For all you folks that venture into our National Parks and Forests that believe in carrying bear spray, good for you! For those of you that don’t, maybe after you read my story from last weeks hunt, you just might.
I was north of Dubois Wyoming at a place called Double Cabin where Frontier Creek and Wiggins Fork creeks come together. I really love to hunt elk and fish in that area. Well I broke one of my number 1 rules, not to hunt alone. I did.
I decided to hunt an area that is below Lincoln Point. I hiked up to a meadow, shirted around the edge on the south side for about 1 mile. The meadow came to a point with a small creek. I followed this drainage for about 100 yards, all downed timber and very hard going. I thought that this is not a good place to be! I back tracked about fifty feet, found a game trail up the side to a ridge. This trail wound thru some dark thick timber then broke out at the top at about 75 percent incline. Once on top, I walked south for about another half mile. The ridge I was on was about 100 yards wide with sparse timber, but on both sides of the ridge was timber uphill to the East and timber down hill to the West. It then ran into some cliffs. I had a very bad feeling that I should not be there, so turned around, heading North, down the ridge. I had walked about 1/4 mile when I heard a loud WOOF!!
I knew this sound as I have heard it twice before. I stopped dead in my tracks, turned to my right, and about 20 feet from me I saw a 400 pound male Grizzly standing behind a dirt mound looking at me! He woofed again and snapped his jaws. Although I had my rifle and a 41 mag. revolver on my hip, I grabbed my bear spray. I shot my spray at him, but I didn’t allow for the small breeze that moved the spray just to the side of his face. He did get a small whiff of it and went into a rage, snorting and throwing his head back and fourth. I just stood there, in shear terror, waiting for him to climb over the dirt pile and turn me into bear poop. He dropped down on all four paws and remained silent.
After what seemed two days I turned and continued walking North down the ridge. I realized that the dirt pile between the bear and me also ran the length of the ridge. While walking down the ridge, my legs felt numb and my head was looking around like a door knob on an outhouse at fair time. I walked for maybe another 1/4 mile, looked down the ridge and noticed that my side of the dirt pile and the bear’s side of the dirt pile would meet in about 100 yards! So I made a wide loop, trying to put as much distance between us as possible. When I did get to the intersection, I was again face to face, maybe 25-30 feet from him. He had been following me down the ridge. I again sprayed him, until my spray was gone, he stood up and whiffed again. I turned down hill and could see my white truck down on the road, about 1/2 mile away! As I headed down the hill, in the middle of a clearing, the bear followed me until I got to my truck.
I started the engine, looked over at the edge of the timber and he was standing there watching me! I tried to push on the gas pedal, but my leg was shaking so bad that I couldn’t. He disappeared and I finally composed myself to head back to camp. This was the third time I have used bear spray. YES IT DOES WORK!