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View Full Version : Whelen vs Ursus Americanus



FlatbowMB
10-13-2010, 12:09 AM
I wasn't sure if I'd have time to get out this fall for black bear. I usually try to do my bear hunting in the spring since fall gets very busy between work, moose hunting, and various whitetail seasons. I wasn't able to do much spring bear hunting and didn't fill my tag this spring, so the same tag was still useable for the fall bear season. My general attitude was that if I happened to see a bear while out deer or moose hunting I'd take it, but that I couldn't afford the time to make a special effort for bear.

That approach changed when a friend told me he had alot of bears on his property and he was needing them thinned out a bit. He and another friend had already taken bears earlier in September and he asked if I wanted to give it a go. Given that the drive to his place was only 45 minutes and that he'd seen a couple of good sized bears, I happily took him up on the offer. I headed out for an evening hunt the first night not sure of what to expect. It turns out he had constructed a very nice elevated blind about 20 feet in the air, and had a bait barrel set out about 40 yards from the base of the elevated blind. I stayed in the blind until after dark, but saw and heard nothing but chpimunks & squirrels make quite a racket in the dry fallen leaves.

I didn't get another chance to get back out there until 9 days later, the second last day of the season. I had to work earlier in the day and wasn't able to get out there nearly as early as I would have liked. In fact, by the time I got out there, there was only about an hour and a half of legal shooting light left, and I had other commitments throughout the next (last) day. I had brought along some burning scent sticks (doughnut flavored) and lit 3 of them for a very rapid intense burn rate. I sat in the blind and was getting rather drowsy as the light was fading fast.

I was starting to resign myself to the fact that I'd bought a bear tag that I wasn't going to use, and quite frankly didn't deserve to use given the minimal time and effort I had put into bear hunting this year. It wasn't that I didn't want to get out bear hunting so much as other circumstances that I had experienced in previous years had prevented me from getting out as I would have liked. I was contemplating these things as my eyes were getting progressively heavier. They'd shut for a second (or two) then open again...repeatedly, until one time when they opened to see a very healthy looking male bear standing about 15 yards from the base of the blind. It took me about 5 minutes to slowly position my rifle without being spotted by the bear. The bear was standing mostly broadside (slightly quartered away) and I aimed for the far side shoulder and squeezed the trigger. The bear turned and bolted into the bush and I heard him crash through it for what was at most 10 seconds, (but felt like 10 minutes).

I didn't hear him drop or give a death moan, so I stayed in the blind for about another 1/2 hour before exiting at which point it was quite dark. I turned on an LED lantern and, as quietly as I could, walked to where he was standing when shot. There was alot of blood and bits of lung splattered around the area, but that didn't inspire enough confidence in me to start tracking him through thick brush, in the dark, by myself. I started walking back the ~ 3/4 mile trail to where where my friend's house was and met up with him as he started heading out on his quad to check up on me. Having heard the shot he had brought a large maglite and his 45-70. We went back to the site where the bear was shot and took up the blood trail. I carried the 45-70 as he followed the blood trail. The blood trail was very heavy and short - the bear ran about a total of 45 yards before piling up. He is the finest bear I've taken so far.

http://s34.photobucket.com/albums/d147/alphawolf_/?action=view&current=HPIM4056.jpghttp://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d147/alphawolf_/HPIM4056.jpg

http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d147/alphawolf_/HPIM4061.jpg

FlatbowMB
10-13-2010, 12:16 AM
http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d147/alphawolf_/HPIM4055.jpg

butts
10-13-2010, 07:03 AM
Great Bear!!!!!!!!!!!! Congrats X 10

Randy
10-13-2010, 07:36 AM
Wow...great bear!

Smokepole
10-13-2010, 07:41 AM
congratulations!!

Browtine
10-13-2010, 08:18 AM
Very Nice!

Bushcraft
10-13-2010, 09:19 AM
That is one helluva black bear! Congratulations!

What have you told your taxidermist to do with it?

snakey2
10-13-2010, 09:30 AM
Dandy bear. Everyone deserves to get an "easy" one now and then to make up for all the "hard hunting with no animal to show for it" times.

Timberline
10-13-2010, 09:53 AM
Beautiful, glossy, big-headed black bear. Way to go. Congratulations!

scothill
10-13-2010, 11:41 AM
Very very nice bear, but I have to say I was hoping for more pics of that sweet boat in action we haven't seen any yet this year ;)

elmbow
10-13-2010, 12:49 PM
Whelen 1 Bear 0, pretty animal.

charlieh
10-13-2010, 01:38 PM
Great bear. Congratulations!

FlatbowMB
10-13-2010, 01:39 PM
Thanks, everyone!

Alan, I haven't given any instructions to a taxidermist yet, but my GF's 4 year old boy has instructed me to to a full head rug (with teeth bared) to be hung on the wall at their place.

Snakey2, it is nice to get an easy one now and then. As Clint Eastwood says in The Unforgiven, "Deserves ain't go nothing to do with it".

Scott, the boat is being utilized this fall for both moose and deer. I'm confident that pictures will be forthcoming ;)

Jason
10-13-2010, 02:06 PM
Gorgeous bear. Great job.

Rug?