Long time quest finially fulfilled.

MHWASH

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This spring I finally killed my first bear. I've had a bad case of bear fever for a long time. Ive had several opportunities in the last several years. Some were too small, and I've missed.

This year I hunted Idaho with a guy I've know for several years here in town. He has a lot of experience hunting all over the world. Glenn offered me to hunt with him this year in a couple of remote spots. This really intrigued me because all of my past hunting experiences have been accessible by auto. This year we'd be hunting several miles from roads, and in the wilderness.

Our first trip was in the middle of April to the locsa river. The first day the weather was your typical spring weather. Cool temps with off and on showers. No bears were spotted, and we saw no sign. The next day was warm and sunny. About 2:30 I spotted a bear on the opposite ridge working in and out of the brush. We ranged him at 450, but he would not come into the open. After close to 30 minutes he was headed towards an opening and I was set to shoot. I squeezed the trigger just as he broke through the brush. After a long search, including a hike down and back up a steep creek drainage, we determined I had missed the bear. This was the only spot that I found any bear scat, apparently I was in his bedroom, be cause there was shit everywhere. Unfortunately we had to leave that night after we got back to the truck. Ended up home about midnight. Two days later my hunting partner went back and missed from almost the exact spot. Before anyone starts questioning our shooting abilities, let me assure you they we had spent several days at the range shooting out to 550 yards.
 

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MHWASH

MHWASH

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2016
Messages
311
Location
S.E.WA
On April 28th we flew into the Selway wilderness to spend a week chasing bear. We left the airport at 7:00 am, about halfway there we had to abort because of bad weather. We finally mad it in about 5:00 pm, but had no chance to hunt that night.

Although we saw a lot of beautiful country the first day, no bears were spotted. Day #2 found us hunting up river from camp. After an easy 2 mile hike we started up a very steep and long ridge ridge where we could look into the drainages on both sides. Several hours later while I was waiting for me MRE to "cook", I walked down the ridge to check out the other side. Low and behold I spotted a large bear working its way down a finger ridge across the canyon. After gathering my partner and the necessary gear, we got set up and ranged the bear @700 yards. After getting all set up, I decided I wasn't comfortable shooting this far, and my partner elected not to shoot as well. We left the bear alone so I could eat my MRE. We spotted no more bears that afternoon.
 

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MHWASH

MHWASH

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Joined
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311
Location
S.E.WA
On day3 we took the round about way to the top of the ridge that we spotted the 700 yard bear on. Turns out the round trip was 14 miles. We slowly made our way down the ridge, hitting the river trail after dark. Did not see a bear, or any sign although we saw the bear the day before.

Day 4 we headed down river again. This hunt was just over 10 miles total. We set up on a finger ridge watching the same hill side we were on. This hill side screamed bear with all the grass and several draws running up the ridge. About 2:30 I spotted about a 5' bear working it's way towards us . Of course it choose to walk behind the only tree on the whole flipping hillside. I got all setup just waiting for the bear to come out from behind the tree. Once the bear cleared the tree, I took my time waiting for the perfect shot. The range was 350 yards. When the bear turned broadside I took the shot. The bear did not act hit, but did run off. I headed over to look for blood, but ran into a very steep and draw that I didn't realize was there. Because we had marked several landmarks, my partner walked me right to where the bear had been standing. After a very thorough search I could not find any sign of a hit. I was crestfallen, I couldn't believe I had missed another bear. I had never felt so low in my hunting career.

Day 5 we went back to where we had spotted the 700 yard bear. In the past my partner had been very successful on this particular ridge. Although we finished this hunt that night without spotting another bear, I did have a bachelor heard of 5 bull Elk cross in from of me and had two white tail bucks walk within 5 yards of me.
 

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MHWASH

MHWASH

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2016
Messages
311
Location
S.E.WA
I sweet talked my wife into one more hunt with lots of promises to do a ton of honey dews before fall hunting started. Unfortunately I will not be able to fulfill those promises because I tore my ACL and meniscus in my right knee jumping my dirt bike over Memorial Day.

We left the Saturday morning before Mothers Day with a promise that I would be back either very late or very early Sunday morning. We were headed back to the Locsa where I had missed the first bear. After a 2 mile hike we hit the ridge. By 12:30 we were to the spot where I had shot from. My partner who is 64 decided he did not want to go any higher. I told him I was going as high as the new grass was emerging. I'm not sure how much elevation I gained or how far I got, but after an hour of hard hiking I spotted a bear. I'm pretty sure it was the same bear from before judging by the size. Estimated at 5.5-6'. I ranged him @ 650 yards. Too far for me. I should mention here that I left the 270 at home, and brought my much heavier 7 RM. I continued up the ridge looking for a closer shot. Distance wise I was able to close within 450, but I couldn't get above the brush for a shot. I ended up backing up to 580 where I found a nice flat spot. By this time the bear had worked back into the brush. While waiting for the bear to show it's self again, I pulled out my clippers and starting clipping branches to make sure nothing got in my way. After clearing all the brush , the bear still hadn't showed its self after a half hour. By now I was getting bored staying in one spot. I decided to do a short circle looking down into several draws coming off either side of the ridge. 3/4 of the way through my circle I look back to where I had been 10 minutes earlier, low and behold there is a bear standing there! Not the same bear because this one was much smaller. The bear can tell I'm there, but doesn't seem alarmed. I later range the yardage @ 110. I kneel down and put my crosshairs in the middle of his chest and squeeze the trigger. I made sure I took my time with the squeeze. After the shot I can find no blood, but found where his claws had dug into the dirt when he took off. It took me longer than it should have because I was looking in the wrong direction, but I ended up finding the bear 50 yards from where I shot.

To say I was elated is an understatement! Shortly after skinning my bear it starts to snow. By the time we finished skinning the ground was completely covered.
 
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MHWASH

MHWASH

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2016
Messages
311
Location
S.E.WA
Heres my first bear, 4.5' boar. Not the biggest, but I'm extatic and more hooked than before on. Ear hunting.
 

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