Field report from Alaska from my friend John Fink of Remington Arms:
Mike: Attached are pics from a recent interior grizzly bear hunt in Alaska.
The only one that requires any explanation is the mauled caribou. We found this bull on the river bank one morning that a bear was likely in the process of killing. The noise of the boat coming probably caused the bear to break things off and get back into the brush. The image is a little blurry due to being in a rapids in a bouncing boat. We motored on and hoped the bear came back quickly to finish what it had started.
The hunting area was west of Anchorage and north-east of Dillingham about 180 miles. We were camped along a river that had some salmon on it but the bears were on blueberries during the day and well off the river. This required walking 11-12 miles a day in tough terrain to glass valleys looking for bears. Climb to one ridge line, glass and either make a move on a bear or head to the next ridge. We would see 2-3 bears a day but most too far to plan a stalk.
I shot the bear on day 7 of the 8 day hunt. We had spotted a bear from long range crossing into a valley that we had stalked on the first evening. Through the spotting scope, it appeared to be the exact same bear. Very dark with silver tips. It was only 10:30 am so we had plenty of time to cover the 5 miles to get on the ridge line above where he had crossed on evening 1 and that morning.
We arrived at our glassing spot on the ridge around 4:00 pm. At approximately 4:15, Jason House, my guide, decided to check the next valley over since we were very near the top of the ridge. Within minutes, he was whistling and waving his arms. Sure enough, there was another bear in that valley another 2 miles away grazing on blueberries. The bear looked good and we had good wind direction so I decided to go after it thinking if the stalk failed, we would likely have time to get back to the current spot and resume looking for the bear we started out for.
At 6:45 we were finally in position and as close as we were going to get with the bear still grazing at 256 yards. A farther distance than I wanted, but s shot I was very confident in taking. The Model 700 in 338 Remington Ultra Mag was zeroed at 200 yards with Barnes 225-grain TTSX. At 200 yards, the rifle was shooting 3-shot groups under 1 1/2″ and drop from 200 to 256 is minimal. I had a good solid rest to shoot from, so with the bear slightly quartering away I broke the shot.
The bear only traveled about 40 yards after the shot with the entrance just behind the near shoulder and exit just in front of the off shoulder. The rifle is a new Model 700 offering that will be announced mid-year 2016. It carried well for 7 days in the tough Alaskan brush and held up wonderfully showing no signs of corrosion or rust. Look forward to sharing more on the rifle once we get closer to building production quantities.—Thanks, John
Great hunting story from the Alaskan wilds, thanks John and congrats on a dream animal!