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Author Topic: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48  (Read 2558 times)

Offline SilkOnTheWetSide

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2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« on: May 04, 2017, 10:02:57 AM »
With high expectations in our group that someone would draw again this spring, the draw results came with high expectation.

Once they were released,  we found that two of us had drawn (Scott and Jeff), the planning began immediately.  This was the third year in a row someone in our circle had drawn, and we felt confident that we finally had everything figured out. 

The mistakes of our past hunts having been addressed, our confidence was high that we could fill two tags, despite only going 1/2 in the previous two years.  At the top of that list was learning how to effectively shoot at longer ranges.  Most of our shot opportunities were in the 5-800 yard range, and the inability to effectively make those shots was hurting us.

This last offseason included updating all of our rifles, learning how to reload and literally putting 100s of rounds down range at up to 1200 yards.  This isn't supposed to spark a debate about the "ethics" of long range, but rather understanding the realities of hunting in that unit, and what we did to remedy that.

As our chosen weekend approached, our worries about access increased as the snow just wouldn't let go in the Northern part of the unit.

Jeff wanted to maximize his hunting days, and decided to go in a day early and hiked on foot to where we wanted to hunt, and found winter still firmly holding on. He sent us a couple of pictures when he was able to get service and it became apparent that hunting bear there would not be feasible.

So we made the tough call, and rerouted to another access point that was open. On the long drive around, Scott and I poured over the maps and came up with a couple of different plans on where we wanted to focus.

But at the end of the day, we were headed in blind.

Scott and I were a few hours ahead, and we'd communicated a planned location to Jeff and Conlan who were trailing a bit.

We headed into the woods with confidence. And like all good plans, everything went to hell pretty quickly. We were unable to access our first planned location, and had to adjust to plan B immediately. But being flexible when backpack hunting is important.

So we found a decent campsite a couple of miles in, dumped our gear, then headed back to catch Jeff and Conlan before they came through and tried to head a different way. It was at this point that we nearly had a catastrophic issue. Scott stepped up onto a log, took one step and immediately slipped, a huge metallic explosion followed.

Our first thought was that the scope had shattered, but the reality of the situation was that the magazine had hit the log and the bottom had came off, throwing ammo and the mag spring in every direction. Amazingly enough, we recovered all the mag pieces and ammo and were able to put it all back together, fully functional.

I'll take a second here and say AICS mags, and ARC rings are tough as nails...and worth every penny!

On we ventured.

We setup at a junction, and took a quick breather.  We met up with Jeff and Conlan and headed in to camp. We were running out of daylight, so we slipped up above camp onto a high spot and glassed the surrounding area until dark with only a lone bull as company.

Per usual we dipped into the Bota Box of wine, got a great fire going and shared plenty of laughs in anticipation of the following mornings hunt.

We were up early the next morning just after first light getting ready to see if our cobbled together plan was going to work...




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« Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 10:21:41 AM by SilkOnTheWetSide »

Online emac

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2017, 10:54:14 AM »
Dont stop now

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Offline SilkOnTheWetSide

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2017, 11:19:10 AM »
We slowly picked our way down a drainage glassing the bottoms and tops trying to catch a motivated grazer.

After working down a ways, we decided to cut uphill and try and get to a glassing point for the rest of the day. We climbed approximately 2k feet to an upper ridge line and setup the big glass to try and find a bruin.

The sun was beating down hard and Conlan and Scott settled in for a mid day snooze, while Jeff decided to work his way around some cliffs to look into another drainage.

I told Jeff I'd be 20 min behind him, as I was checking in with the wife and the world at large since we had service on the ridge.

I'm terrible at taking naps, so while I let my feet rest for a minute I got back on the glass and started scanning. I started my grid on a lower section, and immediately spotted a bear, a big Cinnamon!

"Bear!" I said.

It was a mad scramble as we got our gear back together, I ranged him at 1650 from our glassing point.  He was very slowly feeding across, and so we began a hellish decent of a 1000 feet, which was the cause of a lot of minor wounds discovered when the adrenaline wore off. We found a good shooting position at 1175, but it was outside our comfort zone, even with good shooting conditions.

We worked in to 1000, and tried to get setup. But the big boy fed down into the timber.

We sent a text to Jeff at that point letting him know what direction we'd headed off too and came up with a plan. Conlan would stay there and watch, while we dove down into the adjacent drainage and popped up much closer to where he went in.

We were 540 yards from where we last saw him. Conlan then worked his way over, and a short time later Jeff showed up, having glassed us up from the top.

Scott and I had our first Rattlesnake encounter on the trip to that spot. I apparently stepped right over the top, and he slithered off when Scott walked up...whoops.

At this point we figured it was better then even odds that he had went and bedded down in the drainage and would probably feed back out eventually. We sent Jeff around to the far side where he would have a different angle to look down.

Scott, Conlan and I sat there on the edge trying to catch a glimpse when the report from Jeff's rifle sounded once.

