- Jan 11, 2013
- Mica Flats, Idaho
Beautiful bear and sounds like one heck of a trip!
Handsome bear brotherI just got home from my Alaska Brown Bear hunt. I hunted with Master Guide Bob Couey in his camp outside of Iliamna. I flew out of Bozeman at 8 AM on Sept 4th, changed planes in Seattle then on to Anchorage, then took a taxi to Merrill Field where I met Bob and we flew to Iliamna, and then a Super Cub to his camp., which was two pup tents tucked in next to an alder patch.
The next morning I was legal to hunt, and while we were fixing breakfast, Bob spotted a bear walking across a flat about a mile west of camp. We quickly grabbed our guns and packs and started after him. We got to about a quarter mile from where we last saw him and he was nowhere in sight, so Bob suggested that we go back to camp where we had some elevation to look for him, and have some breakfast.
We no sooner got back to camp and we spotted him again, so back to the stalk. This time we got to about 200 yards from him. He wasn't the biggest bear in the unit, but with his dark brown legs and his long blond back hair, he was my Grizzly bear dream color.
I was hunting with my .375 RUM with my 281 grain Hammer Hunter handloads and I heard the loud WHAP that my first bullet made when it hit him, and he fell down. But then he got up and started running and Bob said to keep shooting until he didn't get up, so I did. His final resting place was about 10 yards from a 40' drop off into a waist deep river, and a hunt that I had been dreaming about for over 50 years was over.
The picture taking, skinning, and packing got us back to camp by 3 PM for a very late breakfast...with a celebratory Coors Light.
The next morning Bob finished skinning out my bear's skull and got his hide salted and the clouds started building up in the West. Bob brought up the weather forecast and it showed the next few days with up to 93% rain. Bob was able to text the Super Cub pilot and he was able to get us back to Iliamna that day, but too late for the plane back to Anchorage, so we spent the night at a friends "lodge" where we had homemade pizza and fresh wild blueberry pie, and a warm, dry bed.
The next day we flew back to Anchorage and to Bob's house, where we spent a couple of nights. Bob finished fleshing my bear hide and heavily salted it, and we let it cure overnight before taking to the F&G office to have it sealed. We then went to a couple of local sporting goods stores where we both bought a 3 weight fly rod and reel, I bought an Alaska 7 day fishing license, and the next day we drove 180 miles north to Alaska's Lake Louise where Bob had a cabin.
We then spent several days putting our new 3 wt fly rods to use on the creek next to his cabin where I had fun catching well over 100 Graylings. We also enjoying exploring and portaging Bob's canoe on 3 lakes and a section of the creek by his cabin, and me eating handfuls of sweet wild blueberries.
My Alaskan trip came to a close last Thursday and I left the beautiful tundra, lakes, streams, and glaciers for the smoky skies of Montana.