Well, I hunt alone and after getting this guy to and into my truck by myself I figure that if there was anything wrong with my heart, the bear and I would still be laying side by side in the bush.
I thought that a game cart would solve my annual problem but the wheels are not so great in swamp and mud, the cart tips going over logs, uneven ground, etc., and my trail was a lot further and narrower than I thought! The cart still helped a lot though.
I also have an extra leaf spring on my pickup truck so the tailgate is pretty high and I had a heck of a time there too.
But... no greater feeling once he was in the back and I was driving home, and, after a couple days to recover, I can hardly wait to have to do it again.
We must be nuts, LOL!
The first picture is on site with a tripod, and the second picture (to show the white V) is at home the next morning.
I shoot a left handed 75 @ 30" Cari-bow Featherhorn longbow.
My arrows are 31" custom cedar arrows from J&M Traditions. Total weight with broadhead was 745 grains.
The broadhead is a 225 grain single bevel Tuffhead. That was the first time I tried a single blade broadhead for black bears - I usually don't advocate single blades for black bears (I really like them for moose and caribou) but this one produced plenty of blood. I do wish that they were slightly "pointier" or sharper at the tip though.
I enjoy trying different broadheads.
I managed to get the bear still strapped to the cart into the back of the truck by putting the front edge of the cart on the edge of the tailgate and lifting and pushing with every once of strength I had.
I failed on the first couple of attempts and it was frustrating. On the successful attempt I had to stop half way and take a rest bent over with my hands on my knees and the cart across my back. I knew that if I let it down I would never get it back up that night.
The strength training and competitions I did in my younger years certainly helped me even though I am not 1/3 of what I was, LOL! I'm going to try to figure out another system for the loading.
I drank a large jug of water, a large container of juice, and about 3 bottles of Gatorade in the 4-5 hours I struggled from the kill site to loading him in the truck. It was a clear night but my clothes were as wet as if I had jumped in the river.
Congrats and thanks for posting up!
Congrats on passing your "stress test!!" Wow !!
Congratulation on passing the heart test!
Also the guy who missed the one and screwed up on the other. ..spooked yet another big one while drawing his bow....that was 3 p and Y s he had opportunities at ....
I've had the privilege to load a couple of cow elk whole into the back of the truck before without assistance. A little trick I learned is to bring a furniture blanket with me. I pop the tailgate off and lay it on the furniture blanket to create a ramp of sorts. Then I just slide the elk up the tailgate ramp into the truck. Works great if you have a come along! Not sure if the bed of your truck would be low enough for that trick to work but it has worked great for me!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
And I will follow your advice.
I have to leave this morning to give an outfitter friend a hand for the last week+ of the season (10 hour drive)... and besides, LOL, I need the money to help pay for an outboard motor I just bought - I have to start fishing when I get back!
I will rejoin you on Bowsite immediately upon my return .
Here's a little add on:
As far as weight, he was very old so was most likely heavier a couple of years ago. We tried to weigh him because we were curious but my friends slipped him off the skinning table too fast and the sudden jolt damaged the Cabela's hanging spring scale. We had to guess him at a minimum of 450 which is big for an old spring bear.
As far as skull measurements (since Shug insists, LOL) - Quebec bears have shorter skulls than western Canadian bears (that average almost an inch more at the same weight and age) and individual genetics play a major role too. I killed one once that was verified by the biologists at 21 1/2 years old and he only officially scored 18 7/16. I killed another that was "only" 13 1/2 years old and he scored 19 12/16.
This guy has no upper front teeth left, back of the skull eaten away a bit by arthritis and measured a pretty strict 20" even which is rare for Quebec. Again, he would have scored more a few years ago - but I like him as is!
It was great hunting him these last couple of seasons, and he could be my oldest ever!
Congrats and a helluva job with the traditional archery gear!
My uncle died at 53 dragging a huge buck out. He got too tired sat against a tree and died right there. Was a great 13 pt giant but that was no consolation to the young grandchild he was raising nor his widow.
I was lucky enough to go along and help on a bear recovery in NB with George Chase. (2006 I think) They had a 500+ lb bear on the ground that later taped at a bit under 22" if I remember correctly(?) At that time I recall George saying it was likely the biggest bear they'd ever taken. It took all 4 of us several minutes to get him loaded onto an ATV with no room left to drive it!
Ken, if you didn't blow a gasket hauling that monster out and loading it by yourself.... I'd agree, plumbing is A-OK.... wow...
You are a far better man at 63 than I ever thought of being! We hauled a 450 lb. bear out of the swamp in Wisconsin & it took 4 of us! I can't even fathom getting your bear out solo!
Well done! Be sure & stay on top of your potential health concerns so you can keep at it for many years to come as well!
You might consider trying a sturdy,plastic sled.I'll never see a 450 lb bear here but have used one on deer,antelope,black bears and similar sized animals.
It's important to have a good setup for lashing the animal in.I set mine up with spring hooks so the animal can be lashed in quickly like lacing with speed hooks.My next order of business is to get or make a ramp to help slide it in.This year,the sled buckled in the middle,with a bear on,trying to get the front end of it,up on the tailgate.It was a hot day and this has never happened before but a ramp would have solved the issue.
And of course,A small winch would be a great plus.