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My First Kill

03 Oct 2016
@ 02:56 am (GMT)


First I want to say a big thank you to Mr Foster for your website and all the great information here. With out your kb, I would have never been able to get started hunting.

This fall I got my first big game animal. An almost 300 pond black bear. No amount of reading and studying can really prepare you for your first time.

Before last fall, I had no experience hunting or being in the woods. I actually used to be a computer nerd. After I moved to moose country, my wife started encouraging me to take up hunting. So, I went through all the class and bought(after many months of reading) a little right-handed Savage 308(I'm a lefty but my oldest boy is a righty and will inherit the rifle when he turns 16). After asking about getting a few days off to moose hunt, a co-worker(now my friend and only hunting buddy) offered to take me bear hunting. He gave me the basics of hunting. "Don't move around much", "keep as quite as you can", and "When you hear something that sounds like a bull moose walking up behind you, its a squirrel. Bears don't make any noise.", and put me in tree stand. Season one saw no action.
This fall, he put me in a different location. The first few evenings I sat unmoving, watching and waiting. Nothing but birds and squirrels. Bird season was starting in a few days so I headed out for my last hunting trip of the season.
That evening, some one decided to set off some exploding targets. After 30 minutes of gun fire and big booms, I had put my gun down and leaned back to ponder my existence(have a nap). I heard a shot from off in the direction of my friend, and a few minutes later I heard some one walking quietly up the trail towards me. I was just about to stand up when I realized the sound was circling around me through the bush. I picked up my gun and sat up watching. I assumed it was too loud to be a bear, but we have wolves here and it was a long walk back to my truck in the slowly fading light.
Suddenly a bear appeared from behind a tree. My heart beat was hammering my ears and I could feel myself panting for breath. I lined up my shot through the scope, then opened both eyes and scanned for possible cubs. Nothing. Took aim, softly squeezed the is still on. Took the safety off and lined up my shot. Opened my off eye and verified my target one last time. Slight below center of the chest just behind the front leg. Slowly squeeze the trigger...
I didn't hear the gun go off. I didn't feel any recoil. Only the muzzle flash in the scope to say the gun fired. I raised my head and I see the bear lurch then he bolts towards the stand. I almost had a heart attack, but then make a sharp turn to my right. I had instictively rebolted the rifle and was ready for a follow up shot when he turned broadside, but decided to let him run himself out. Then I stood up and threw up over the side of the stand. I was shaking so hard I couldn't climb down for few minutes and I was panting so hard I started to feel dizzy.
I managed to climb down eventually, then went and got my friend and his wife and daughter. We spent 2 hours tracking him in the dark. Dragged him a good 50 yards to the main trail. My wife took some pics, named him Philip. We strung him up and I helped my friend cleaned him. I now have a basket full of bear meat and a full bear hide with head in my freezer. Hopefully I can talk my wife in to trying my bear roast.


03 Oct 2016
@ 03:12 am (GMT)

Barton Bryant

Re: My First Kill
First photo didnt work. Let me try again (facebook link:)
03 Oct 2016
@ 04:11 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: My First Kill
Great stuff Bart. So common to hear of bears moving in at the sound of a shot these days.

Yes, its quite a thing to have the adrenalin shakes after the shot, really lets you know you are alive and keeps you coming back for more.

One thing (sorry the teacher coming out in me). Next season, I want you to shift your POI forwards to the shoulder, not behind the shoulder (ignore what others are doing or saying). This will help speed killing a great deal and also help prevent any other undesirable consequences. You can use a relatively heavy bullet for this shot placement. Perhaps by next fall you may even be hand loading.

Thanks for the write up and thanks for your kind comments. No doubt you will be on a high for a good week or so. Excellent!

04 Oct 2016
@ 10:05 pm (GMT)

Trace Jacoby

Re: My First Kill
That is a great story. And a nice bear. Thanks for sharing.


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