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Old 06-10-2021, 06:55 PM   #1
Roger
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Default Idaho bear hunt recap

My son, brother, nephew and myself rolled back in to home Sunday night from an amazing hunt and experience in the mountains of Idaho.

This hunt began in Feb. 2020 when my brother mentioned he was thinking about a bear hunt. This stuck in my mind all spring and I told him I'm doing it, who's on board? I spent June researching outfitters and building spreadsheets. We narrowed the spreadsheet down to about six or seven. July was about calling outfitters multiple times. Some were like me. Long winded and talked forever. We finally chose an outfit and booked the hunt. During the early process, my wife and I decided I'd take our son as a belated graduation trip, so the group was four. We went with Brad Walters at Hell's Canyon Outfitters. More on these awesome folks later.

We were to arrive on Sunday afternoon/evening and hunt Monday-Friday. I called the outfitter to square away arrival info and was told if we could get there by 1 or 2pm, we'd hunt Sunday evening. An extra day of hunting? Done!


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Old 06-10-2021, 07:04 PM   #2
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Leaving

Met my brother and nephew at Whataburger in Gainesville to get the long drive started appropriately.


Homemade cinnamon rolls to chase down the breakfast on a bun.

We failed to account for it being Memorial weekend. Finally found a sketchy hotel room in Farmington, NM. Ate at a local Mexican food place. Only gringos in the joint. Great food and service. The obligatory travel food pic.


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Old 06-10-2021, 07:10 PM   #3
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Good luck

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Old 06-10-2021, 07:16 PM   #4
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Looking forward to the rest of the story.
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Old 06-10-2021, 07:19 PM   #5
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Good Luck
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Old 06-10-2021, 07:20 PM   #6
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I knew I was gonna like this when I saw your choice of breakfasts !
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Old 06-10-2021, 07:26 PM   #7
Roger
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Rolled in to Riggins about 11am on Sunday. Hit the 7 Devils Saloon for lunch, then to the lodge.

They run small groups, so it was just us four on the hunt. Lodge was cool. Wolves everywhere. For Cowboys fans, Leighton Vander Esch's dad runs their back country elk camp for them, and apparently really does call in wolves by mouth and kill quiet a few of them.

Sunday evening everyone saw bears but me. Three bowhunters and Micah (nephew) had a rifle. Micah passed one as too small 'cause its belly was almost on the ground and ears were tiny. Ouch. Trail camera showed a massive boar. Judging bears is hard. Other bears were passed as small, so no shots fired.

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Old 06-10-2021, 08:43 PM   #8
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This hunt was primarily a bait hunt, but running hounds was included if we wanted to. Micah, not being a bowhunter, wanted to run dogs day one, so no sleeping in at bear camp. Dinner at 11:30pm, leaving again at 6am with hounds. Hunter (son), Robin (brother) and I went with my guide and another houndsman while Micah went with his guide, also named Micah. They treed a small bear. Catch and release bear hunting.

First Blood
Robin showed pics of the bear he passed on Sun. to his guide. The guide said "its a good representative bear, I'd probably shoot it." That sealed the bears fate. Robin was hunting from the ground in a folding chair nestled behind a couple of boulders. The same bear slipped in to the bait about 9pm. As soon as it turned broadside, arrow was away. The bear ran up the hill and crashed in the brush. Robin said there were four distinct, and loud, death moans, so he felt really good when he radioed the guide. He took a very rare bear for that part of Idaho. All black with no white on the chest. We chose ID for the high color phase odds, but Robin was comitted to letting an arrow go on the first decent bear he saw. And he did.

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Old 06-10-2021, 09:09 PM   #9
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Robin made a wise choice, good for him !
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Old 06-10-2021, 09:26 PM   #10
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Tagged
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Old 06-10-2021, 09:35 PM   #11
Roger
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Default Idaho bear hunt recap

Out of time for now. Will finish tomorrow. It definately gets better!

Dang it. Tried to edit my next post and it deleted it. Guess I'll redo it then call it a night.

