In the time it takes you to read this story, the grizzly bear hunt started and ended – about 60 seconds. I thought about titling this story “From bare to bear in 60 seconds”.
Brenda and I were half-awake, but still snug in our sleeping bags, when we heard footsteps rapidly approaching our tent. The words from our guide were quickly, but softly-spoken - and very distinct: “Get-up quickly, bring your guns, a bear just chased me across the creek!”
We bailed from our sleeping bags and into our clothes. “Hurry folks, he is just behind the cabin and I am afraid the boys will have to shoot him!” We quick-tied our shoes, grabbed our guns and stepped out of the tent.
“Now folks, please chamber a round very quietly; any metallic sound may scare him away!”
We took three quiet steps toward the cabin. “There he is Larry, just to the right of that pole, shoot him!” In one of those rare moments when guide and hunter see the same thing at the same time, my eyes locked on those of the bear, facing us at 59 steps. I shifted a little to the right to clear some brush, then raising my 300 Win Mag and holding just under his chin, I fired. The Nosler 165 grain Partition did its job. He turned, ran 70 yards and collapsed.
Now, here’s the rest of the story; and it doesn’t count toward the 60 seconds.
The evening before, we had packed a moose in from spike camp – off to the west. In checking our trail, we discovered that this bear had followed that trail into camp, likely from the smell of moose on the packs. He apparently arrived just before daylight, as he had eaten only a little of our moose meat.
At about 6:20 am that morning our guide had checked on a horse, picketed a short distance from the cabin. In returning, he encountered the bear and made his dash to our tent. Those were the footsteps that started the story.