Scouting for Grizzly


Nov 8, 2006
BlkRam and I invested a 22-hour day Friday scouting the region in which we are looking for a grizzly this fall. The drive into the area was about eight hours (up at 3 and on the road by 3:45; home the following morning at 2 a.m.). It will be a challenging area as it is more densely wooded than our own AO. Nevertheless, we wanted to explore an area we had never hunted--and we found it.

I didn't take any photos (having forgotten my camera), but as we actually hunt the area, I will be certain to include photos of the hunt. We counted twelve black bears, the first of which was easily six and a half feet. He was long and lanky with a large melon, caught in the open staring stupidly at us and wondering what to do. That didn't last long, however. I chose not to pull the trigger on him as we were about three hours from the nearest community, and it would have meant losing precious time in order to care for the meat and hide. We also saw a lynx and a wolf pup early in our exploration. I'm encouraged by the possibilities. Draw odds were 0.4:1, which tells me that the remote nature of the zone and the lack of competition ensures a largish grizzly population--provided we can find the bear we want. It will be demanding, but that is the nature of the hunt.

We can get high into the mountains and have numerous clear-cuts to glass in order to find the game we are looking for. We are in hopes of picking up caribou and a young moose, as well as a good black bear while in the region. I am certainly not adverse to tagging an elk and perhaps a whitetail.

I carried my 9.3X64 yesterday and had my 270WSM in reserve. When we return next month, I plan on carrying my 358 Norma Magnum. I ruined my 8X68S sixing die (don't ask) and am waiting on a new decapping unit. If I get it in time, I should be able to carry this rifle with me for that hunt. If not, then the 350 Rem Mag will likely accompany me. The 9.3X64 is shooting 250 grain ABs at ~2750 fps. The 270 WSM shoots 130 grain E-Tips at ~3250 fps. The 358 Norma Magnum is being focused on 250 grain A-Frames at ~2800 fps. And the 8X68S is receiving attention for a 200 grain A-Frame at ~3000 fps. The 350 Rem Mag shoots 200 grain TSXs at ~2750 fps. Any of these will work quite well on bears and what have you.

I trust I'll have a more complete report early this coming month. However, I'll keep the forum apprised of progress as we move somewhat deliberately toward this hunt. Gil's wife, Susan, asked that we allow her to take the first black bear and the first caribou, which we are more than happy to allow. I have dibs on the grizzly (of course) and on the first fork-horn moose we see. My wife prefers that I shoot young moose, and being old and somewhat senescent (senile (?)), I'm only to happy to agree to her request. Should be a great hunt with great friends.
Sounds like a great day Dr. Mike. I wish you guys the best of luck. Some neat cartridges you are taking along. Sounds like you are caliber poor!

sounds like a heck of a good time . can't wait to read about it and see the pics . good luck and be safe to your hunting crew .
It sounds like you had a great day DrMike, I am sure that when the full hunt comes around that you will be very successful.
I am so looking forward to your stories and photos.
Remember my friend have Fun, Shoot straight and most of all be Safe!!


Sounds like a great adventure. Your choice of firepower
is more than up to the task. Best of luck on your upcoming grizzly bear hunt.

It sounds like a great day indeed. Best of luck on your fall hunting adventures.
I think you've already met with a fair bit of success, just getting out like that!

Best of luck on the hunt.

The bears are in this zone. Right now they are still on the mountain sides, as are the caribou. Regulations restrict the harvest of moose to spikes and fork-horns, but that is mama's order in any case. Just the two of us eating, and a young animal is just about the right size. There are elk, mule deer and whitetail in the area as well. There won't be too much meat even if I was successful in taking one of every game animal--four grandchildren and my daughter and son-in-law will welcome the meat. I don't really have a feel for ungulate populations in this particular zone. We will have ample time to poke around in out-of-the-way places, spending enough time to leave us exhausted each evening and eager to get at it again on the following day. I'm definitely getting pumped to be there. My gas tank is 179 litres (47.5 US gal.), and it required about 3/4 of a full tank to make it to the top of the zone after we left Gil's house on the reserve. Remoteness is not a problem. Guy is correct--this hunt is successful in just being there. I loved it.
Boy that Toyota must be a gas hog or you have a lead foot :roll: :lol:
Take extra gas cans full of gas so you don't get stranded. :mrgreen:
Good luck with the hunt Buddy. (y)
Good luck on your upcoming hunt. Can't wait to see some pictures!

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We are not required to harvest the meat of grizzlies at this time (such has been proposed, but has not been implemented). We do have to harvest the meat of black bears, which is delicious when they have been grazing. Grizzly is, not surprisingly, similar to black bear, though somewhat more coarse. The flavour of the meat is excellent; the hams when smoked are very good.
What an incredible variety of game to hunt. Fascinating, no idea such opportunities existed to fill so many tags in a single hunt.

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salmonchaser":em7k6dts said:
What an incredible variety of game to hunt. Fascinating, no idea such opportunities existed to fill so many tags in a single hunt.

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There are thinhorn sheep and goats in the area as well; and bighorn sheep are nearby. If one is interested in hunting predators, there are cougars, wolves, coyotes, wolverines and lynx in this particular zone. Plus, there are several varieties of grouse. I consider myself blessed to live where I do; I do not take this privilege lightly.
Sounds like you have a great spot picked out. I watched a nice big grizzly eat berries for about an hour this afternoon. Sadly I didn't have a grizzly tag with me, of all things to save $20 on!

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I hear you on the matter of tags. Sure as I neglect a tag (imagining that I can save a penny) I'll find the perfect specimen that should have been collected. Still, isn't it great to walk with the great bears and to watch them go about their business?