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Old 06-10-2021, 09:43 PM   #12
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Good write up so far...looking forward to the rest of the story.
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Old 06-10-2021, 09:55 PM   #13
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Following
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Old 06-10-2021, 09:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
Out of time for now. Will finish tomorrow. It definately gets better!

Dang it. Tried to edit my next post and it deleted it. Guess I'll redo it then call it a night.
I’ll pick it up tomorrow. Old folks need their rest……
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Old 06-10-2021, 10:21 PM   #15
Roger
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Ok, so second try at this. Maybe I won't delete this one. Micah is ready to get after them with hounds again, so leave at 6am in Tuesday after a 12:30 bedtime. Haven't I always heard bear hunting was supposed to relaxing and slow paced? We went to an area they'd not hunted in the past. Once we hit the forest roads, guide Micah put his strike dogs up on top of the box. The fact that those dogs can smell where a bear crossed the road while going 20mph befuddles me. Pretty quickly the dogs blow up. Guide turns out hos lead two dogs. When they took off hot, he began releasing dogs in a specific order and timing. I wasn't sure what to expect from hound hunting, but hearing those dogs race out on a trail made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Exciting! We waited and watched the dogs on gps. Seeing where each dog was and how fast they were moving on gps was very cool. They were cooking and two miles away very quickly. The plan is to follow or intercept them in trucks until they tree or loose the track. Otherwise we'd never catch up to them if we just took off after them. That first two miles they did in minutes was up and down mountains! At one point, they came very close to some private land (as seen on gps mapping), but fortunately the bear turned back into national forrest. Finally the guide says lets go. We follow in my guides truck. We end up back on the highway and drive about 30 miles total. End up parked on the side of a somewhat busy paved road. I finally asked if we were just trying to find the dogs. He says no, they are still on the bear. What? We just drove 30 miles to get here. Then he says they are walking the bear. "Ok. What does that mean?" "Means the bear is walking and the dogs are walking along behind it." Oh, so everyone is taking a breather. Who knew. Then the bombshell. They are only 800 yards away from us. Seriously? Suddenly they are running again and we can actually catch a sound of them every once in a while. Then, boom, treed!! Guide says 150 yards from is up that hill. That "hill" was a straight up freak8ng mountain. 150 yds horizontally! I almost.died going up that mountain face. About 800 feet of elevation gain in 150 yds. Ever heard that Idaho is steep? That's because it is! The bear was treed in a giant tree just on our side of the ridge crest. Once all the dogs were tied, the guide discussed with Micah where to shoot. He told him, "put that bullet where we discussed 'cause if he comes down alive I will start shooting with my pistol." They wanted to be sure the bear didn't get down the mountain and off forest land. Micah made a perfect shot and is on the books with a beautiful, chocolate, 300 lb spring mountain bear. Those dogs had run that bear 9 1/2 miles, as the crow flies. All of that up and down mountains. I definitely have a whole new appreciation for hunting with hounds. Micah used my guides frame pack and hauled his bear down the mountain. Two bears down. Just Hunter and I with tags remaining. The evening hunt got pretty intense, and maybe a little scary, for Hunter. More to come tomorrow and it gets far better.

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Old 06-10-2021, 11:00 PM   #16
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So good to hear this! I hunted bears several years in Easter Washington back when you could hunt with hounds there. A friend of mine talked me into it.... Man am I glad I did, IT WAS A BLAST!! Watching those dogs work was amazing! Seeing them hold their breath to listen to the strike dogs to get the direction was intense. They are true athletes! We didn't have such good GPS stuff back then so had to follow closer on foot and that was tough, but so rewarding! Several of us went mulitple years and killed really nice bears and treed some big cats as well.

