Long range bear success

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by blackdog, May 30, 2014.

  1. blackdog

    blackdog Well-Known Member

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    I was invited to go with a couple of friends to Idaho this year for spring bear. Their stories from the past couple years sounded like lots of fun, my calendar looked open, so I opted to join in. The drive over was great and camp was set up quickly in order to get a hunt in that first afternoon. We scurried up the mountain some 2000' from the truck to look into their favorite basin but came up empty.

    The second day we finally saw a bear on the FAR side of the basin for a few minutes late in the afternoon before he hid back in the brush for the remainder of the day. The third day we saw nothing in the morning but managed to kill a few rocks from 700 to 1000 yards during the midday time. In the afternoon, we were back up the same 2000' into the same basin. On the way in we very briefly saw a bear out feeding in some really brushy country. We watched for him to reappear for a while but he never did. We got back up to the top and late in the afternoon around 6:30PM, the same bear from the day before showed up again. This time he was out long enough for us to get excited a little bit, but looking towards the afternoon sun, none of our rangefinders were picking up a reading. Before we could get a stalk planned, he fed back into the brush, never to return that day.

    Day 4 was similar to day 3. No bears in the morning. Killing a couple rocks around noon. And grinding back into the canyon in the early afternoon. As the afternoon drug on with nothing happening, the clouds rolled in and the air became very calm and soon after, our little brown bear showed again for the third day in a row. This time he was a bit closer and the lighting was much better and we instantly got our first range - 1275 yards. That would be well past my previous longest kill but rocks had been dying all week very consistently so I felt good if he'd stand still long enough. Sure enough, as soon as I got set up he fed into some light brush. So we waited as patiently as possible, hoping he'd come back out today. Thankfully, not 15 minutes later he did. Next reading was 1230 yards. Double checked the range with the guys, double checked the wind - still dead calm. So when he finally stopped broadside I sent one downrange. I must not have been perfectly solid as I wasn't able to follow the shot and unfortunately neither spotter saw a trace or any sign of where the bullet hit. Dang it! Confidence was partially blown as he ran off for cover, but looking at where he was headed, I knew he'd be back out in the open in a minute or two. So I dug in a little better and got ready for round two.

    Soon enough, there he was. Out of the brush and standing broadside again. 1208....one.....two....zero.....eight........confirmed. Dialed back a couple clicks and got steady again. Verified they were on target and sent the second round down range. This time I watched the trace the whole way and saw the impact right where I was holding and then saw the bear crumble and tumble down the steep slope. He gathered himself slightly and tumbled again into another small brush patch but never came back out. We watched for signs of life for a few minutes before gathering our things for the grueling hike over to him. It was a long ways down and a long ways back up to where he was and we were going to be losing daylight if we didn't get the whole process kicked into high gear. After getting cliffed out once on the descent we finally made the climb up the bear and found him in the middle of a thich patch of brush. He certainly isn't the biggest bear on the mountain but he has a really nice colored full coat.

    We got him skinned and deboned in no time and we ready to head off the hill as the sun was going down. Thankfully, the clouds had cleared and we were rewarded with an extra 30 minutes or so of light to help find our way down the 2500' to the truck without having to resort to headlights until the last half mile or so.

    All in all a great trip. Very happy with my homemade .338 Edge. Started out life as a Savage 110 in 7mm Rem Mag. Put a new McGowan barrel with a Dagley brake on it, threw it in a Choate stock, threw in a Timney trigger, and topped it with a NF 5.5-22x50 and it shoots 300g Bergers with H1000 pretty darned good.
     
  2. brentc

    brentc Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the report. Sounds like fun. Must see photos though.
     

  3. blackdog

    blackdog Well-Known Member

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    The little yogi:

    [​IMG]

    Waiting for yogi to reappear

    [​IMG]

    Looking back at the shooting spot

    [​IMG]
     
  4. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Shot placement looks good, country looks great. No wonder you guys keep going back.
     
  5. JoeS1044

    JoeS1044 Well-Known Member

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    Nov 16, 2013
    nice shot placement that looks like one hell of a hole gun)
     
  6. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    That's awesome ... congrats and thanks for sharing!
     
  7. angus-5024

    angus-5024 Well-Known Member

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    great story and beautiful country. Thanks for sharing!
     
  8. mountainman56

    mountainman56 Well-Known Member

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    Mar 27, 2014
    Nicely done! Good story and pictures
     
  9. jrock

    jrock Well-Known Member

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    Well done. I couldn't help but notice your bolt handle is large enough that you could take it off and use it as a close range weapon. :D
     
  10. Hunter5325

    Hunter5325 Well-Known Member

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    Jan 12, 2014
    Well done, you earned him!
     
  11. Scrubbit

    Scrubbit Well-Known Member

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    Great story well told. Love the pictures of the contryside. Really gives perspective. That would have been a long hike...
     
  12. 4bycamper

    4bycamper Well-Known Member

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    Good shooting!

    Thanks for the story and the pix.
     
  13. chrishatley

    chrishatley Well-Known Member

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    Nice shot placement!
     
  14. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    Excellent hunt! Thanks for the pics and the story. Great looking bear, that's an impressive shot!gun)