Big Manitoba Bear Down
I had the most crazy and amazing hunt of my life! I have hunted bears for years and finally got a color phase bear, but not without a few hurdles. I traveled from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Thompson, Manitoba an 8 hour drive and stayed at my friend's place Trapper Mikes Outfitting.
Here's what happened. I went hunting Sunday evening at 6:00pm May 29th, 2011 and was hanging up some beaver and suddenly there was a sow was standing behind me at 15 yards. She was popping and snapping her jaws at me. I circled to my stand and climbed the 15ft ladder and sat in the tree stand all the while she watched and was snapping. She was really mad and then I heard squeeking noises and heard a cub near the swamp to my right. The big sow came to my tree several times snapping and popping and then went to the swamp and then proceeded to circle me. I figured I should leave as she was knocking trees over and was going nuts and I didn't want to shoot her.
The next morning Monday May 30th, 2011, I went to check the trail camera and was going to hunt a different area that day. I checked the sd card and saw the sow and cub was there all night and then at 9:45am I saw this huge brown bear at the site. It was only 10:10am the same morning so I decided to go and honey burn and sit to see if it would come back. A little over an hour later this bear cub came up the trail and looked at me and then went to the barrel. It knocked it over and made a high pitched squeal. I heard crashing and popping to my right near the swamp and big momma came up th trail all agressive it looked around and then up at me and went in to the barrel and checked on the cub at about 11:50am She then circled the area popping her jaws and proceeded agressively over to me. She was mad and again popping and snarling and was on it's hind legs pushing my tree looking at me. I saw the cub at the barrel and took the cap off the large container of bear pepper spray and waited. Needless to say my heart was pumping! The sow began a quick climb up the tree popping it's jaws at me. At 6 feet or so I leaned down and gave a good spray which came out in a big mist to the bears face. Unfortunately for me the wind was blowing towards me and I also got a lot of spray blown back in on my right eye and side of my face. I yelled at her and also for the pain I was now in.
The sow went down and I was now burning. The cub ran to a tree 20 yards to my right and was huffing and hissing at the swamp and climbed up high in the tree and was spitting at the swamp. The sow arched her back up against the tree like a big cat and was pawing her face and barking at the swamp. Through my left eye I could see something big knocking small sappling's over and also popping and barking. The sow forgot all about me and I saw a tank of a bear all brown waddling towards the sow and this bear was bigger than her. He was staring up at the cub and popping at her and making throat noises. I was now in a lot of pain and was having a hard time seeing and breathing and was leaking mucus badly but couldn't leave as this was all happening only 20 yards away.
The sow stood her ground and the big brown bear came in and swatted her hard with his paw. She rolled and shook and came up mad. She stood up and he stood up bigger and they wrestled for a few seconds which seemed liked a long time while watching it and both were making loud noises. He shoved her down and she rolled over and was snapping at him. He then made throat noises again and like she meant nothing of a threat to him walked by her towards the barrel. I was having a hard time seeing now and was burning bad and tearing up and my nose was leaking badly. He put his nose near the white pail and I tried lining up my slug gun on him but no good shot was available. This was apout 12:02pm. He stayed for a minute and turned and looked at the sow and cub. He walked straight towards me and seemed unaware I was there and walked right by my tree at 8 yards and I was able to see the bead of my gun through my left eye. I put this as best I could behind his shoulder and shot. I could see it shook him hard and he growled and ran- I racked another round and shot to my left almost behind me at him and at 15 yards he dropped. (I don't kow if I hit him a second time or not as I couldn't find a second hole on the bear. )
The sow went nuts again and the cub was climbing down and the sow was now walking towards me snapping. I shot a round near her and she and the cub ran towards the swamp. By this time I could barely see out of both eyes and was tearing up good and was having a hard time breathing through the mucus running out of me. I saw the brown bear was not moving and I climbed down and stumbled down the trail to my truck. I used a litre bottle of water on my face and then went to the creek and washed for a 1/2 hour to get the pepper off me. About 1:15pm I went back in with a bunch of slugs and buck shot. I had to fire off a few scare rounds as the sow and cub were near my stand. I went to my bear and made sure it was dead. I couldn't believe the size of the head on this bear and it's body was all muscle and massive. I took a lot of photo's and was skinning out the bear and the sow came back. I had to fire some more rounds to scare it off. My eyes are all screwed up in the trophy photos as they still burned. It took me almost 3 hours to skin out the bear as I had to use cut poles to roll it over. I tried fitting the head and hide in my pack basket but it was too big. I am a strong guy but I couldn't lift the whole hide and head to take it out of the bush. I was able to call Blaine Snihor from Trapper Mikes Outfitting to come help me. Both of us had a hard time lugging the bear out and had to stop and rest every 25 yards or so. While packing it out the sow and cub was at the bait again banging around the barrel. I also took the meat as this was a great bush bear. The hind quarters were super heavy!.
At Trapper Mikes we measured the hide from nose to tail and at 7ft ,5 inch it was impressive. We estimate it was pushing 500lbs
Needless to say I had an amazing hunt of a lifetime and I will always remember it as it is LITERALLY BURNED into my memory
Chris Murphy- Winnipeg, Manitoba