Great recap! Looking forward to the rest!!! Thanks.
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Old 06-11-2021, 08:01 AM   #17
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Awesome.
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Old 06-11-2021, 08:15 AM   #18
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in for the rest of the story. Congrats so far
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Old 06-11-2021, 08:28 AM   #19
Roger
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Thursday Evening

After a pretty eventful, and exhausting, morning treeing Micah's bear, Hunter and I headed out to sit on the same baits we've been on the prior two nights. To date, I've seen noth8ng but chipmunks, really cool looking squirrels, and a raven (man those things are huge. crowzilla)

Let's get my hunt out of the way. Nada, zilch, nunca, squat. The bears on this bait have went nocturnal a few days before my arrival and seem to be staying that way. Likely due to it getting really hot that week and the lower elevation of this bait. No worries. Having a blast.

Now to Hunter. Here is his scene. He is set up in a ladder stand about 10 feet off the ground. At least from where the base of the ladder touches earth (same level as the bait). At the tree, you are now about 18 feet up and a foot or two from the back of the tree it's a 25 foot drop. Did I mention some of this country is steep? The bait is only eleven yards from the ladder. Talk about close quarters, and the bears generally come up a trail literally 2 yards from the base of the ladder.

He's seen small bears here both prior sits. There is a giant all black boar that's been on this bait. Based on trail camera, outfitter and guides say he's around 400 lbs, which is a heck of a big bear up there in the spring. All I know is he looks like a Volkswagen on camera. Apparently he is smart, and aggressive. They have tried but haven't been able to kill him yet. He is in an area where running him with dogs isn't practical. Our guide wants him dead! As she said, he's scary. She was in a ground blind with a female client and he came up behind the blind and sniffed them for a while. Must have been intense knowing he's as big as the blind. He then dissapeared and so did the guide and client! He has trashed that ground blind and carried one of the chairs to the bait the first day she took Hunter in there. She pulled the ground setup out.

A little side note about mine and Hunter's guide. I did say she. She is a 20 yo from Wisconsin who went to a guide school when she was 18 so she could get a job out west as a guide and explore new things. Carries a big 'ole 40 cal semi on her hip and was 100% awesome. She's probably 5'3" at best and maybe 130, only because she's all muscle. This description will become very relavent later on.

So Hunter watches the same little reddish blonde bear snatch bait and run down the hill to eat it multiple times as hr does each day. That bear then leaves and doesn't return. Hunter catches movement in his peripheral and right below him, he is there. He said he can now appreciate what a truly massive bear looks like. No judging or questioning needed, especially when it's practically right under your feet.

The bear is very cautious and will not go on in to the bait. It kind of spooks and drops off the shelf and back down the hill, circling around behind Hunter. Because the mountainside is so steep, the evening thermals carry Hunter's scent above the bear, but it knows something isn't right. Finally it comes back up the same trail. Once it reaches the level shelf, which places it about 5 yards from the base of the ladder, it turns toward Hunter and stands up on it's hind legs staring right at Hunter. I would have peed my pants. Hunter said all he was thinking was "he's already spooked. Don't blink or twitch or he will blow out of here." Pretty calm for a 21 yo. He was in kill mode! F8nally the bear walked near the bait but wouldn't go in and turned to leave. He gave Hunter a broadside shot at 8 yards. Draw, settle the pin, squeeze the shot!!! Arrow buries in a tree above the bears back. It hops and then lumbers away, stopping 20 yards away in an opening and standing broadside for a minute or so looking around. Hunter already has another arrow nocked and ready. Second chances on animals like this don't come often. And they didn't this time either. The ladder stand had an arm rest sticking out on it that was completely blocking his ability to shoot that direction. If he stood enough to clear the arm rest, limbs were in the way. He watched the bear lumber down the hill. It circles around under him again, but this time didn't come back in. Smart old bear was going to wait until darkness now. So close to a giant, yet so far. Hunter recovered the arrow but there is still a 125 grain, four blade SlickTrick magnum buried in a lodgepole pine on a hill in Idaho. He said he had to lean out as far as he could for the shot, without falling, to get outside that arm rest. Figured he just didn't get everything in position and shot high. The shiny new divot in his bottom cam we found later told a different story. His cam had clipped that arm rest when he shot. Dang it! At least it was a clean miss. That was not the bear to go after wounded.

