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His 1st black bear

April 7, 2011

***This posting and video deal with the hunting and killing of black bears. If this subject is offensive to you, please do not watch the video or read the story. You have the right, if it offends you, to not be exposed to this material and I have the right to post this material.

I had come into the country an inexperienced East coast outdoors man. You know the type…Decked out in Cabella’s finest clothing, the kinda guy that knew enough to get into trouble. But hopefully after the three years as an apprentice guide I had learned the reality and danger of working in the remote woods of Alaska. At least I prayed I did because I now had, at times, other peoples lives dependent on my skills.

The light breeze was increasing as darkness started to fall. This was a plus because it keep some of the eagle size mosquitoes from using us as dinner. When you have to be still for hours on end any help with keeping the bugs at bay was a plus. With the river at our backs and camouflage netting in front the past three hours had presented us with just two small bears. This was my client’s first trip into Alaskan bear country and it was hard to stop him from shooting the first bear that we encountered.

Yes it was hard work keeping him from firing that brand new oversized rifle he purchased just for this his first Alaskan hunt. Many out of state hunters think Alaska is one big animal supermarket. You go down this trail and moose of all sizes are just standing there waiting to be taken, while over on the next trail are the bear and caribou, with the wolves crisscrossing between the trails. Well the reality is you have to work just like anywhere else to find your game. Be it tracking for miles or waiting in a blind for hours, with never a guarantee that you will ever get to sight in on your target.

I was lucky, I was working with an outfitter who covered an area rich in black bears. Our record was 20 clients and 20 bears a year for the past two years. When you consider we hunt for the black bears only four weeks a year that is a decent takeout rate.

Now the setting sun was below the mountain and is had started to become almost too dark to get a good shot off, so of course in comes a nice size bear. My client would not be waved off of this one, and as he took aim I readied my 44 for any emergency. He got off a good shot but the bear did not drop. In fact he instantly turned and charged in our direction. I do not know how many of you realize how fast a 200 pound bear can travel, but let me tell you this one covered the 50 yards in seconds. The hunter, maintained his composure and fired the kill shot dropping the bear literally a few feet in front of us. The look on his young face told the story. He had killed a charging Alaskan black bear and this indeed would be a hunt he remembered for the rest of his life.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jon permalink
    April 8, 2011 12:46 am

    Just about got up and did the 2-step to that music, Pete!!


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