October 4th, 2015 finds me in Newfoundland at Crabbes River Outfitters remote "Moose" camp with owners Everett and Angus Kettle. The previous Fall I had booked a couple of friends on a bow hunt for Moose. They had returned along with another friend of theirs and a married couple I knew. It was a 5 day hunt for Moose (eastern Canada species) but I had a bear tag as well. On the 3rd afternoon, I was sitting on a slight rise in a marsh where I could observe a corner pocket at the end of the open field that cut back into the dark timber. I had ranged the pockets opening at 200 yards with the back at 300 yards. Having my trusty .280 Remington in M-77 Ruger topped with an original Redfield widefield 3x9 scope, I felt confident that any Moose that stepped into that pocket would be subject to a dirt nap sandwich. My guide Angus was with my friend Max about 350 yards behind me, cow calling across a stream below them. He was calling to the far ridge, hoping to pull a bull out into the open. I had noticed his calling was constant and aggressive but I had no idea they were watching 6 separate bulls, with two locking antlers. The heavy cover and trees between them and the bulls placed my friend in a difficult position for a shot. About this time I turned my attention back towards the pocket just in time to see a large black form come trotting out of the timber from my left. It was a bear, an a large example at that! I immediately raised my rifle and found the bear in the cross hairs. Once I acquired the bears travel path, I eased the cross hairs forward and let the bear come into view. As its nose found the center of the X, I squeezed the trigger and listened as the 160 grain Accubond hissed across the marsh. I think to this day I've yet to hear as loud of a whop! It sounded like I hit a bass drum full of water with a baseball bat. The bear never made a sound, it just kicked it into high gear and vanished to the far side of the pocket into the dark timber.
My friends thought I had shot a Moose, but they were occupied with their own business so I walked the 210 yards to where I ranged my shot but could find no blood. I followed a faint trail through the marsh grass until it entered the timber but could still find no blood. Now I was born at night, but it wasn't last night. I'm not about to go into thick, dark timber alone where I could have stumbled onto a wounded bear, no sir, no Fly's on me gents. I backed out and went to join my friends and report what had happened. By the time I made my way to them, darkness was setting in, so it would be the next morning before we tracked up my bruin. It had only traveled about 100 yards if it had been in a straight line, but twisting and winding through some of the most thick cover that only a bear could maneuver, it seemed much further. The Accubond had done its job, entering just in front of the right shoulder and exiting behind the left shoulder. Both lungs were damaged. I was the last morning of the last day when Angus would call in a bull Moose for me, but that's another story. LDK