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Old 06-11-2021, 09:12 AM   #20
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Oh yea!!!! Now a thread worth keeping up with. Looking good sir, really good. Congrats!!!!
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Old 06-11-2021, 09:28 AM   #21
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Think my F5 is broken
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Old 06-11-2021, 09:29 AM   #22
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Great write up, in for the rest of the story!
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Old 06-11-2021, 09:31 AM   #23
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Enjoying it.
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Old 06-11-2021, 09:35 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drycreek3189 View Post
I’ll pick it up tomorrow. Old folks need their rest……
And you can tell by all the typos when I redid it that I should have just went to bed as well! I have to edit every other word using this dang phone to type.

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Old 06-11-2021, 10:02 AM   #25
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No Rest for the Weary

While I'm keeping an eagle eye on chipmunks, and Hunter plays a game of chicken with a giant old bear, the outfitter speaks with the landowner who checks those trail cams and puts out the bait for them frequently. We are hunting on public on these two baits, but they lease access through this landowners place to get to it via road. If you can call those little mountain trails roads. Guy says a good sized bear thats been hitting my bait in the middle of the night was there at daylight this am. The big boy was also at Hunter's bait that am. Something had them moving. Since the big bear wasn't really spooked much after Hunters encounter, we decided to try a morning play on them. Yeah! Bedtime at 12:30 pm, up at 3 am. Days are 5:30am to 10pm up here. Long!!! This bear hunting sure is relaxing!

Brook tells us we'll only sit until about 8 am, if no one shoots a bear before. No point staying any later. Neither of us see a bear on the morning sit, but knowing of the aggressive bear, Hunter's prior evening encounter, and the fact that my ground blind had also been worked over by a bear, when we went in on Sunday for the fist time, all gave my imagination plenty of fodder to work with, sitting there in the dark and waiting on daylight!

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Old 06-11-2021, 10:45 AM   #26
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Awesome read so far!
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Old 06-11-2021, 10:52 AM   #27
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Tagged to read later
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:42 PM   #28
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Nice
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:49 PM   #29
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In for the rest
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Old 06-11-2021, 01:57 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardcortex View Post
Great write up, in for the rest of the story!
X2
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Old 06-11-2021, 02:22 PM   #31
Roger
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A New Hope

So, it is decided I need a new place to hunt as I still have yet to see a bear of any size. They also think the ladder stand needs to cool off. New plan. I will go sit where Robin killed his bear on Monday and Hunter will sit where Micah accidentaly passed the big bear.

At this point, we still don't know his cam hit the arm rest and he thinks he just badly missed at 8 yards. He said he wants to take the 7 mag and work on his first bear. He'll be perfectly happy with that and can always chase one with a bow later. Works for me. And the guides. They were not going to let anyone bowhunt that bait. It was 20 yards from a drop down into the nastiest, steepest, deepest bowl you can imagine. No one wanted to try and get a bear out of that if it could be avoided. In fact, one of the guides said "if you shoot one, and it takes even one step toward that edge, you start pouring bullets into it until it stops or your out of bullets." They really did not want to pack a bear out of that. I didn't blame them. So Hunter sits this bait and sees...chipmunks. One even jumped on his boot. No bears.

I'm sitting in a popup 20 yards from the log bait where Robin killed his bear. A million mosquitos swarmed me the second I sat down. Thermocell saved the day for us all on this trip. Again, I saw no bears. Guess that's why they call it hunting. It's not a fish in a barrel proposition. I did have mule deer all around me for the entire 200-300 yard walk back to the road at dark. That was cool. They'd blow and pogo hop around, but never really ran off. Other than Micah's up a tree, I've yet to see a live bear on this hunt and I am having the time of my life. Couldn't be happier!

A long and tiring Wednesday ends with tags still in our pockets and smiles on our faces. Two days left to get it done.

A view of my sit for Wednesday evening and the mountains across the river from the lodge.

