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Author Topic: First bear ever - BIG boar down!  (Read 5827 times)

Offline Scvette

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Re: First bear ever - BIG boar down!
« Reply #45 on: October 22, 2017, 07:02:54 AM »
Someone get a rope!!!!!   :yike: :bash:

Offline Timberstalker

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Re: First bear ever - BIG boar down!
« Reply #46 on: October 22, 2017, 07:13:48 AM »
@Rainier10
Use that ban hammer, asap!

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Offline O. hemionus

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Re: First bear ever - BIG boar down!
« Reply #47 on: October 22, 2017, 09:07:57 AM »
Just for the record - I can be a bit long-winded, but that is what makes a good story, right?  :rolleyes: Here's a start...I'll keep hammering away.

We stopped on this ridge to glass down into the deep draw and to glass the wide bowl that formed at the mouth of the draw and continued uphill. The opposite ridge was mostly bare of trees and looked like an excellent spot to catch a deer funneling up from thick brush and timber that lined the bottom of the draw. The timber in the bottom grew increasingly thicker as the draw descended further and further down, until the draw widened out and met up with the draw from the next canyon over. This formed a dense “hell-hole” of cover, and one that looked extremely enticing to explore (save for the steep descent down into it and the inevitable grueling climb back out). I turned to look at my dad and made a half-joke about all the deer probably hiding down in this hole. He laughed me off and pretty much told me there was no way in this world we were going down there. His back had been giving him trouble all week, and I couldn’t blame him for not wanting to hike down in there and back up. Still…it sure looked like a cool spot to explore…

We continued moving from the ridge top across the bowl that formed the head of the draw, to the other side that we had been glassing earlier. Every few minutes, I would joke with my dad about being ready to dive down into the timbered hole at the bottom of the draw; this was followed by a chuckle and an eye-roll from him every time. As we approached the eastern ride of the draw, the sound of ravens squawking and cackling finally came forward to my consciousness. I must have been hearing the sound for several minutes, but not registering it. After recognizing it wfor what it was, I made a comment to my dad suggesting that those ravens must be mad about something, given all the ruckus they were making. I listened for a minute or two longer, then mused out-loud that I found it interesting and odd that the ravens weren’t making all of this noise from the top of a tree as one would expect. Instead, the noise was originating from down near the ground, amongst the brush and timber at the bottom of the draw. We slowly walked a few more yards, then decided to sit down on the hillside to give dad’s back a rest. While sitting, I attempted to isolate where the ravens were at. In doing so, we saw a pair of magpies and a Steller’s jay homing in on the same area and swooping back up repeatedly. A raven proceeded to chase off one of the magpies. I had just mentioned to Dad earlier in the day about how ravens and crows often purposefully created a ruckus to attract predators to a a fresh carcass to make it easier for them to scavenge; I think I read this in my undergrad Animal Behavior textbook many years back. I deduced, and told my Dad, that there must be a deer carcass or a wounded deer down there for all those Corvids to be congregating in one place. Maybe a hunter-wounded buck, or a dead one that was shot and never recovered?

My curiosity got the best of me, and I told my dad that I was thinking about diving down there to investigate. He gave me a dubious look and sad something to the effect of, “You had better not shoot something all the way down there.” Well, I couldn’t take it any longer and so I told him I just had down there to check it out. “You go right ahead, I’ll stay right here,” was his response. I slowly descended into the abyss, trying to dodge the balsamroot leaves and their dry, echoing crackle on my way down – but not being very effective at it. All the while, that old saying of “curiosity killed the cat” kept playing in the back of my mind.

I finally reached the brushy bottom and paused to again try and pinpoint where the ravens were coming from – it was just ahead of me, slightly upslope, to the right. I crossed the bottom and casually made my way upslope 15 yards or so. At this point, I knew I had to be close to the location of activity. As I approached a small stand of 8’-10’ saplings, approx. 2” in diameter, maybe two or three trees deep, I heard something explode and flush up just on the other side of the saplings, less than 10 yards away! So went my stream of consciousness at the time:

“Oh shoot, I just jumped something!”
“Oh shoot, maybe it was a predator feeding on a carcass! Quick, better try and get it to stop!”
(I make three rapid small-animal-in-distress cries with my mouth)
“Oh shoot, I better dive through those saplings to see what it was, pronto!”

