NEW SITKA Ambient 75

Should ya, Would ya, Could ya - Bear Den

So I took a day off work to “go kill a bear in its den.” I knew that it was unlikely to be anything like that and would not be even close to a gimme.

I didn’t leave early, hoping to start walking after the temp for above zero, no such luck on that. It took about 5 hours to make the hike, about 2 hours longer than I expected, the last 300 yards taking close to an hour and as I got close I realized I was running out of daylight. I thought that I might suffocate in the snow on a couple of the ravines. Snow was over my waist and a few times up to my neck. There was no glassing the den from afar, you won’t see until you’re feet from it.
 
Last edited:
I shot a sleeping coyote at about 20 feet one day. It left me with mixed feelings.
Did the same deer hunting one time, the flop reminded me of shooting a ground squirrel
 
When I got to the den, the opening was clear of snow. The bears body heat was keeping it open, so he was absolutely inside, and based on the 2 day old snow, probably sound asleep.

I made a lot of racket, and stood by with a Glock 9mm. I put on the headlamp and peeked inside. The den was a lot deeper than I expected and he was burrowed well underneath the tree behind it, but I couldn’t see him.

I’m sure if I had built a fire at the opening, he’d likely have come out -or would he have just died inside? After a short while I realized as exhausted as I was, I’d have a hell of a time packing a bear out of here regardless, even with help. I would lose friends asking somebody to hike back in there with me. So I left. I’ve got his address.

I hunt bears every year in this place, have for decades, have only see a handful, and have only killed one. I wonder if this den was used by the bear in shot within 1/2 mile of it in April of 2016.
 
I definitely would have had on snowshoes, but they can be a pain in the brush and downfall, sometimes causing issues. Yes, sometimes it is easier to go through deep powdery snow without.
 
This reminds me of a story from someone very close to me.

Many years ago they were hunting brown bear on the Alaskan Peninsula and after 9 days of nothing decided to take some local advice and stake out the municipal dump. Extremely late in the day a bear comes in and proceeds to enter a large dumpster and right as he jumped in, a 338 round was touched off from 30 yds away. Apparently the bear refused to die, but also refused to leave the dumpster.

One of the dudes grabbed some rope and proceeded to try and lasso the bear to coax him out of the dumpster. Eventually he came up enough that another shot was taken eventually forcing the bear to die.

After the bear was confirmed dead, one guy jumped into the dumpster and tied the rope around the bear so they could lift it out.

Not quite a bear in a den, but confined space none the less on a cuddly brown bear.

“Hunt the animals where they are, not where you imagine them to be.” - Fred Bear

A50522E9-5853-4AEE-94DE-007736F8217A.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Reminds me of an encounter I had many springs ago while I was out looking for elk sheds. I was hiking around with my dog when I spotted this sow out feeding in a big open south facing bowl. I sat down about 100 yards away and watched her for awhile. Eventually she spotted my dog and ran off behind a small little rocky protrusion and disappeared. I guessed that there might be a cave or den in the rock so I went down to investigate. Sure enough she was tucked into a small cave that she had filled with dried grass. Definitely not the smartest thing I have ever done, but I have spent a lot of time around bears and she was acting very submissive so I thought I could get away with being there for a minute or two.

DSC00239.jpg

DSC00253.jpg

DSC00242.jpg

DSC00262.jpg
 
Reminds me of an encounter I had many springs ago while I was out looking for elk sheds. I was hiking around with my dog when I spotted this sow out feeding in a big open south facing bowl. I sat down about 100 yards away and watched her for awhile. Eventually she spotted my dog and ran off behind a small little rocky protrusion and disappeared. I guessed that there might be a cave or den in the rock so I went down to investigate. Sure enough she was tucked into a small cave that she had filled with dried grass. Definitely not the smartest thing I have ever done, but I have spent a lot of time around bears and she was acting very submissive so I thought I could get away with being there for a minute or two.

View attachment 251235

View attachment 251236

View attachment 251237

View attachment 251238
Looks like she was sizing you up in that last picture. mtmuley
 
Leupold BX-4 Rangefinding Binoculars

Forum statistics

Threads
111,424
Messages
1,958,217
Members
35,173
Latest member
240shooter
Back
Top