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Alaska Bear Big Game Bowhunting

Bow Shot on a Charging Bear!

by Melissa Bachman   |  June 22nd, 2011 64

I’ve had some close encounters, but this time both my nerves and hunting instincts were put to the test.   Sure, when predator calling for bear you hope for a reaction, but you better be ready when the time comes, because ready or not…here he comes!

After spending a few days in the wilderness, kayaking from shore to shore, camping under the stars, I had several close encounters, but still no bear down.  My strategy was to spot the bear from my kayak, make a game plan based on the wind, hit shore, stalk as far as possible, then hit the predator call once I had a visual.

As I paddled around the corner into a back bay I spotted a big boar feeding on a grass flat about 1,000-yards out.  After checking the wind and glassing the shore I decided on a landing spot for my kayak and started cruising toward shore.  After stalking a couple hundred yards on the noisy shore I approached a fallen down tree that provided a little extra cover.  Bear can’t see very well but I still prefer to be hidden if at all possible.  Once settled in behind the fallen tree I knocked an arrow, took a deep breath, and started blowing my old wooden distress call.

The sound instantly caught the boar’s attention and he raised his head in curiosity at first.  It’s almost as if you could see his mood change as he went from curiosity to killer mode and his entire body spun around toward me and started coming my way. Still around 150-yards I could tell he was a good bear and that he meant business.  As he started walking in my direction I knew he was committed, and I decided to get aggressive.  The harder I called, the more he picked up his pace.

 

There were two things I wasn’t prepared for.  One was the fact that I was getting so out of breath I was afraid I would pass out.  The other was the fact that my hand was holding the call, meaning my release was not on my bow if things got a little crazy.  It may not seem like much but as a bowhunter I want to be at full draw at the drop of a dime if something would go wrong and this was making me pretty nervous!  With these thoughts racing through my head, a bear coming right at me, I decided to stop for a second and catch my breath.  As I stopped for a second the bear slowed down a bit but still kept coming my way.

Once I had caught my breath I decided to really let out the distress calls.  This worked and the bear started running toward me.  I’m not sure if I had any idea how close he was getting but I stopped to watch him for a second and he continued to walk right toward me.  Once the bear hit about the 40-yard marker I decided to call one last time and make sure he committed.  This big bruiser started bounding toward me and I instantly dropped the call and got to full draw.  This is when instincts take over and the nerves turn to steel.


As he came inside 20-yards he paused to look right at me and actually lifted his head a bit to see what was in the tree.  I remember seeing his little beady eyes locked into mine as I was looking for the best-shot placement.  With only one-shot option in front of me I placed my pin right above his V in his throat section. The second it hit a fountain of blood came pouring out as he spun around and I knew it was a perfect shot.

The blood trail was almost two-feet wide and my bear never made it off the beach.

There is no question that a throat shot has a smaller margin of error, but when you have a bear eyeing you up at 18-yards, you make it count.  This is the second bear in a row that I’ve taken in the throat with my bow and neither made it more than 40-50 yards.  It’s one of the risks you take when predator calling a bear, because a lot of these big boars will not step down!  You need to checkout a bear’s anatomy before your hunt and know exactly where to place that arrow if a broadside shot isn’t presented.  You also have to be ready to think quick and act in an instant or you may not make it back for a second try!

 

2010 black bear called in using a predator call on Prince of Wales Island

 

2009 Black Bear called in using a predator call on Prince of Wales Island

  • http://petersenshunting.com Mike Schoby

    Wow Great Stuff!!!!

  • Conrad Evarts

    Fantastic blog all the way around. Great story, great writing, great video and great photos. This is what it's all about. I really enjoyed it.

  • Aaron Decker

    Nice work Melissa…

  • Tom Miranda

    Way to get it done Melissa…. Not only are you an excellent bowhunter…

    but have the media chops to go with it… Loved your story.

    excellent!

  • Glenn Thompson

    Just like you were taught, Minnesotian Style :o) Keep up the good work!

  • Why not KILL Humans

    CENSORED???

    I wish you ALL HUMANS get killed as a sport just for FUN!!!

    • Gene

      Person asking this question has some mental issues that needs to be address and be on police watch list (probably is on that list).

      Great video – good hunting!

    • Paul

      Enjoy your salad

    • Matt B

      If we hunted humans like you, it'd be too easy. Not much skill in hunting someone who rubs oreo cream all over their body, and plays world of warcraft all day long.

    • Vegan Rabbit

      I understand how you feel, but making remarks like that only lowers us to their level.

  • Rick Davis

    Wonderful story and video. Now my 10 year old daughter is asking for a bear hunt this year or next. Your videos have been an inspiration to her. It's great to see her so excited about archery and hunting!

    Thanks!

    • Vegan Rabbit

      That's pretty disturbing.

  • http://www.thirdhandarchery.com Jim Litmer

    Terrific story followed by great footage, followed up by a fantastic smile. Way to go Melissa. That was a hunt anyone could be proud of doing. Would loved to have been there just to witness the event.

