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Kodiak brown bear with a longbow!

 
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Longbow6360
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Aug-08-14, 
06:57 PM (MST)
"Kodiak brown bear with a longbow!"

LAST EDITED ON Aug-13-14 AT 08:53 PM (MST) by Founder (admin)

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I have the privilege of living in the most beautiful and game-rich state in the US. I also live in the archipelago of Kodiak islands. Even nicer still, I don't live on Kodiak but on the island of Afognak. I work in maintenance in one of the largest salmon hatcheries in the world. No towns, no open roads and the only hunters I see are the people I work with. It's hard to get here. It's hard to hunt. We have very few brown bear tags issued compared to the huge bear population we have here. I usually see bears every day while at work. Just today I saw a sow and three cubs and two 5(?) year old boars. Yesterday I saw a smaller 6ft and a bigger 9.5ft bear while stumpshooting along a trail with my longbow. (I'm quite sure of their size because I measured their front tracks.)
The chances of a resident drawing an Afognak tag is usually under 15%. Imagine my elation when I drew tag for this fall.

Two days ago I left to go stumpshooting and spotted this bruiser bedded on a pile of gravel 25 yards from my deck.

Last week I was hiking a trail along a creek and spotted this old bear. He has a scar over his right eye. He had eaten so many salmon that he could hardly move so he plopped down for a nap. I'd shoot him in a heartbeat.

My son is coming up from Utah to hunt with me and to back me up. My plans are to hunt the first 10 days with my longbow and the last 5 with a gun. I'll keep posting here as my scouting and hunting progresses. I can't wait until Oct 25th!!!

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  Table of Contents  

 Subject   Author   Message Date   ID 
 RE: Kodiak bro...  Longbow6360      Aug-10-14   1 
  RE: Kodiak bro...  Longbow6360      Aug-11-14   2 
  RE: Kodiak bro...  Longbow6360      Aug-12-14   3 
   RE: Kodiak bro...  Longbow6360      Sep-19-14   4 
   RE: Kodiak bro...  Longbow6360      Sep-22-14   6 
    RE: Kodiak bro...  Longbow6360      Sep-23-14   7 
     RE: Kodiak bro...  Longbow6360      Sep-27-14   8 
      RE: Kodiak bro...  Longbow6360      Sep-28-14   9 
       RE: Kodiak bro...  Longbow6360      Oct-07-14   10 
        RE: Kodiak bro...  Longbow6360      Oct-21-14   11 
         RE: Kodiak bro...  Longbow6360      Oct-23-14   12 
          RE: Kodiak bro...  Longbow6360      Oct-26-14   13 
           RE: Kodiak bro...  Longbow6360      Oct-28-14   14 
            RE: Kodiak bro...  Longbow6360      Oct-31-14   15 
            RE: Kodiak bro...  Longbow6360      Oct-31-14   16 

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Longbow6360
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Aug-10-14, 
05:43 PM (MST)
1. "RE: Kodiak brown bear with a longbow!"

The Pinks are coming in right now. Yesterday, I was out working on the fish ladder when this guy came down to poach a salmon.

After work, Lisa and I hit a stream about a mile from our house to do a little salmon fishing. We caught our limit of five pretty quickly. Nine Sockeyes and one hen Chum.

After that we headed out to sea and Lisa caught this monster halibut


For long distance dial 1-800-338-EDGE

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Longbow6360
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Aug-11-14, 
03:39 PM (MST)
2. "RE: Kodiak brown bear with a longbow!"

It's a good idea to practice with the same gear that you'll be hunting in so you can take care of any problems that might creep up before the hunt starts. I've had a set of Sitka 90% coat and pants for a few years and loved them but I needed a good quality set of raingear. We have rain 63% of the days here on Afognak. Good raingear is important here. I bought a set of Sitka Cloudburst raingear GUARANTEED to be water proof. I've worn them a few times but not in a good rainstorm. After two hours of walking through the ferns/brush my knees were soaked. I'm pissed, (to the tune of $325).

I made up a dozen arrow and wanted to tune them in. I can't get them to fly like my old shafts. I'll go back to my old shafts. Here's a picture of my bow with a bear trail in the background. The ones with the green fletching fly great. I'll stick with those for the hunt.

Look at all the salmon in this creek! No wonder there's a beaten bear trail coming down the bank. Sorry about the blurry picture.

The berries are thick this year. Since it's hard to get alcohol flown in here, my wife and I brew our own beer and wine.

I'll try to get more pictures of brown bears the next couple days.

For long distance dial 1-800-338-EDGE

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Longbow6360
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Aug-12-14, 
03:39 PM (MST)
3. "RE: Kodiak brown bear with a longbow!"

I was hiking up to check our lake and caught up to these bears moping along. It was a sow and her three cubs. (You can see her butt just around the corner.) I took a few pictures and then yelled at them. They took off up through the devils club. No wonder we're required to carry guns at work.

When I got up to the lake I spotted this guy scratching himself on a tree.

You could say we have a few pink salmon in our bay! No wonder we're overrun with bears.

