SPRING BEAR 2012

Help Support Ruger Forum:

sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,835
Location
soda springs, idaho
Finally found my camera, I was starting to get worried, figured maybe Callshot had pawned it for a glass of water.
Our recent 6 day bear hunt turned into part of 2 days. We got rained on, then snow & wind, then more rain......did I mention it rained, holy cow did it rain. We sat in the camper day after day, at least we had several movies to watch including North & South, great movie.
The wind picked up our awning & took it 50 yds into a large pond.

100_3280.jpg

When we finally got out we had to go slow with the 4 wheelers through 11 miles of mud! We hadn't been on the mountain 10 minutes & spotted our first bears, over the next 6 hours we had spotted 15 total, mostly sows with 2 little Obamas in tow, but 3 were shooters.
As we prepared to make a stalk on a nice Cinammon phase bear a snow storm moved in & swallowed us up like Hoover & a Huckleberry shake. We hunkered down under some pines & waited but the storm hung in there for 2 hrs & we decided that Ruth Ann's cooking was more inviting than sitting there freezing to death.
I have a grandson thats 13 & this was his first bear hunt, he did smoke a very nice 4X4 muley buck with me last fall but he had a dose of bear fever that wasn't going to go away until he whacked one.
The next partial day we got back up there quite late again because of the mud, just couldn't make any time. Still we managed to locate more bears including the same Cinammon boar we had spotted the day before. He was in the small little draw except 200 yds lower, he was busy munching on fresh green grass, sun flowers & wild onions.
When a bear feeds it doesn't pay much attention to whats going on around it, they are the supreme predator (except for wolves) & unless they hear or smell something they just keep right on eating. If you are hunting spot & stalk like we always do & you are quiet & have the wind you can slip right in on a bear & kick him right in the Biden (Joe).
With his dad coaching they started to close the gap, since I was about a mile away I didn't know what was taking place until I heard a faint echo roll up the valley, its always a good thing when you only hear one shot.
There is some of the finest bear hunting in the US in central Idaho. Just draw a straight line from Boise over to the Montana border & all the way to Canada & you have prime bear hunting, much of it you can take 2 bears.

100_3284.jpg



Using a custom 243, same one he torched the muley with he went prone while dad shot the bear with the range finder, Mr. Ziess whispered....375 yds. Telling Ridge where to hold & to take his time he sent a Federal factory load whistling across 375 yds of some of the prettiest country in Idaho & center punched his first bruin. It was hugs & dancing as father & son shared a moment that will last forever, those times are special & I remember them well.
After waking up another grandson (Brock) we headed up the long mountain & soon found them getting their packs ready. After dropping off the mountain, crossing a small stream & climbing 2/3's the way up Mt. McKinley (felt like it) we found Ridges bear, what a dandy, probably a 4 yr old boar, nice big head, long powerful claws & a pelt that would have been fabulous 10 days ago, he had done quite a bit of rubbing, indicating the bears had been out for several days.
This is a mammy & 2 Obammys at about 900 yds.

100_3283.jpg

This is Ridge's Cinammon phase boar taken at 375 yds.

100_3287.jpg


100_3295.jpg

This is the proud mom with her 4 son's.

100_3289.jpg

These bears are muscled up like Fermin & have paws like Hoover.

100_3292.jpg

We normally go a week to 10 days earlier but for various reasons this one was later. Mom & the 2 little boys had watched the whole show & everybody was having a great time. After helping skin the bear & removing one front shoulder I bid them farewell & took off with Brock to hunt another area. We had a long way to go & it was late afternoon.
After waking Brock up (again) I point across a long canyon to a black spot that was moving across the bottom part of a grassy meadow. After making a quick check for cubs I decided this bear was a shooter & took off. Ridges bear was just over 5 feet, a nice boar, nothing like his dads monster from a few years ago but a very respectable first bear. This Blackie 800 yds from me appeared to be a bit bigger than Ridges bear so I knew it was worth the chase.
The wind was blowing up the canyon, I'm on one side, mr. bear is on the other side & theres a small stream in the bottom, perfect. I had to keep the wind in my favor, if I crossed over the bear would have me in 2 seconds, there nose is amazing, I had to make the stalk from my side, at least until I got beyond the bear & then make my final approach.
Even though I didn't have my fast Croc's on I closed the gap fairly fast, I was mostly walking straight without any uphill or downhill travel. At 200 yds the bear was looking bigger all the time, he's still stuffing fresh grass in his mouth & I'm quite pleased so far. I am a little concerned about running out of time, it was about 6:45 & I needed to make something happen in the next hour.
The bear would feed out of sight for 5 minutes or so & then feed right out in the open, when he was in the open I was very careful, when he fed out of sight I hustled ever closer. My custom Alan Harton 5 shot 480 hung gently over my left ribs, nestled in one of Mike Barranti's works of art, the North West Hunter. Inside was 380 grs of lead posion that I hoped to donate to mr. bear. These are HP's & I was certain they would do the job if I did mine, I had no doubt they would break both shoulders.
Some of the stuff I'm crawling through is causing a few swear words, my arms were getting cut from the many sticker bushes I was pushing aside. I had stripped down to bare minimum because I really sweat when I'm after a critter.
Finally I'm almost even with the large black & we're about level with each other, he doesn't know it but the next 30 seconds are very important to both of us. Just ahead of him is a patch of heavy brush, maybe 30 yds wide, in the center of it is a small spring seeping out of the moutain. I have him at about 90-100 yds but decide to let him walk in & then I'll move ahead 20 yds & be slightly ahead of him when he walks out.
He does & I do & I sit down, slide my left wrist through the leather thong on my walking stick & take a couple of sight pictures. The bear is still out of sight, I thumb back the hammer on the big Bisley & smile....this is make up time baby. 3 years ago I had gun problems on a very nice bear & went home kicking horse turds, this time I planned to even the score.
I figured at this distance & locked in with my left wrist thorugh the sling I was probably quite capable of hitting a pop can at this distance. Get ready bear, hell's coming!
I waited 2-3 minutes no bear, no problem, he's been out of sight longer than that in the last 1 1/2 hours. I wait another 2-3 minutes & then things got really crazy. I glanced over my left shoulder & 150 yds down the mountain & 50 yds higher is a bear. Whats going on, did he scent me & run, he couldn't have, if he had scented me he would be blasting up that moutain like a black Hummer. No, this had to be a second bear, I keep glancing across into the brush, no bear, I'm running out of time & don't know if I've got 1 bear or 2.
I look at my watch & decide I have to go after the bear to my left, I hurry down to the small stream, cross over & climb about 100 yds, now if there was a bear in the brush I've gave him my scent, I'll never know. I start easing through some scattered brush to my left, both arms are bleeding from the beating they're taking from the stickers, can't wait.
When you get in really close to a bear its nerve wracking because they can hear so well, I'm trying to hurry but go slow at the same time. I glass back acoss the moutain to see if my grandson can see the second bear, he points ahead of me & higher, the bears still there. Now I'm sweating like Callshot at the cash register & the sun is getting lower. I decide to walk out into the open & speed up, my grandson points ahead of me, the bear is feeding into some heavy pines.
If I go in the pines its almost impossible to close the gap without him hearing me, plus the wind will probaly bust me, I'm beat again & I know it, so close but I've failed again, what a hunt, what a stalk, I love it, I live for it.
Dropping down to the crick I drink 3 gallons plus 2 quarts (seems like it) shoulder my pack & make the long hike up the mountain to my disappointed grandson, he thinks I never fail, I've failed lots of times.
This is Shane's monster 7/ 9" boar from 3 years ago.

