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Home Page Photo Categories 2012 Big Buck, Big Bull & Other Big Game Contests

"Bryan's California Bruin"
Photo provided by: Clayton Strahan

Clayton Strahan writes, "On the morning of the earlier opener my hunting partner, Bryan, and I left about an hour before dark and hiked into what we thought had some promise. About 30 minutes after sunrise, we spotted a relativley nice buck running with three smaller bucks and several does and we decided to make stalk. As we neared the small group of deer and moved to within shooting range, we heard a shot, only to look up and see our buck down like a sack of potatoes. We could hear cheers in the near distance and we watched as several hunters began to walk through a small aspen thicket to our left. As the hunters neared the downed buck, we again heard a loud crashing in the brush ahead of us. At this time we saw the bear come crashing through the brush directly in front of us. The bear cleared the brush, made a hard right and headed down hill directly at us. He was full steam ahead and never knew we were there. The bear closed the distance to about 90 yards when my partners .270 rang out. He shot the big bruin one time in the head, with the round entering one inch to the left of his left eye and exiting out his ear. The bear fell instantly and came to a stop at 85 yards.

While this bear doesn't break any records, he had some unique qualities. When we were skinning the bear out, we discovered he was full of lead bird shot, indicating he had likely been in town and up to no good. His right ear and right front paw showed signs of healing injuries indicating he had been in a recent bout with another animal."

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