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    • sinawalli
      Post count: 222

      Lots of talk on here about grizzlies! Would you, or have you hunted grizzly? I think it would take a big set of stones to hunt grizzly with a stick bow! Personally I have zero desire to hunt bear, grizzly or otherwise. Here in Alberta, it is prohibited to hunt grizzly, even for the indians. That is fine with me, but doesn’t sit well with others! My brother lives in northern British Columbia, and he draws a grizzly tag every year if he can, but he never uses it, just his way of saving a bear. What are your thoughts?

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Ahh, heck, Bill– this is just the sort of potentially very emotional and personal topic that I don’t think any hunting website but this one can handle without folks with different views getting nasty. (Thanks again, WebMom! And please delete me asap if I’m unintentionally bending things a wrong direction.) So thanks for posting it … I think. 😯

      To your first question, as first responder to the thread, my personal answer is no. Regarding the rest, in sum, I feel the same as you do. Yet I’m wide open to hearing the whys behind how others feel, who feel differently. I’ve just spent too much time admiring grizzlies–both while feeling safe in broad daylight, bear spray in hand, and scared sleepless at night in a tent where spray is useless–to have any interest in killing one. I just see too much in them that reflects the very best in us. I don’t need or want the meat and personally speaking, would feel more shame than pride in killing a grizz; not a thing I’d ever brag about or seek out. I have a friend in deep bush AK who has been for more than 30 years totally completely subsistence. They live on fish in summer and moose in winter, with a bit of rice, beans and breads. Consequently he wiped out the entire black bear population along his stretch of remote river years ago. Same with hares and grouse. If, every few years, a black bear shows up, he kills it without thought and his family delight in the meat and prime baking grease. Yet he refuses to kill a grizzly, citing “personal” reasons. I think all of this arena of reflecting on why we do what we do, is based somehow in how we view our relationship to the animals we hunt, thus how we see the life experience itself.

      As a side point and potential non sequitur to this discussion, a majority of “grizzlies” killed by sport hunters in AK technically are coast browns, who, due to the abundance of salmon and other foods, are far less aggressive and dangerous, thus considerably less a thrilling challenge. So to be precise, we’d almost need to break your questions down to those two varieties.

      I don’t mean to put anyone who dreams of hunting grizzlies, or anyone who does or has, on the defensive. I’m just stating how I feel about it, as per your fair questions. I look forward to hearing thoughtful opposing opinions. “Thoughtful” is the key in all such discussions.

    • Fallguy
      Member
      Post count: 317

      I have killed one black bear it was over bait. I have its hide on the wall and skull next to my desk. The only way I would hunt them again would be on the ground as a spot and stalk hunt. The bait thing holds no appeal for me. So the odds of me killing another in MN are between slim and none. One reason may be that I have have not applied for a tag for the last 13 years.

    • shaneharley
      Post count: 118

      There are many animals I don’t think I would kill and most of those are in Africa. However I would try for a griz if given the chance. I say try because he might have other ideas and/or I might not have the nerve to get that close to one on purpose.

      I’ve only seen a few out in the wild. One out and about in Montana and a few in Yellowstone.

      Like I said there are animals I have no desire to shoot like Zebras or Giraffes.

      So I’ll start off as the bad guy in this thread. πŸ™‚

    • Ptaylor
      Member
      Post count: 579

      For me this brings up a bunch of other questions: Why do I hunt? Why do we hunt? And what sort of hunting activities do I want to support?

      Like most people on this site, I eat everything I shoot, and only hunt animals I eat. Black bear is great table fare, my gal and I render down the fat and she makes the best pie crusts. But I still struggle with killing them. And I can’t deny that I thoroughly enjoy the hunt. Hunting, especially with traditional gear, is mentally and physically challenging. I love the chase. I love the stalk. I love the heart pounding moments. And I love watching game I will never shoot. Where am I going with this…

      Well, anytime someone brings up hunting the predators: wolves, cougars, grizzly bears, first I have to ask myself: Is it something I want to eat? I’ve never eaten a grizzly, so I don’t know if it appeals to my taste. So until somebody serves me up some fine grizzly dinners, then my answer is, No, I will not hunt grizzlies.

      But your question then sends me into an inner dialogue I keep on tap for lonely moments. If I won’t hunt them do I support others hunting them? What if its just for sport? Do I support just plain old trophy hunting?

      That was my long way of saying I won’t currently hunt grizzlies. And nobody should answer my other questions. They are just the places I go when this topic comes up and I thought I’d share them, cause I’m sure others are in the same boat.

      preston

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      In the movie “Buck”, a woman tells the story of a pirate captain. The man in the crows nest calls down to report an enemy ship on the horizon. The captain yells for his red shirt, claiming if he’s wounded his crew won’t notice and will fight on. A little while after a ferocious battle has ended a call from the crow’s nest reports ten enemy ships on the horizon. The pirate captain yells, “Bring me my brown pants!”

