It is kind of funny that at the very beginning of this hunt I told my son we were not going to kill an ugly bear, we would let the ugly ones walk!
I guess that did not work out so well for us. I shot about the ugliest faced bear I have ever seen but at the same time it is kind of cool in my opinion.
The story goes like this:
I had been planning on hunting on Sunday on my own however my 9 year old son kept begging me to let him go, so I finally gave in. At first this was just going to be my hunt but I soon decided to make it an either one of us hunt. What I told him was if the opportunity was right I would let him shoot my bear. If not then I would fill my tag and he can still fill his moms tag when we get her out hunting.
We went into my tree stand location first to check the trail cam. It had nothing worth even looking at on it so we headed to the stand by location (this was actually where I planned to hunt anyway).
We got to our glassing spot about 3 in the afternoon, it was a nice day and felt good to sit in the sun and spend some quality time with my son telling and showing him the what’s and whys of glassing for bears. At about 4:30 I spotted some deer in a cut about 550 yards away acting very nervous. I quickly scanned the huge cut for signs of what spooked them when they bolted out of the cut.
To my surprise a small bear came out of the bottom they had ran to.As I watched this bear I could tell it was rubbed out on one side and not a shooter, but it was acting funny also. The little bear run up the cut and into the timber at the top. At this point I was kind of confused because it just did not make sense??? The deer at the top got spooked and ran to the bottom, and then a little bear comes out of the bottom and runs to the tops??? Well I got my answer when I saw what looked like a big and very beautiful bear come out of the bottom and follow the trail of the smaller bear. As it disappeared into the timber I told my son “that is a shooter bear”.
Well 5 minutes later the little bear comes out of the timber on a dead run and heads down the cut, but side hilling a little to a corner of the cut I was on I could not see. Then just like before here comes the big bear! Cody and I grabbed my gun, binos and range finder, ran up the road to see if they would come out where we could see them. Sure enough about the time we got there the little bear (about a 100-125 pounder) popped out of the timber waking up hill to us and then went back in. I ranged him 200 yards hard downhill. I knew the big bear would be coming out soon as I trying to get my gun setup and leveled for the shot - out it came. My heart was racing and my son was saying “There it is shoot it”.
I got on the gun quick and knew I was going to have to take a moving shot (not my favorite thing to do).
I got the cross hairs where I wanted and the bear was about 2 steps from disappearing in the timber, so I let one go. The bear rolled and looked like it was down. Out of nowhere it got to its front legs and ran down the hill. I let a 2nd shot go and rolled it again at this point it disappeared. I called Rich as I knew he was on his way and told him not to go to the other side to glass but that I just shot one and to come help us.
As I was on the phone with Rich I spotted the bear again but I was not sure it was down for good. Cody (my son) and I ran back and got our packs (this is where the rest of the bullets were) and then headed down to a different vantage point. Once we got to where I could see the bear I saw its head move and that is when I first noticed how gray the face was. This bear still looked big and looked very old. I sent another round which missed but got the bear moving again the 4th round hit home and bear stopped moving. Just for good measure I sent a 5th that seemed to have no affect on the bear (yes I had to shoot 5 times).
At this point I look up to see Rich on the road with his camera, he made is way down to us and I pointed out the bear that still looked big to me. We headed down and as we got close I could tell I made a mistake with the size. While it was an ok sized bear, it was very short and I knew right way it was a sow.
We got to her and I was disappointed that I had shot a sow (not my target animal), however she will make some good pepperoni and she does have a beautiful coat (face not so much). She looked very old to me and the best part is my son got to see a bear harvested and he cannot wait to go kill one with me and his mom.
Rich and I made short work of her, loaded up the packs and made the 1 mile hike out to the trucks.
All in all it was a great day in the woods and while I was a little disappointed, I would not trade the day for anything.
On a side note my son is a tick magnet, he picked off 15 ticks on the ride home, I had 1.
Here are some pictures
The view looking down to the bears resting place
what we found when we got there
the view heading out