We slipped in on the top edge of the draw and watched the 2 bears do their mating ritual for awhile. They finally started working their way right to us and it was looking like I would get my shot opportunity. When the sow got to the top edge of the alders she was only 50 yards and turned and came right at us with the huge boar in tow. They were closing fast but I had nothing but the top of the boars head for a shot and was praying he would turn broadside. The sow was now less than 25 yards and the boar was under 35 when the sow finally saw us and came unglued. Thankfully they did not come at us but I had no shot on their exit either. So close yet so far! Late afternoon of Day 4 we spotted the huge boar again at the very head of the drainage with a different sow this time. The boar had a big scar on his his right hind so he was easy to identify. The only approach was to stay high and try to work in from above. They were a couple of miles away so it took us quite awhile to get to them thru the alders and snow drifts. As we worked in on them the sow busted us and blew out. As luck would have it the bears had separated about a hundred yards and the boar never saw the sow go. He was still sleeping in a snow drift above. We worked in down wind and I only a couple of steps to clear some alders and I would have a great shot. About that time the big boar sat up, looked right at us, and turned and blew out. I sat there in amazement as he could not have seen us, we were straight down wind, and had been absolutely quite. What just happened? I have heard some of the old bear guides say those big boars have a 6th sense and after that strange encounter I would have to agree. We spent the next 8 days glassing for 12-14 hours a day with only one stalk on a 9 ½ foot bear that we could never catch up to. Day 13 we spotted a 9 foot bear in the afternoon and made a stalk on him. He got into the alders and we were waiting for him to poke his nose out again when I looked across the drainage and watched a great big boar come out on the other side. No question about going after him and we took off on the run. When we got to the creek in the bottom I happened to catch a glimpse of the big boar chasing a smaller up the mountain. What rotten timing for the other bear to show up but we just kept going at them. The big boar eventually lost interest and we finally got a break when he came back down the mountain right to us. He was not in a good spot for a bow stalk so this late in the hunt I made the decision to pick the rifle up. Three solid hits from Taj's 375 and the big boar was down. After getting some great pictures, skinning him out, and getting him loaded up we got on the trail about 11:30PM. We made the decision to go to base camp since it was about the same distance to spike camp as well. When we pulled into base camp at 4:00 AM we were dead tired and hungry. Taj's mom Rocky got up and cooked us some dinner/breakfast and we sacked out.
The bear ended up squaring exactly 10 feet and his skull made all time book at 28 2/8. I've dreamed my whole life about killing a giant Brown Bear and this hunt more that lived up to my expectations. The Shoemaker's run an excellent operation and I suspect I will be hard pressed to not go back for a bow only hunt in the future.