Long Range Bear Hunting
Typically my spring is full of walleye fishing and yard work but I wanted to change it up some for 2015. After an unsuccessful draw for spring bear in my home state of Washington, I was headed to Idaho with an OTC black bear tag in my pocket. After a few phone calls to a good friend from the area, my hunting partner Justin Crossley and I picked a weekend in April and it was now “hurry up and wait”.
We left Thursday after work and headed to a spot to rendezvous with a few friends that we would share camp with. Three and half days of hard hunting gave us multiple bears spotted but they were either too small or too far away. We headed home empty handed, fully anticipating on getting back at some point before the season ended.
Memorial Day weekend wasn’t very far off and I didn’t have plans. So back to Idaho we went. This time just Justin and I. We went to a new spot that neither of us had been before. After a few hours of getting the lay of the land, we settled into a nice glassing point and we had the whole south side of the basin in our spotters. About midday, I spotted a bear come over a saddle at the top of the basin. We ranged it and I got behind the rifle. The bear never gave us a good shot before going back over the top. I was disappointed but it was a good sign. Early in the evening I was glassing some green thick brush across the canyon and I picked out a dark animal. I knew immediately it was bear. We watched it feed in and out of the brush for about 10 minutes before it came into the open and I made the decision to shoot it. Justin ranged for me and told me what to dial for. 665 yards. I settled the crosshairs behind the shoulder and waited for Justin to say he was ready. With the squeeze of the trigger I saw a puff of dust behind the bear and I immediately thought I missed high. The bear disappeared and I looked back to Justin and he said “killed it”. We watched the footage and confirmed that it was a perfect shot.
After packing up our gear and making sure we had fresh batteries in our headlamps, we hiked over towards where we last saw the bear. It took us about 30 seconds to pick up a massive blood trail. It wasn’t much farther and we were taking pictures. After skinning the bear out and packing all the meat in our Kifaru packs, we headed back to the truck under the glow of our headlamps.
Another day of hunting yielded bad weather and no bears. Thankful to have notched my tag, we headed out of the mountains to get my hide sealed and make the long drive home. With a freezer shelf of great tasting bear meat, this was a hunt that will not soon be forgotten.
By: Brock Akers | GotHunts.com Prostaffer
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