Big Brownie (long post)

Alasken

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Mar 23, 2001
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Alaska
Here's a picture and the story of a bear hunt I guided on the Alaska Peninsula in May.


Tom, my hunter and I got put on a beach on the Bering Sea where there was a dead whale (gray whale I think). The plan was to put us about a mile from the whale, but we ended up more than three miles down the beach. Tom was looking for a bear in the nine foot range with a good hide, which I think is a very realistic goal.

We spent the first two mornings glassing the whale and the tundra flats on the other side of the grass-covered dunes from the beach. We soon realized that the action anywhere close to the beach was over about 9:00 am. My experience with spring brown bear hunting is there's no need to get out hunting real early in the morning, but to stay out as long as possible. This wasn't the case where we were. We saw some small bears messing around on the whale, but the bigger bears we saw were heading for the hills in the morning, and we figured they were coming back at night.

On day three we got up at 4:00 am after getting to sleep the night before at midnight. That morning we saw a couple of real nice bears, but the sows were leading them away from the beach. There just wasn't anything we could get close enough to. We got back to the tent late that evening and up at 4:00 am the next morning.

About 7:00 am we spotted a large bear in the dunes about 500 yards from where we were sitting. He soon laid down in a spot where the stalk would be relatively easy. Prior to this all the bears we saw lay down would stay like that for hours, and we only need a few minutes. Just when we were getting ready to close the distance a sow came into the picture, and our boar started following her, still in the dunes, but going away from us. We took off at a fast pace, and soon saw the boar and sow in the flats heading away from us. I picked a spot to get as close as we could to see if we could get a shot while the bears were still going away from us. Tom had a bipod mounted on his gun, so he laid down to get ready. As soon as he had a clear broadside shot he took it hitting the bear in the shoulder exactly where we had talked about before. As soon as the boar stopped spinning around another shot was fired and the bear went down. Tom followed up with a third shot just to make sure. Dead bear for sure! After the shooting was over we saw bears running away in every direction we looked. We counted eight for sure.

We worked around a little lake between us and the bear and came to a ditch between us and the bear, about 70 yards from the bear. We looked around, but we found nowhere we could jump across, and nowhere we could cross without getting in chest-deep water. When we got back to the spot closest to the bear Tom asked me what we were going to do, and I told him to strip down. We went from bear hunting to bare hunting. The water was chest deep with soft mud on the bottom, and about five feet across, and was so cold it instantly took your breath away. After the crossing we got up to the bear, and both of us were amazed at the size of the bear. I had told him earlier the bear was well over nine feet, but I was thinking about 9 1/2' or so.

We took photos and video and got to work. By mid-afternoon we had the hide off and the skull out ready for packing. We stuffed the hide into my pack, the skull in his, and went into the water again. I tied some nylon cord to my pack frame. We were both afraid my pack was going to sink like a rock as soon as it hit the water, but when the pack hit the water if floated right on top. We were both relieved. Now, after less than eight hours sleep the last two days, we decide to leave my pack with the hide in it and take Tom's pack with the skull and other things we didn't really want to leave. Tom had brought some beer and a bottle of whiskey for the celebration. On our 2 1/2 walk back to the tent all we were talking about was hitting the beer. We got back to our camp at 7:30 pm. After a steak dinner and a couple of beers we were both asleep before ten.

The next morning I was awakened by the sound of the bosses Super Cub flying over the tent. I gave him the good news, and asked if he could come back later in the afternoon. After a big breakfast we went back to get the hide to the beach. By 2:00 that afternoon we had the hide to the beach to be picked up. It was about a mile from where we left my pack to the beach. I weigh 170 pounds. The pack was very close to that. It took just over an hour to get to the beach. Later that afternoon Tom was on his way back to base camp, and I was on my way to another camp to help another guide close things up. Due to weather I spent six more days waiting to get out.

Back at base camp another guide fleshed the hide and did the other necessary work to prepare it for the taxidermist. After the fleshing, it was laid out on a concrete slab and measured at 10'4".

There are a couple of other things I should mention. The first is Tom was using a .338 with federal premium ammunition, 250 grain Nosler Partitions. The shot was about 200 yards. The other thing is that the bear was shot the day after my 50th birthday. What a perfect birthday present for a guide!
 

wilecoyote76

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Oct 29, 2003
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Idaho
We went from bear hunting to bare hunting.
Sounds like a Moosie/EG adventure for sure. Thanks for the great story Alasken and congrats on the great looking bear. 10'4" - WOW!! :eek:
 

stanleyaz

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Oct 8, 2002
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Arizona
That's an awesome story Alasken!

My only trip to Alaska was spent out on the Penninsula in the Port Moller area. I didn't hunt, but was a guest at a bear hunting lodge at a place called Bear Lake. I think the owner's name is Warren Johnson? Are you familiar with this operation? Just curious, as I know they were on the north side of the Penninsula, about 6 miles from the Bering Sea. I want to go back sometime to hunt bears or moose! Very remote, and VERY cool!

Anyway, congrats on that hog of a bear!

S.



PS: If I can get pic scanned, I'll post one of a bear these guys had killed a couple of days prior to me arriving at the lodge. It was an absolute brute! I believe they said over 11' squared!

[ 06-04-2004, 09:14: Message edited by: stanleyaz ]
 

Elkhunter

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Dec 20, 2000
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Jackson, Wyoming
Alasken, that was a good story. Thanks for telling it. That is one heck of a great bear and a great picture. Congrats to you and your hunter. :cool:
 

Moosie

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Ken, Maybe you should have Helped Gunner and Ovis.. All they Found was Crabs ;)

a 9' Bear is a Good bear.. 10+ ... HOLEY Chit !!! I'll study the Picture later to see if I can Call BS on ya ;)


Thanx again for the Pic and Story bud !!!
 

Alasken

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Mar 23, 2001
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Alaska
Thanks for the congrats.
stanleyaz, I've heard of Warren Johnson, but don't know anything about him.
Call BS on me anytime Moosie. Won't do ya any good though.
 

Moosie

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OK.. BS ! I measured it with an Official ruler on the Screen and I only got 4 1/6".... YOU... ARE A LIER !!! ;)

Good story, thanx again !!
 
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