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Old 06-11-2021, 02:55 PM   #32
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Good story !
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Old 06-11-2021, 03:04 PM   #33
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This is a great read. Need pics of the guide with a 40 on her hip though.
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Old 06-11-2021, 04:21 PM   #34
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Hope you get the big one - - bump.................
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Old 06-11-2021, 05:16 PM   #35
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Maybe by the end of the weekend….
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Old 06-11-2021, 05:50 PM   #36
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Who Let the Dogs Out

After no bear Wednesday, Hunter decides he'd like to run the hounds on Thirsday and see what happens. We had already talked and decided to use the rifle if treeing a bear. A bow shot ip into all those limbs as high as Micah's bear went is extremely problematic. With hounds the hunt is mostly the striking, the chase, a cat and mouse game between bear, dog, and man. The shot is simply a culmination of the dance. And, while most of us would hope a dance wouldn't end in gunfire, I've been a few places in my youth where that was a distinct possibility.

My alarm rudely jolts me awake at 5am. At least it's not 3am like yesterday. Guides get there and Brook asks me if I want to try for a bear with dogs also. I politely decline and tell her I'm in it with bait and a bow to the end. Bear or no bear. They have the other guide again with a second set of dogs. Hunter goes with guide Micah in his truck and we go in my guides truck and follow the second hound truck. Here I think there was some misunderstanding. I reiterated that I wasn't shooting a bear and wanted to be with Hunter if he got on one. She radioed other guide and he said he'd radio if they struck something.

Very quickly our houndsman's dogs blew up. He stopped and released his strike dogs. Theg went off hot so the release procession began of the other dogs. Brook radios "we have a trail" and hears back "we are turned out on one, it just ran back across the road in front of us." Things are getting exciting in a hurry. Literally minutes later we get a "we're treed" call. They had turned out right on top of a bear that had just crossed the road. Guide thinks it treed so quick because it came back on the road again and tried to run down it about 300 yards. This let the dogs use their flat out speed to close on it, so the bear dove off the road and went up a tree. Guide radios where they are and says "get here now. This is a good bear and if it tries to come down we are going ahead and shooting." Fair enough. We left the other guide monitoring his dogs and hightailed it. Part of me was thinking, we have to stay in one piece as we booked it around those forrest service roads.

We pull up to see Hunter and the guide literally sitting on the edge of the road watching this bear. Dogs are going nuts doing their job of keeping it treed. I'm firmly convinced at least a few of them were really saying "come down here and fight", not "you stay up there." After admiring the bear a moment, guide ties his dogs and discusses the shot with Hunter. No good shot angle. Hunter is using the guides tripod trigher stick, so super locked in and steady. Micah beats on the tree with a big stick to get the bear to move. Unfortunately, it scrambles up higher into more dense limbs. We play a squirrel hunter game and move around the tree to get it to move. Guess this bear knew it wasn't a squirrel, 'cause it didn't play. It's kind of in a fork in the tree. Micah radios other houndsman and asks " you got your chainsaw in the truck?" I guess if that bear hangs up, this tree is coming down!

That's Was A Hell Of A Shot

Finally the bear presents a small window to hit the vitals. Guide tells him "whatever you do don't hit that leg crossed in front of its chest or we will have one very ****** off bear coming down the tree looking for revenge." The bear then lowers its head, blocking the shot. New plan. Beat on tree again with bigger stick to get bear to move its head. Hunter says ok and Robin yells, he's shooting so guide can retreat from tree base as bear gets shot. Nothing can possibly go wrong here. And it didn't. Hunter squeezes off the shot with my 7 mag. The bear trues to climb, thus clearing himself from the fork, and then falls. It is DOA at the base of the tree. Once he knows it's dead, guide rolls bear over as we are scrambling downhill to look. He is so pumped and yells, " Hunter, that was a hell of a shot. I was worried about that shot, but you drilled him!" At this point, we get a radio call saying the other guide has a shooter treed. Do I want to go get him? Politely as possible, "nope, bait and bow or nothing for me."

