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Old 09-21-2017, 11:24 AM
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Default 2017 Bear Kill Thread

All right guys, post up your 2017 bear here and tell us about it.
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Old 09-21-2017, 11:31 AM
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Already posted the day of the kill, but here's a recap for the official kill thread.

I got the call Sunday afternoon that the governor had declared a state of emergency for all 159 counties in the state, giving me Monday off. I figured with the hurricane on its way, game would be up and about looking to feed before the weather got bad. I had set up a blind overlooking a couple of 100 year old chestnut trees that were dropping and deer were hitting them hard. Chinese chestnuts are my favorite early bow season food source because most years they are dropping when nothing else is. So the first couple weeks of bow season before the acorns start to fall, chestnuts can be a gold mine. I had already killed a doe on opening morning from this blind.

So in the drizzling rain from the outer bands of hurricane Irma, I was sitting nice and dry in my blind. I had checked my camera the evening before and had lots of deer pictures, but no clue there was even a bear in the area. At about 7:45, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and low and behold, here comes a bear trotting in to the chestnuts. He came in fast and began immediately to eat. I drew back on him and realized that it was too dark in the blind to see my pin. All I could see was the post that the single pin is on. I could have let down and turned on the rheostat, but I was thinking that he came in so fast like he was nervous, he might leave just as quickly. So against my gut instinct, I picked what I though was the spot, and let it go.

I hit him in the right side and he whirled and growled and then took off. I watched him run for about 60 yards and disappear. I thought it was an ok shot, maybe rear of the lungs, maybe liver, maybe both. I waited 30 minutes. I would have waited longer, but it was raining the entire time and I thought if there was going to be a track job I had better get started.

I stepped out of the blind and went the 18 yards to where he had been standing. There were cracked chestnut hulls on the ground. My arrow was a good 15 yards past where he had been standing, an absolute blow through . There was dark blood on the arrow and it did not smell of guts, so I figured it was liver. I had watched where he ran and I walked his path 3 times and could not find a single drop of blood. This was not encouraging. After really studying the ground and seeing no sign, I figured I would just walk down the direction I saw him run and hopefully find him laid up. I went maybe 125 yards and looked up and there he stood, maybe 20 yards ahead of me in a pine thicket. I wasn't sure if he had seen me, more than likely he heard me coming, so I froze. He went a couple steps and laid down hard. I knew he was hurt bad, but obviously wasn't dead yet. I let him lay for a few minutes and I could see him moving. I slipped to within about 15 yards and tried to ascertain where his lungs were for a finishing shot. It was dark, we were in a thicket, and he was black, so I guess I figured wrong because when I shot, I stuck him just square in the backbone between his shoulders. Obviously, this did nothing but anchor him where he was. I walked up to him and he was still struggling. I didn't want him to suffer any longer. I actually pulled my knife and was going to puncture his lungs, but then thought better of it. What's one more arrow? So I finished him with an arrow to the heart.

Incidentally, the broadhead that was stuck in his backbone was dug out and you have to look very, very closely at it to even tell that it's been shot. A 415gr arrow at 300fps is generating nearly 83ft/lbs of KE and it slammed into a bear's backbone. Slick Tricks are some tough little heads.

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Last edited by northgeorgiasportsman; 09-24-2017 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:31 PM
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My First bear, ever. Oh the miles and sweat that went into joining the club. I couldn't be more proud of successfully taking this beautiful creature. I appreciate everyone here that has posted and shared their wisdom and experiences. It may sound odd, but I have read every post on this forum, three times. That's right, I read the entire forum last year, then twice again this year before season. While no one, including me, wants to detail their honey holes, plenty have shared advice and insight on where & how to hunt bear here in N GA. Also crazy enough, I caught the bear bug riding a bicycle! Yep, I bought an RV lot in N GA to bicycle the gaps. The occasional bear sighting, led me to question if I could actually hunt one. I loved hunting, hiking, and obviously had the aerobic fitness to fearlessly climb these hills. I few keystrokes later, I found this forum and the tremendous bounty of accumulated knowledge stored in its threads. So thank you all for the help you gave whether your realized it or not. Reading all the threads fed my enthusiasm to embark on this adventure. I've loved learning about the mountains, the bear, the journey being as rewarding as the final shot.

Last year I saw one bear as I roamed around Chestatee during bow season.



I saw quite a few deer, but no bear after that. Due to biz travel, I really didn't hunt hard until November & December. I didn't know then that once the acorn fever was over, bears became scarce. However, there was tremendous value in continuing to hunt despite the low odds of success, as I could walk miles, explore different areas, note where white oak stands were, and basically prepare for 2017. One regret I had was that I didn't write down where and what I saw. Well once you walk 10 miles in a day, you might forget some details. I have some cool pictures of sign, but since I logged so many miles, I lost track of where some of the sign was. For example, I wish I remembered where this was, as I should have hunted that the next day...



Or even the elusive "bear tree", doesn't it look like one???



OK, I really know what a bear tree looks like, my anonymous friend is 6'3", so this tree is quite large




So this year, I have added a journal to my back pack, and write down observations and hunt reports. I think it will become invaluable in the years ahead.