  • Les

    Hey Mellissa! Are you married? I'm not!

  • Phil

    Wow! Great shot! Now I want to head to Alaska for hunting, fishing and LIVING!

  • MIKIE

    A BUNCH OF STAGED HOOPLA! WHAT A SHAME IN THIS DAY AND AGE THAT WE KILL JUST TO KILL. I CAN UNDERSTAND AN ESKIMO DOING THIS BUT A COVER GIRL MODEL? GIVE ME A BREAK! I'D MUCH RATHER COME BACK NEXT YEAR AND WATCH THE BEAR LIVE AND INTERACT WITH NATURE!

    A FORMER HUNTER THAT HAS SEEN THE LIGHT…..

    • R.G.

      It's not staged, "Mikie" – it's recorded. And she's not a cover girl model, "Mikie" – she has more hunting chops than most of the men reading this.

    • 2nd Amendement

      i partially agree with you, yes its bad that some hunters only shoot animals just to have a trophy, they're not hunting to put food on the table, they are just doing it to kill something…….but if you had the balls to stand up to those people and tell them how you felt about it and educate them, then you'd still be a hunter today

  • Matt B

    Great video! Was fun to watch, had to have been more fun to do!

  • Tim Petelin

    You do have the skills. I applaud your clam nature. I have been in similar tight spots. Just reading your story was a pure rush. As far as the guy wanting to hunt humans and the "now" anti-hunter all I can say is that the world is full of all types. They should learn that not everyone shares their opinions or strange desires. Just keep doing what you do.

    Congratulations

    • MIKIE

      STRANGE DESIRES? IF WANTING TO LET GOD'S CREATURES LIVE THEIR LIFE OUT IS STRANGE THEN I'M GUILTY. HUNTING AN ANIMAL WITH PRIMITIVE WEAPONS THAT LEAVE MANY DISAPPEAR INTO THE WOODS WITH AN ARROW STUCK IN THEM TO DIE A SLOW AGONIZING DEATH IS STRANGE. AT LEAST A MISSED PLACED RIFLE SHOT MAY EVENTUALLY HEAL.

      YES, IT WAS STAGED AND EDITED. I HAVE WORKED IN THIS FIELD AND I KNOW IT WHEN I SEE IT.

      • Retred

        1. Just what light was it that you saw?????????

        2. And what did you see?????

  • Quick Draw

    I must say you've got gut's girl! Living in Gods country, hunting & fishing

    in paradise! I'm truly envious! Congratulations and continued good luck!

    Happy trails

  • Robert Peters

    Melissa,

    You are the very image of what most feminists can only aspire to be.You go girl!! We need you in the Dallas Safari Club as an an example to our 4,000 students in our outdoors and archery classes.

  • bldean

    Now that's a bear story! Great video and impressive story.

    You are one tough Mama.

  • Lady buckslayer

    This is a great story. I am a hunter myself and love it! I was wondering what bow u used? I want to upgrade and just looking for another Romans opinion. Thank you and good luck in the future.

  • Dan Call

    You slayed me as well!

  • Geoff Ryerson

    well done. Congratulations for this shame. what an amazing appreciation to nature. Not only do we go to there homes but we also kill them . Great kiiling . keep up the love for killing deserve to live

    • 2nd amendment

      yes hunters really do have an appreciation and love for nature thats why we are the number one supporters of conservation of natural habitat and we do it by going out and maintaining the land we hunt on with our own to hands……unlike someone like you that would rather sit on the couch and eat potato chips

  • Mike McCabe

    Great hunt Melissa, be sure to ignore the ignorant comments,

  • Hunt ass wipe

    Hunt humans. Cool. You are first. Ass wipe

  • Hunt ass wipe

    Geoff? Who actually calls themselves Geoff? What can you expect from a Geoff? Cant really say he is emasculated since that would require a set first. Let's settle on "it"

  • john

    You are in no danger. You lure a wild animal in its own environment by

    understanding what will attract him. You want to kill him(or her) with a

    bow. You were able to do it with one shot. Thank goodness for the bear.

    Are you able to do that every time? Do you like bear meat? Did you clean

    and prepare the bear yourself? I don't know and but I have an idea. Let's

    pave the rainforests.

  • Greg

    good ethical hunt, to all the non hunters come join us in the bush we'll be happy to video tape you as you wet your pants before you get mauled

  • David Parker

    Thats what I'm hollering… I took a recurve shot at a charging mad Boar hog one day – my arrow went in under the nose up to the fletching and it still ran right over me. I don't know how he didn't hook me – I eventually ate him lol… I can imagine the rush of a bruiser bear coming to eat you. You must be Fred Bear's grand-daughter ? You are welcome in our camp anytime…..

