Headed out this A.M. into the famous Swan Hills of central Alberta. Had my buddy from Edmonton with me.
At 7:00 o'clock, as we pulled into an intersection, I looked down the road to my left and immediately saw a nice cinnamon bear walk across the road, about 400 yards away. I shut off the truck, grabbed the .45-70 and walked up the road. Once I got up to about where I thought the bear had crossed, I got looking around and could not see it. I figured I might as well cross the ditch and talk a look into the trees, to see if I could spot it.
Once I got through the strip of poplars, that run up that particular ditch, I saw the bear. He was another 100 yards further up the ditch feeding away like a pig, with his ass toward me. I walked up the ditch toward him. The closer I got the smaller he looked. I finally stopped at 15 yards and by then I had already decided to pass. I let the bear see me at that short distance and it scared the shit out of it! He ran into the bush, huffing every stride. I would guess he was a 5' bear.
So then me and "Edmonton" headed north. We wandered a few sideroads, checking areas I knew were good. Nothing but deer until 9:00.
We were near Freeman Lake, Alberta (you can look it up on your map) and there's a great spot for bears there. I've been checking this particular road all spring; as we turned the corner, Edmonton says, "There's one!"
I looked and could see right away this was a shooter, a real good bear and it was another cinnamon. The bear ran a short 10 yards and stopped in some poplars. I was out of the Chevy by this time and had the .45-70 ready for business. The bear was a pretty good size and when it ran, my initial thought was that it was a grizzly. From the color, plus the color of the muzzle, when it looked at us.
As soon as I brought up the .45-70 and scoped it, I knew for certain it was a black bear and I found the juncture of the shoulder and fired (range was ~40 yards). My bullet caught it perfectly and the bear collapsed in it's tracks. I racked in another shell and headed across the ditch. The bear then tried pulling itself up but it could not; I had spined it. I sent another bullet through the lungs into the off shoulder and that settled him for the moment. I put in another round and walked right up to it, the bear when he saw me started trying to bite me. So I had to step back and give him another, right behind the head, through his neck.
I'm going to guess his weight at 350lbs. Me and Edmonton tried to lift it and just raised the ass end. The front stayed on the ground. So we unloaded my quad and backed it up to a ledge of ground so we only had to lift it 2'... good thing we only had to lift it 2', it was a workout!
We then had the pleasure of stopping at the Gas Plant, where I work and showing the guys there and then we skinned it out.
After skinning the hide went 77" across the front legs and 73" nose to tail, without any stretching. The bear looks so fucking much like this bear from this other thread it is silly... sorry I don't have a digital camera. If you check out those pics, you are almost looking at my bear. I think the skull on mine is slightly smaller. I'd guess it's gonna be around 18 1/2".
Citizen of the Republic of Alberta, on the western border of Canada...