My 2nd Montana walkabout Pt 2 , whitetail’s revisited and a Grizzly encounter!!

MT Rookie aka OR Chris

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After last Thursday’s hike and seeing all the elk down in the flat in those meadows below the mountain. I did some map looking and figured out a way to get up in there and wanted to hike in on the right side of those Meadows and hike through the timber today to get in there.

My general avenue of approach I choose
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I Get to my park point , gear up feeling good , weather is going to be great , I’m excited for the day and what discoveries I might have, and all the thoughts that you normally have before a nice hike in the country.

I Look at my ONX pick a travel route and off I go and make for what appears to be an old road on my satellite map.

I find it and it’s not much more than a trail now it’s so old. I start to descend slightly in elevation. The forest is somewhat open , it’s just beautiful. I stop as off to my left I hear a noise not loud but gentle brush/tree noise. It sounds high up like a squirrel or a bird in a tree messing around , back in Oregon it was common for squirrels to be up in pine trees and they break off pinecones out of the branches and then drop them to the ground and you’d hear them hitting the trees and that was the only thing I could associate it with in my memory of forest noises.

I continue to slightly walk downhill and the trail kind of goes in a horseshoe to the left as I come out into the open sunlight and a tiny small meadow, less than 100 yards long 40 to 50 yards wide give or take, with a small 12-14 inch wide little stream running the edge to my right. I stop and just look across the meadow for a deer or animals or anything just it’s beautiful take a moment and then continue on the trail step across the stream and slightly go uphill over a little knob and then directly to my left I hear some scratching and clawing sound my head pops left and I see a small animal going up the tree directly on the other side of the meadow from me less than 50 yards maybe 40 not sure.

It was moving somewhat quickly I thought os that a porcupine or possibly a raccoon ?? at first the tree branches were shading it a little bit it wasn’t that big and as I quickly reach for my binoculars to try to figure out what the animal is animal , it stops and the second it stoped moving , in an instant I realized it’s a bear cub !!!!! An instant adrenaline rush hit me , along with fear and are you freaking kidding me in disbelief is shooting through me , I was halfway to opening my Bino case and the second I realized it was a bear cub , my right hand dropped and I had my pistol out , my head on a swivel turning from side to side knowing that I was in real jeopardy having that bear cub just within 40 yards of me and I cannot see the mother and I don’t know how far away she is or in what direction.

Then I see her standing up on 2 feet in the shadows of the tree looking at me within feet of the tree the cub just went up and as she comes into clear focus, we look each other in the eyes she spun and dropped on all fours and disappeared straight away from me.

I instantly break hard right going diagonal and uphill into the timber the opposite way , the timber instantly is pretty open and I can see for about 100 yards in every direction, i’m constantly looking and listening I don’t see and hear anything but I’m steady moving away knowing that I need to get up Hill and then I have to hook right to get to my truck which was behind the Bears original position.

I’m on contour with my truck now and Im within 50 yards give or take of the tailgate and the last part of the woods right before my truck is a little Brushy and then all of a sudden I hear brush crashing off to my right and I’m like crap that freaking Bear never stopped and she was coming right towards my truck and I bumped her again I just kept going and looking back with my pistol pointed towards the noise but I’m thinking that she hooked and went back downhill there was some guys who are breaking down their camp just 70-80 yards down the road and I yelled to them grizzly with a cub somewhere behind your camp I just spooked her and they instantly started blowing an air horn . Got to my truck through the pack in my day of hiking in that area was over.

I chatted with the guys who were breaking down their camp and then drove out of there to find a place to park to collect my thoughts and catch my breath, And wouldn’t you know it where I parked a week ago last Thursday there was two whitetails practically standing in my park point.
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The deer were 66 yds from me , I turned off my truck and watched them walk down the road and into the brush. So I drove up around him and got on the other road system and decided it’s still early in the day and I wanna to least get some exercise in and so I parked. And that’s when I realized that I had a decent side ache on my right side just above the belt and slow my ribs that was sore and I had a lot of phlegm and mucus in my throat and if I took a deep breath I would cough , and I realize that I got out of those woods a whole lot faster than I realized and I drank a bottle of water and just rested for a while until then the pain went away then I ended up going for a small hike across the meadow in that creek bottom where the whitetails went

