Here we have a sow and three cubs that have been awake for a week or so, this photo was taken April 4th '96, the bears were out of the den when I found them three days earlier. Awful early in the spring for a family to be up and active around here but four bears in a hole probably contributed to the urge to see the new year. They were gone from the den within a week.
Here a nice young boar is leaving his prize for a little bit while we look over the meal. He had killed a Caribou and was laying next to it when we found him. This bear was left alone to grow some, and most likely returned to the kill shortly after we left.
Here is the Caribou the Grizzly was enjoying. They seem to focus on the head first for whatever reason, then they empty the belly and move to the back end. At least the kills I have found seem to follow that pattern. Burying it is the first task though. This was early May and the Caribou were in this particular valley by the hundreds. We were glassing the herds which were scattered about in groups anywhere from 10 to 300 or more when we located the bear. He had made his kill and the Caribou seemed to pay no attention to him afterwards because there was a large group lounging about within 500 yards of this guy and his prize.
Here lies an adult cow moose that was being worked over by Ursus until I came along and wanted a closer look at the center of attention. The tale in the snow told it all. The moose had been in the open and the bear had come upon it, chasing it only a short distance before closing the gap. The moose was breaking thru the deep snow and the Grizzly was able to stay sort of on top of the snow. There would be moose/bear tracks for a bit, then only moose tracks and clumps of hair, then more moose and bear tracks. It was clear that the bear was actually on top or somehow riding the moose as it raked it with it's front claw's and bit into it's back and neck. The distance where there were no bear tracks at all was amazing, the moose was trying to make it to open tundra but it was all over within 45-50 yards. The bear was a good 7 1/2 footer but the season was yet to open for two more weeks and this one was safe, or we'd have ended his moose killing day's. Returned 5 day's later and the moose was a bone pile.
One that did'nt get away. This is actually a very young bear, according to A.D.F&G. he was five years old and he looks sort of small in the photo but he had the genes to be a real trophy bear. He was 7' 2" squared and the skull is 22 2/16. If left to mature for another three years or so he'd have been a real bruiser. He was killed within a mile of his den and had not had the chance to wear down his claws yet. These Arctic Grizzlies are asleep half their lives, usually entering the den sometime between late Oct. and early Nov. and waking sometime in mid to late April or early May. This one was killed April 15th '96.
This is a pal of mine with his 23 and a half inch skull, 7 and a half foot Arctic Grizzly Bear, April '98. That is the 30-30 model 94. A fine bear killed by a top of the line bear hunter. Doing our favorite moose herd a favor.
That model 94 is responsible for the demise of three or four bears. Somewhere I have another photo of his 10 year old son posing with a bear that was killed by the same rifle. The bear is a near nine footer which for around these parts is as big as you will find. The skull was 25 7/16 B&C and has not been entered, that is not of much concern to him. He has taken 3 or 4 records book bears I know of.The reason for using a 30-30 is unknown to me, never asked him why it is his weapon of choice. As for bullet performance, the bears are dead. I am not much of a gun or bullet man. I personally shoot a Mark V .300 Weatherby my dad had the wisdom to gift to me when I was 16 in 1978 and the bullet of choice is either a 200 grain Nosler or a 180 grain Trophy Bonded for the bears. That is more along the lines of a Grizzly gun in my opinion but that's just my opinion.
Here we have what remains of a Grizzly killed less than three days earlier. A pal of mine killed a bear, told me where it was killed and we went looking for it to see if a bear might be on it. There were wolverine tracks and ravens and foxes but no bruins there. The point of this photo is that although I will not eat Grizzly meat, something else will! Nothing but bones will remain in less than a week.
Griz, thanks for posting. It is nice to be able to see pictures other than the 'hero' poses in the hunting magazines, and read about their habits and environments. Won't find this stuff in National Geographic! I can see that you put a lot of effort into studying and hunting these very interesting creatures.
And you're right, nothing goes to waste in nature just because a human didn't eat it.
Please do not take this as skeptical; only as curious!!! How may shots from that 30-30 does it take to kill a grizzly??? and what bullet is being used?
So often on this forum, in magazines and in the reloading manuals (esp. SPEER) you hear how the 30-30 is just not enough gun. Well sir, you are the proof!
It seems to me that when the gun (model 94 30-30) was invented and marketed waaaaaay back when, It was the "high tech" state of the art rifle! There were no super slammer short belted ultra-high electronic magnums!!!!
It was like "here is a rifle, it'll work better than your handgun for hunting, so good luck".
