View Full Version : AK Black Bear Hunt (pics)

Badger Matt
06-05-2006, 12:38 PM
OK, this was my trad archery black bear hunt with a good friend out of Valdez...even though I ended up going to my 44 SBH in the end with some of Tim Sundle's ammo.

Short story? I was spot on with my recurve but ended up shooting right over the top of not one, not two, but three black bears. I really like Spring black bear meat so out came the Ruger.

Valdez Harbor

Shrimp for dinner

View from the Cabin

Bow on the Beach

Waiting for the Boat

Man, I miss Alaska...and can hardly wait to leave the Pentagon.

06-05-2006, 01:17 PM
Wow, Alaska is like a whole other country! /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif
I gotta get there someday....

06-05-2006, 01:52 PM
Nice weather and bear! Did you get lucky or just leave out the wet parts. Looks beautiful. Someday will get there to hunt instead of just fishing.

06-05-2006, 02:07 PM
Thanx for the beautiful pics!

Couple dum questions: 44 SBH? And what Sundles ammo was used?

Also good lookin bow and quiver!

06-05-2006, 03:15 PM
Not Matt but, It's a 44 mag Ruger super blackhawk revolver.

06-05-2006, 03:19 PM
WOW!!...Awesome pictures! Congratulations on the hunt!


gutpile outfitters
06-05-2006, 05:39 PM
thanks for sharing your phots...those last two are downright purifying...thanks...

Dennis in VA
06-05-2006, 06:15 PM
Hey Matt, you got a nice lookin Chastain bow there. What are the spec's on that bow. I have one in gray riser and limbs. I have shot a few deer but now bears yet. I got my bow just before Jay Massey passed away, I was planning a float hunt with him but it didn't pan out (supposed friend/hunting partner backed out).

Badger Matt
06-06-2006, 03:47 AM
The weather was indeed phenomenal. There was even a burn ban in the area it was so dry. It rained the day after the hunt ended when we were back at my friend's place in Valdez, but not even once while we were in the field.

The Tim Sundles Buffalo Bore ammo was his 305 gr hard cast 44 mag rounds. They left perfect 44 caliber holes going in and out. Zero expansion at all -- not necessary for black bear but we saw a momma Brownie with two cubs and you just never know when they wrassle you for a carcass.

BTW -- The guy with the shrimp is my host/friend. I met him a few years back when I was stationed up in AK. He's a GI's best friend. Did two tours in Vietnam and, because no one thanked him, he thanks those of us who did any Iraq/Afghanistan time. Last year he took out four GIs (free) and all got their bears. I brought him a Damascus skinner I had made for him by a gent I met on Graybeardoutdoors.com to give him his belated thanks for his Vietnam service.

The Chastain bow was a 20th wedding anniversary gift (20 May 06) from my missus. It's right at 52# at my 28" draw.

Dennis -- You're not the Dixie Bowmen and PBS Dennis are ya? I'm workin' up the courage to post this hunt with my TradGang buds...

06-06-2006, 04:24 AM
Nice pics man!

Dennis in VA
06-06-2006, 05:30 AM
Nope on the aka's.
You gotta go with what works and you did. Just be glad you had the pistol to fall back on. There's no disgrace in missing, even the best of them MISS, mostly at the moment of truth (be it a clean miss or even worse a bad shot placement). I shoot both a compound and a recurve.
I went on a fall bear hunt up in New Brunswick Canada back in 1994. I took a 300lb blackie with my Hoyt compound @ 12 yds. I started shooting traditional equipment after that hunt. The kill was anti-climactic for me. I felt like a shooter and not a hunter. With traditional gear I feel more like a predator because the "moment" of truth has different mechanics than with modern gear, you have to be more "fluid" and let things flow, you know what I'm talking about.
That knife you gave your friend is a mighty nice looking piece of cutlery. I have never seen a damascus blade up close. How hard is it to sharpen and does it keep an edge well?

Badger Matt
06-06-2006, 05:54 AM
The Damascus blade holds an edge very well and it appeared to sharpen up pretty easily. That said, I gave one to my bro-in-law and one to my bud in Alaska...and have yet to order one for myself.

I know what you mean about the trad gear switch. After misses one and two -- right over their backs...I thought I was back to basics -- pick a spot, consistent anchor point, etc... I'd just drilled a skunk cabbage leaf three times...but still shot right over bear number 3.

Dennis in VA
06-06-2006, 07:37 AM
So what kind of blades and shafts do you use?
I tried to use snuffers but I could not get them sharp enough so I switched to Magnus I heads. They sharpen up SCARY sharp with a file but if you get too heavy handed they soon evaporate and you wonder why you start getting that too much spine action from your arrows.

Badger Matt
06-06-2006, 09:46 AM
I used cedar shafts with 125gr Wensel Woodsman broadheads. I filed 'em first and turned the needle point into a chisel point. Then I went to a diamond hone and finally a leather strop. I was pleased with the edge. No idea how well they'd have really worked on the bear...but they killed the heck out of the bait barrel.

Badger Matt
06-06-2006, 11:23 AM
Just a couple fun pics from the trip.

A marten (first I'd ever seen)
Little bear coming in

Dennis in VA
06-06-2006, 02:17 PM
Little or Big, they always get the blood PUMPIN' when there's the possibility for a shot ... WOOO HOOOO !!!! pick a spot...pick a spot... thump thump...thump thump.... that's your heart beating in your throat..... The Bears I saw were at very close range (one even was going to follow the scent from my guides boots from the barrel up the tree to my platform...THUMP THUMP THUMP.... whew!!!)... /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif