The Bear that Killed a Bear
Voted favorite 'Larry's Short Story' by MidwayUSA customers
Here is an unusual picture that provides a good perspective of the size of a coastal brown bear. To size the bear (how big he was), we measure the extreme length and width of the hide (after skinning), then average the two. This bear is 10' 0".
We saw him just at last light, way off to the south, as he lumbered down out of the willows toward the lakeshore -- wow, was he big!
Next morning we climbed a steep hill on the opposite side of the lake, which gave us a great perspective of that entire area from about 1200 to 1500 yards distance. It was a beautiful, but hazy, October day and we saw several bears come and go around the lake. Early in the afternoon a large sow and two cubs walked down the far shoreline and a big bear suddenly came out of the bushes and chased them away -- it was our bear.
We quickly descended from our perch and crossed the lake in a small boat, landing a half-mile down the shore, for the best wind. Our stalk was inland first, aiming to cut off his escape to the willows at the base of the mountain, should he sense us.
Then we turned back toward the shore and my guide put me up front as we got near. I led quietly onward, through intermittent waist-high brush, with my 375 H&H at the ready. The bear was lying out of sight on a large mound of sod, but at 60 yards he sensed our presence and raised up on all four legs, giving me a two second broadside opportunity. One 300 grain Nosler Partition in the shoulder as he started to move, and another as he tumbled around on the ground, and the first part of this story was over -- but wait, there's more!
Walking up on the kill site we found that our bear had stripped most of the sod in a circle nearly 50 feet in diameter and formed the mound he was standing on when I shot -- interesting! We presumed he had killed a moose the night before.
While the guides were skinning the bear, Brenda got a shovel and started digging in the mound of sod. Oh my gosh; the bear had killed another bear, and not a small one either. We dug out both front feet and the head to get an idea of his size, but then left him to nature.
So, that's the story of the bear that killed a bear.
On the Alaska Peninsula
4 October 2009
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