Tag Archives: Gear For The Hunter

First Culinary Impressions – Mountain Goat On The Grill

 

“We kill the game to eat it. Tasting it, we thank it. Thanking it, we remember it: how we hunted it, how it tested us, how we overcame it, how it finally fell”. – Charles Fergus, From A Rough-Shooting Dog, 1991

 

In Honor of The Rocky Mountain Goat. A Small Tub of Ground Meat For Goat Burgers For The Grill. Mountain Goat Recipes by Michael Patrick McCarty
Paying Homage To the Goat

 

October 2015

 

Time to Eat

 

I have waited a long time to taste the meat of the Rocky Mountain Goat, and I am…surprised. The question is, of course, just exactly how to you prepare it and cook it

Surprised mostly, I suppose, because it did not taste anything at all like I thought that it would. And surprised too because most of the information that I could find on the internet and my library of wild game cookbooks was anything but hopeful. You might say that recipes for mountain goat are far and few between.

Granted, I have only tried one small sample from the front shoulders, and that was ground well without added fat to get a true taste of the meat.

But we prepared some large patties and heated them medium rare on a hot grill on a perfect mountain evening, and they were good.

In fact they were great, served with buns and the usual burger accompaniments. They didn’t last long at all, and they left us wanting more.

I am at a loss to describe the taste completely, though perhaps that is the difficulty. The meat was subtle and mild, and fairly flavorless, but in a good way. Sometimes, less is more with wild game.

It may have something to do with the fact that this billy was perfectly processed in the field, then quickly and thoroughly cooled by mother nature as well as any walk-in cooler.

What I can tell you is that it was firm and clean without a hint of gaminess. It was well…refreshing, wild, like the promise of a new day in the bracing air of a high mountain valley.

Finding a recipe for this amazing animal almost anywhere is about as difficult as harvesting one in the first place. So, when in doubt, let the spirit move you and make it up, I say.

It is a blank canvas of possibility, and I look forward to experimenting with this wonderful wild meat.

A spice here, a spice there – a complimentary sauce or two. Some sausage for sure. Let the celebration continue…and if you have any suggestions, you know what to do.

*I have now tried this with 5% added beef fat, and I can highly recommend it.

 

Rocky Mountain Goat Wild Game Recipes. How To Make Ground Hamburger and Rocky Mountain Goat Sauasage. Photograph By Michael Patrick McCarty
Now That’s What I’m Talking About…A Mountain Goat Burger as Big As A Mountain Peak

 

A FEW WORDS ABOUT MEAT GRINDING

 

One theme emerged when researching the gastronomic qualities of Mountain Goat. That theme in a word, is tough!

It makes perfect sense, considering where they live and what they do. Their meat seems to be infused with an inordinate amount of sinew and connective tissue, which would seem to explain a thing or two about their character. You’d be tough too if you spent the long winter clinging to a cliff or looking for something to eat on an impossibly cold, windswept ridge.

A crock pot obviously comes to mind, and no doubt that I will be breaking it out very soon. In lieu of that, a small electric meat grinder may be the perfect tool for the job.

My hunting partner has had his grinder for many years, and I know that he would be hard pressed to count how many elk and deer and other wild game animals have had some of their parts run through it. It worked wonderfully on this five-year old billy too.

While using it the other night I was reminded at just what a miraculous and indispensable machine it is for the big game hunter. Or any kind of hunter, for that matter.

There are things that you can do after this little beauty has finished that you simply can’t accomplish any other way, with the exception of a hand grinder, of course. The possibilities are endless.

Might you have a hankering for some german sausage? Or Italian is more to your taste? How about some meat sticks or hot dogs? Have you ever used a jerky gun? It is essential in making jerky from ground meat too.

In my mind it is one of the most beneficial tools that any hunter could own.

Enjoy!

 

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

 

You Might Also Like Mountain Goat Sausage And, A Mountain Goat Kinda Night, Or Sportsmans Recipes

 

For The Wild Game Chef, We Recommend:

 

The Wild Game Smoker and Grill Cookbook: Sensational Recipes and BBQ Techniques for Mouth-Watering Deer, Elk, Turkey, Pheasant, Duck and More (Paperback)

Tips, tricks, and techniques for using a smoker or bbq grill to enhance the natural flavor of your wild game

Including everything from heat control basics and perfect wood chip pairings to seasoning ideas and smoker secrets, this unique cookbook is a must have for every hunter. Wild game includes some of the most sustainably harvested and healthy meats in the world and their robust flavors make them exceptional choices for grilling and smoking.

