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Author Topic: Huckleberry Boar Down  (Read 9991 times)

Offline high country

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Huckleberry Boar Down
« on: May 15, 2017, 03:03:33 PM »
Pardon my poor english skills as I am much better thing doer than sayer. I had the luxury of pulling my third Washington spring bear tag this year. I had not really spent much time in the 121 looking for bears specifically, but I did pick the ever loving crap out of the mushrooms here last year so I figured we could get int some this year and combo a bear hunt, as a bonus....its as close to home as the hunts come.

I put several trips in this year to various sections of the unit only to find that the whole area is largely inaccessible thanks to slides, floods and basically everything else mom nature could toss us. I was super bummed to find a total of about 5lbs of mushrooms this whole year and momma bear was not diggin' going where we were to not see any sign of mushrooms no bear sign. I spent almost a month looking and by the time I had shot my bear I had only seen a few and almost zero bear sign....but the sign I did see kept showing up in the same areas, so I worked those over.

The weather in our area was pretty much as bad as it can be for hunting big bears. The only ground that was accessible consistently was private and I was looking for a public land bear to ease the pressure on public land deer and elk. I spent a pile of hours behind my spotter and binos trying to make stumps move....but nada.

The first action of the year came about two weeks ago. we had watched some areas for several hours and getting on about 1pm I figured the bears were not here, or not moving. I had picked out several landmarks and ranged them as building LR guns is my hobby and I had my newest pet with me, so I decided to test some wind calls.

I popped a rock on a far hill and felt really good about my call and was just talking it over with my 7 year old spotter about what we just did and when I turned to show him where the bullet flight went, I noticed a turkey on the we glassed it. I t was no turkey, it was a nice solid boar! I put him in the spotter and had my boy watch him. This is the first time Ive seen a live bear in our unit and he has never watched a live bear so we keep him in the glass as he feeds for a half hour or so. I have a bunch of black bears and this is a big bear, but not exactly what I want and having not seen a single hunter yet this year we agree to let it walk.

I return two days later and wear out my binoculars searching for other bears and just can't make it happen so I returned to my vantage point and work the glass for 20 minutes or so and sure enough, he is on the same ridge as before.....but my feelings haven't changed. if I get close on time, I will take it out of the meat eater pool, but until then....I will let him walk.

 I did a bit of driving around and was looking to set some cams up to see if this area is just no longer holding bears as its been close to the fire or am I just not seeing them. I happen upon a lot of wolf crap and moose poop. My heart sinks as they had a tough winter and the amount of scat is staggering.....then it happens. I see an actual bear track! I could not be happier. I shut down and bust out the big eyes and do everything in my power to make a stump move.....but no dice. I run every road and trail in the area and near as I can tell, this is an isolated incident, but its a start!

A couple of days pass and the Mrs wants to go look for mushrooms and I can't get in the rig fast enough. We get into my prospect area and find some FRESH scat and more tracks......not 1000 yards from the last stuff. BOOM, we are in his bedroom. We sneak out ASAP and grab a ridge about 2K yards away and try to spot dice.

I return the next morning with about 4 hours in my schedule to hunt and I spend it glassing and glassing some more. I just can't find this guy, but I know he lives here and we have raked the road every day we come and there is nobody working this area, so I don't suspect its been blown out or killed.......its got to be my timing.

I get home and I am bummed that I can't put eyes on this one. its got good track size and I have the area to myself, but I haven't been able to spend a dawn to dusk day here I got to fix that. I run it past the Mrs and she is quick to inform me that I have some morning obligations at the school but we *could* get out for a till dark hunt if I promise to not hunt Mother's Day......seems reasonable.

We load up the whole clan of 5 kids and enough peanut butter and honey to last a week and hit the road. It is about noon when I get to the area I want to work. The kids want to shoot bb guns and act crazy, momma wants to read and offers to keep an eye on them.....It's not perfect, but it's what a father of 5 can swing the day before mothers day.

I bail off for a far ridge about 1/2 to 3/4 mile away and after about 200 yards I can't hear the kids screaming and playing....that was my worst fear. Looking back I realize that I both screwed up and blessed myself by not bringing my rifle to glass with me. I spent a couple hours working the area and still see nothing but a few deer.

 I am walking back to my family on a grassed over road and only about 1/4 mile from them and I spot movement below me! I toss my glasses up and BINGO big chocolate boar coming right to the kids @ a few hundred yards out! I run as fast as my old fat arse can to get the kids to be quiet and get them in a safe spot. I cant see the bear from here as the terrain just doesnt allow it.....So I grab my rifle and move to a spot to cover the last spot I saw him. I get there and I see nothing. I glass the timber and can tell the hill has a deep ravine that splits as it moves up the hill.....I'm well above it. It's my best guess that the boar took a right into the ravine and either bailed from the commotion, or was just taking the easy route for a while. I bank on the change in direction.

