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Sow with Cubs

I would be interested to hear any stories you have if you were in the woods (any time of year) and came across a sow with cubs. Doesn't have to be a near death experience, just interested in how the encounter happened, what happened, and if you learned anything from it.

Thanks

JonR

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Location: Western Colorado
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Re: Sow with Cubs

Lets see, the first year that I bow hunted deer here in Colorado I was sitting up against a nice big tree glassing a hill side. Along came two smallish yearling cubs just playing. They were around 50 yards away so I figured that I could get a picture of them. When I tried to get my camera out of my fanny pack I heard a Woof and both the cups went up the nearest tree. I then saw mama. She was just past the cubs looking straight at me. It seamed like a couple of hours went by but only a minute or so and she woofed again and headed down the hill. Both the cubs came down and followed her. Now my problem was that was the direction that my truck was in. Needless to say I took the long way back to the truck and didn't get any pictures.

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Re: Sow with Cubs

Haven't had any run ins with black bear sows with cubs. But I did have a grizzly sow and a cub within ten yards once. Never walk away from your shotgun to take a leak.

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Re: Sow with Cubs

critter, that's a shame you didnt get a picture. Thanks for the story.

xpatriate, 10yards is really close. Did she move her cubs along or did you two size each other up? Not sure I could hunt alone in grizzly country.

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Re: Sow with Cubs

I actually wasn't alone. I was providing backup for my buddy on a brown bear hunt. It was pretty dense country along a river full of salmon, and we saw bears every day. We knew there were at least two sows with cubs in the area, and we gave them space whenever we heard or saw them working the river in our direction. But as I said, this was coastal Alaska and the cover was pretty thick and full of bear trails. We hunted in chest waders and walked in the river to get from place to place because it was safer than stooping along through the maze of bear trails.

On this particular day, we'd gone downriver to a set of shallows where we'd seen a nice boar. We found our spot and got out to sit in the brush along the riverbank and wait. I started to get cold after awhile, because you dress lighter for the trip in the river so as not to work up a sweat, but when you start sitting it starts to creep in. So after an hour or so I decided it was time to put on a sweater. That meant setting the shotgun down, taking off the pack and jacket, and dropping the chest waders to put on the sweater. Since I had to strip down that far, I figured I might as well answer nature's call.

There was a bear trail that ran right behind us, so I stepped back a few feet to it to do my thing. It was a tactic we'd been using for a couple years -- take a leak on the trail just up and downriver from our position, so any bear using the trail would wind us before stepping on us. The idea was to prevent encounters from behind.

So there I was, with my d**k in my hand and my shotgun on the riverbank about 8 feet away. I heard movement on the other side of a tree I was standing next to, and I leaned around the tree to look. There was a sow and a cub coming through the brush right at me. I actually started to laugh; this is how I'm going to die? Are you kidding me? God has quite the sense of humor. I did the only thing I could: yell. She was upwind and apparently hadn't seen me yet due to the tree and the camo, and that yell at such close quarters startled her enough that she made an abrupt 90 degree turn and took her cub up the riverbank into the brush. I then grabbed my shotgun and got ready for a reattack, but she never came back.

My buddy was only about 15-20 feet away from me watching the river and never saw them. He wound up getting an 8 foot boar from that spot the next day.

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Location: Palmer Ak
Joined: 03/23/2007
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Re: Sow with Cubs

Have had two times I stepped over the line with black bear sows with cubs. The first was a sow and well grown cub feeding in and old landing strip, after moving into about 65 yds to take pictures I focused on the sow for a few min, during that time the cub had walked the opposite edge of the opening till it was almost straight across from me, at that point it ran into my scent, in a panic it squalled as it ran into the woods, the sow took one look up, fixed on me and came, about 35 yrds off she realized the cub was running into the woods and followed. The second was on a black bear hunt last spring , we watched a large boar cross an opening about 300 yrds away, and move into a part of the opening we couldn't see, thinking this was the chance I'd been waiting for,I moved across to shield my approach till the last moment. But when I reached the edge and could see down the opening there was a mid size sow with a cub feeding, she was acting a bit edgy [probably from the boar] and was watching the far edge of the opening ,I took a couple pictures ,and started to back away, guess I made some noise because quite suddenly she turned to look my way, as soon as she saw me she was on her way, my way, I was packing a 45/70 and had her covered but had no desire to kill an illegal bear, she turned off at about 20-25 yds much to my relief. In three days we saw fifteen black bears and two browns, I did take a small black bear for meat, but will be back this year a week earlier. Hope the hides are in better shape and there are fewer sows with cubs around.
Alex

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Joined: 10/16/2007
Posts: 62
Re: Sow with Cubs

some good reading. I suspect it is a little adrenaline rush to even remember/retell these encounters.

thanks for sharing your encounters.

JonR

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