. Where we seeing a few good bulls, now they kinda dryed up. All we were seeing was cows and young bulls couldn't find a shooter.
    Day nine, last day to hunt. Bout 3:00 spotted two bulls in the distance tracking our way. Had to make a wiggle to cut them off. Finally spotted them again in a willow patch about 500 yds out. There they bedded down on us and we were able to cut the range to 300 yds. from this vantage pont all I could see above the willows was the tips of his antlers. Had to wait him out , about an hout. Bug eating us alive. Took the shot, 375 H&H with a 270 gr Barnes TSX and I had my first caribou.
    Threw some tenderloins in the pan about 11:30, washed em down with kool aid.

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  4. DONTSTROKEME

    DONTSTROKEME Well-Known Member

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    Great story. Did the outfitter offer any attempt to make you happy with your booboo bear? Maybe a discount on another trip?

    Joe Oakes
     
  5. philny1

    philny1 Well-Known Member

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    Joe
    Flying out, he said my guide told him that he just screwed up. Said he would make it right. How right remains to be seen.
    Phil
     
  6. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    Bear, again, great story and pics.can't say i was envious of your camp on that loose piece of muskage. seems most of the stories i hear about Alaska are feast or, well not so good.

    that caribou looks like he's half skunk! sure a pretty guy. did you ever notice when people that don't hunt,walk into a trophy room. 9 out of 10 will ask what the caribou is.they will gravitate to the caribou almost every time.
     
  7. philny1

    philny1 Well-Known Member

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    Dave
    Camp, after a few days ya call it home, kinda grows on ya.
    Meals were whatever we could cook in a frying pan, not that bad, gotcha by. In Sept we were camped in a dry lake bed, our water source was what was left of the lake. Clean up was a pain, we each had a metal plate,cup, plastic knife, fork and spoon. Learning from my May trip, I had a stack of paper plates and platic in my duffle. To add to the ambience of our site, were the pie plate size tracks in the dried up mud. These were next to our tents, did we sleep, beleive it or not like a log.
    Saw my first Caribou bull our first afternoon in camp. Couldn't hunt, so did some scouting, spotted him in the river bed bout a mile from camp. First day hunting I passed on a really good bull, didn't want to shoot, a bear was my first priority. I was thoroughly impressed with this animal, thinking it over decided to take the next good bull. Their coloring can be unbelieveable, some of the bulls had a white mane like area from their shoulders forward. This I favored. Kinda always though of caribou like cows in a pasture.
    Guide had a caribou tag in his pack, I wouldn't buy it. Pissed about the bear. Oh, I was legal enough, had a hunting license of course and a $30.00 wolf tag. On the last day when I was in position and ready to take the shot on my bull, I told him to make me legal.

    Hunt fast, brag whenever ya can get somebody to listen!!!
    NRA Life Member.
     
  8. Ol'Gator

    Ol'Gator Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you were able to make some lemonade from that lemon. The lemon being the bad call on the size of the bear. I don't think there is a more difficult animal to field judge. I've had a good many up close (in bow range) an still miss judged a few. Talking blacks here.

    Really interested in your story as I am going for a brown in the fall, this time with my bow. My buddy also going at a different time but carrying his rifle.

    Don't think you mentioned the area you hunted. We'll be in the Lake Clark area on the peninsular.

    BTW. very nice caribou.

    Bob
     
  9. philny1

    philny1 Well-Known Member

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    Bob
    We hunted about 100 miles east of Bethel, western part of the state.
    You're right a bear is tough to judge. Outfitters I spoken to will brag that their guides will be within a couple inches. My luck to draw an inexperience guide and he was off bout 45%!!!!
    Sounds like you have been there, if not you'll want to discuss the "rules of engagement" with your outfitter and guide. With many (most) its their policy to shoot when their hunter shoots. I did have an understanding with my guide that I was not agreement with this polcy. He wasn't going to shoot unless we had a bear hit and he was makin' it to some heavy cover. Agreeable. Country was kinda open, but there was some thick willow patches, shown it my caribou pics.
    Four bowhunters were there just before and after my hunts. Three took a bear, all with the guides rifle.
     
  10. Ol'Gator

    Ol'Gator Well-Known Member

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    I talked at length with the outfitter regarding when the guide would (if ever) shoot. I told him only if it looks like poor arrow placement or I'm about to be chewed on would he take the shot. He assured me he along with all his guides are bowhunters and understand to wait as long as possible. Some years ago, I did get a great bear on Kodiak. 10' 2" making B&C (.338 WM). I won't take the shot on anything less than a 9' but am going with the idea theres a 10 footer roaming the Peninsular waiting for me.

    The colors of your caribou are as good as I've seem. A beautiful mount for sure.