Kindi Lantz combined her culinary artistry with ancient cooking methods to develop sensational smoked and grilled wild game recipes that stray from the norm. This impressive culmination of deer, elk, antelope, bear, rabbit, duck, goose, pheasant, and other game recipes will inspire culinary mastery, providing simple, step-by-step instructions for creating mouth-watering dishes.


New From:$18.95 USD In Stock

This title will be released on February 19, 2019.

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Kill It & Grill It: A Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish (Hardcover)

Ted Nugent shares his favorite recipes for such exotic fare as wild boar, pheasant, buffalo, and venison. The cookbook is filled with hunting anecdotes, detailed instructions on cleaning and dressing game, helpful hints, and nutritional information.

New From:$15.63 USD In Stock
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In Praise of The .30-378 Weatherby Magnum

“Nothing shoots flatter, hits harder or is more accurate than a Weatherby.”The Weatherby Company (Slogan)

 

 

Michael Patrick McCarty Gives a Thumbs Up Just After Making A Killing Shot On A Mountain Goat in The Snowmass-Maroon Bells Wilderness of Colorado with a .30-378 Weatherby Magnum. Best Rifle for Mountain Goat Hunting
Mr. Weatherby Does It Again on a Colorado Mountain Goat Hunt. Photo by Rocky Tschappat.

 

October, 2015

 

The Colorado High Country will test the boundaries of heart and soul of any hunter, and the outer limits of rifle ballistics too. I hunted mountain goats there in September of 2015, and if their was ever a caliber made for such a task it is the .30-378 Weatherby Magnum.

Originally designed for the military in 1959 by Roy Weatherby, it was not available to the general public as a factory offering until 1996. I suspect that the majority of big game hunters have still never heard of it, even though it was used to set world records for accuracy at 1,000 yards and held that record for decades. It remains the fastest .30 caliber ammunition on the market.

I have a friend that is a big fan of this cartridge, and he is an old hand at long-range precision rifle shooting. He once took an elk at 750 yards, and when he heard that I had drawn a goat tag he all but insisted that I give it a try. He said that this was probably the closest it would ever get to a mountain goat, and he wanted a picture of the two together.

Now that’s a buddy and a pal that you can count on. There are not a lot of people in this world that would hand over a $2000 rifle with a finely engineered scope and a $150 box of shells and encourage you to go play in the rocks.

The thought of attempting a shot over several football fields stacked end to end is one that I would not generally consider very seriously, but then again I had never shot a rifle quite like this. After all, that’s exactly what this rifle was built for, and reason enough to own one.

I had my opportunities too. On this trip I had to pass on some really big billies, but not because they were at 500 yards or more. Shot placement is always important, but in goat hunting it is what happens after the shot that is of paramount importance.

Each time the goat was in a spot which would have made recovery impossible without ropes and climbing gear, and my head said no while my trigger finger desperately wanted to say yes. More than one trophy goat has stumbled and fallen a long, long way down the mountain after failing to be anchored by what appeared to be a great hit.

It took several days to find one in a reachable spot. As it turned out, there was no need to worry. I shot my Billy with a 130 grain handload at 350 yards, and their was never any question about the end result. It simply never knew what hit it, and was down and out on impact. The round got there in one hell of a hurry too.

The .30-378 Weatherby Magnum is truly a high performance hunting caliber. You may wish to take one along on your next mountain hunting adventure.

I know I will.

 

Best Rifle for Mountain Goat And Sheep Hunting. The .30-378 Weatherby Magnum Mark V with Synthetic Stock & Bipod & Ported Barrel. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty
The .30-378 Weatherby Magnum Mark V with Synthetic Stock & Bipod. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty

 

Best Rifle for Mountain Goat and Mountain sheep Hunting. A Cheat-Sheet to Die for. These Yardages Correspond With Hashmarks and Post In The Rifle Scope For This .30-378 Weatherby Magnum. 770 Yards? Photo By Michael Patrick McCarty
A Cheat-Sheet to Die for. These Yardages Correspond With Hashmarks and Post In The Rifle Scope. 770 Yards? Photo By Michael Patrick McCarty

 

Best Rifle for Mountain Goat and Sheep Hunting. .30-378 Weatherby Magnum Cartridge and .270 Winchester Rifle Cartridge by Comparison. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty
.30-378 Cartridge and .270 by Comparison. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty

 

Best Rifle for Mountain Goat and Sheep Hunting. A Hunter Picks His Way Down a Steep Mountain Slope, While Rifle Hunting For Rocky Mountain Goat in the Maroon-Bells Snowmass Wilderness in Colorado's Game Management Unit 12. Even a .30-378 Weatherby Magnum Can't Help You Here.
Where Angels, and Goat Hunters, Fear To Tread
Best Rifle for Mountain Goat Hunting. Two hunters pose with a Rocky Mountain Goat taken with a 30.378 Weatherby Magnum on a self-guided hunt in the Maroon-Bells Snowmass wilderness near GMU 12 in Colorado. Photograph Of Michael Patrick McCarty
Wet and Cold – But Happy!