So I took this boar on Chestatee on Saturday afternoon. Hunted a gap ~3000' with lots of trails, 9 fresh yellow jacket nests recently dug, lots of rooted logs, and 3-4 fresh scat piles. With all the trees down, I couldn't tell any oaks were being climbed recently, but the scat piles convinced me I was in the right area or near it. I Last hunted the previous Sunday morning on this same stand, and I had seen a medium sized sow with 3 cubs about 8:34 am.

Here's some video of the sow & two of her cubs. I guess I shouldn't worrry so much about scent control as she bird dogged me. She crossed my trail about 40 yds from the stand, then turned 90 degrees and walked right to the tree I was in and gets nervous. If you turn the volume way up, you can here her vocalizing with I guess what people call huffing.



Funny to me as on this day I saw a small boar also about 830 am. You can see its high belly and big ears, so I assume he was 75#, but looked marginal:



(My assumption was I'd see more bear in the afternoon/evenings, but here I was seeing them in the morning.) I had read the horror story about a fellow forum member being ticketed for an undersized bear, so I gave this bear a pass to fatten up for next year. I sat on the stand all day except for a brief lunch break.

This bear showed up at 5:45, well above me on the mountain, and upwind. I heard him before seeing him. So I was still & prepared when he stepped out. He immediately winded me, as he raised up, lifted his head to smell me better, then ran, then stopped and ran again. I was hesitant about his size, but my gut was that I was safe to take him, I just wanted to look at him longer. I had almost decided to pass on him, but there's something about one "getting away" that makes up your mind. When he darted the second time and stopped, he had a tree blocking the front of his shoulder, so I aimed a little back and high for a double lung shot with my .30-.30. He tumbled, rolled, flipped end over end down hill maybe 75 Yd. I feared he'd continue down the gap and I'd never get him back up. I couldn't believe how he tumbled and rolled.

Given the time and daylight left, I elected to field dress and drag like a mad man. It would have been nice to have an actual drag harness, which was back in the truck along with all my other cleaning gear, etc.. So, I used my climber's safety strap as my drag harness, a bit long and only had a loop of rough strap on my neck/shoulder. So for the next 2.5 hours, I cursed, half lifted and pulled, fell, puked, fell again, discovered every briar, blow down, sapling, and rock pile on that mountain. Believe me, this year aint the year for dragging one out. The mountains are a mine field of tree tops and limbs, making any walk a zig zag affair, sometimes ducking right, only to have to backup, and proceed left. And BTW, I now understand what folks said about rolling bear. Dragging a bear is like tieing a rope to & dragging heavy rolling pin that loves gravity. Try to walk, drag side hill? Guess what, your dragging now diagonal as the bear rolls down even the slightest incline. Oh yeah, and while he does that, he's twisting the rope and its slowly tightening on my neck. 2.5 hours later I made it the mile or so back to the truck via a not so short, short cut. Praise Jesus. I'd made it. And kudo's to JBogg for being quick to call and offer to help me drag. Don't know many friends that would answer that call, nonetheless some guy I've yet to meet in person, take the initiative to call me, to volunteer to help. Guys like him are rare, and what make this forum so great.

Being my first bear I was nervous about the size and check in process. I couldn't get the ga outdoors app to let me record the bear harvest, only choice was deer or turkey. I called the number given and same result. I decided to put the bear on ice and take it to the check in station in the morning. Drove all the way to the Chestatee check in only to find no one there. Called all the number listed (ended up being the Tips line), left my info, was told someone would call me. Waited less than 5 minutes and I got the call back, was told to just take the bear to the processor, leave the skull and hide intact for him, and someone would stop by Monday or Tuesday and tag the bear. Guess I just should have done that to start with. Also, was told I didn't have to "record" the harvest like a deer or turkey since I was doing so by calling it in & having the skull and hide inspected.

Processor weighed the field dressed bear and estimated live weight about 135#. Stopped by Tuesday and found the foot tagged with a metal band. Oh, and FWIW my first time using McClure's in Blairsville, I was very impressed with the cleanliness, friendly attitude, and quick service. Had some of the bear made into hot sausage. Had some when I got home, it was very good.

I loved that I took him on my .30-.30. I hadn't hunted with it in maybe 30 years until I caught this bear bug. Toting my heavy normal deer rifle on my first bear hunts made me start searching for a mountain rifle. I soon saw that even mountain rifles wouldn't be particularly light, nor short, and were very expensive. Reading the forum I saw occasional references to others using .30-.30's, so I dusted off my circa 1979 .30-.30, and realized it was amazingly short & light, and carried nicely cradled in my forearm as I climbed. Its the perfect rifle for N GA in my mind, and I love the retro aspect of using & enjoying my first gun again.






Just got skull back ...