Lots of picture taking and back slapping going on. Such a beatiful chocolate bear with a huge white patch on the chest. Guide says it's one of the fastest trees he's ever had. They quite literally turned those dogs out right on top of the bear without knowing it. I think Micah is half hound himself. The obvious exuberance he has when working his dogs is infectious. It's almost a show in of itself. We loaded the bear whole, since it was so close to the road, and were back at the lodge by 9:35am. I'm now the last one with a tag and have yet to see a bear. Maybe my fortunes will change this afternoon.



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Old 06-11-2021, 06:13 PM   #37
dgilbert
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Great story, congrats to all so far
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Old 06-11-2021, 06:27 PM   #38
Roger
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An Apology

No matter how much I edit my fat fingered tying on this phone, I still end up with a ton of typos and weirdness. My apologies. And yes, correcting every other word is part of what's taking so long, but the tale is almost told.

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Old 06-11-2021, 06:28 PM   #39
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Come on Roger……..
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Old 06-11-2021, 07:00 PM   #40
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Awesome thread! Congrats to all!
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Old 06-11-2021, 07:41 PM   #41
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If you could get on that finale that would be great
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Old 06-11-2021, 08:27 PM   #42
Roger
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The Road Less Traveled

While Brook skins Hunter's bear, the landowner has called our outfitter. He baited and checked trail cams this morning. He reports that six different bears hit the ladder stand bait while Hunter and I were sitting the other baits Wednesday evening. Guess that settles discussion of what play to make for Thursday evening. High ho, off to the ladder I go.

This treck entails a truck ride past the bait I'd been hunting way up on a mountain. Lots of curves with big drop offs! It's ok. I'm not scared of heights. It's the distance to the bottom that worries me. I informed Brook of my fear of heights. (It's completely irrational, I know, but also very real.) She said "uh, oh." I told her it's fine. Hunter has already briefed me on the sketchy 4 wheeler ride about to carry me the rest of the way. Hang on to your bow, try to hang on to 4 wheeler, try to keep bow out of brush along trail, pushing with feet so hard to keep balance that calves are screaming by the time it's over, wheels right on the edge of a massive drop off, bouncing around. We eventually made it to the stopping point and walked in from there.

It was really cool to see what Hunter had been seeing. First thing I noticed as I climbed up was that stupid arm rest. At this point, we still had never discussed that protruding arm rest and its possible role in his miss, but I knew it was problematic before even making it to the seat. I settled in and drew to evaluate clearance of the "arm." It was apparent I could only shoot at about half of the small clearing in front of me, so I would need a bear to be completely in front of the sideways bait barrel. No worries. Just don't hit that arm rest when you shoot.

I had only been in the stand about 30 minutes when I catch movement in the trail right below me. It's a smaller blonde/red bear. It grabs a piece of meat and retreats back down the hill below me. There was a bone in that meat because I hear him crunching it up as if he were eating a bag of chips. This bear visits the bait seven times between 6 and 6:50. On his last trip, he stands up on his back legs and peers down the hill. He then drops down and walks away a different direction. I'm getting ready as there must be a bigger bear down the hill. If there was, it was napping. I saw nothing else until about 8:35. Another smaller red bear comes up the same trail. It didn't mess with the barrel but focused on licking an adjacent tree which was covered with a smorgasbord of old fry grease, molasses, and cake frosting. This bear hangs around about 10 minutes. It suddenly looks downhill, then scrambles up in the tree it's licking. I see movement in the bushes on the trail below me. Bear. Big bear.

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Old 06-11-2021, 08:34 PM   #43
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No time to stop now !!!
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Old 06-11-2021, 10:08 PM   #44
Roger
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The Final Chapter

As I earlier sat watching the smaller bear make trips to the bait, I pondered a question. Do I take a bear if I see a good one, or do I hold out for the giant? I don't care much about record books, so the fact that the big one would sail into P&Y isn't really a consideration factor. Something to know about me. When researching this bear hunt idea, my dream was always a color phase bear, hence Idaho. I came with a mindset of any decent color phase bear or a black one has to be huge for me to shoot it. Hmmm. I decided it would be a game time decision. If I see a bear and my heart says I want it, I'm shooting.