For long distance dial 1-800-338-EDGE

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Longbow6360
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Sep-19-14, 
02:14 PM (MST)
4. "RE: Kodiak brown bear with a longbow!"

The bears are especially thick here when we have a run of salmon come in. The other night a bear pulled one of my crab trap floats out from under my deck and tore it to pieces. Last night a bear chewed the fenders, grip, tore the seat apart and bit a hole in the tire of my wife's 4-wheeler . We had the last remaining wheeler seat on the island. All the others have been shredded by bears.

This morning I saw a fox cleaning up the dead salmon.

Tonight I was quietly stumpshooting along a bear trail when I came over a hump and saw this bed with a sleeping bear in it. Six paces away!!! I was way inside it's danger zone! I leaped back and went around to try and get a picture of it. My scent woke it up but it didn't know where I was so it started coming towards me. I had my camera out and waved at it to let it know where I was.

I had pre-made a sign in case I saw a bear tonight. 2Lumpy, since you wanted an update, this picture's for you.

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Longbow6360
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Sep-22-14, 
09:27 AM (MST)
6. "RE: Kodiak brown bear with a longbow!"

I went mushroom hunting/bear scouting yesterday. I found a huge patch of Angel Wings and three kinds of Russulas. Eureka! I fried up the Angel Wings in butter and garlic and they were tasty. (I threw in a Kimber Eclipes Custom II for your viewing pleasure. Lust if you must.) We are not required to carry a gun while at work but it's highly encouraged. We have a gunrack in our office with a variety of rifles, pistols, ammo and spray we can check out. We don't often carry at work but when we leave the property we ALWAYS carry something.

I peeked over the edge of a cliff and saw a bear thrashing about the water trying to catch Coho salmon. I watched him for about a half hour. He was only about a 7-footer but fat as can be.

He moved up into the effluence of the creek I was hiking above until he was right below me. I was going to jump on his back but I had my nice shoes on .

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Longbow6360
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Sep-23-14, 
08:36 AM (MST)
7. "RE: Kodiak brown bear with a longbow!"

I came out this morning to go to work and saw this guy eating grass 30 yards below our deck. Lisa snapped this photo as he was leaving.

After our morning meeting I was on my way to check on the generators when I saw this chubby fellow stealing salmon. He was quite tolerant of me across the creek. He just kept fishing. A lot of bears will see you and amble off into the brush.

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Longbow6360
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Sep-27-14, 
08:05 AM (MST)
8. "RE: Kodiak brown bear with a longbow!"

Some of the bear trails here are getting beat pretty bad now. Bears are habitual creatures until their food source dries up. I hope the salmon runs hold out until Oct 28th!

I was shooting my new arrows along a trail along the shore of a lake when I spotted a bear asleep in the water. He was laying in the water with his head laying on the bank. What the hell! He must have been full of fish and needed a nap.

My camera flash might have woke him up. I took another picture and got out of there. I looked back and he was doing the same.

I can't wait for the hunt to start!!!

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Longbow6360
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Sep-28-14, 
09:37 AM (MST)
9. "RE: Kodiak brown bear with a longbow!"

Where does a Kodiak brown bear sleep? Any damn place she wants!!!

I went to hike up to a lake above our house. I have to cross a bridge to get to the trail. As I approached the bridge, this old girl was sleeping on a water pipe while her four cubs played on the bridge. Dang, I guess I'll go hike some place else today.

On my way back I saw this big guy down by the creek. He's a shooter.

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Longbow6360
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Oct-07-14, 
11:03 AM (MST)
10. "RE: Kodiak brown bear with a longbow!"

I got some jerky seasoning in the mail so I thought I'd go out and shoot a blacktail Sunday. First I jumped a bear out of it's bed right off the trail! He let out a woof and crashed off. Holy cow my heart jumped!! I just wasn't paying attention. Here's a picture of his bed from the trail.

It made me think about how little time I had to collect myself and get a shot off if he had came at me. Even with my rifle cradled in my arms I couldn't have had time to shoot. It scared me just thinking about it.
I hiked up past a couple lakes and decided to head back when I saw two deer about 200 yards down the logging road. I threw my pack down for a rest and shot the spike. As I was gathering my stuff, I saw a bear walking down the trail towards me and the deer. He walked right up to it, sniffed it, bit it on the front shoulder and walked off with it into the alders. Gimme my damn deer back! What the hell? Did it not hear me shoot? Did he not care about me yelling at him? I have to say, I was damn nervous walking past the place where he went into the alders. On the way back I saw six more bears. Four were a sow and three cubs sniffing my 4-wheeler when I got back.

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Longbow6360
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Oct-21-14, 
08:32 AM (MST)
11. "RE: Kodiak brown bear with a longbow!"

I flew by bush plane into Kodiak and went through my brown bear orientation, signed my papers and got my tag! I'm pretty excited. My son is coming up on Thursday and the hunt starts Saturday!!!

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Longbow6360
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Oct-23-14, 
08:27 AM (MST)
12. "RE: Kodiak brown bear with a longbow!"