      That’d be me hunting grizzly. dwc

    • James Harvey
      Member
      Post count: 1130

      I don’t think I’ve got a philosophical aversion to hunting any kind of animal. I like to adopt that transcandent thought of the accidentally great philosopher, Leopold, “A conservationist is one who is humbly aware that with each stroke [of the axe] he is writing his signature on the face of the land”.

      For me the test has really become “Is this ecological, economical, or egomaniacal?” Sometimes it’s more than one.

      Frankly, if I decided to hunt a Grizz, it’d be his lucky day. He’d only have to back-track the flight of the stick that just missed him to find his next meal πŸ˜‰

    • paleoman
      Member
      Post count: 918

      No. Hunting bear of any kind never appealed to me. It was always a treat to see bear sign in my area of western New England growing up. I saw my first bear print in the mud in ’73 trout fishing behind my parents place as a kid. I ran all the way home I was so excited! They are quite common there now and that says to me at least something in this world is going right. Not opposed at all, just not for me.

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      Bears of both species and lions are the most magnificent creatures in north america. I have hunted blacks and lions. Pursuing grizzlies would be dream come true for me.

      Black bears are my favorite creature in my neck of the woods. Killing them is always an emotionally challenging experience. Having said that, I’ve never held fire or backed off draw on one.

    • Alexandre Bugnon
      Member
      Post count: 681

      Nope, I wouldn’t hunt any kind if bear, especially a grizzly.

      Like Dave said:

      There’s too much in them that reflects the best in us

    • tailfeather
      Post count: 417

      I don’t have any interest in hunting a Grizzly/Brown bear. Never much been interested in the dangerous game angle. I’d sure love to watch em work on the salmon runs in Alaska, though. Awesome critters.

    • T Downing
      Member
      Post count: 233

      Like so many others have already shared, I have no interest in bowhunting Grizzlies. In the past, I entertained the notion of Black Bear hunting, even purchased a tag, but never actually hunted them. That said, I am all about those bowhunters who choose to give it a run. While it is clearly not my thing, I have always enjoyed other traditional bowhunters who have hunted Grizzlies and other bears. I am not certain why. I loved when Fred Bear shot that mountain grizzly from 18 yards. I enjoyed immensely the old footage of Saxton Pope and Art Young hunting Grizzlies in Alaska. Furthermore, one of my all time favorite stories I have read about dangerous game was in Don Thomas’ Longbows in the Far North. When He shoots that Grizzly in Russia and ducked down because he was so close to the bear and thought any moment the Grizzly would be upon him. Riveting! Again, not my thing, but to each his own.

      Two of the greats to have ever done it, Paul Schafer and Bart Schleyer on a Brown Bear hunt on Kodiak Island.

      attached file
    • jonking
      Post count: 14

      I am lucky enough to have had the experience of being close to lots of coastal browns in Katmai National Monument while deck-handing on a small wildlife viewing boat during the mid 90’s. Even ran into the unfortunate bear whisperer himself, Timothy Treadwell, before his grizzly demise. Also got to tag along with a friend who drew a Kodiak spring bear tag two years in a row. The difference between the bears that were hunted on Kodiak as opposed to those that were not at Katmai was remarkable. The bears in Katmai ingnored your presence, the bears on Kodiak acted much like other animals that are hunted. My friend never did fill that tag. He was, and still is holding out for “a big one”. The second year we got run off the island by two bears that tore up our camp, burned our stuff and watched us for two days. Even then my buddy wouldn’t use his tag on one. I got to say, I was encouraging him to do just that. We found out later that the area we were in that year was a popular drop camp fishing spot and the bears had got used to raiding the fish camps.

      So do I have a desire to hunt Griz? Not really, loved being in an ecosystem that had a predator one step up the food chain than me. I have experienced problem bears though, as did Timothy Treadwell, so when I am in griz country I try to get my mind right about a possible encounter and how I may or may not come out on top.

    • Col Mike
      Member
      Post count: 911

      Jonking–our handler this past mushing season was a ranger at Katmai for 3 years (Denali west side this year) we were entertained by her pictures of the bears and she identified all by number and their slang names.

      Magnificent creatures.

      Went hunting the great bears in 84–(gun hunt) Talketna area. About 2 weeks after breakup. First day 3 of us glassed a total of 5 grizzly. That night at the trappers cabin after some rum we all decided that watching was more important then killing.

      We spent two weeks watching, stalking and talking.

      Likely one of my most memorable hunts. Then we went back to Adak and got our caribou:D

      Semper Fi

      Mike

    • sinawalli
      Post count: 222

      colmike wrote: Jonking–our handler this past mushing season was a ranger at Katmai for 3 years (Denali west side this year) we were entertained by her pictures of the bears and she identified all by number and their slang names.

