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Location: Andover, Connecticut
Joined: 01/01/2006
Posts: 11
My Bear Hunting Story (WA)

I went on my first guided hunt this past August for Black Bear in Northeast Washington. It was spot & stalk since WA no longer allows baiting or using hounds and I prefer the spot & stalk method anyway. I had been practicing at about 200 yards with my Savage 300 WSM and was very comfortable out to 300 yds. During the 5 day hunt we saw 3 different bears on 4 different occasions. On the first afternoon we saw one out near 450 yards; however it slipped away through the thickets and disappeared before we could move closer. The second bear saw us before we saw it and it was moving fast by the time we spotted him. The next day we returned to Mystified Mountain (think this was the name) and saw the bear once again, this time walking along foraging on huckleberries. On this hunt I was expecting a 100 to 300 yd shot with a little time to set up, but this bear was only 45 yds and walking towards the brush, it was also up a fairly steep hill. At this range the bear filled my scope and I had no rest, my bipod made it worse by throwing off the balance on this freehand shot. I fired and missed a few inches over the bears back, he was gone in a flash. The final day we saw the @$$ end of a cinnamon colored bear, two moose and some mule deer but no more shots. I guess all the factors I mentioned along with a fair amount of “bear fever” could only lead to one thing. Although I didn’t get a bear the trip out west was my first and still a great experience.

Tom

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Location: New Jersey
Joined: 01/09/2006
Posts: 68
My Bear Hunting Story (WA)

Sounds like you had a fairly good time, or a least as good as possible without killing a bear. If anything else it was a great learning experience for you. What kind of scope are you using? The only reason I ask is that, I feel more than comfortable shooting 300+ yards with my scope, but also I can dial it down so that I could shoot 20yards if needed without any problem. I'm also a little different when it comes to shooting and making sure that my rifle is right on, I don't settle for anything less than a 5 shot group of less than a 1/4 inch at 100 yards, in the ten spot, or if I know that I'll be shooting around 300 yards, just a little high (1") at 100 yards cause of the trajectory of the bullet out of my gun. Anyway sounds to me like you need to take all that crap off that rifle and maybe spend some more time freehand shooting at 100 yards and under, just rember that anyone can shoot with a rest, its freehand that separates the men from the boys.

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Location: Andover, Connecticut
Joined: 01/01/2006
Posts: 11
My Bear Hunting Story (WA)

I have a 4x-12x Bushnell Banner Dusk to Dawn scope and had it at 4x.

It’s tough because you never know what type of shot is going to present itself. My outfitter suggested a bipod for the hunt so I purchased and added one to my rifle, and practiced with it extensively. However I failed to practice free hand shots with the bipod in place. The ironic thing is, if I had my 8mm Mouser w/ iron sights that would have been a dead bear. I killed a buck up in Vermont a few years ago with it at about 50 yds uphill, it was nearly the same shot. However this wasn’t an option considering the guide’s explanation that most of the bears killed with them were taken at about 200 yds.

Every day out in WA started at about 45/50 degrees but it was unusually warm every day of the hunt with most of the days exceeding 100 degrees. Both the guide and I knew that the bears were keeping out of the heat and not moving much. By the way I hunted with Bearpaw Outfitters and was guided by Brian Denney.

As you said this was a great experience and certainly a worthwhile trip, I’m 18 so I hope to get back out that way and try again at western black bears in the near future.

Tom

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Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
My Bear Hunting Story (WA)

Thanks for the story. Sounds like alot of fun to me. Thumbs up

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Location: Washington's Back Country
Joined: 06/25/2005
Posts: 316
My Bear Hunting Story (WA)

Good to hear somebody got some triggertime in on a bear or two. I was curious as to what part of NE washington you were hunting in. I also spent a fair share of my time hunting yogi this year in NE Washington beings I live there......but had no success. I hunted for a good share of the season and only seen 1 bear. I didn't even have my rifle either......I was packing the 12 gauge grouse hunting. Of course he just stood there and stared at me. I did also see a pretty fair size one during turkey season; and another one after bear season closed. But owell

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Location: Andover, Connecticut
Joined: 01/01/2006
Posts: 11
My Bear Hunting Story (WA)

Ridgerunner,
I hunted in early August with Bearpaw Outfitters in Colville. We hunted private leased land and some public spots as well. Try Majestic Mountain (Whatcom), and be sure to get way up there by truck or ATV, this is where I missed that one. Just be wary of huckleberry pickers as this peak is loaded with berries and some times people. There are some other spots that looked ok, but no bears, and I can’t remember the names. I had a great time out there, and hope to get back in the near future, so much room to roam.
Tom

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