I'm just curious, so if you could provide info, that'll be great!
Time to elaborate on our man and his habit of using a 30-30.As mentioned earlier I have never asked him why he favors a 30-30 to hunt Grizzlies but I've known him for 10 years and have a pretty good read on him and his way of life. This guy is what most people on this forum and probably a lot of other places would consider a modern day Jerimiah J. While the rest of the world goes about their busy paced life running the guantlet of challenges we are faced in just putting a hunt together and getting out once or twice a year, our man here is spending over 300 days a year on the tundra in all seasons. When the wind blows and it is just freezing arse cold, he and his boys are setting up the wall tent on the snow and hunkering down. His lifestyle is 180 degress off course of just about anyone you can think of. As a result of his approach to life it only figures he would use a weapon that reflects his way of life. Simple and straightforward. I know he also carries a 30-06. I am not all that convinced that I would try the 30-30 on my next bear hunt when Joel comes up next spring but here is proof it will kill a bear. Do I think it is smart? No comment. Do I encourage the dude from Anytown U.S.A. who is in his third year of saving for his once in a lifetime Grizzly hunt to throw some Hoppes on his 30-30 and bring it on up here? No. What sets our man, and me apart from the one time grizzly killer is our opportunities to hunt them every year. Having said all that. does it make it anymore sane or (the most overused word besides trophy) ethical to go after these bears with a 94? Well, here is the only scenario I can imagine for making me lube up my own 94 and going after one. In the spring bears are looking to either kill an ungulate of find one winter-killed. When they do, it takes a lot to move them off the prize. I can see myself finding a bear on a kill, stalking close enough to feel comfy and letting one fly in the vicinity of the shoulder and then keep levering until Ursus goes down. Now don't think I am gonna do that without Joel being there to help out with his magnum of choice. I am not stupid. I also think these bears deserve as quick a death as you can give them.I prefer the left handed Mark V to just that. I don't know what bullet he uses on the bears, I guess one that hurts the most. After all is said and done, I think a larger caliber is required but it depends on your abilities and way of thinking. Why buy the high powered magnum when a 30-30 will do. Well, you can answer that but the bear deserves a quick death, and a funeral costs a lot more than a good magnum!
Another for you lever gun men. This is an Arctic Grizzly that measures 26 3/16. Is in B&C and was killed with an 1881 45-90. This bear had killed a moose and was camped on the prize. My pal was on a moose hunt when the bear was located and they wiggled their way within 30 yards. After looking it over for a bit he was convinced it was not a large bear. He was looking for a records book bear and had held out not killing one many years, instead helping other partners get a bear. As they were debating their next move another bear approached this one's kill. After seeing the size comparison he decided to kill this one. One shot, dead bear. Bullet size was a big one, I don't know what. I was naturally more interested in the bear, not the bullet used. Our man here is into using this type of weapon, I think his last half dozen or so moose were killed with a pistol of some type. He is a good friend and I have a lot of respect for his methods and he is a top of the line hunter. This bear was hard earned and squares a bit over eight feet. A big bear.
How would you like to sneak up on a Bear that size with your 30-30? I don't know if I could do it! If everything went perfect...maybe, but what if? 2 years ago Scott and I were Caribou hunting and we spotted a mature boar (I think he was a boar), maybe a 71/2 footer. The thing I remember most as we watched him is how the muscles rolled as he walked. Also how my brother pulled out his Weatherby when we lost sight of him as he was right in front of us We watched him for about 45 minutes, he came down off this ridge, then went through the river and back up the other side. Ready for the big sleep, a little further up the drainage we spotted a den that had been dug out up near the top of a mountain. Not sure if it was his, but probably was. They are impressive to say the least...especially up close.
I lost the post. I will try again. The only way I would be comfortable in Griz country is with a perimeter of Claymoores. This sandlapper gets nervous when he blows a preditor call. I can't imagine how scared I would be if I had become the hunted by a Griz.
Thanks again for the great pics and stories. You do not know how many times I have read Fred Bears field notes. I just can't get enough.
Ol' Jeremiah can carry that 30/30 all he wants to. My choice is going to continue to be something a tad bit bigger.
The 45/90 on the other hand, that'd be one pumpkin of a round.
Great photos by the way. Never been there, but hear "There's no place like Nome". Those blonde bandy-legged grizzlies are beautiful. All we got down this way is the chocolate colored brownies. Quite a few cinnamon colored blacks, but nothing like the blondes.
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