A Bitterroot Bear Hunters Tale
By Toby Trigger

Posted: June 19, 2016

The end of Montana’s 2016 Spring black bear season was fast approaching as Patrick Shultz headed out the door to hunt bears in the Bitterroot Valley.

Patrick was surprised to find several bears feeding as he glassed a few of his favorite spots.  Patrick told his story and it’s a good one; about spotting bears and then looking up to see a solid mature bear staring down at him within easy shooting distance of his .30-.30.  The shot was good but as every successful hunter knows that is when the real work begins.

Black Bear huntPatrick recalls the pack out like it was the best part of his adventure:

” We were in about the deepest steepest drainage I’ve ever been in and she slid/rolled down into the little Creek, so a lot of her body is in the water. Then a wind micro burst came through and blew about a dozen trees down around the area and us, so we backed out until it passed.”

Black bear

“Then as quickly as it came it had passed only to be replaced by a down pour of rain. Those bushes surrounding the bottom were about 7-8 feet tall and lots of thorn bushes too. The hillside was steep enough to reach out and grab/paw the ground on your way up in places.”

“We finally got her cut up and packed out by 1:20am Thursday morning. She was estimated to be 10-12 years old and about 225-250 lbs, and measured just over 5 ft.”

Patrick says the shot dropped the bear right after bullet impact at 68 yards using a Marlin 30-30 using Hornady leverevolution and 160 ftx bullet hand loads.

black bear paw

Thanks for sharing Patrick and Congrats on a great hunt and a great bear!