My Most Exciting Hunt

I never thought of Washington State as having trophy-class bears, but when my husband took a huge color-phase black bear with his longbow in 2009, it became my goal to bag one of my own. I had taken two bears previously in Idaho, but both were pure black and in the 5 foot range. While I was proud of these bears, they were just “average.”  My husband’s bear was 6 feet and qualified for the Pope and Young record book. I wanted one to rival his. So, in 2011, I put in for a spring bear tag for the same area that my husband had hunted and, to my surprise, I drew the tag on my first try! I was so excited!!!
My plan was to hunt every chance I could during the six week season, which opened in mid-April.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans. Late winter storms had dumped snow in my hunting area and cold spring temperatures kept the roads covered with a couple of feet of snow, which prevented me from getting into the area where I had seen several bears the year before.  Instead, I spent the first few weeks of the season on lower elevations, where I did see a smaller bear that I put a stalk on, but by the time I got to where he had been, he had moved out of the area.  I wasn’t disappointed; my goal was to take a big bear, not just any bear.  So the search continued.
Finally, the second weekend in May, I was able to get into the area that I wanted to hunt. Unfortunately, fog, wind, and intermittent rain made visibility difficult.  Late in the day I did see a nice bear two ridges away from where I was glassing, and another one over a mile away, neither of which was reachable with the amount of daylight available.
Finally, with only one three-day weekend available to hunt before the end of the season, I knew time was running short to make something happen. This time the weather cooperated with mild temperatures and sunny skies. We decided to camp near our glassing spot and spend the entire weekend in search of my bear. Because we were bottle feeding four baby goats, we had to bring them along with us, as well as our dogs. While we glassed the ridges, the goats romped and the dogs dug for mice.
Friday started out to be a slow day. A few deer and some scattered small herds of elk grazed in the distance. Even further away, a lone big horn sheep fed near an avalanche chute. The bears, however, were nowhere to be seen. As evening neared, my husband decided to heed the call of his growling stomach and walked back to camp to fix himself a sandwich. No sooner had he left our glassing spot when I saw movement on the next ridge, just across the canyon. As I glassed the area with my binoculars, out wandered what I knew instantly was a brute of a bear.  I looked him over for about 30 seconds and then, with my heart pounding, I raced back to camp to inform my husband, all the while gathering my pack and my rifle. He knew that I had decided that this was the bear I was going to go after.

Mar 17, 2013 | Category: Blog | Comments: 2

 

2 comments on “My Most Exciting Hunt

  1. Steve

    What a bruiser!

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