August 1st, 2021, 3 buddies and I were on our first real sheep hunt. We’d been off the highway hunting in the past. We flew into Dall Lake, our first true fly in sheep hunting trip. After 12 hours of hiking in 30 degree weather, over wind blow and buck brush, our day only got longer. We got to the top and searched for a way into a gnarly creek. It was 15 foot banks on either side. With a 40 foot water fall below us. The bush was still thick, and there was downed trees all around us.
As we filled up water a friend of mine who was sitting on the bank asked if I wanted a hand (I was almost done). Our other buddy joking remarked, “Don’t worry about it Blake, you’re on bear duty”. A minute later Blake started shouting ‘Bear, Bear, Bear! Bear! Faster every time he said it.
Before I knew it shots were being fired over my head. There was a brief pause in the shooting, I looked behind me and 3 feet behind me a grizzly ran by. Without any thought I jumped across the creek and towards Blake’s direction. The second I landed on the other side another bear came at us at a full sprint. Blake dropped him at our feet. Then the first bear turned and came at us. Luckily Blake was able to shoot him too. There were 2 bears! Both mature boars, different ages, laying dead 15 feet apart.
I don’t know why they were together, or how they came out of nowhere so quietly. But I do know that one of us could have been chewed on or shot by accident. Its true what they say, it happens when you least expect it. This encounter was reported to conservation officer and we were cleared of any wrong doing.
Jayden Fort Nelson