I was the cameraman on the hunt with Dr. Richie Bland, an oncologist from Georgia. This hunt was both exciting and memorable for me because hunt we were within 17 yards of this Alaskan brown bear for about 40 minutes. The bear heard us approach when he was in some thick alders. He got suspicious and came to about 17 yards from us before laying down and looking at us for awhile. Then he got up, moved about 10 yards to his right and laid down again. Finally the bear got up and turned almost broadside to us, but he was quartering some to us.
I encouraged Richie to go ahead and take the shot because I didn’t believe the bear would offer a better shot. Too, I felt the bear was about to bolt and run out of our area. So when Richie took the shot, the arrow hit the bear a little further back than Richie would of liked for it to, and the bear bolted and ran back into the alders. We waited two hours before we went in to where we thought the bear was.
Richie had asked the guide not to shoot the bear with his rifle if the bear was not already dead because Richie wanted to finish the kill with his archery equipment. When we got into the alders, we spotted the bear about 50 yards from us. We could tell by the position of the bear that he was ready to attack us. Richie moved in about 32 yards from the bear and started to prepare for the shot. The bear decided to charge.
The guides screamed and hollered at the bear, attempting to stop its charge so Richie could get off the shot. Finally, the guides were successful, and the bear stopped within 15 yards of Richie. Then the bear stopped, turned and began to head back toward the spot where he started his charge, giving Richie the opportunity to not only place one more arrow but also a second arrow in the bear.
The bear moved off to the right, and we followed the bear for a short distance before Richie delivered the fourth arrow that put the bear down for good. This very exciting hunt for this big 500-600 pound brown bear was really close. I was only 2 yards from Richie with the camera on my shoulder while this hunt was taking place. I knew if the bear did charge, more than likely, he would get Richie and possibly me. However, I had complete confidence in the guide and felt that if we really got into a dangerous situation, he would pull us through. Plus, I had a pistol with me to be prepared if the bear got really close.
This one tape has a total of 18 hunts on it. Besides the bear hunt, you’ll will see five really-big elk taken with both rifles and bow and arrows. Too, you’ll see a rifle hunt for a coastal grizzly, with Ray Mersky, that squared 9 feet 10 inches. Also this tape contains footage of two very-big bison taken on two hunts by my daughter Alex, who was 11-years-old at the time of filming, and my son Trevor. You’ll also see hog hunts at the beginning of the tape. But rather than give away the whole show, I encourage you to order Ultimate Hunting For North American Big Game II now.