The meadow and creek bottom I played around in 37863E85-5E85-414A-85DC-5DD207B56E5C.jpeg 3B7F283F-06AC-46E1-834D-6A3B5AA01A87.jpeg D4DEFF5D-FD16-43B1-B452-8C581C2E6F50.jpeg

On the way home I called Hunttalk member JCS and told him about my bear 🐻 encounter, to which he replied, sounds like an exciting hike you probably need a beer ! And I did.
So I stopped at the quick store in town and as I was purchasing my beer I turned around and there on the counter they had coasters for sale , one just happen to be a grizzly so, I couldn’t resist purchasing it as a Souvenir of my 1st Montana GRIZZ encounter.
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On a sidenote to the story on my way out I encountered some local ranchers who live in the area and I had told them what had happened and he goes was the cub about yeah big and I said yeah it was that big and he goes yeah she’s a younger juvenile Bear that’s lived in the area going on two years, Apparently they’d seen her earlier this year not that long ago I just saw her a whole lot closer than I ever wanted to. The whole thing happened in an instant even though it felt a lot longer . from the moment I saw the animal going up the tree, realized it was a bear cub pulled out my pistol found the mother and when she dropped and turned was a matter of seconds and the whole thing was over and we were going different directions, But also knowing that in that instant before I seen her she could’ve just straight charged me and would’ve almost been on me before I even knew she was there and it could have went down a whole lot different, But I’m still going back next Thursday and try that hike again .

Hanging in the garage and enjoying a beer with MONTANA MOUNTAIN MAN and Hunttalk member JCS , talking bears and other outdoor experiences, I can laugh about it now .
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MT Rookie aka OR Chris

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ORYGUN Coast Range
Def gives hiking a touch different flavor than you had out here! ….besides that, any reason is a good one for a Drool!

Oh ya, back on the old turf in the coast range , I knew cougars and black bears were around , but those things are ghosts up there , got an occasional trail cam pic of one other than that never seen one of them critters. Yesterday was my second grizzly encounter in the field, last time I was 16 on a fly in moose and caribou hunt up on the brooks range, Alaska in 86 , we were looking for caribou on the morning hunt and one came strolling over the ridge
On the far side of the lake across from our camp , Never saw it up close though , also seen a few in Alaska back in 2016 when I took my youngest son up there to show him where I was raised and what Alaska was like , we camped at Denali National Park and took the all day bus trip out across the tundra , But seeing one in a bus out a window with a bunch of other tourists doesn’t really count ‘cause you’re safe inside , if you’re a hard-core outdoor camper you can tell the bus driver to stop at anytime you want and get out and go anywhere in that park and go camping and then you can hike back to the road and wait for the next bus to come by.

The road through Denali National Park
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Last edited:

Ghillieman

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Florida
Just reading this the ol pucker factor got me. Ms. Grizz and Jr. Arent good playmates. Lady luck and some clear thinking saved your butt sounds like...what firearm were you carrying? Just curious...
 

MT Rookie aka OR Chris

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ORYGUN Coast Range
Just reading this the ol pucker factor got me. Ms. Grizz and Jr. Arent good playmates. Lady luck and some clear thinking saved your butt sounds like...what firearm were you carrying? Just curious...

357. Mag with 180 grain rounds , I was in total fear for my life no lying, when I realized it was a cub going up the tree , I felt I was in her kill zone , and as terrified as I was I didn’t want to move until I knew exactly where she was , it wasn’t a life flashed before my eyes moment, it was weird, I was upset at first almost angry when I realized it was a cub and the bad luck situation I was in, but my mind was still processing in the most fear adrenaline rush I’ve ever experienced.

The day after I was tired all day and felt drained , and had moments of joy and happiness I survived and I had moments were I had a heavy heart and felt down and sullen from feeling close to death or i escaped death.

