Missing a Brown Bear too Close with Tony Mudd



By: John F. Phillips
By: John E. Phillips

Editor’s Note: This is part 2 of a 2 part series on Bowhunting brown bear in Alaska with Tony Mudd from my book “Bowhunting the Dangerous Bears of Alaska”. Tony Mudd lives in Reno, Nevada, and guides archery brown bear hunters in Alaska with Knik Glacier Adventures www.knikglacieradventures.com, starting at the end of July each year. He’s a member of the PSE pro staff and has taken 23 of the 28 North American big game animals with his bow.


Question: Tony, tell us about this bear that was 10- to 12-yards from you and your bowhunter. Mudd: This bear would have weighed about 800 pounds and would have squared about 8-1/ 2-feet.

Question: Where did the bowhunter hit the bear when he took the shot?

Mudd: In this situation, the bowhunter missed the bear at 10 yards. My client was a traditional shooter. The bear was walking, and the archer shot right in front of the bear. When the arrow hit the ground, the bear stopped and saw the arrow in front of him. I was trying to encourage the bowhunter to nock a second arrow and take another shot. As I watched, the bear turned his head toward the arrow, since he smelled the human odor on the arrow,  we didn’t get another shot.

Question: Was the hunter successful in taking another bear?

Mudd: Yes, he was. We set-up on an observation point to watch bears coming down to the river to feed. We spotted a bear coming down to the river, and moved to within 20 yards. This time the bowhunter took a really nice bear at about 20 yards.



Question: Tony, what causes bowhunters to miss bears when the bear is in close?

Mudd: This question has a simple answer. Remember that brown bears are dangerous game. They can attack. When you’re within 20 yards of an 800-pound-plus brown bear, a huge adrenaline rush hits the shooter.

Question: Tony, when that bear’s in close, and instinctively you know that the hunter has this huge adrenaline rush just before the shot, how do you help your bowhunters calm down enough to make really good shots?

Mudd: I talk to them. I tell them, “Concentrate just on making the shot. Don’t think about anything other than the shot you want to make.” I don’t want them to be concerned about the situation they’re in or what could happen. I try to take their minds off the danger we could be in, that close to a big bear. If I can help the hunter focus and concentrate on the spot where he wants the arrow to hit, go through his shot routine and pick the right pin, then usually, he can calm down enough to make their shots. Before a bowhunter comes to Alaska to hunt brown bears, he/ she should be a seasoned bowhunter. A seasoned bowhunter can get their nerves under control and only concentrate on the shot, regardless if they’re aiming at a big buck or an 800-pound brown bear. Brown bears and grizzly bears are some of the biggest bears on the planet. Just seeing one of these animals creates a lot of excitement in a hunter, whether he or she is using a rifle or a bow, but especially a bow. As I’ve said before, when these animals are in close, the main reason that archers miss bear and other dangerous game is the adrenaline rush they have to fight before they draw, during the draw and at the time they release their arrows.



If you enjoy high adventure, reading about dangerous game and learning about the men who take that game, “Bowhunting the Dangerous Bears of Alaska” is a must read. Click here http://amzn.to/16ayVM0

For Part One

For more please go to: John Phillips