Back to this big bear below me. It's not the big black. But it seems huge right under me. Wide head, furrowed forhead, smallish looking ears. But mainly, chocolate with blonde and black highlights and a black robbers mask over the face. Cool bear! I'm shooting if I get a chance.

This bear was cautious. Two steps and stop to look around and test the wind. Two more steps, rinse and repeat. Two steps at a time. Now, what you don't yet know is a storm was blowing in. I'm way up on a mountain with lightning crashing, sky is very dark, wind kicking up, and an occasional rain drop. It was very dark. The bear made it in front of the barrel. Quartering away. Draw, settle pin, move sight to reverify dark target, settle pin, move and reverify, settle again, squeeze shot. Crap! I feel the bow jump slightly and know I just hit that stupid arm rest. Can't tell where the arrow went, but bear growled and spun around to bite at its side. I heard the broadhead smash the barrel so I know it was a passthrough.
The bear lunges into the brush downhill and crashes around. Remember, it's an hour till dark, but dark as night due to the storm clouds. I see a dark shadow move across an opening downhill and hear a little more brush breaking. Now silence. And thunder, of course. No death moans. I'm worried. Check my bow and find no damage on limb or cam. It's beyond parallel, so I think the limb hit but escaped damage due to that. I radio Brook and fill her in. She comes up on the four wheeler. One of the outfitters daughters was hanging out with Brook this evening, so she's on the four wheeler also.
Before I can get all the way down the ladder Brook says "here's your arrow. You've got good blood." I go to start trying to find a blood trail and Brook piles off into chest high brush in the direction I last heard noise. I'm still searching for blood when she calls out that she found it. The bear made it about 60 yards down the mountain. Brook said we need to hurry and get the bear up top for pictures before true dark set in. The sky had brightened back up considerably at this point. " Do we drag it?", I asked, concerned about damaging the hide by dragging. "I'm going to carry it" says Brook. What? Remember my description of her? This is a seriously steep mountain covered with brush and some giant blowdown. So, she sits down and the outfitters daughter and I worked the bear onto her shoulders. We had to pull her to her feet. Up the hill she goes. It is so steep, she has to lean to keep from rolling off the hill and practically has her ears between her knees as she climbs. After a couple of rest stops, she carries that 200 pound bear up a mountain. The most bad a thing I have ever witnessed. Girl is tough as it comes.

Shot went in high and behind last rib. Came out low and in crease of off side front shoulder. Got everything. Liver, diaphragm, both lungs. I have my color phase bear! We went 4 for 4 on bears. Wow!

We spent Friday exploring and pretending to fly fish. Then a 6:30 am start home on Saturday. Stayed overnight in Ft. Collins, CO and made it back home about 7:30pm Sunday. What a ride.

About our outfitter. Awesome dude and family. His daughters, 13 and 15, did all the cooking for us. Outstanding food! Since we were leaving early each day. There was breakfast hot in the oven when we got up and outstanding sack lunches waiting to take with us. Dinner every night was fantastic. Lodge was super spacious and comfortable. Couldn't have asked for more. I would recommend Hell's Canyon Outfitters and Brad Walters highly. Thanks for following along.

Note: For some reason Tapatalk won't post my pictures now. I'll keep trying until I get them to post.

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Old 06-11-2021, 10:09 PM   #45
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Old 06-11-2021, 10:14 PM   #46
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Awesome story. Thanks and congrats! Sounds like a great trip. Definitely on the list.
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Old 06-11-2021, 10:31 PM   #47
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Enjoyed every bit of it and I wasn't even there! Thanks
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Old 06-11-2021, 10:36 PM   #48
pure lefty
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Great Story, well written! One of my all time favorites!
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Old 06-11-2021, 10:42 PM   #49
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That was a long story but a very well told one.
Congrats to all.
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Old 06-11-2021, 10:58 PM   #50
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Great job all the way around.

Rwc
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