So on Wednesday I headed into the back country to fill my bear tag. Traditionally spring is when I am picky and look for a monster and the fall hunt is a meat hunt and I take the first decent bear I see. I arrived on Wednesday afternoon and quickly set up camp with plans, gear, etc. to stay until Sunday night. A few pics of camp:
I hunted Wednesday afternoon but only saw a few coons. Thursday morning I slept in until 10 and lazed around camp until about 1 pm and then headed out. It is 3.5 mile paddle to the site I was aiming for which takes about an hour if paddling leisurely in moderate wind. I was set up by about 230 pm and the waiting began. This is the view down the shooting lane:
I am on a rise about 12 feet above the bait and 18 yards west of the bait and most of my body is concealed behind the rise. At 705 pm some action finally started. This little 70 or 80 pounder showed up:
He ate merrily and every so often would look somewhere with his nose in the air. At 740 pm he looks north with his nose up, lets out a huff and takes off running south at full tilt. He only goes about 50 yards and pulls up and decides to turn around and head back to the food. About 30 seconds later 2 coons show up from the north and they all happily sit down to dinner together. At 805 pm a full hour after he arrived the little guy looks south with nose up huffs and takes off running north. The coons join him immediately and within 30 seconds the sounds of their flight dwindle to nothing. So now I figure something bigger is on its way but it needs to hurry as shooting light ends at 816 pm.
At 807 pm a nice looking bear ambles up but parks on its rear end behind a tree and all I can see is about 4 inches of its snout. At 810 pm it moves forward but remains sitting. I don't typically shoot at a bear unless it is on all fours as the vitals are harder to visualize when not on all fours. This bear was slight quartering away on its rump and I was running out of time. I took 20 or 30 seconds to visualize where the vitals are on a sitting bear and shot. The bear immediately took off at a dead run into the thickest @#$% around and I lost sight of it within 3 yards. About 2 minutes later I heard the death moan but it was not that load so i figured the bear must of went at least 100 yards. I packed up and went down to the bait where the barrel was very spattered with blood and there was a blood trail a blind man could follow. The bear only made it 12 yards:
I put a strap on him and began the 120 yard drag back to the canoe. Not the biggest bear for sure but plenty for dragging solo and loading/unloading with a canoe. He ended up field dressing 194 lbs so probably 230-235 lbs live weight. Tail to nose he was 5 feet 9 inches. When field dressing I was happy to see my visualizing of the vitals worked:
Entered just above the heart severing the arteries on that side and then entered the heart (due to downward shot) and blew out the other side of the heart. Projectile was a 225 grain Accubond loaded to +/- 2700 fps launched from a 35 Whelen. By the time I had him loaded and camp broken down it was 2 am. Made it home for 630 am after stopping an hour and half into the drive for coffee and ice. I did have about 50 lbs of ice at camp but a hot bear burns through that pretty fast. Temperatures on the hunt where 65 at the start and 45 by the time I broke camp.