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Took my 1894 hunting
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May 25, 2023 - 8:33 am
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IMG_3046.jpegImage EnlargerIMG_3038.jpegImage EnlargerDecided to take a Friday off from work in late April and make a foray out in the countryside. It was a beautiful clear day and the snow cover was still good. I loaded up my snowmachine and contemplated which rifle I would place in the scabbard mounted on the cowling. I reached for one of my favorite Winchesters, a 1900 vintage 1894 chambered in 30 WCF. I favor this rifle as it is trim with the half octagon/ half round barrel and the button magazine tube. My presbyopia challenged eyes can still aim well through the aperture on the climbin’ Lyman sight. 

As the bears were starting to emerge from their long winter slumber, I focused my efforts on scanning elevated southern facing snow slopes looking for newly opened dens. Initially, I encountered a sow with three cubs fresh out of their winter hole. They meandered over the mountain. 

I rode onward. Later that day I came to a saddle on the hills and had to decide which way to go. My binos spied a small band of reindeer with freshly dropped calves. That seemed like something worth further investigation. As I glided down the valley, I was soon rewarded with the sighting of a bear high up on a rocky ridge about a mile and a half away. He was pacing about and looked like he was going to eventually descend into the lowlands. Not a chance.  He holed up somewhere in the rocks. I waited about 30 minutes but never saw him again. He was still concealed in the boulders somewhere. So I drove to the end of the ridge, peeled off a layer or two, and hiked 8/10 of a mile along the spine, cradling my Winchester in the crook of my arm. As I neared the rocks where I last saw him, the bear loped out about 75 yards from my position and started to ascend the adjacent mountain. I initially hesitated in firing, wanting to size him up and determine that it was a boar. A quick assessment made me reasonably sure the bruin was worth the effort. I thought, “What the heck?”  He’s within shooting distance and locals can shoot two bears annually. So at about 125 yards out, I sent a reloaded Hornady 170 grain bullet his way. The impact of the bullet stopped the bear’s progress but he wasn’t dead.  He started sliding back down the slope toward me. I utilized the repeater capability of the firearm and shot him three more times. The grizzly lay still. He turned out to be a respectable 7.5 foot boar with a very nice pelt. 

The work then began as I had to photograph and skin him out by myself. It took a while to tie my cell phone to my shovel to obtain some selfies. I noticed later in the photos that my receiver sight lever was inadvertently flipped up, but the sight wasn’t elevated. All in all it was a fun and successful outing. My trip odometer read 157 miles as I parked my machine next to the house that evening. My wife asked if I needed another bear. My usual response is, “When did need enter into the equation?”

[Image Can Not Be Found]Well, I intended to add more. photos. But it’s after midnight and I’m tired. Perhaps I can figure out how to do it tomorrow. Turn your head sideways to view the two I managed to post. The one on the right features the sow with her cubs in the distance.

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May 25, 2023 - 9:31 am
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Well done!  Thanks for sharing your story- can’t wait for hunting to start up again in Louisiana!

Technically, the glass is always full; half liquid, half air....

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May 26, 2023 - 1:14 am
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May 26, 2023 - 5:03 am
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dimrod said
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Nice bear Mark – sounds like a great day on the Seward Peninsula – nothing like an early spring bear hunt and a prime hide before they start to rub. I have always admired the way you utilize the old lever guns to take Alaska big game. 

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May 26, 2023 - 12:33 pm
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Very cool!  And you are using the Climbin Lyman receiver sight – my favorite sight on a Winchester lever rifle (or Marlin Wink).

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May 26, 2023 - 12:55 pm
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Good Job! Thanks for taking the time to share the story and pics!

 

 

Mike

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