Author Topic: Grandson got a bear last evening (pics added)  (Read 143 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Okanagan

  • Gold Membership
  • *
  • Posts: 3393
Grandson got a bear last evening (pics added)
« on: August 02, 2020, 09:00:00 AM »
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Opening day of Washington State bear season.  Grandson Zay bought a tag in the morning and went out in late afternoon.  His brother, Code, and their Dad went along to help.  They walked in a mile behind a locked gate, found some faint but fresh bear feeding sign and Code called with a higher pitched jack rabbit sound.  The bear arrived 20-25 minutes later, moving slowly and making enough brush noise that they knew something was approaching across a ravine from them.  They first heard it at ten minutes.

At 7:00 PM Zay shot it at 58 yards with his Tikka T3 Lite in 30-06, using a 180 grain Swift A-frame bullet.  Hit in mid ribs angling back to the last rib, the bear went 30 yards and was very hard to find.  Thick brush of a grown up clear cut, and zero blood trail.  Innards plugged the exit.  After the shot they listened to the bear crashing, not running with full control, and heard it fall.  They gave it 20 minutes and then started after it because of the lateness of the day.  Zay stayed on overwatch and the other two followed occasional crushed ferns and squirts of bear scat, and walked past it within 6 feet twice before finding it. 

Young sow with surprisingly full and pretty all black coat.  Probably 3 years old, possibly 4, estimated 130 lbs or maybe closer to 150.  Full of berries, its claws and feet smelled like berries.

Family took lots of phone pics and I will try to get something to post.  They got home at dark. Zay and I finished getting the meat in a fridge at midnight. This was Zay's second shot at a big game animal.  He shot one arrow a couple of years ago and killed a big old buck at the end of Dec. after it had dropped its antlers.  He fired one shot yesterday.     

« Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 10:22:15 AM by Okanagan »

Offline JohnP

  • Gold Membership
  • *
  • Posts: 3346
Re: Grandson got a bear last evening
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2020, 11:55:14 AM »
Congratulations to the young man.  Anxiously awaiting pictures.
When they come for mine they better bring theirs

Offline Hawks Feather

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 11086
  • Custom Call Maker
    • Jerry Latta Photography
Re: Grandson got a bear last evening
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2020, 03:23:46 PM »
Congratulate him on the bear.  Going into brush after shooting a bear doesn't sound like fun to me.

Offline KySongDog

  • Platinum Membership
  • *
  • Posts: 7348
Re: Grandson got a bear last evening
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2020, 06:36:39 PM »
Great story and congrats to the young man!  Searching for a shot bear in thick brush can be unnerving!  Glad he had back up with him.

Offline nastygunz

  • Platinum Membership
  • *
  • Posts: 6775
    • wildinthewoods
Re: Grandson got a bear last evening (pics added)
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2020, 10:32:45 AM »
 I got me a bar tag this year, I wonder if I could call Zay to come drag it out if I drop one?  :biggrin:

Offline Okanagan

  • Gold Membership
  • *
  • Posts: 3393
Re: Grandson got a bear last evening (pics added)
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2020, 10:35:32 AM »
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The kid is a brute for strength at age 17, and a cool deliberate shot under pressure.  All league first team linebacker at age 16, in a mid size high school.  After football last Fall a coach talked him into wrestling to improve his linebacker skills, and he went two rounds into State finals in his first season, on strength and using it well against far more technically skilled and experienced wrestlers.

I am blessed to live long enough to see these young men develop.  His brother Code, who grew up on this forum, has become a good bear caller along with elk, cats and coyotes.  I think that this is the third bear he has called to a shooter. He called one for a cousin a year or two ago within 100 yards of where Zay shot this one.   

As to trailing wounded bears in brush, it is our normal.  We don't think about it a lot, but take automatic caution procedures.  I.e. Code had his 45-70 along for close range back-up if needed.  We like one man to track and another to cover him, prefer not to track a bear alone in brush.

My two youngest grandsons are here from Pennsylvania and are bug eyed at what their western older cousins are up to.  They camped out on a wild river with no hiking trails last week and saw a bear. 

Not a big bear but more claws and teeth than a man wants chewing and raking on him.  Zay's hand below.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


« Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 11:10:27 AM by Okanagan »

Offline Okanagan

  • Gold Membership
  • *
  • Posts: 3393
Re: Grandson got a bear last evening (pics added)
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2020, 11:05:41 AM »
I got me a bar tag this year, I wonder if I could call Zay to come drag it out if I drop one?  :biggrin:

Call it pre-season conditioning for football and he will be there!

FWIW, if hunting bear, I’d try calling, though it is no sure thing.  Bears are unpredictable re calling, which really means we haven't figured them out as well as we have elk and coyotes.

Code has called several bears using a higher than usual jackrabbit distress hand call, and calling for 45 seconds or more with about 4 minutes of silent listening between call sounds.  I have called several with jackrabbit distress, with 10-20 seconds of sound spaced a minute or more of silence apart.  Experts more experienced than we are say to call continuously, but since I had called several bears before I learned that, I haven't changed much, though tend to call more. 

In my opinion of undetermined value, when it comes to calling all kinds of critters overall, we hunters tend to call too much rather than too little.

I've had bears run up to me when calling, and had some sneak in slowly, and some mosey in slowly, feeding on the way and acting/pretending as if they do not hear the call sound. In our brush we usually hear them coming.  Zay's bear riveted them with sound for ten or 15 minutes of approaching slowly through brush, and finally Code saw his face.  He moved but let Zay see a bit of him enough to tell where his ribs were and Zay shot through some leaves covering the bear's rib cage.

Oops. Went into ramble mode again.  My apology.

Best of luck on your bear hunt!
« Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 11:13:09 AM by Okanagan »

Offline nastygunz

  • Platinum Membership
  • *
  • Posts: 6775
    • wildinthewoods
Re: Grandson got a bear last evening (pics added)
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2020, 01:50:28 PM »
 I have called a few in while coyote and fox hunting and I'm going to try using my fox pro this year to call one in.  I think we all enjoy your writings and ramblings on here sir!

Offline pitw

  • Platinum Membership
  • *
  • Posts: 7106
Re: Grandson got a bear last evening (pics added)
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2020, 04:37:29 PM »
Congrats on the bear and follow up.
As some of you know I blow a coyote call while fishing just to see what will come to the waters edge.  Bears quite frequently come for a look see[or maybe smell see].
I say what I think not think what I say.

Offline Yotehntr

  • FnF Life Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1680
Re: Grandson got a bear last evening (pics added)
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2020, 08:37:18 PM »
Congrats to the young man! Great write up!
Yotehntr calls... put something pretty on your lips :wink:

Offline JohnP

  • Gold Membership
  • *
  • Posts: 3346
Re: Grandson got a bear last evening (pics added)
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2020, 03:28:43 PM »
When the prickly pears ripen we see them there, just like you guys see them in the berry patches.   
When they come for mine they better bring theirs