      Magnificent creatures.

      Went hunting the great bears in 84–(gun hunt) Talketna area. About 2 weeks after breakup. First day 3 of us glassed a total of 5 grizzly. That night at the trappers cabin after some rum we all decided that watching was more important then killing.

      We spent two weeks watching, stalking and talking.

      Likely one of my most memorable hunts. Then we went back to Adak and got our caribou:D

      Semper Fi

      Mike

      Great story Mike! The rum prevailed!

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      Hunting predators or potential predators by traditional means I guess might be considered combative, as in some cultures where hunting ‘dangerous game’ is a right of passage, I’m thinking Inuit and polar bear, Masai and lion that kind of scenario.

      Mike, by not shooting a bear was that you saying that you had nothing to prove, if you had been using trad gear do you think you may have continued to hunt?

      If ever the opportunity arose part of me thinks that I would want the bear to know I was there, that I had entered his world and hopefully, possibly, bested him, there again all those teeth and claws at 20 yards I don’t know if Ive got the bottle, might be me on the menu, then again perhaps that is the whole point of hunting something that might just eat you. Does this explain the fascination I have for hunting boar with a spear although that has not got past the curiosity stage.

      Just my thoughts, Mark.

    • Col Mike
      Member
      Post count: 911

      Mark

      You know we discussed that–and we just decided (all 3 of us) that watching was fun and stalking close was a thrill, and the bears represented all that was right with that place and we didn’t need to prove anything. Those concepts were long dead in that band of brothers.

      Don’t believe trad gear would have changed our minds-it hasn’t to this day. We had our right of passage and the game didn’t eat you it shot back:shock:.

      Hanging in our garage/dog tack room is a 5 foot long panoramic photo that Lin took on one of our backpacking trips on the Seward peninsula, I’m standing in front of our tent with a huge πŸ˜€ on my face. Linda asked why I was grinning so much–then I pointed out the grizz digging for marmots about a 1/4 mile around the point on Lost Lake. Aw but a dram of the Irish and a good meal and all was well in the camp that night.

      Just my personal feeling that predators (natural ones) have it tough enough–I’ll join their ranks and hunt their prey–not them. I have no problem with those that do we just agree to disagree.

      Now hunting boar with a spear is a thought I’ve toyed with. Been practicing my throwing stick skills for some time (the first trad weapon after the rock) have yet to take a grouse or rabbit–did get a dove last year with a rock. Let me know how the spear works out and which one you bought.

      Semper Fi

      Mike

    • mikelee
      Post count: 86

      Growing up in a hunting camp in B.C I was present on several occations when Grizzlies were taken by clients using rifles . I was the kid who often got the job of holding the horses while the action happened ( thats why my arms are so long now ). That was 30+ years ago and I never did have any burning desire to hunt one . I did however enjoy tales of hairy encounters told by the old guys . Especially the late Bill Love who guided Fred Bear up in the tatlatui .

      I have taken a couple of Blackies on two separate occations ,when they decided that they wanted to keep the dogs company on the front porch .I’m tempted every spring to pick up a tag and try for a fat black with my bow .Never quite grt around to it .

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      Col. Mike, still at the curious stage, met some French guys that were using butcher knives on broom handles, most worrying was their disregard for their own safety.

      Mike Lee, a night around the camp fire with your friend Bill Love would have been good.

      Mark

    • lyagooshka
      Post count: 600

      I may be way off topic here, but I really have no interest in hunting anything I cannot/will not eat. Ergo, bears are not on my “to do” list. I have heard they are not the best table fare. But I also add ‘yotes, fox, lions and wolves to that list, and I know people have some differing ideas about that (especially the latter). Like I said, maybe I’m way off topic. Be well.

      Alex

      πŸ˜€

    • shaneharley
      Post count: 118

      From what I understand bear meat flavor is dependant on what the bear is eating. If they are eating carrion then they are not very good. I guess spring bears are supposed to be better because most of the offending flavor has left during the winter and all they are eating is grass and stuff. I shot one this spring and we BBQed back strap and it was awesome. The rest I sent to be processed into sausage. I would for sure eat another one.

      As far as cats go Fred Eichler says he eats his. I think if I ever harvested a cat I would try and eat it. Then go from there if I ever tried for another one.

      I know a guy who ate the racoons he trapped and really enjoyed the meat. Another guy at work when he was younger they would eat nutria.

      So I think there’s a lot we could eat but some of it might depend on what that critter is eating himself.

    • sinawalli
      Post count: 222

      ShaneHarley wrote: From what I understand bear meat flavor is dependant on what the bear is eating. If they are eating carrion then they are not very good. I guess spring bears are supposed to be better because most of the offending flavor has left during the winter and all they are eating is grass and stuff. I shot one this spring and we BBQed back strap and it was awesome. The rest I sent to be processed into sausage. I would for sure eat another one.

