There is a bear #7, Parade of Bears and Silence Returns

by david on December 2, 2019

The bear parade was interesting.  The little ones came first, cautiously keeping an eye out for the bigger bears.  They were smart enough not to risk a confrontation with a larger, older, and probably grumpier bear.  The remaining larger bears eventually moved passed us as well. Some as close as the 500 pounder before shooting light and some up to 100 yards’ distant — each choosing their path for reasons known only to the bears.  The big fellow was in no hurry. He was king of the hill and he took his time gorging himself on leftover ears of corn along the way. It was a hoot to watch. His dominance was not in doubt, and he was just easing along coming closer with each step.  His size made him move in sort of a rocking side-to-side motion as he ambled along.

When the distance closed to about 150 yards, Doug’s rifle slowly eased up and came to a rest on the front bar of the stand.  His head lowered and he got into proper shooting position. Wise move to watch the bear come in through the scope. This would keep Doug’s movement to a minimum, reducing the change of the bear busting us and heading the other direction.  I am glad Doug was calm, cool and collected. I was so excited for him, I could hardly sit still. I had pulled the brim of my hat forward to try and conceal my face and could just barely make out the bear out by moving my eyes upward. Why was it taking two days for this bear to get close?  He should have been closer by now. Waiting was killing me. I don’t know how Doug was doing it. Step by step, waddle by waddle, the distance shrank. The bear would pass on our left at about 20 yards. A broadside shot would be best, but if the shot was not instantly fatal the bear would be close to the boundary and could make the sanctuary.  An almost head-on shot was difficult to do. Ideally, the bullet should take out the bottom of both lungs and the top of the heart. That was not possible at such an acute angle. If Doug timed it perfectly, waiting for the bear to be at the perfect position and angle, he could place the shot to enter the front of the onside lung, clip the heart, and exit through the offside lung.  His .375 could go completely though with no problems. The bear was getting close to the range necessary for that shot. If I could only move over a bit, I could tell when he should pull the trigger.

The blast from the .375 reverberated across the field.  There was still enough darkness left that the fire shooting out the end of the barrel was most impressive.  Even more impressive was watching a monster-size bear almost backflip at the impact. The bear had no more than hit the ground than it was back on its feet.  Another roar from my left knocked him back down. One more effort to regain its feet and one more blast from Doug’s rifle knocked it back down. The rifle was now empty and Doug would have to reload.  The bear was kicking its feet while laying on its side. I don’t think it was going anywhere but the bullet coming from Zack’s .300 ended any doubt. There was a death moan from the bear and silence once again engulfed the morning.



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