On the last day of the hunt we decided to make a huge push to the highest point that would allow us to see the most country. As we neared snow line we came face to face with a great big boar and sow mating (literally) on a snow drift. With 4 hours to go, Lance passed up the big boar, resigning to go home empty handed rather than settle for less than his dream bear.
Then it happened. While joking around about the only thing missing on this great hunt was a field photo with a Volkswagen sized bear, Lance spotted a big dark spot coming out of a deep cut in a far off hillside. Not only was it a bear, it appeared to be the big boar we had searched for all week. With no time to spare and one favorable glimpse we took off on what would be the last chance to fill the tag.
The bear still 3-4 miles away with 2 hours to go.
At just over a mile away Lance set up the scope to get a final judge on the bear. He literally looked through the spotter for less than 5 seconds and said “ that’s him, I don’t need to see any more”. I took a glimpse through the scope and finally understood exactly what Lance had been describing all week- An articulated buffalo with popeye foreams, a Jurassic park dinosaur neck, and a muzzle as big as a coffee can.
Luck finally worked in our favor and the bear slowly began to move our way. We closed the mile gap quickly and met him the middle of a giant grass flat at the base of the mountain. With the sun down and less than an hour to go, Lance pushed the safety off of what has to be the ugliest 338 in Alaska. At 175 yards the bear turned and offered a broadside shot. The first shot connected. It would take 6 more before he stopped moving.
As we walked up on the bear and confirmed he was dead, Lance walked all around him to see what he had. A huge smile broke over his face and I could tell this was a bear worthy of the effort.
I am rarely speechless, but this bears size was shocking. Although it looks big in the Photos they cannot translate the body mass on this thing. Picture a draft horse crossed with a chain saw.
After the mandatory Sat phone calls home to let everyone know of our good fortune, and a photo session to preserve the moment, we set about skinning the bear. Six miles from camp and with the plane scheduled to pic us up at 9:30 am, it was going to be a long night.
We arrived back at camp at 4 am just in time to start packing up for our extraction. With 15 minutes to spare we had everything sitting on the beach as the blue and white beaver arrived.
Lances big Kodiak bear squared 10 foot 1 inch and was estimated at 18-22 years old.
Thanks for the invite Lance. Seriously, call anytime!!! – Brendan Burns