2020 Fall Brown Bear

Gunnar Davis, Bear Killer 2000

For years, I dreamt about harvesting a brown bear. I’ve watched every possible Youtube video out there. This year, I was finally able to put my crosshairs on one.

That day was as average as every other one. I woke up and contemplated what I should do for the day. My uncle James called me and convinced me to go hike up one of the riverbeds. So I drove over to his place, grabbed a few things, then out the road I went.

Once I got to the pull out where I would leave my truck, I sat there and thought about how nice it would be to just stay in the nice warm truck and listen to my music for the rest of the day. But I knew I would never be successful that way, so I jammed into my clapped out waders, slung my rifle over my shoulder and got after it up the riverbed. As I was walking, I kept noticing bear tracks that hadn’t been there the night before.

After seeing these tracks, I was a little more keen on what was going on around me. Soon I came up on a small fork in the river. I always walked to the left of it, but for some reason I decided to go right. I would later realize my decision to go right that day was the difference between me being successful or going home empty-handed. It was only maybe a two-minute detour off the main river bed.

Once I crossed back over the river and up on the bank, I stopped to pull my binos out of my pack. But before I could even take my pack off, I looked behind me and could see an outline of a bear’s head looking at me through the alders.

That nice shot of adrenaline rolled through my whole body as I looked down my scope and saw that it was actually a bear standing there, and not my mind playing tricks on me. The bear wasn’t providing me with a great shot due to the fact that it was walking right towards me. I hunkered down and waited for what seemed to be forever as it got closer and closer. Soon he turned his shoulders just enough to where I was able to sneak one in behind his front shoulder.

I knew bears were tough but I put a 225gr nosler accubond through the heart and lungs and all it did was piss him off. He stood up on his back legs roaring and snapping his teeth in the air. I regained myself and shot again, hitting him almost in the same spot as the shot before.

Now, the bear started to do 180’s looking for what was attacking him. After seeing this, I ran into the woods behind me and reloaded my gun. I peered out from the tree line, and not being able to see him anymore, I decided that it was best to come back with some backup.

I called my uncle and we went back out there maybe only an hour later, and we went right to where the bear was. To my surprise, he was laying right where I first shot him and only had gone maybe 5 yards. He was laying on the backside of a bank, and that’s why I wasn’t able to see him before.

After we found the bear, I was finally able to reflect on how cool of an experience that was for me. And how after all those years I was finally able to pull it off. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect bear, and a better way to end the 2020 hunting season.