I side hilled around to where I could shout to Jeff and he was pretty confident we had a bear down! Though his encounter was anything but uneventful.

He spotted the bear just below where we'd last seen him hours before. He quickly headed up to get into a shooting position, and got lit up on all sides by three rattlers!  He jumped past them, without incident and rolled his ankle in the process. But these nearly cartoonish obstacles didn't stop Jeff from making a great shot at 263 yards.

We worked down into the bottom where we stopped to fill water, as we were all borderline suffering from dehydration at this point...

I started to work my way up, and saw a couple of feet sticking up from behind a log! Big Bear Down!

It took all four of us to move this bear into position, while we had grins all around.

After pictures, butchering and loading. We finally rolled back into camp around 10 PM.

Bear was shot at 5:15.




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Offline fillthefreezer

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2017, 11:25:03 AM »
how long are you going to drag this out?  :chuckle:

Offline SilkOnTheWetSide

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2017, 11:27:49 AM »
how long are you going to drag this out?  :chuckle:

There are word limits per post!

Doing this from my phone makes it a bit more difficult...


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Offline 2MANY

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2017, 11:47:56 AM »
Doesn't look that steep.

Offline SilkOnTheWetSide

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2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2017, 11:48:00 AM »
The following morning we slept in a little bit, to try and recover some energy after a couple of grueling days on the hill including packing back Jeff's mammoth.

We hit the trail at about 8 am, leaving Jeff and Conlan in camp to trim and get ready for their load out. They both had to work, so they were packing out and heading home Sunday, while Scott and I had two more full days to hunt.

Sunday went much the same, when it came to physicality. Lots of miles, and lots of gains. Conlan's Fitbit said we were averaging about 14 miles a day with over 2k total gain.  All that off-season training was paying off!

We found a great spot in a different location to setup and while we turned up one nice chocolate, we couldn't make it happen.

On to Monday.

Monday started much the same as Sunday with the sun shining bright, and both of us in t shirts pretty quickly.

We agreed we would hike all the way back in to that spot we'd found the day before and sit there until dark.

We finally hit the ridge and glassing spot at around 1130...and we noticed the sun was gone, and the surrounding hills were quickly disappearing behind clouds and impending rain.

We quickly got our tarp setup and settled in for the long haul.

Five straight hours of precipitation, including four hours of snow followed.

Coffee and cup o noodles kept us warm and on the mountain through the storm while we waited for it to break and hopefully for a bear to feed out.

I looked down at my watch at 4:55 and noted to Scott that the rain was letting up, and it was about that time.

I looked up and saw some movement in the bottom of the draw.

"Bear!"

We had plenty of time. So scott proned out, got into position with his rear bag. I ranged him at 657 yards, double checked the kestrel on pressure. No wind.

I did my best to calm the situation (which if you've hunted with us in the past, is not usually the case 😂).

I was on the bear, and Scott squeezed slowly through the trigger.

Boom!

I saw the bear hop and go straight legged.  Took two bounds straight down the hill and then disappeared behind a tree to not emerge from the other side.

We all felt very confident, and we sent a few texts out as we started working down the hill.

We got to a point where I thought I could see the bear, busted out my spotter and confirmed he was dead right behind that tree in some slide alder!

BEAR DOWN!

Scott and I picked our way down, then struggled back up the other side, soaked to the bone with all the wet brush, and still falling rain.

We finally made it up to the bear, and tasted the success of preparation. Two bears in 48 hours.

Scott and I butchered and loaded him up, and headed back to camp with heavy packs and big smiles.

We packed up camp the next morning and headed back to the truck and civilization.

Until next year...




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« Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 01:24:39 PM by SilkOnTheWetSide »

Offline elkrack

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2017, 12:16:19 PM »
Awesome  :tup:
life's tough its tougher if your stupid (john wayne)

Offline ctwiggs1

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2017, 01:11:33 PM »
Dang that's freakin' sweet.  Great job guys.

Offline 2MANY

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2017, 02:01:14 PM »
Preparation does not come easily.
Nice work gents.

Offline tgomez

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2017, 04:26:15 PM »
Hell ya fellas! Great bear and great shared stories. Some good memories to share in the future around the camp fire. CONGRATULATIONS on a beautiful color phased bear. Your pictures are spectacular. Thanks for sharing.😀👍🍻
THE BLACK MAMBA "Deadliest on the planet!"🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍

Offline SilkOnTheWetSide

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2017, 04:33:15 PM »
Hell ya fellas! Great bear and great shared stories. Some good memories to share in the future around the camp fire. CONGRATULATIONS on a beautiful color phased bear. Your pictures are spectacular. Thanks for sharing.😀👍🍻

They aren't all my pictures, they are a compilation of mine and Conlan's. But thank you!

It's a trip I certainly won't ever forget and I didn't even pull a trigger!!!