Last edited by twincedargap; 09-30-2017 at 04:18 PM. Reason: Added photo & edit text
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  #4  
Old 09-28-2017, 12:30 PM
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Congrats on a wonderful bear twincedargap!!! After all the work put in, success sure is sweet, ain't it?! You're a beast for making the drag. Got more stamina about you than I do!! Great write up and pics also. Glad to have you in the club man. Good work!!!
I have been toting my ML on the early Chattahoochee WMA hunt because I have some new slugs I am wanting to test out, but last most of the season last fall, I carried my Winchester '94 .30-30. My dad won it back in '82 in a raffle and gave it to me when I was 14. That thing is light as a whip and makes for an easy carry in the big woods. Much easier than my .308.
Again, congrats brother!!
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:41 PM
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Great write-up! I'll also give a plug for McClure's. I do all my own deer, but I think I've processed my last bear as long as they're in business. I was VERY satisfied with their service.
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Old 09-28-2017, 01:39 PM
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great job Guys, now go kill some more
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Old 09-28-2017, 03:43 PM
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Great stories and pics guys! I have seen a few this year, but still working towards my first one.
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Old 09-28-2017, 04:09 PM
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I've gotta feeling JBogg will be the next one to post a pic!
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Old 09-28-2017, 08:46 PM
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Great story thanks for sharing. Nothing like the feeling of getting your first one down. Congrats
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckman18 View Post
I've gotta feeling JBogg will be the next one to post a pic!
Certainly hope so. Hes paid his dues. And karma should be on his side too.
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twincedargap View Post
Certainly hope so. Hes paid his dues. And karma should be on his side too.
Thanks fellas. The small group of regulars on the bear forum are some of the most generous guys you would ever want to meet. I have benefitted so much from this group I am happy to try and give back if I can.
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:41 AM
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Great stories! Keep them coming!
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Old 10-01-2017, 06:58 PM
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Hey guys, I have been reading through all of your posts and I notice that you guys seem like a pretty tight group. I am in the Navy and been stationed at Fort Gordon for about eight years. Back in 2009, I went with a group of guys to Chattahoochee WMA and we camped in Low Gap and hunted during the October gun hunt. As I prepare to transfer to the West Coast early next year, I am going to hunt again during the October gun hunt and camp at Low Gap again. I am going to pull my hybrid camper up and arrive on that Monday. I hope that I may have the opportunity to meet some of you guys that week.
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Old 10-01-2017, 07:20 PM
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Default Possible new Rabun County Record

I saw this posted by Georgia Outdoorsman Instagram Account and it looks like a legitimate post. Anyone else see this?
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Old 10-01-2017, 08:32 PM
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I wouldn't doubt it! Some of the biggest tracks I've found have been in Rabun co.
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Old 10-01-2017, 09:23 PM
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Got my bear tagged by DNR, on Saturday. After a week in the woods, all I could find was the skull. Trust me, it was NOT pleasant. The carcass had obviously been visited by scavengers & possibly other bears. It had been moved around a clearing, and parts were scattered around. The lower jaw was in a couple pieces, but the main skull was intact.

I want to give serious thanks to Joe Brandon. He knew where I was hunting, and he went to look around. I got a voicemail Wednesday night saying "Hey man, I found your bear". Talk about a phone call that will change your night.

After talking to Joe, I made plans to go up Friday & retrieve the skull. When I got there, a truck was parked on the trail leading in. So I hunted another area, and tried it again Saturday . My nose led me straight to it. Collected the skull, and called DNR.

Its not the way I'd hoped the story would end, but at least I'm not still worried I made a bad shot. The skull is currently being cleaned by some helpful fireants. I'll post a pic when after I finish bleaching it.
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Old 10-01-2017, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXstuckinGA View Post
I saw this posted by Georgia Outdoorsman Instagram Account and it looks like a legitimate post. Anyone else see this?
Warden that tagged my bear, on Saturday, said he'd gotten a call to go tag one in Rabun County. So, it could be legit.
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Old 10-02-2017, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerrik View Post
Got my bear tagged by DNR, on Saturday. After a week in the woods, all I could find was the skull. Trust me, it was NOT pleasant. The carcass had obviously been visited by scavengers & possibly other bears. It had been moved around a clearing, and parts were scattered around. The lower jaw was in a couple pieces, but the main skull was intact.

I want to give serious thanks to Joe Brandon. He knew where I was hunting, and he went to look around. I got a voicemail Wednesday night saying "Hey man, I found your bear". Talk about a phone call that will change your night.

After talking to Joe, I made plans to go up Friday & retrieve the skull. When I got there, a truck was parked on the trail leading in. So I hunted another area, and tried it again Saturday . My nose led me straight to it. Collected the skull, and called DNR.

Its not the way I'd hoped the story would end, but at least I'm not still worried I made a bad shot. The skull is currently being cleaned by some helpful fireants. I'll post a pic when after I finish bleaching it.


How far from where he was shot?
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Old 10-02-2017, 10:53 AM
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About 100-150 yards but straight down a laurel thicket and beside a small creek. He wasn't far as the crow flys but there were some obsticles in the way to say the least lol.
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Old 10-02-2017, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Brandon View Post
About 100-150 yards but straight down a laurel thicket and beside a small creek. He wasn't far as the crow flys but there were some obsticles in the way to say the least lol.
Sadly, after seeing where it was, I completely understand why I didn't find it. I am a bit surprised the dog didn't, but I guess the creek threw it off the scent.
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