      As far as cats go Fred Eichler says he eats his. I think if I ever harvested a cat I would try and eat it. Then go from there if I ever tried for another one.

      I know a guy who ate the racoons he trapped and really enjoyed the meat. Another guy at work when he was younger they would eat nutria.

      So I think there’s a lot we could eat but some of it might depend on what that critter is eating himself.

      I ate cougar (yeah, I know, keep it cival), and it was great! Tasted very similar to a pork roast.

    • Col Mike
      Member
      Post count: 911

      pothunter wrote: Col. Mike, still at the curious stage, met some French guys that were using butcher knives on broom handles, most worrying was their disregard for their own safety.

      Mike Lee, a night around the camp fire with your friend Bill Love would have been good.

      Mark

      Mark–you did say “French guys” not to offend our allies but:shock:

      I agree that a night at the fire with most of you would be good–but then we would likely be out there with butcher knives on broom handles, makes a good story but who pays the bail money πŸ™„

      Semper Fi

      Mike

    • wildschwein
      Post count: 581

      Heck yes I would hunt Grizz! Got that firmly on my bucket list in fact. I will also be eating my Grizz and will be paying far more attention to the Bears condition and current food sources (they taste like they eat as mentioned above), rather than skull size. Most of us agree here that we should eat what we kill (I eat my Chucks, Red Squirrels, and even a Sparrow once…) and all Bears are good eating if they have been eating predominantly greens and grains.

      I will also be carrying a rifle when I hunt Grizz. No offence to the bow only hunters among us, but I just wouldn’t feel comfortable with a stick and string in my hands.

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      Wildschwein, I look forward to seeing a picture of you wearing a Grizz wrap instead of the usual boar.

      Mike, bail, you recon we’ll get bail more likely a referral for psychiatric evaluation.:?

      Mark.

    • William Warren
      Member
      Post count: 1384

      I’m among those who would only attempt to kill a grizzly if in self defense. Otherwise I would rather watch them than pack them out. I have hunted and would entertain hunting black bears again if I had the oppotunity, although since I’m not very fond of the meat they are not high on the to do list. BTW the meat I had to eat was handled and processed by me and I know it was done right so my dislike is not due to mishandling the meat. The taste is not what bothers me but the richness of it. I prefer much leaner meats. My system just does not agree with greasy meats. I don’t mind if others want to hunt the grizzlies but I just wonder what they do with all that bear meat. Or did they just pack out the hide and skull. Hmmm. πŸ˜•

    • wildschwein
      Post count: 581

      Duncan wrote: I’m among those who would only attempt to kill a grizzly if in self defense. Otherwise I would rather watch them than pack them out. I have hunted and would entertain hunting black bears again if I had the oppotunity, although since I’m not very fond of the meat they are not high on the to do list. BTW the meat I had to eat was handled and processed by me and I know it was done right so my dislike is not due to mishandling the meat. The taste is not what bothers me but the richness of it. I prefer much leaner meats. My system just does not agree with greasy meats. I don’t mind if others want to hunt the grizzlies but I just wonder what they do with all that bear meat. Or did they just pack out the hide and skull. Hmmm. πŸ˜•

      Unfortunately that is exactly what most do. Hell your not even required to salvage the meat from Black Bears in Alberta, just the hide. Opposite should be true.

    • jmsmithy
      Member
      Post count: 300

      Hi Fellas

      Haven’t been around for awhile…biz, family and fly fishing….however, getting back to the time of year I shoot almost daily, (instead of weekly when twisting up bugs!)

      Anyway, yes I’ve hunted coastal browns w bow….they’ve won both times. Hunted and killed black bears. Let WAY more walk then I’ve killed. Yes, they are delicious. Processed and ate (or donated) every bit of that wonderful sweet meat (also known as “pork of the forest”). Tried griz tenderloin and, yep, I’d eat it again! I don’t need to kill a bear rather, what I need, is that experience of hunting the predator. To me, it’s much more exciting/interesting then hooved game (don’t get me wrong. I LOVE deer hunting and planning first elk /moose trips in coming seasons). Just something about the majesty of being one on one, stick in hand with ” kings ” of the forest. I harbor no over-aggrandized feelings of danger or the ” they bite back ” idea. Just something about hunting them, on their turf, the right way. Nothing like it. Been treed by blackie, numerous sticky run ins with them…only twice truly in the presence (I mean bow shooting distance) of big browns and I have to say the experience was awe inspiring….lots of stories about it but that’s for another post. Some day I hope to garner the funds to give it another try! In meantime, I have dates with blackie in my beloved Adirondacks and Maine this year…:D

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