My son arrived by bushplane today. Man, I miss this guy! We've been hunting buddies since he was a tot. We've hunted most western states and Alaska many times. Now he's here to back me up on a hunt of a lifetime. The bear hunt doesn't start until Saturday so we went hunting for deer after my work. As we were nearing a creek a bear rushed us. He probably thought we were another bear. They're getting pretty pissy with each other now that the salmon runs are nearly over and their food is starting to dry up. As soon as he realized we were human he backed off, huffed, chomped his jaws a bit and ambled off into the alders. My son couldn't believe it. Welcome to Afognak island son!

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Longbow6360
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Oct-26-14, 
09:51 AM (MST)
13. "RE: Kodiak brown bear with a longbow!"

Opening day! We hiked up to one of our lakes and took the skiff to the back of the lake where we wanted to watch the effluent of a creek. We hid down the bank where we could watch for bears that came out of the bush to fish. It wasn't long before a big blonde bear showed up. We scrambled our gear together and the stalk was on. We sneaked in and couldn't relocate him. It was a little spooky because he just disappeared. Shaun spotted a salmon on the shore so he threw it up on the bank. We stillhunted up the creek for about 400 yards and saw no sign of him. When we got back to the shore the salmon was gone! Yikes, that was quick.

My son glassed another good bear across the lake. A silver fox was following him along the shore. WTH? We jumped in the boat and tried to get ahead of him. Bears don't like boats. He scrambled up into the alders and disappeared.
I caught a Sockeye with my hands that was squirming up the creek. Man they're getting old an beat up now. Poor fish.

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Longbow6360
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Oct-28-14, 
12:01 PM (MST)
14. "RE: Kodiak brown bear with a longbow!"

Today we spotted a bear asleep on the edge of a clearcut. We weren't sure how big it was so we stalked into about 30 yards. It looked like a small bear, maybe 6 or 7 feet, so I passed. Other than this one, I've had the opportunity to shoot three really good bears so far. I'd really like to see the first blonde we saw on the first day again.

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Longbow6360
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Oct-31-14, 
09:14 AM (MST)
15. "RE: Kodiak brown bear with a longbow!"

We saw another bear splashing around trying to catch a salmon so we put the sneak on him. When we got to within bowrange he walked out into the water and started to swim our way. It looked like he was headed to a spot 20 yards on the other side of us. This was perfect!! As soon as he got up on the bank I would shoot him. At the last second he turned and started to swim towards us. Oh boy, what am I going to do now?! He was going to come out of the water three yards below me! There's no way I'm going to shoot him in the head and I'll have no chest shot. At 10 yards I stood and yelled. He dropped his salmon, let out huff and swam down the bank. I ran towards where he was heading but because of all the downfall we just couldn't get there in time. We had to sit down for a while after that one.

While we were sitting there, my son looked at me and said "you're bleeding". While scrambling through the downfall my arrow was knocked off the string. When I reached into the brush to retrieve it I must have cut it. Blood was just running out of my finger. I couldn't even feel it. Good thing it wasn't my string fingers!

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Longbow6360
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Oct-31-14, 
09:14 AM (MST)
16. "RE: Kodiak brown bear with a longbow!"

Dang, Shaun and I are beat! We had been checking a kill site for the last couple mornings. The first day we sneaked into 30 yards on a smaller bear and I passed on him. A bigger bear must have kicked him off because when we sneaked up on the site again this morning and there was a big bruiser guarding it. We were quietly discussing strategy about how to get into bowrange when he winded us. He was stomping, huffing, swinging his head and coming towards us. Things were getting real ugly real fast. We were caught and he was way too big to pass up. I said "Shaun, this ain't good, give me my rifle." As soon as he turned sideways I put a bullet behind his shoulder. He took off! Now we had to track him through some pretty damn thick growth. We moved so slow. We were pretty nervous. A bird that flitted away from us made me jump out of my boots. Finally, I spotted him down by a beaver damn and he was still breathing. WTH? As soon as I shot again he went ape freaking crazy! He let out a roar, bit at the bullet hole, growled and ran into the bog. I put another shot into him for insurance. We had to use a hoist and ropes to pull him out onto the bank. It took us over three hours to skin him. He was just too big to roll over and move around. Thanks to my awesome son for backing me up on three previous stalks stalks and for the one this morning.

Having a son is pretty handy. He waded into the bog and got a rope around the bear's neck. We had to use a winch to get him out and on to the bank.


It took us over three hours to skin him. We were taking our time trimming all the fat off to reduce the weight of the hide. My son packed the hide down to the lake (again, sons are handy) while I hiked back to the skiff and motored back to meet him. The hide alone weighted 138 pounds!

I flew into Kodiak Game and Fish and had him tagged and measured today. He squared 9'5" and his skull measure 25 3/8.

I'll have to say, it was hard to say goodbye to my son at the float plane dock. We've been hunting all over the west and Alaska together every year since he was 5 years old. He killed his first bear when he was 12. I love that guy.

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