Saturday night 9/24/11 @6:57 i shot a black bear @13 yds. with my .06 165 grain bullet. The bear was broadside, facing to the right (south) front leg forward and back leg, well back. The bear wasn't huge by my measurements (as I screwed up on a bigger one last week). I didn't have much light, however legal shooting time ended at 7:06 p.m. I shot, the bear didn't flinch, roll or make a noise it just took off down the trail running south. At about 7:00 p.m. i heard a death moan (i have never heard it before, so i tried to imitate the sound to my buddies and the confirmed it sounded like a death moan. One important point, it had poured up until about 6:30 p.m. so the ground and all plant life was saturated. Additionally, i am in Wisconsin's heavily forested area with lots of low ferns and thick cover. I got down out of my stand at the death moan and headed south hoping i could finish it off as it was very wet, thick forest etc. I walked toward the moan, about 80 yds., and gps'd the spot as it was thick and i didn't want to move any further due, it was dark and i didn't want to jump or be jumped by the bear. As i was gps'g the spot, it moaned a final time and then silence. The moan sounded so close, now keep in mind the woods can reverbrate sounds, however i thought it was below the hill i was overlooking. So, I went back to my truck, met up with my buddy and we came back about 1 hr. later 8:00 ish. We started at the bait pile, no blood or hair, did find the bullet hit in the dirt/sland along with a paw print that looked like it had dug in before running south. At this point we looked for blood, nothing. We decided to call it a night at about 9:30 ish, and come back in the a.m. My buddy was tic'd that I went to find the bear within 15 minutes of shooting.
We came back the next morning to my gps'd spot thinking the bear would be below the hill, nope. We spent the next 4 hrs. looking for blood, hair or a dead bear. We covered 500 yds in two different quadrants at the point of the last death moan. Nothing. Thick cover, plenty of dark spots to crawl in and die, however nothing. Thoughts from anyone? We left for home yesterday afternoon, so this bear will not be found by us.
Did i push the bear off it's death bed? If so, why wouldn't we have found blood somewhere? The death moan lasted maybe two minutes, maybe less . . . it was loud, eerie and honestly i just wanted to find the bear after losing the big one last week.
thanks for your thoughts . . .