Offline O. hemionus

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Re: First bear ever - BIG boar down!
« Reply #48 on: October 22, 2017, 09:22:25 AM »
This whole process spanned about four total seconds. Then if popped the safety off of my 7mm magnum, flipped the rear scope cap up, and scrambled through the row of saplings. I was hunched over and nearly crawling, and looked down amongst the saplings to see tufts of deer hair everywhere. But no time to stop and look – in 2 seconds, I was out the other side and immediately standing up to see a bear running off, roughly 50 yards away. As I stood up, my gun came to my shoulder and I remember thinking, “Wow. Big bear. Shoot!” Unfortunately, all I could see was a big black rump bobbing away fast, and I immediately decided against the Texas heart shot. Then, at 70 yards, for some reason the bear stopped running side-hill down the canyon and paused to glance down into the bottom of the draw to his right. That was all the opportunity I needed. As he turned his head, the length of the neck between the front shoulder and base of the head became visible. He was 95% straight away from me, but quartered enough that my 160 grain Accubond (thanks, carpsniperg2) slipped just forward of the front shoulder to smash into the base of the neck. The bear dropped like a sack of rocks, and I chambered another round instinctively, ready for a follow-up shot.
This entire process, from the time I first jumped the bear, to the time I chambered a second round, could not have taken more than 7 or 8 seconds. With the second round loaded, I kept trying to get a bead on the flailing arms and legs as the bear tumbled and rolled down the hill and out of sight. I had been bear hunting several times already this year, and regularly reminded myself of the advice that I had read on the bear hunting threads – continue shooting until the bear stops moving. I immediately raced to where I saw the bear go down and looked at the bottom of the draw to see the bear piled up and resting on its back at the base of the draw. I held the crosshairs on the beautiful, white, “Y” mark on his chest as he gave a few final twitches before finally relaxing, dead.

Offline O. hemionus

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Re: First bear ever - BIG boar down!
« Reply #49 on: October 22, 2017, 09:24:52 AM »
After I had gotten to where the bear rolled down the hill and stared down in disbelief at my first bear lying 40 yards below me, I heard my dad yell down from the top of the canyon, “Need me to come down there?” “YEP!” I hollered back. I waited a few minutes for him to get down the canyon and over to where I was – I wanted both of us to go down and see the bear together up close for the first time. Before we went down to the bear though, we backtracked to where I was at the time of the shot and looked around. There, just on the other side of the saplings I crawled through, was a partially consumed muley doe carcass. After conducting a very brief necropsy and looking around at the surrounding evidence, I was fairly certain that the doe had been actually killed by a cougar that morning or late the night before, but that the bear must have interrupted the cat’s dinner and helped himself to the doe. I shot the bear at 1540 hrs, and judging by the number of piles of bear scat around the carcass, this bear had been busy feed for quite some time. I counted at least 3 large piles adjacent to the carcass, with all 3 approaching the volume (and shape) of a medium-sized football. I didn’t try it, but I was pretty sure one scat mass was solid and compressed enough that it could have been picked up and even thrown like a football! Don’t ask me how a bear produces such a fecal mass – even after spending much time throughout my life identifying and photographing scat, I still have no idea.

This first picture shows the deer carcass off to the left and the saplings I crawled through off to the right.

« Last Edit: October 22, 2017, 01:36:50 PM by O. hemionus »

Offline Timberstalker

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Re: First bear ever - BIG boar down!
« Reply #50 on: October 22, 2017, 09:57:46 AM »
 :yike: :tup:
If you aint hunting, you aint livin'

Offline Smokepole

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Re: First bear ever - BIG boar down!
« Reply #51 on: October 22, 2017, 11:52:15 AM »
Sasquatch.  They have the big foot.