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Offline jackelope

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2017, 04:48:44 PM »
I have the same socks.
 :tup:
:fire.:

" In today's instant gratification society, more and more pressure revolves around success and the measurement of one's prowess as a hunter by inches on a score chart or field photos produced on social media. Don't fall into the trap. Hunting is-and always will be- about the hunt, the adventure, the views, and time spent with close friends and family. " Ryan Hatfield

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Offline Timberstalker

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2017, 04:54:58 PM »
Good stuff - thanks for sharing.
Awesome country for sure.  Relentless and unforgiving - but awesome. :tup:
If you aint hunting, you aint livin'

Offline ctwiggs1

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2017, 06:12:46 PM »
What's the sweet coffee thingy I see in that pic? 

Offline elkoholic1

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2017, 06:16:07 PM »
 :tup: :tup:

Offline 7mag.

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2017, 07:18:35 PM »
Right on guys, and great write up Trav. Next year it's my turn. Congrats again to Jeff and Scott.
Semper Fi. USMC

Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2017, 07:29:46 PM »
how long are you going to drag this out?  :chuckle:

English Major......  :chuckle:  good story!

Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2017, 11:12:33 PM »
You cross that stream there?  Better pack my wiggys.....

Offline fillthefreezer

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2017, 08:34:51 AM »
What's the sweet coffee thingy I see in that pic?
its just a silicone coffee filter holder. works pretty well. i used one all over south america, at least once a day.

https://www.amazon.com/GSI-Outdoors-79480-Collapsible-Coffee/dp/B002YT2CII/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1493998475&sr=8-3&keywords=java+drip

Offline bearpaw

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2017, 09:02:43 AM »
great bear and story
Americans are systematically advocating, legislating, and voting away each others rights. Support all user groups & quit losing opportunity!

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Offline ctwiggs1

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2017, 09:06:51 AM »
Oh man that is cool - do you fit it over your jetboil??  This is probably going into my pack this year - boiling up a Via every hour on rainy day gets old quick.

Offline fillthefreezer

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2017, 09:47:07 AM »
Oh man that is cool - do you fit it over your jetboil??  This is probably going into my pack this year - boiling up a Via every hour on rainy day gets old quick.
no, it justs rests on your mug. pour water over from jetboil like a coffee maker. one jetboil makes 2 solid mugs of coffee

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2017, 10:12:50 AM »
Way to get it done LT!

Offline saylean

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2017, 10:29:20 AM »
Doesn't look very steep there at all.

Great bears boys. You did a heck of a job! Congrats to you all. Thanks for the write up and pics.
Author of "No Bait Just Bears" and "The Ultimate Guide To Black Bear Hunting". Follow on Instagram: bozeandbears.

Offline kselkhunter

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2017, 10:36:55 AM »
Congrats.  Great story.

Offline Shawn Ryan

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2017, 01:48:05 PM »
Silk, Good writing. Sounds like a hard but super great hunt.  That big bear looks amazingly huge. If you have more pics, I'd love to see them. Good job on staying flexible on how you access that area.  Hopefully, you are a shooter next year, even though, being a spotter appears to make you smile pretty well.

FTF, congratulations, again.  Nice bear. Way to keep Silk busy hauling bacon.

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2017, 02:32:05 PM »
Nice work!  :tup:

Offline SilkOnTheWetSide

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #28 on: May 05, 2017, 04:08:48 PM »
Silk, Good writing. Sounds like a hard but super great hunt.  That big bear looks amazingly huge. If you have more pics, I'd love to see them. Good job on staying flexible on how you access that area.  Hopefully, you are a shooter next year, even though, being a spotter appears to make you smile pretty well.

FTF, congratulations, again.  Nice bear. Way to keep Silk busy hauling bacon.

It really is fun, even when you don't have a tag. I mean watching critters is always fun...


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Offline bowhunterforever

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #29 on: May 06, 2017, 08:36:54 PM »
Nice work :tup:
You know how to skin griz pilgram

Offline Ripper

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #30 on: May 07, 2017, 08:32:38 AM »
Great bears, great pics and write up. Proof that hunting isn't just about the killing. I feel the same way you do, even without pulling the trigger, a successfull hunt full of great memories. Did you mention what unit you were In? I don't remember seeing that.
I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I'm not!

Offline CaNINE

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2017, 02:13:45 PM »
thanks for sharing your experience with us.  great pics and story.  and two fantastic bears.  Wenaha?
The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.

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Offline DOUBLELUNG

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2017, 02:39:43 PM »
Thank you for sharing the pics and story - awesome!
As long as we have the habitat, we can argue forever about who gets to kill what and when.  No habitat = no game.

Offline Rufous

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Re: 2017 Spring Roundup: 2 in 48
« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2017, 11:08:58 AM »
I too am curious what unit you were hunting in. When I lived in WA I did spring bear hunts in Blue Creek, Dayton and Wenaha. Miss it terribly.

 

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