Post by Ken O'Neill on May 18, 2019 5:52:33 GMT -5
With apologies to Ian Fleming …
I looked for a "reasonably priced" Brown Bear hunt for years. Talked with outfitters, and bid on a couple at SCI Conventions, but the bidding always outran my self-imposed limits. Then my wife Kay and I hit a home run at the 2002 SCI Annual Convention, securing a hunt on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula. You can most easily get to Kamchatka by flying to Seattle, then Anchorage, then across the Bering Sea to Petropovlovsk on The Peninsula, about 1/4 of the way around the world. But NO … Kay wanted to visit Moscow .. 3/4 of the way around the world. So … we flew from Charlotte to N.Y. to Moscow, then across 10 time zones to Petropovlovsk.
Red Square, and an outside wall of the Kremlin: (I have no idea why some of these photos are so small, nor why there is so much space between them .. you already know that I'm technology illiterate. My Russia photos are the only ones this has ever happened with. Maybe it's the fault of those Russians I keep hearing about. Be patient, keep scrolling)
A Main entrance to Red Square and the Kremlin:
The Bolshoi: St. Peter's undergoing renovation at the time: We toured the Kremlin, the Hermitage Museum, the Subway, underground shopping, etc. After overnighting, we flew to Petro overnight, then drove about 8 hours by 4WD to Esso for another Overnight. From Esso we boarded a military surplus helicopter to fly to the hunting area: Several days of hard hunting resulted in:
Rifle was a Stainless Win. Mdl. 70 in .416 Rem. Mag. Taken at about 55 yards. No handgun hunting permitted:
After looking at the above 2 photos for several months, I forgot that about half of the bear's girth was under snow, so I was surprised when I picked the mount up from the taxidermist:
Really enjoying your posts Ken -- Another great adventure.
Twenty or so years ago, a co worker went on a brown bear hunt on Kamchatka. He said the helicopters were really scary (no maint, etc.) and the guides carried 7.62x54Rs for backup.
Your buddy told the truth! Such shuddering and shaking, moaning and groaning, permeated with the smell of av. gas., is not to be forgotten. BUT, they can carry a real load. We packed up the entire camp on it when we left. All of it! As an old Marine, I hate choppers ... but it's better than walking in those conditions! My guide also carried a Dragunov in 7.62 X 54R.
Outstanding Ken! Did you cruise around in those open air taxi's (snow mobiles) looking for bears? Looks like you earned that bear! One of my local buddies did that hunt about the same time, he was using, at that time the new Lost River Bullets. Keep them coming buddy, two or three more good ones & I'll buy the floats! And I've noticed over the years, Kay & sometimes your daughter made some of the hunts, that makes it even better.
Post by Ken O'Neill on May 18, 2019 12:48:13 GMT -5
Dick, we used snow mobiles to get out away from camp, sometimes 20 to as many as 50-60 miles, then began glassing for an attempted approach on foot. Yep, Julie has made 3 African safaris with me, and Kay has made 4, as well as many hunts in Europe, Argentina, the South Pacific and the U.S., including Alaska. It has been great, being able to share those experiences.