Offline O. hemionus

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Re: First bear ever - BIG boar down!
« Reply #52 on: October 22, 2017, 01:49:46 PM »
After looking at the kill site, we excitedly walked back over to the location the bear was standing at when I shot him. There was no blood anywhere on the ground – just a piled-up bear at the base of the hill. We finally walked down to him. High-fives, a bear hug, and a prayer of thanksgiving for the life of this bear and the amazing experience ensued, followed by several photographs of the bear. He was a monster of a bear – definitely no ground shrinkage here! Quite the opposite, really. We rolled him over (barely) and measured the boar out with a small tape measure I keep in my pack. He came out to 5’ 10” from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail. I could barely lift his head up, it was that heavy. The paws were huge too! Bigger than my hands or my boots. The white chest mark he had was a very cool piece of character to go with the perfectly black and intact hide, with hair approx. 4” long. The teeth looked to be in their prime. This was one heck of a first bear, and I was stoked. The 160 grain Accubond went in one side of the neck and out the other, turning the whole neck region into what looked like a bowl of Jello. But, as far as I can tell, the bullet left just a small entrance and a small exit wound on either side and did virtually zero damage to the hide! Pretty impressed with my first experience using the Accubonds.

In terms of the bear’s weight, we estimated him to be at the 400-lb. + mark. I had killed a muley buck with my dad in 2011 just two canyons over that the butcher estimated at 220 lbs. This bear was MUCH bigger than that buck, and was much harder to move. Two years ago, I also tranquilized a problem bear in Alabama that was weighed at 320 pounds when it was poached a month later. This bear that I had just shot was at least another 1/3 as big in size as the bear I darted in Alabama, plus more. Also, the gut on this bear was impressive. When skinned out, his gut full of deer looked like a big balloon. I wish I could have gotten a chance to weigh the whole bear, but that wasn’t a reality.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2017, 01:56:56 PM by carpsniperg2 »

Offline carpsniperg2

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Re: First bear ever - BIG boar down!
« Reply #53 on: October 22, 2017, 01:51:20 PM »
Excellent and dandy bear!!!! Glad you got to lay the accubond smack down on one :IBCOOL:
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Offline O. hemionus

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Re: First bear ever - BIG boar down!
« Reply #54 on: October 22, 2017, 01:53:00 PM »
Thanks! Any chance you or one of the other Mods could rotate that last picture for me?

Offline O. hemionus

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Re: First bear ever - BIG boar down!
« Reply #55 on: October 22, 2017, 01:56:39 PM »
Wow, need more pics!  That looks huge, need a skull measurement NOW!!!

Thanks, no skull measurement yet. I put the head and hide in the freezer, so I'll have to wait until I drop it off at the taxidermist and get the skull finished before I get any measurements. From reading on here, it seems like the avg. size of a WA bear is about 200 lbs. I doubt this is close to a record bear, but should I have it officially measured?  :dunno: It doesn't matter to me a whole lot, but it would be cool if it was close to a record. I have no idea.

Offline BreezyBear

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Re: First bear ever - BIG boar down!
« Reply #56 on: October 22, 2017, 01:57:08 PM »
Outstanding!!  Congratulations!!   :tup:

Offline carpsniperg2

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Re: First bear ever - BIG boar down!
« Reply #57 on: October 22, 2017, 01:58:39 PM »
You got it :tup:
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Offline O. hemionus

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Re: First bear ever - BIG boar down!
« Reply #58 on: October 22, 2017, 01:59:05 PM »
Thanks! Any chance you or one of the other Mods could rotate that last picture for me?

Thank you very much for fixing that, carpsniperg2!

Offline tlbradford

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Re: First bear ever - BIG boar down!
« Reply #59 on: October 22, 2017, 03:50:32 PM »
That bear is in its absolute prime.  super healthy.  How do you know it's a boar?  :chuckle:
Dreams are forever on the mind, realization in the hands.

 

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