100_1420-4.jpg

My 6' 9" boar taken 4 years ago with a 10" 44 maggie.

100_1402-8.jpg


Dick
 

bigboredad

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 6, 2007
Messages
733
Location
ut
as always a cool story and great pictures. It must be awful living in some of the most beautiful country in the world. That's too bad no bear for you but I strongly suggest next time ditching the boots and goin to the time tested and honored shootin shoots A.K.A Pittsburgh Steeler crocs :lol:

Thanks for sharing and I bet that was a very fun moment to share withe Ridge a place in time that he reflect on many times I'm sure
 

mb111263

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jun 11, 2007
Messages
452
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Way to go, Ridge!

Sorry you didn't get revenge on the bear that got away last time, Dick! Maybe we can get in on some next spring!
 

Jeff Hoover

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
919
Great write up Dick ! I love the picture with all four grandsons, and your D-I-L......Caleb looks ready with his club and stick. All he needs for his bear !

I'll put my reservation in for next Spring...... :lol:
 

rugnelli

Buckeye
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
1,465
Location
South Dakota
Wow. Sounds like a great time. Wish I could do something like that sometime...

Congrats on a great hunt and report.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
22,138
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
We have been patiently waiting for the latest "Tales from Soda!" We are not disappointed.
You tell Ridge we were all rootin' for him to get his bear.
I'm with Tank & Mike,, I'd love to be there with y'all! Maybe one day,,!
Loved the pics & the story,, as usual!
 

sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,835
Location
soda springs, idaho
I'm a little bit surprised no one called me on using the HP's, its something that I seldom do because I always expect an exit hole. With this big heavy slug (380 grs) I figured it would probably shear the nose off & still have lots of lead, perhaps 300 grs or so to keep on driving.
If things had worked out I would liked to have punched him in both shoulders to see what the big slug could do...maybe next time. My guess is, it would have clobbered him with little problem. A spring bear, although it looks big because of the long hair is actually a lot smaller than it would be in the fall.
We estimated this boar to weigh about 200 lbs, in the fall he could go as much as 300 lbs. I would guess this bear was maybe 12" deep through the shoulders, minus the hair.
Those of you who have hunted bears know that it can be very addicting, its probably my favorite animal to hunt. There's just something about spot & stalk & being in close with a bear that really trips my switch, I never get tired of hunting them & Idaho is high on the list for black bears.

Dick
 

BearStopper

Blackhawk
Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
787
Location
Oregon
As a lifelong bowhunter I understand that when you limit the distance you can take an animal, it results in a higher rate of failures, but the payoff is twofold. You get up close and personal with animals that don't often happen or are even necessary with a rifle... and, when you are successful, it is oh so sweet! Sounds like a great hunt. Thanks for sharing.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
22,138
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
I actually noticed your choice of bullets,,, but knowing you like to experiment a bit,, I didn't think anything of it. Too bad you didn't get the chance to experiment.
 

jdr308

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 5, 2011
Messages
150
Location
Indiana
Great story and pictures. And for a 13 year old to pull off a 375yd shot.!!!! That's just awesome.! I dont know if I could have pulled off that shot, he should be VERY proud of his marksmanship.!!
 

Arnold Stuart

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 31, 2008
Messages
43
Location
Cedar City Ut,84720
Hello Dick, missed you on your return trip back to Idaho, We were in Washington State visiting my Son and his family. Wonderful story and hunt as always. Took my Great Grandson out to the range, shooting a 17mm Ruger with a 7" barrel, he was kicking up dust but having a bunch of fun, and learning all about safety, cocking the revolver and looking down the sight. He is 5 so has lot's of time to learn.

Arnold
 
Top