I’ve known about old scar face for years, I’d seen him several times over many seasons while bear hunting the Finger Creek area, but he’d given me the slip every time. When Brady and Todd came hunting with me to break their curse (see Curse Breaker Bear story), I was determined to get them both good bears. After Todd got his bear to break his curse, it was time for Brady.
The curse looked about to hold after Brady got the fever bad and missed two bears. But it came together for old scar face, the biggest bear we took that year, and that made those misses worth it.
We pulled into a logging road that overlooks Finger Creek and immediately on the opposing hillside in a clear cut I could see two black spots, no binoculars needed. “Bears!” I blurted, but it wasn’t necessary, we’d all seen them at the same time. I put my binos on them and looked them over, “Breeding pair, this is perfect, now we just have to get to them.”
I knew the general area they were in, but those old logging roads had been deactivated long ago and we couldn’t just drive there. But we could drive a lot closer than we were then. So we high tailed it around the road to about a kilometer the other side of them. We couldn’t see the clearcut, but I knew it wasn’t too far. We parked, put our gear together, and hiked through the timber in the direction I believed the bears to be.
When we came out of the forest into the block, we were in a bad position, I could see the bears several hundred yards away, but down wind. That’s a huge problem for bear hunting. I drug Brady with Todd on our heels back up into the timber to try to circle around, when we came out the second time the bears had moved further away. We’d cut the distance down to about 400 yards, but we were still upwind. I left Todd here to watch the bears, fearing too much noise for three guys in the woods, and Brady and I went back into the forest to try to get closer. Again when we came out they had moved further, but this time we were close enough for a shot.
The boar appeared to spot or hear us when we emerged as he looked our direction, and I feared he would run, but he hadn’t smelt us yet, the wind was running parallel. The sow was 50 yards further away feeding and hadn’t noticed.
Now normally, by itself that boar probably would have left, but that sow was clearly in heat, and he wasn’t going to miss a chance to breed! I love hunting bears in the rut! As the sow walked down the old logging road, the boar started to follow. There were lots of brush and small trees that made shooting tough.
“Pick an opening in the road where the sow is walking, that boar will follow sure enough and when he steps in it, nail him!” I told Brady. He got set up and we waited. It didn’t take long, the sow went through an opening, the boar followed shortly and BOOM! The bear took off at a run directly away from us toward the creek. He made it to the timber and disappeared.
I have to admit doubt set in quick after Brady had already missed two bears, and this bear was moving, albeit slowly, when he shot. We gave him some time to bleed out, then went to where we’d last seen him before he disappeared. We didn’t have to go far before we found him, and what a bruiser. His face was covered in scars, one eye appeared to be blinded. This old boar had ruled this area for years and we’d finally tagged him. Couldn’t have picked a better bear to break Brady’s curse.