Family’s first hunting trip first solo animal

Dwreckers

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Joined
Jun 5, 2019
Messages
287
Location
Washington
Had my first child back in early July and the wife and I decided to not let that slow us down. Started our trip out on August 31st to get some pre scouting done for deer. Turned up a couple legal bucks including a nice 5x5 whitetail stripping his velvet off that I got video of. After a few days camping with the family I decided to go higher in elevation looking at my OnX I found a last years burn right above camp. I had already heard some bears were spotted up around that area so I took off up the old NF road one evening. On the way up I was greeted by a small chocolate bear who was not a fan of my truck and took off like a bat out of hell. “We’ll that was quick” I thought to myself. I kept driving up the old road until I hit a giant ravine that had a bunch of new growth from last years fire.

There were burned trees, shrubs of all sorts and tons of ash on the hillside. I thought I should get out and walk this as this was about as high as you could drive on the road. Grabbed my rifle and took a walk. It was only a 1/4 mile up the road I was walking and glassing when with my “bear/bare” eyes I spotted a chocolate bear moving along the hillside at about 800 yards. I could tell this bear had 0 idea I was there and I knew I had time. I worked my way down the hill through the brush to close the distance constantly keeping an eye on the bear as it was constantly moving. When I arrived at a clear area I looked where I saw the bear was and it was gone. “I just saw it where did it go?” I sat and glassed for 5-10 minutes moving slowly here and there to catch sight of it again. After I thought I had lost it it reappeared right where I last saw it. I ranged 351 yards and dialed the rifle up 3 MOA to get ready for the shot. As I laid down and prepped for the shot I realized the log at the angle of the hill wouldn’t let me get comfortable behind the rifle as it was swaying all over. I ended up adjusting multiple times to try and get comfortable and the bear just kept feeding along the hillside. I finally did get a semi comfortable position but a dead hanging branch blocked a clear shot.

As the bear fed slightly closer I made my way to the end of the log which made a much more comfortable position. I ranged one last time. 330 yards. Dialed the scope back 1/4 MOA and waited for the bear to stop. BOOM! The bear quickly spun around 180 degrees and made a mad dash down the hill. I tried to raise my rifle but my sling caught on a root and as I tried to un snag it I took my eyes off the bear. When it came loose I looked back up and there was 0 sign of the bear, no crashing in the bushes, no death moan, no nothing. “I MISSED!” I glassed and glassed for a few minutes trying to decide if I hit it. The end of shooting light was near and at the bottom of the ravine was very thick brush. I knew if I hit it and it didn’t die and made it down into brush it could lead to some unpleasant exchanges between a wounded bear and myself.

Before I headed over there I decided to climb back up the hill I was on to get a higher vantage point. When I climbed back to the road I had a much better view point. I sat and glassed for a few minutes when the unmistakable bear fur caught my eyes in the brush. All I could see was the top of it. Excitement filled my body as this was only the 2nd bear I’ve ever harvested but I knew it wasn’t confirmed yet until I got to it. I made my way down the ravine and across the thick brushed bottom and started heading up the hill. I ended up getting above it and past it as I lost which tree I had saw it by. As I circled back I caught a glimpse of fur in the brush below me. I slowly made my towards it rifle drawn and ready. As I neared about 30 feet I picked up a rock and tossed it nearby (I rather give myself a buffer in case it was still alive). No movement. I approached slowly and touch it with the rifle and no movement again. The shot was a perfect double lung complete pass through and it didn’t make it more than 80 yards. I did think it was a boar but it ended up being a decent sized sow at 5’ 175-200lbs. I was still pretty darn stoked either way at this time as I’ve never solo harvested any animal (harvested a number of them with just me and the wife and that’s basically solo hunting right? 😅). It was a fairly easy pack out except all the brush I took a beating from on the way back. Ended up back at camp just before 11pm and the wife and baby got out to see the bear. All in all it was way more luck than skill and I could’ve made this story a lot shorter but what’s the fun of that?

Also had a bear cub in our camp 🤣 (last picture)
 

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2rocky

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2010
Messages
4,157
Were you able to let them know you had connected and would be delayed?
 

Dwreckers

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 5, 2019
Messages
287
Location
Washington
Were you able to let them know you had connected and would be delayed?
Nope. No cell, I tried to call but I did tell them if I wasn’t back by 9:00 I had shot something. I did have to wake them up when I got to camp
 

sierrahunter

Active member
Joined
Feb 14, 2015
Messages
118
Way to go! I've had my sling cause problems more than once, especially when turkey hunting. I always try to remove it if I can.
 

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