  • Caroline

    There is nothing more natural than an animals' instinct to hunt. Last time I checked, humans were still mammals. She practiced many hours and planted a well placed shot that took that animal out with minimal distress. Go visit a slaughter house and tell me what is more humane. I am a female hunter, and have hunted, gutted, cleaned, processed, cooked, and eaten what I have shot since I was 11 years old. I have taken a slaughter class in college…I am a Christian…and I would rather see a beautiful young woman enjoying the beauty of nature and challenging her hunting instincts than posing for a porno shot. Thanks to our US military that we still have the blessing of having these different opinons.

    • Europa

      1. lol
      2. Minimal distress? Not that I'm supporting slaughter houses but there at least they die instantly…this bear did not.
      3. What has the US military got to do with that?

      At least reading the comments on this page give us some entertainment after that absolutely horrendous video.

  • eric josef hermann

    great realy great hunt! unfortunately iam going through a bad divorce but after it iam ready to learn from you you got moore nerves than i have good luck to you and good hunting

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/HairNailsBeautytips Rosa

    Wow, you are a awesome women! you go mama

  • BANDA MOTOR

    you should die like this bear!

    • yeah i said it

      maybe this bear should maul you banda

  • mmull5656

    I've just seen the perfect women. OMG, she kayaks, hunts, awesome shot ,( considering a camera person to contend with), looks great in camo. Too bad, where were you 30 years ago? Kidding aside, that was amazing! I wish you much success on your future hunts although you might want to have a backup shooter with plenty of 00 buck .

  • http://twitter.com/VideoMilitia @VideoMilitia

    LAME. Oh you were in such danger blowing into your kazoo. The bear wanted to just see who was the annoying bimbo doing NOT ANYWHERE CLOSE TO CHARGING. It's like fishing with hotdogs. Why don't you really try stalking that bear and you'll see him run off… BECAUSE they are not threatening animals 99.99999% of the time. Love how you think it's some kind of honorable thing removing animals from they're already shrinking habitats. The Sarah Palin effect of bimbos with weapons. Real conservationists don't destroy life… you've all got your long johns on backwards.

  • Mund

    Everyone that agrees with this ridiculous charade is not a real hunter, this is pathetic and if you think that it wasn't staged then you need your head looking at. That was not a charging bear either, he ran a bit and stopped.

    • Melissa Bachman

      I would love to know how on earth you can think this was staged? Have you ever hunted the Alaskan wilderness? Bear are predators and they will come to a distress call which is exactly what I've done 3 years in a row. It's hard to believe you can stay in a tent, hunt hard out of a kayak, predator call a big black bear in and there will still be people who try to cut it down by calling it "staged" give me a break…

  • Nana

    I cannot believe that you pretend to make a show with immoral and ridiculous manners. This is anti-ethic and intolerable. I can't ask you to have feelings, but, OMG at least don't make fun of poor animals. They aren't a trophy, because trophies are got with honor, and there is not honor in killing.

  • Vegan Rabbit

    If hunters love nature so much why don't they go into nature and shoot animals through the lens of a camera instead of defacing nature's beauty in this manner?

  • AvO

    If only you could appreciate the life of an animal/your own life without having to kill it/prove something about yourself.

  • https://www.facebook.com/ranitesh Ranitesh Chandra

    I am really disappointed. was that bear do anything wrong? why ?? for fun??

  • SChainho

    What a shame… What a great woman…. oh my good!

  • Carlos

    You are a big disgrace for all people that really loves nature, this just shows the ignorance that some people in your country lives into, i hope nobody follows your stupid show. You are just an ignorant person with enough money to buy the ultimate technology for killing for fun animals, I will encourage my friends and family to stop watching your network till your show comes out of the air

  • Alan

    Don't listen to these nutjobs, Melissa…you're an inspiration to our daughter who is hetting into hunting! I applaud your skills. :)

    • dougal mac

      Are you a christian?

      • Alan

        Why does that matter?

        • dougal mac

          Answer the question and I'll tell you…

      • Peter Stevens

        Obviously, duh!

  • Alan

    I have proven my point. Look at all the nutjobs posting. They don't understand hunting at all.

  • guest

    do you eat bear nicole???

  • https://www.facebook.com/arodriguezarcas Ana Rodriguez Arcas

    Many people kill animals for surviving and it is respetable, enjoying killing animals, even when you know that they suffer, and make fun of this, has no moral justification possible. This is just as "ethic" as bullfighting. The most curious thing is that people here get offended easily. Don't insult people, I think we are mature enough to discuss without insults and easy countercharge, we don't need countercharges, we need ARGUMENTS. As far as I know, sport must be self-inflicted. When your opponent is forced to die against their will, it is not a sport mate, it is called a victim. And sorry if my English sounds strange, I am Spanish.

  • Steve Wright

    Where do you stop?

  • dougal mac

    When there's no one but loving, caring and inteligent people left. Then I'll dispatch my self for being a nutter. Lol.

    How does that sound?

  • Steve Wrighht

    I think I'll join you!

    Start tonight?

  • Carlos

    Fantastico comentario Ana saludos desde Dubai

  • Alan

    No.

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