Video: Bowhunting Alaska Brown Bear Over a Moose Kill

In this classic bowhunt, Tom Miranda kneels in the brush in hopes an Alaska brown bear returns to feed on a moose kill.

Video: Bowhunting Alaska Brown Bear Over a Moose Kill

In Tom Miranda’s route to complete the Super Slam — killing each of the 29 recognized big game species in North America — included many difficult bowhunts, but perhaps none rivaled his quest for an Alaska brown bear. As he explains in the 7-minute Facebook video below, Tom’s first two brown bear bowhunts yielded zero close calls. And his third attempt, which is highlighted below, wasn’t off to a good start due to horrible weather conditions.

Thankfully, Dennis Zadra, who has never guided a bowhunter for brown bears prior to Miranda, spots several birds perched in a tree about 100 yards back in the bush. Upon investigation, the guys discover a recent moose kill, and a brown bear has covered the carcass with grass and other debris. 

Not unlike sitting over a bait site for black bears, the guys find an ambush location downwind of the buried moose carcass then wait for the bruin to return. It doesn’t take long. 

A few observations:

  • The inflatable boat used my Dennis, Tom and Heath Painter (Tom’s cameraman) is small for three adults and all their hunting and camera gear. This hunt was in 1999, when video cameras and tripods were much larger than gear used to film outdoor pursuits today. (FYI: Tom was using a Golden Eagle compound, Satellite broadhead and Carbon Express 300 arrow. Golden Eagle and Satellite are no longer made.) 
  • Tom kneels in his hip boots while waiting on the bear, even though the brush is too high for a clear shot. While at full draw, Tom slowly stands, aims and releases. And as you’ll see, he holds at full draw for a long time waiting for a clear, broadside shot.
  • Shot distance is 32 yards, which is longer than I expected when the guys first explain their planned ambush. I was thinking it would be closer to 20 yards than 30, so when the Golden Eagle fires, I was surprised with how long it takes the arrow to impact the bear.
  • Immediately after the arrow penetrates its chest, the boar stands and glares in the direction of the intruders. In that moment, it seems like a flip of the coin as to whether the bear will charge. You can bet that Tom has a second arrow at the ready, but I doubt Dennis would have waited for Tom to get it on the string. Dennis likely had the rifle’s safety slid to the “fire” position the moment Tom drew his bow.

Intense video!

P.S. Be sure to click enter fullscreen and turn up the volume for best viewing.


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