A Berry Good Bear Hunt

I go back to my half warm victory beer and wait for my heart rate to slow down again.




This ol’ chap decided to join me while I was filling my cap with wild raspberries one fine spring day in June. I follow him and another male, a brown, for a couple hours till they are uphill from where I know my truck is parked.. Since I have my 30-06 with me and a bear tag for the season I decide to flank them for a clear downhill shot.

Never before had I seen two males travel together. They are talking to each other from time to time as it began to drizzle rain. Neat noises, like moaning grunts. I always wonder what animals are saying to each other. Are these two boars chatting about the weather? Or maybe regaling stories of all the juicy apples they had eaten the fall before in the orchards just down the hill.

Noticing their steady direction of travel I move a long ways ahead of them, finding a comfortable spot to calm down after my hike. A ten minute or so breather they walk into view… 240 yards down hill and about 10% grade, not a bad spot. I take the black since the brown was skinny and a little rough looking, I want nice healthy meat. He goes down clean, with a grunt, taking a single 180 grain soft point to the heart.

It is raining hard now. I used every rope and chain I have to hook him up after dragging his mass the 200 yards or so downhill by myself to the trail leading to my parking spot. Over logs and around rocks I stumble as I continue to yard and shift his weight. I sure hope he doesn’t wake up! Using a heavy ratchet strap for a winch, it arrives at my truck. It’s all I can do to tug it aboard using my tail gate as a ramp!

Meanwhile the other male has been shadowing at 40 yards and I feel the need to keep my rifle loaded and ready every inch of my journey. He doesn’t sound happy. I yell and toss small stones nearby as I cannot keep an eye on him while I’m dressing the beast out. He finally leaves and I can finish loading my harvest without threat of retaliation from his buddy. It is sad to see their attachment broken but I need meat for the Summer and these guys had been tearing up the local orchards steady for a couple years.

 

I’m totally soaked now from sweat and rain. Stripping to only a t-shirt, I try to cool off in the June 15th shower. After a good cleaning and rest I leave the entrails for the scavengers. Nothing gets wasted in the bush! And wouldn’t you know?.. As I start into my packed lunch I hear a noise and look over my right shoulder, startling a female coyote coming over to claim her prize. Incredible how quickly they can move in on a fresh kill. Being the third day hunting alone in a row I’m too tired to make much noise. I go back to my half warm victory beer and wait for my heart rate to slow down again. ~Scott