TOUGH TO SLEEP IN GRIZ COUNTRY by Brandon King
I’ve been trying to kill this bull for two weeks . After packing out our last hunters elk from guide season, I took my rifle with me incase I saw something worth shooting. Managed to forget my ammunition and only had two rounds with me. “Oh well I thought,” I’m a decent shot. Found this bull about 500 yards off the trails the morning after getting to camp. Put a stalk on him and got within 270 yards. He was chasing a hot cow and we stopped him with a cow call. I flinched the first shot and completely missed. He trotted forward and I went for the neck and shot again. He dropped like a ton of bricks. Me and the guy I’m with are excited and sorting our a plan to get the clients bull and this bull off the mountain. Next thing you know this bull rolls over and gets up running. Which was gut wrenching to say the least. I’ve never seen an animal drop like that and not stay down. We track him with no blood and no luck.
After packing out the client bull we go look for tracks where we think they ran over the top of the Plateau. Sure enough they ran into an area that’s behind our camp. The next morning I wake up to bugling from a bull behind camp. After glassing up the mountain I see this bull running around and chasing cows. Unbelievable. With no ammo I had to wait for days until we went to pack out our hunting camp. Between working on camp I would try to find this bull. The weather is hot and dry now and I’m only seeing him from far off just before dark and just as he’s headed to bed in the morning.
I cannot get a stalk on him. After camp is out this storm system was coming in and I decided to go up into the Wilderness by myself for one last try. I got the snow I needed and sure enough he was out with cows during the day feeding. I put a stalk on him and finished what I started with a 370 heart shot. I’m still wondering if this is real and just taking it all in. After packing him back to camp and getting the meat hung up a Grizzly bear rolls in at 5:30 the last night. I was alerted to sounds of mules huffing and snorting which made the hair on my back stand up.
Coming out of the tent with my pistol drawn I see a big boar 30 yards away. I tried yelling and firing shots in the are and he just trots into the trees nonchalantly. “Shit,” I thought. I’m in for one long night.. after that I tied a mule around all sides of my tent and hunkered in with a fire going. Every hour or so this bear would try to come in and when he did the mules would go crazy. I laid in my tent all night, gun on my chest and headlamp and boots on, ready for whatever might happen. Early morning I saw the bear headed down the main trail across the meadow. As fast as I could I got the meat down from the game pole, loaded the mules & camp. After returning home I am still in disbelief and cannot believe how everything unfolded. The hard work and consistency has paid off this time. The wilderness is no joke, and these animals are tough. I’ve learned a lot from this experience, and I’m not sure if I’ll mess with Grizz country 20 plus miles in again by myself. Yet I’m thankful for the opportunity & a full freezer.