I have to cover about 1,000 yards to get to where I can set up to cover both ravines from one spot. the wind is mildly swirling and the hail is coming and going. the sond cover is great from the hail, but the wind has me nervous as heck! I have made it about 600 of the 1,000 yards I needed to cover and suddenly feel the slightest breeze on the back of my neck......CRAP! I take two steps so I can see down to the bottom of the hill as I was using cover and I figure I better look now before my sent blows everything out. I'm all set up to glass, rifle slung, bino case open as I am reaching for the glasses and moving to get my vantage set up as quick as I can without drawing visual attention to myself......I can see over the edge and something is very different this time....

Right smack in front of me is a 31" diameter PUMPKIN HEAD! We are not an inch over 10 feet apart right now. I run about 14,000 different scenarios through my head in less time than it takes to blink. I don't feel like I can swing my rifle in time if he decides to head north......but I have also never shot anything with my 10mm besides stumps and rocks. After about a nano second I have the 1911 coming to aim and the safety dropping the bear is just raising his head due to my movement as I cross the best line I have on taking out stuff I know he needs to live I let the 10 bark.

200 grains of hornady's XTP slam into his head and I hope travel to his spine or something that will take the fight out of him. I see the impact and blood sprays out both ears on impact. bear INSTANTLY goes over backwards and rolls down the hill. he stops about 80 yards from me. I already have my rifle trained on him, but he is leaking BAD from his nose and ears......a great sign.

I slip back quietly as I figure he is dead, but given the emotions I best just let myself calm down and be sure he is done. I race back to the family and they are all sitting down having a sandwich asking why im in such a hurry. BIG BOAR DOWN! I say. We mob to the bear as it has been about 20 minutes and it has not twitched so I bail off the hill with my camera and cell to get some pics and figure out how to get out of this mess. Pretty soon the whole tribe is down with me including the 14month old baby in a backpack on momma.

We shoot some pics and talk about how this played out and get rigged up to get home. I had the kids hunt down my brass and it was about 15' from blood to brass! We get all the gear out and bring the bear up to where we can work on it.....and you know how the rest of these stories go.....lots of work, some cussing, wondering why you didn't shoot a big bear uphill......yada yada.

enough with the is some pics!

Offline high country

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Re: Huckleberry Boar Down
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2017, 03:05:32 PM »

Offline high country

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Re: Huckleberry Boar Down
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2017, 03:07:38 PM »

Offline high country

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Re: Huckleberry Boar Down
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2017, 03:09:53 PM »
My last spring bears. The Huckleberry bear is surely a bigger bear. Spring hunts have been good to me.

« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 07:18:27 AM by high country »

Offline Timberstalker

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Re: Huckleberry Boar Down
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2017, 03:17:33 PM »
Awesome bear and great story!  Well spent family time. :tup:
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Offline bobcat

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Re: Huckleberry Boar Down
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2017, 03:18:04 PM »
That's awesome, great looking bear and to take it with a handgun at 10 feet is amazing.

Offline gaddy

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Re: Huckleberry Boar Down
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2017, 03:20:41 PM »
WOW! Cool story, great bear, and to have the fam close by- AWESOME!

Offline acrim

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Re: Huckleberry Boar Down
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2017, 03:26:05 PM »
Great story and spot on with your shot !

Offline tlbradford

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Re: Huckleberry Boar Down
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2017, 03:30:20 PM »
Great story High Country!  What a treat to have all the family with you.  No doubt about where that bullet went in.  That skull will look very cool.
Dreams are forever on the mind, realization in the hands.

Offline Yakirack

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Re: Huckleberry Boar Down
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2017, 03:48:27 PM »
That's a dandy, nice job!

Offline wooltie

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Re: Huckleberry Boar Down
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2017, 03:50:09 PM »
Where'd you retrieve the bullet from?  You thumped it's skull head on?

Offline wheels

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Re: Huckleberry Boar Down
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2017, 03:50:22 PM »
awesome bear and story

Offline bearpaw

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Re: Huckleberry Boar Down
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2017, 03:50:47 PM »
sweet, good going  :tup:
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Offline Gringo31

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Re: Huckleberry Boar Down
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2017, 03:57:52 PM »
One you'll never forget!

(the kids either)  :tup:
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Offline BlackRiverTaxidermy

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Re: Huckleberry Boar Down
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2017, 04:55:44 PM »
Awesome bear, love the color and seeing the kiddos along. Congrats!!
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