 

A Taxidermy Shoulder Mount of a Mountain Goat Billy, Taken With a 30.378 Weatherby Magnum Rifle in Colorado's GMU 12, in Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, by Michael Patrick McCarty in Colorado's Game Management Unit 12, in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness
A Place Of Honor Upon The Wall

 

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

For More Information on the .30-338 Weatherby Magnum see the Wikipedia Article Here

*You may also like our post A Mountain Goat Night and The Improbable Beast

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Update:

As it turns out, it does appear that I was able to take a very solid mountain goat for this unit. According to the Colorado Big Game Harvest Statistics for 2015, my goat was about 5 years old and had horns that were a bit better than average compared to other goats taken that year.

That’s some fine news, to be sure. Yet, I must tell you that in the end the length of the horns don’t really matter, at least to me. The real prize was the mountainous adventure of it all, and it’s a fantastic trophy no matter the score.

May you draw your own tag soon!

 

You Can Read Some History of The Weatherby Company Here

 

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“Roy Weatherby has left an indelible mark on the gun industry. His story began in earnest following his first deer hunt in 1942, which resulted in a wounded buck that left him both frustrated and convinced he could find a more effective way to take an animal.

From that day, Roy embarked on changing the way the world viewed ballistic performance, championing the use of lighter weight bullets at ultra high velocities with maximum energy…the foundation for what would later become known as the Weatherby Magnum.” – The Weatherby Foundation

 

Weatherby: The Man. the Gun. the Legend. (Hardcover)

Weatherby: The Man. the Gun. the Legend. [Hardcover]
Grits Gresham (Author), Tom Gresham (Author)

New From:$80.89 USD In Stock
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Fedora Bows – More Than A Match For Any Game

A FEW WORDS ON MY WEAPON OF CHOICE

 

“A custom made, traditional bow is like a fine musical instrument in the hand. And no, not all recurve’s are created equal. Targets or game, just ask any Fedora shooter”.

 

A 560 Hunter Takedown Recurve by Mike Fedora of Fedora Bows. A Fine Example of a Custom Bow for the Archery and Bowhunting Enthusiast.
A 560 Hunter Takedown Recurve by Mike Fedora

 

Not all hunting bows are created equal, and that can certainly be said of my 64″ 560 Hunter Takedown Recurve built to order by Mike Fedora more than 20 years ago.

A friend who is a martial artist and fellow archer was duly impressed when I handed it to him last week. He realized immediately that he was holding something special, but what he said was not what I expected. He called it a “bow of war”, which gave me pause since I had never looked at it that way. I tend to evaluate it along more artistic and romantic lines, but I suppose I can see what he means. There is no doubt that this bow means business, and it has the look and feel of a serious broadhead delivery device.

Close-up View of the Bear Razorhead Broadhead, with Insert. A Go To Bowhunting Broadhead for the Traditional Archer.
The Razorhead by Fred Bear – My Bowhunting Broadhead of Choice Since 1969

With a draw weight of 73# at 29 1/2″, it is in fact somewhat of a battle to get it back to anchor point. As you may know, recurve’s do not break over to a lesser hold weight as you complete your draw, as do most modern compound bows. What you’ve got is what you get, right to the end, and anything over 70# can really get your attention. I also tend to stay at full draw before releasing much longer than the average bowhunter, an ingrained habit left over from my target shooting days that really does not make shooting it any easier.

So, at the risk of stating the obvious, you might say that I am a bit over-bowed at this time in my archery life. It’s not the bow’s fault, however, because it draws smoothly and doesn’t stack. The real problem lies in the fact that it was built for a much younger, and stronger man – which I no longer am. Still, I can manage to get by if I work my way up to it by staying in shape and shooting some lighter bows during the year.

It’s particularly good at mid-range and longer yardages, and for me it is point on at a more than surprising 70 yards. It casts a heavy arrow too, and very few recurve’s are capable of delivering that kind of punch downrange.

