Tag Archives: Survival Sheath Solutions

Glocking for Bears: part II

19 Jul

*Look for a version of this story to be published in an upcoming issue of Bear Hunting Magazine!

I always am mesmerized by the pads of a predator and take the time to study them...almost like some sort of Palm Reader would analyze someone's "life line". I can't help but wonder what trails have been trod and how many miles had been laid down in this bear's 15-20 year estimated years.

I always am mesmerized by the pads of a predator and take the time to study them…almost like some sort of Palm Reader would analyze someone’s “life line”. I can’t help but wonder what trails have been trod and how many miles had been laid down in this bear’s 15-20  estimated years. A quick note on field judging bears, based on the size of their pads: measure across the pad and then add one inch to equal what the bear would square. This bear’s pads almost measured six inches across, which jived perfectly…as the bear squared over six feet.

There is a saying that “every dog will have his day” and this most certainly applies to hunting. If you spend enough time in the woods, you are bound to experience an “epic” encounter at some point. A few weeks back, my number was apparently up to be thrown a bone and I was to experience one of these “epic encounters”.

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The Mountain Got It’s Own Ways

26 Sep
I made camp where my legs gave out on me. It just happened to be on a narrow saddle that was the only way over the mountain and onto the nearby ridge system.

I made camp where my legs gave out on me. It just happened to be on a narrow saddle that was the only way over the mountain and onto the nearby ridge system.

For some reason Will Greer’s line to Robert Redford in “Jeremiah Johnson” springs to mind, when I think of this past opening weekend’s bivy hunt. “You can’t cheat the mountain Pilgrim. Mountain’s got it’s own ways”. It seems just spot-on appropriate.

I began scouting the higher elevations just as soon as the snow receded enough to give me access and quickly found an area that held plenty of promise and had me excited. Towards the end of July, I began climbing higher and higher up the mountain and was surprised to find plenty of Elk, Mule Deer and Bear sign. The sight of a small Elk herd lolling in an Alpine bowl one afternoon, had my hopes high and fantasies of chasing bugling bulls above the tree line brimmed in my heart.

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Alaska DIY: nothing comes easy

18 Sep

This was a day Darin and I were down in the doldrums. At this point; it was hard to keep our heads in the game and keep looking ahead.

Actual journal excerpt from Day 5:

“Aug 31st-day 5 of hunting.

Today has been pretty much a bust. I really have no idea what time it is; nor am I really sure of the exact date…time has had no real meaning, or has it been of much consequence on this trip.”

I have been back from my Alaskan adventure exactly one week and still have not quite settled back into my normal, everyday groove. In fact it was several days before my body realized that it wasn’t in the Arctic anymore. As we headed farther South and the temperature rose; my “thermostat” seemed to rebel on me. It was set to deal with temps between twenty and fifty degrees, with icy wind chills. And my internal clock was used to days that started with a five a.m. sunrise and ended with a sunset close to midnight. Ah…the “land of the midnight sun”!

Since it will take some time to wrap my mind around my recent experience, enough to re-tell it; I figure a rough overview is in order. So much happened on this trip…I really don’t even know where to begin! There were a few days that seemed an entire adventure unto themselves and seemed to last far past any twenty four hour period.

Journal excerpt: Aug 24. “As we got closer to Alaska; the cloud cover was like thick snow (or mashed potatoes). Every once in awhile a mountain top would poke through the clouds; like a rocky island.”

Some of the highlights included two different stalk attempts on Grizzly Bears, being “lost” out on the tundra for seven hours; during thick fog and freezing rain, which didn’t allow Darin and I to get back to camp until around eleven o’clock at night. A couple very memorable stalk attempts on two magnum caliber bulls; one of which was completely caught on film. Awaiting in ambush along the Sag river for a herd of Caribou to commit to crossing. Having someone siphon gas from Brandon’s truck and attempt to siphon from ours. We saw quite a few animals that I was very excited to see; including Musk Ox, Red Foxes, a silver Hoary Marmot, Wolves, Ptarmigan, Dall sheep and obviously Caribou (one of my favorite animals) and Grizzly bears.

All in all; this was one crazy adventure and definitely a “true Alaskan experience”!

Brandon waiting in ambush; hoping this 7 footer would veer closer in our direction. She is at 89 yards in this pic.

Darin pondering our situation during our seven hour stint of being “lost” out on the tundra and being really glad he spent all that money on his Stormfront pieces by Sitka Gear

Stay tuned!