Grizzly bears and bow hunters are on the prowl. Sometimes, their hunting areas overlap. This is what archery hunter Cole Stevens recently discovered the day before 9/11. He’s not alone. There seems to be an uptick in bear encounters this hunting season.
Cole was bow hunting a huge whitetail buck that he had spotted on the Rocky Mountain Front. He immediately” Put on The Sneak” and got within 20 yards of the bedded buck. The wind was right, and he rose for the shot. The buck stood too and presented Cole with a quartering shoulder shot. The arrow was released, and the buck ran off.
Cole found a blood trail and followed it until he found his trophy whitetail. He was excited about this great stalk and kill. As he tagged the buck and was taking pictures, mosquitos were tearing him up. It was time to go to the truck and grab a hoody, ditch his gear, and grab his drag gear.
When he walked to the truck, he noticed an MTFWP employee watching him with binoculars. As he walked up, they began talking. “Did you know that a Grizzly was stalking you and your downed buck?” Apparently, the FWP was monitoring the Grizz who was monitoring the hunter, who was monitoring the buck!
When Cole shot the buck, the Grizz smelled the kill and was also on the hunt. By this time, the Grizz was on the Buck enjoying a rib dinner! They watched the feast through a spotting scope. Since the FWP had permission to drive on the private land, they went closer to the archers kill. The 3–4-year-old male Grizz saw the truck and ran off.
The Hunter and his help quickly loaded the buck and saved the day for Cole. The monster buck had some rib and wound area damage but was otherwise intact.
Cole’s personal best trophy was a 5×6 scorable pointer. It also had a split brow tine and unique look. The meat was intact, minus some ribs and hide.
At some point, this story could have ended badly. Thanks to an observant FWP biologist, it didn’t.