It is a joy to carry in the wide open spaces and rugged terrain of the west, and to be frank, it has become an old and trusted friend. Most importantly, it also tends to hit where you are looking, more often than not.

It just may be the perfect recurve for a mountain goat hunt, or big bears, or moose, or whitetails too.

I can’t wait for my next bowhunting adventure. In the meantime, I think that I will order a second, lighter set of limbs – just in case…

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Built For Business - More Than A Match For Mountain Goats and Bears. The Custom Fedora Hunter Takedown Recurve, the custom choice of traditional archers everywhere.
Built For Business – More Than a Match For Mountain Goats and Grizzly Bears

I should also take this time to give credit where credit is due, with heartfelt thanks and some long overdue praise. Mike Fedora has been a master bowyer for more years than most in his stock-in-trade, and I won a lot of tournaments with his target bows in the 1970’s too. I simply can’t say enough about the man and his line of archery products.

If you are looking for a traditional bow of beauty and unparalleled quality that will stand the test of time, than look no further than Fedora Custom Bows. You will be so glad that you did.

You can contact them by clicking on the link here.

By Michael Patrick McCarty

 

You Might Also Like A Traditional Triad.

 

Bear Archery Traditional Bows: A Chronological History (Hardcover)

To the Bear Archery traditional bow enthusiast and to the archery community at large, this book Bear Archery Traditional Bows: A Chronological History (1949-2015) represents a singular compilation of the chronological history of Bear Archery traditional bow production through the Bear Archery Company’s full timeline. This illustrated reference manual not only preserves the history and heritage of Bear Archery traditional bow production since 1949, it serves as a helpful reference to any and all archers interested in collecting and dating their vintage Bear Archery traditional bows. Each chapter covers a detailed chronology of factory production specifications for each specific bow model or group of related models. It includes photos of bow models for almost every year. The best part is this: at the end of each chapter, there is a table that allows readers to search out the characteristics of their bow by year, AMO length, riser material, medallion, limb glass colors, overlay colors, limb tip colors and where applicable, the two-digit serial number prefix.


New From:$35.92 USD In Stock
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Gear Review of The Club XXL Ground Blind by Primos

Primos Double Bull Deluxe Ground Blind, Truth Camo (Sports)

The double Bull deluxe ground blind has a Zipperless door for silent entry even with gear on. Equipped with the patented double Bull hub system, this blind is easy to set up and extremely solid. This blind has the same 180Deg front window that hunters have grown to love.

New From:$314.97 USD In Stock
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XXL Club Ground Hunting Blind by Primos
XXL Club Ground Blind by Primos

 

August 2015

 

By Michael Patrick McCarty

My Colorado Pronghorn hunt this year was quite successful, and I could not have done it without my Club XXL. It may have been my most important piece of gear for that particular trip.

Ground blinds can be an important component of any bowhunting strategy. They are particularly useful when conditions are not well suited for tree stands, or when any other hunting method would simply not be effective. They can be absolutely essential when hunting antelope on a waterhole or at a well used fence crossing, for example.

There are, of course, a great many designs and options on the market offered by a variety of manufacturers. Choosing the best blind depends on the kind of game that you will be hunting, and in the type of terrain you will be hunting it in.

Perhaps you are looking for a certain type of camo pattern to blend in with the background vegetation common to your hunting area. Or maybe carry weight is your most important consideration. Some pop-ups are much easier to set-up and take down than others (and for those of you that have been there – you know exactly what I mean, all cursing aside).

I am a rather large guy to begin with, so inside dimensions are of primary importance to me. I like to be comfortable, and I have found many pop-up blinds to be simply too small for my 6 foot 1″ frame. A dawn to dusk sit can grow uncomfortable under the best conditions. It can become torturous in the wrong blind.

For that reason I prefer to keep a fair amount of gear and incidentals with me, particularly when I can drive up to, or fairly close to the blind. There is nothing like an ice-cold drink from the cooler when it is 95 degrees outside, and even hotter inside. A full size chair of some kind can really make the difference too, though it tends to use up quite a bit of floor space in most ground blinds.

I found the Club XXL’s 58″ x 58″ base width to be adequate for one bowhunter, at least after some trial and error and rearranging. A few inches more would have been O.K. too.

The type of bow you are shooting may be the most important consideration. Like most of today’s archer’s, I shoot my bow without any cant, even though I do carry a recurve.  I also most often shoot while sitting on a five gallon bucket, so the relationship between the window height and the height of the blind is critical. At 77″, it is tall enough to shoot my 62″ recurve.

