5:45 AM Cody wanted to take his bear/cougar hounds out for a run to keep them in shape. So after an early breakfast we loaded up 5 hounds and took off up into the mountains. It wasn’t long before one of the strike dogs sounded off telling us a bear had recently passed through. A strike dog’s nose is so good; it can smell a bear scent while the truck is moving. Some say a bear has a nose that is 100 times better than a hound. I was glad I had my No Trace scent containment hunting apparel for our hunts in the evenings. Cody is also very conscious about the wind direction. We never had a bear catch our scent throughout the hunt.
‘Old Roy’ waits patiently to be unleashed.
Shortly after the hounds were released on the bear’s trail, Cody knew there was a problem. It had been more than one bear and the pack of hounds was split on the two scent trails. It seemed a good problem to have so many bears in the area! But, it also meant it would be difficult to tree either bear with just two or three hounds on each bear.
By early afternoon we had caught three hounds and Cody decided to come back at dark to try to catch up the other two. It was approaching time to go to a bait sight.
7:00 PM Cody always checks the stand sight from a distance with his binoculars and this time we were glad he did! A huge brown boar bear was already feeding on the bait. From 100 yards away we watched through binoculars while I agonized about not being in the stand. This was definitely a bear I wanted and Cody agreed this was the bear to take.
We decided we would watch this bear a while and see if it would leave giving us a chance to slip into the tree stand. Luckily at 7:35 the big brown bear walked away climbing the mountainside and disappearing into the dark timber. Instantly we began to stalk our way to the tree stand. As we approached the stand, we looked out into a grassy meadow and there was a mature sow bear feeding. This bear was a gorgeous blonde with brown feet and a brown head. I couldn’t believe all these beautiful color phase bears!
8:15 PM The blonde sow circles and comes into the bait. I bit my lip and nodded my head as Cody said, “You still want to wait on the chocolate bear?” The big boar had won my heart and I decided to take a chance on him coming back. I knew it might be this evening, tomorrow or hopefully before my hunt was up. I had this hunt and two more to give it a try.
9:10 PM The blonde seemed to sense something above her on the mountainside and she turned to our left and silently walked away. Minutes later Cody nudged my leg and began raising the camera to his shoulder. I leaned to my right to peer around a pine tree and there was the big chocolate bear slowly walking down the mountain, coming to the bait sight.
With the rut beginning soon, it appeared the big boar was looking for the sow. Stopping to look and smell the area often, he stepped over a fallen tree at the edge on the bait and I slowly reached for my Mathews bow. As Cody catches it all on film, the big bruin turned broadside at a close 12 yards. I drew the bow and told myself to “pick a spot”, not wanting to blow this shot. After all, I knew it had been risky taking time to “pick a color.”
The Easton A/C/C arrow tipped with the Montec G5 flew perfectly, passing through both lungs and exiting low behind the opposite shoulder. The bear let out a loud roar, turned to bite at the entrance spot, then wheeled to run. What happened next was amazing. The bear folded up at 8 yards, let out 3 long, loud death moans and was done!
Author proud of his color phase bear.
Both Cody and I were stunned. Neither of us had ever seen a fully mature bear go down so quickly. It was my first experience with the Montec G5 broad head and I was definitely sold!
We did a short follow up, dragged the bear into an opening for photos and Cody went for the 4 wheeler. It was extremely nice being able to lift the bear onto a small trailer Cody pulled in behind the ATV. After loading the ATV and bear onto the pickup, Cody called his mom Sue, and she set the table for our celebration meal.
Randy and Cody, a good day’s hunting.
The chocolate bear weighed approximately 250 pounds and had a beautiful coat. There was no doubt he was an alpha male, obvious by all the scars on his face and the right side spit ear he wore.