I'm not really offended, just curious what the appeal is? I'm not a hunter, however I could see the appeal of wing shooting or perhaps bow hunting deer/elk. But blasting a grizz with a high power rifle? Whats so exciting about killing them...do you eat them? is it just for a trophy? or the 'thrill of the kill'? Some people I have worked with in Alaska guide bear hunters. I know and like them, but I just dont see the appeal
Well, it's sort of interesting. I grew up hunting (bow and rifle) and I really do enjoy it as a sport. I've never been the type to be really elated after I've killed an animal, and I usually feel regret if anything. I think this was the first animal I've harvested that I did not want to eat, usually I think hunting is an outstanding way to understand the consequences of choosing to eat meat and it provides me an opportunity to participate in a process (death) that we (people who choose to eat meat) often do not properly respect or even acknowledge.Unfortunately, this doesn't apply to brown bear hunting.
I hunted bear all spring (20+ days) and I had a couple of good opportunities to shoot a bear, but I decided to wait for a better bear and a better situation (hunting solo, so I wanted to minimize the risk on my behalf). This Fall, after guiding wrapped up, I had a week to hunt and this bear was one of the few that was still hanging around in our drainage. I actually hadn't seen a bear for about two weeks (being on the river every day for those two weeks). The bear showed up right around dusk and the wind afforded me an chance to stalk the animal. I had planned a 100 yd shot, but the bear was out of sight during part of my time pursuing it and it came out much closer than I had anticipated, I ended up shooting it off hand at about 30 yds. I must admit I would not have been personally "Ok" shooting a brown bear prior to spending so much time where I live and knowing their abundance in the Bristol Bay region as well as having adequate time to understand how my choice would impact the "system".
From my perspective, it is a trophy hunt. it is a rush. and it is very well recieved by most who live around the river and in the town (a lot of property is lost to bears, so locals are generally happy to have another bear off the river, I don't justify it this way however). It is not wise to persue a late Fall bear with a bow so I used a high power rifle. Even with a well placed shot, this bear still ran 100 yds. I don't think this clearly explains the appeal of hunting dangerous game, I definitely don't believe it is for everyone, and it is not somthing I take lightly or do regularly. Keep the converstion going. -Dan
Pretty good statement! Dan. As soon as you feel comfortable about the fair chase and follow the regulation. This is fine with me. As you know these are predators and are sensitive to the ecosystem. I think you are a respectful hunter!
Sorry Dan; killing an animal that spends it's time around people (and therefore harbor little fear of them) at 30 yard doesn't seem in the least a challenge to me. I have to say it seems pretty senseless. The whole thing about "understanding consequences" bears little weight. 99% of the red meat we eat in breed and intended for the table from conceptions. To compare the two may help in the your mental justifciation, but it's really apples and oranges. Beautiful animal, what a shame...
Try a sheep at 800 yards if you want a challenge. The bear was like shooting fish in a bucket.
Nice work, Dan. Sounds like the hunt of a lifetime and thanks for making a nice clean kill. Glad you didn't take a shot at him from 800 yards - too many antelope around here hobbling around on 3 legs because of folks doing stuff like that.
Dan, Awesome Bear!!! Glad to hear you are still having fun up there in AK. Maybe if you shot him at 800 Yards he would be running around all pissed off with a bullet stuck in him. As for shooting fish in a bucket... Catch and Release!!
I appreciate the "fish in a bucket" comment. I could see getting that impression if you have visited a sockeye stream during the peak of the run. This animal (and other animals on my drainage) are hunted quite heavily at this point in the season. Generally they run as soon as they see people (definitely a better response than the tame bears at Brooks, I give that place a few years before someone is seriously maimed).
hikepat--have you ever eaten brown bear? No? Try eating late fall brown bear meat, since that bear has been eating spawning salmon for the last two months. The only edible bear meat comes from BLACK bears harvested in the spring.
Driftboatdan--I understand the appeal of trophy hunting, but I can't get over how little one gains from killing a brown bear. I've shot plenty of deer in SE AK, and I also always feel regret even when I know none of it will be wasted. How did it feel to leave 200-300 lbs. of unusable meat in the woods?
To me trophy hunting brown bears is similar to buying a gas guzzling super truck to prove you're a man...can you spell overcompensation?
That said, I do appreciate the way you explained yourself--I've never come closer to forgiving big game trophy hunting.
The bear skin rug I'd expect you to make from it is worth it.
#18 11-5-07 6:01pm
Dan. I appreciate the explanation of your feelings on hunting in general. I could not agree more. I dont personally have much of a stomache for death (I dont even like bonking fish, although I do it), but to me hunting for deer and other food animals is completely ethical. I still have objections to hunting "trophy" animals. Obviously bears arent rare in AK, but all the same blasting one for the Thrill is in my opinion unethical. That being said, you are within your lawful rights and I'm sure you're a nice guy. I'll end this by saying, that is a LARGE and gorgeous bear.
That bear fulfilled the measure of its creation. Whether it dies from natural causes or at the hand of the hunter none of its meat, eaten by man or eaten by nature, is gone to waste. I bet that stinky beast fed the ecosystem better than if it fed a family of five.