Spring Bear Hunt

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
34,803
937
So, I finally got out yesterday. Gil and I explored the Oetata area before heading toward Kanuseo Falls toward the Red Willow area. It was pretty much uneventful, however. We saw quite a variety of animals, but few bears. We weren't even finding that much scat, and other than a couple of larger scat samples, most indicated two and a half year old bears. We did see one sow and cub that responded to predator calls. She was torn between coming to see what tasty tidbit might be screaming its last and protecting her cub. He wanted to come, but she was wary. We played with the two of them for some time until we finally stepped out for her to see. We watched them skedaddle into the trees. She was not hurrying, however, pausing often to look over her shoulder. We did meet up with a fellow who has a grizzly draw for the area we were hunting. He hadn't seen a grizzly, but he reported sixteen black bears in another area the day before. He said he had seen a small pack of wolves in the valley we were just entering. We went into that valley and did some calling for wolves. We never got an answer, however and didn't see the critters. We did find their tracks, and a couple of fine grizzly tracks. These weren't massive bears, the tracks indicated they would be about six and half foot to seven foot bears. Eventually, we got into the higher elevations, thinking that the snow might drive the larger bears into some of the proximate areas. It didn't take long to find the limits of travel; the snow was about knee deep. It doesn't show in this picture, but there was a grizzly track on the edge of the road as a bear walked up the road.

HighCountryRoad.jpg


Still, it was a great day and we did get out to explore some great country. This is a general idea of the area we began the day in. It is pretty much what one would see throughout that particular area.

OetataandRedWillow.jpg


One humorous sidelight is the reaction of Gil's wife to us. Gil and I have been hunting together for a decade or more. We pretty well know one another, and we are reasonably competent at estimating the size of a bear and how long ago the bear was there from the scat. Susan listened without comment throughout the morning. However, as the day progressed, she grew incredulous, questioning whether we were just pulling her leg as we commented on scat and/or other sign (scratching trees, buds nipped, etc.). It was time to give her an exposure to some real tracking skills. As we drove into one valley, Gil commented on the only track apparent on the road leading in. "Hmmm. '07 Dodge 1500," he offered. "Running Michelin LTX A/T2s." His comment elicited protests from his bride, but nothing more was said.

Shortly, I commented, "Grouse."

"Where?" she asked.

"He flew by about ten minutes ago," I commented. Before she could comment, her husband said, "He's heavy on the left side and flying crooked."

That definitely got a reaction. We might have gotten away with this display of our skills as trackers, except as we crossed the Murray River, I said, "Trout, forty minutes ago heading for that deep pool below the bridge."

"Bull? Or Rainbow?" Gil inquired.

"Bull," I responded.

At that, Susan exploded with some inappropriate comments about bull being in the truck. She had the audacity to suggest that if we hadn't had the windows open we could have floated home from all the hot air. I can't imagine such harsh statements being made about her husband and his hunting partner.

In all, it was a great day to be out. It concluded with rain. I trust I'll slip back out later this week.
 

sask boy

Ammo Smith
Nov 4, 2007
6,001
5
Hi Mike , thanks for the photos and the short story.
Good luck and hope you get out real soon.

Blessings,
Dan
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
21,563
637
Mike,

That is some beautiful country.
Good luck on the grizzly bear hunt.

JD338
 

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,254
419
That sounds like a great hunt Mike! Good day with good friends. Not sure it gets any better than that anyhow! Great pictures too..
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
34,803
937
There is just a bit of greenery in the high country. There are plenty of sows and cubs on all the pipelines now, though. Another week or two and there will be quite a bit of breeding going on.

Jim, I don't have a grizzly tag. Gil is native, however, and he is prepared to take another nice grizzly should we see one.
 

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,459
709
That does seem to have been a mighty fine day!

From the looks of that country, I'd be right at home up there. Looks mighty familiar to this Washington State hunter. Maybe a little flat... :grin:

Seriously, that's good looking country! Someday I'll get up there and at least wet a line for trout, although hunting would be even better!

Glad you got out for a good day in the hills.

Guy
 
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