Looking back I’m sure she knew I was there the second I hit the opening when I paused and looked around before continuing on , how often when were out in the woods walking do we look up see see deer or some other animals already have us pegged before we identify them , had she just charged me , I’m sure she would have covered half that 45 yds before I knew what was up , and I doubt I’d had time to react, but she sent her cub up that tree and that’s what got my attention. In the end it seems she was just as afraid of me as I was of her and she turned and ran away and so did I .
 

Ghillieman

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Florida
357. Mag with 180 grain rounds , I was in total fear for my life no lying, when I realized it was a cub going up the tree , I felt I was in her kill zone , and as terrified as I was I didn’t want to move until I knew exactly where she was , it wasn’t a life flashed before my eyes moment, it was weird, I was upset at first almost angry when I realized it was a cub and the bad luck situation I was in, but my mind was still processing in the most fear adrenaline rush I’ve ever experienced.

The day after I was tired all day and felt drained , and had moments of joy and happiness I survived and I had moments were I had a heavy heart and felt down and sullen from feeling close to death or i escaped death.

Looking back I’m sure she knew I was there the second I hit the opening when I paused and looked around before continuing on , how often when were out in the woods walking do we look up see see deer or some other animals already have us pegged before we identify them , had she just charged me , I’m sure she would have covered half that 45 yds before I knew what was up , and I doubt I’d had time to react, but she sent her cub up that tree and that’s what got my attention. In the end it seems she was just as afraid of me as I was of her and she turned and ran away and so did I .
Yknow, funny how different ppl process different situations. Knowing what you now know, Im confident your woodsmanship has graduated to another level. You situation certainly could have taken a totally different turn, yet it didnt....we all wonder what saves our asses when those situations occur....Im sitting here shaking my head hoping I too have your luck AND composure should Ursus arctos horribilis makes an unexpected appearance in my western wanderings.
 

Wildabeast

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The difference between an outdoorsman and a tourist. You pull your side arm and get the hell out of there. They pull their iPhone and try to get a closer pic for the Instagram story. 🤦‍♂️

Glad it all worked out OK for you, and the bears. You’ll be amazed at how those encounters will change how alert you are in the woods going forward.
 

Hammsolo

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May 16, 2020
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959
Isn’t this what draws us to the woods? Isn’t this why we feel so alive? Our lives are so damn easy compared to a native that subsisted off the land hundreds of years ago. When is our life truly in danger these days?

People are seeking energetic input and output due to cushy lives. Whether it’s drama or violence, we are seeking dopamine and adrenaline hits.

Our bodies evolved for tens of thousands of years to survive in harsh environments. I’m sitting on my couch, with a heating pad on my knee, drinking coffee, wrapped in a Pendleton robe and blanket…. However I feel my best when I step outside. Does that really make sense?

In the last two years I’ve had a few amazing encounters; one with a mountain lion and the other with a prairie rattler. I came around a corner to a big tom walking away from me. He walked away from me after staring into my eyes at about a fifty yards, and the rattler slowly slid into the sage staring at me. I felt alive! I felt an amazing connection to the wild, like my experience was unique and exhilarating. I want more of that.

You have an amazing story that’s is all yours!
 

MT Rookie aka OR Chris

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I forgot to add this , on The way home from my bear en counter I was listening to a Jerry Reed playlist on Spotify , I’ve always liked Jerry Reed but I don’t know a ton about his music just some of the Classics and this song popped up about halfway home and I was gonna add it to my story but forgot about it , so better late than never it made me chuckle all the way home, if you never herd it before like I it , it’s pretty funny
It’s called “ The Preacher and the Bear”
 

2ski

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Mar 3, 2015
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Bozeman...Seeley when I can be there.
@2ski , I’ve located a bachelor group of white stout in the timber , moving in to try and notch some tags and get a few white stouts hanging in beer camp tonight
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Congrats on finding the bachelor group!

Make sure you pour some in a glass and enjoy the ironic feeling of a beer that looks like that tasting like that.

Now for a more mature beast to notch a tag on, if you have a bottle shop close by you may be able to find some of that beer in bottles after having been aged in barrels. And if you can't find it I happen to have a case of them from 2 years ago aging in my basement.
 

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