But for me, it really is all about the windows…and to put it bluntly – they just ain’t right…

I much prefer a square or rectangular opening, and as you can see these windows are more triangular-shaped. At first use, they are confusing…at least based on other ground blinds that I have used.

As most of you know it is extremely important to work out the shot routine and possible shot locations long before the animal ever arrives. Everything needs to be right the first time too, because that may be your only opportunity for success. These windows had me baffled, and it wasn’t until several animals had come and gone and I had tried several combinations that I felt comfortable with the location and size of the shooting window.

It wasn’t my first choice for the blind location either. At first I had tried to stake it on top of a small dam, since it was obvious that several trails intersected on that end of the pond. It was not that high of an embankment, but when I tried to take a practice shot I quickly found out that the bottom of the window was too high to clear an arrow pointed at a slightly downward angle. There was no amount of shooting gymnastics  that would make it work either, and my only option was to move the blind. Fortunately, I was able to work that part out a week before the season.

I found the shape of the windows to be distracting too. As we know it is critical to pick a spot on the animal’s vitals, and I found it difficult to do that when I was constantly wondering if the arrow would or would not miss the changing angle of the window.

And last, but not least, I was not impressed with the ability to change the size of the window openings. When fully open they were simply too large, and it was not easy to make them smaller and still be able to shoot.

I generally like to have at least two windows open for shooting, but with this blind that did not seem possible. I had to pick one and leave everything else closed, and then close that one down a bit more too in order to limit the amount of light coming into the blind. At that point it was dark enough inside to prevent those sharp-eyed pronghorns from spotting my movement, but they had to be in exactly the right place for me to make a shot.

 

It's All About The Windows...The Club XXL Ground Blind By Primos, Set Up On A Desert Waterhole in Northern Colorado. Photograph By Michael Patrick McCarty
It’s All About The Windows…

So, with all of that being said, the Club XXL does have several good points. And after all, I was able to harvest one heck of a pronghorn buck in the end, so I can’t be too hard on it.

The blind is well made, and it is easy to put up and take down. It holds up well in the wind, and it blends into the surroundings fairly well without any tell-tale shine.

It would probably work better in the timber or brush country too, rather than in the sage and wide open hills of the antelope lands. In that kind of vegetation zone it would be possible to add some branches and other concealment and control the size of the shooting windows much more easily.

All things considered, it is a good blind for the money.

I do recommend it for many hunting situations, particularly for those who prefer the gun. I recommend it for the bowhunter too, – with reservations…

But then again, we all need more than one blind anyway, right?

 

A Hunter Poses With A Pronghorn Antelope Buck, Taken In Northern Colorado With a Hoyt Satori Recurve, Easton Axis Traditional Carbon Shafts, and A Helix Single Bevel Broadhead From Strickland's Archery. Photograph By Michael Patrick McCarty
It’s All About The Blind

 

By Michael Patrick McCarty

*In the last two years I have used the The Double Bull Deluxe Ground Blind, alo mde by Primos, and I have come to really like it. It does have a double wide, zipperless door for much easier access, and the window design is much more compatible for a bowhunter. It is just tall enough for me to be able to use my 60″ recurve bow when shooting from my knees, which I prefer to sitting on a bucket, stool, or chair. To be honest, I still have some trouble when setting it up, but perhaps that is more my problem than a design issue. After all, I just have never been that mechanically inclined, and I am not so good at puzzles. You…?

You might also like Pronghorns & Coyotes & Fires…

Bella Twin, the .22 Used to Take the 1953 World Record Grizzly, and More

 

“Come face to face with a brownie at close range, near enough to hear the low rumbling in his chest, and no other wild animal noise will ever scare you again.”Ben East, Outdoor Life Magazine, 1945

 

 

By Dean Weingarten

 

Bella Twin Is Shown With The Hide From The World Record Grizzly Bear, Shot With A .22 Caliber Rimfire Rifle, While Hunting in Alberta, Canada
Bella Twin is shown with the hide from the world record grizzly bear
 

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)

On 10 May, 1953, Bella Twin was hunting small game with her partner, Dave Auger, along an oil exploration cutline south of Slave Lake, in Alberta, Canada. She was 63 years old.

They saw a large grizzly bear coming toward them. Wishing to avoid an encounter, they hid off the side of the cut.

But the bear kept coming closer and closer.  The bear got so close that Bella Twin thought it less risky to shoot the bear than to not shoot it.  It was probably only a few yards away. Some accounts say 30 feet. Perhaps she saw it stop and start to sniff, as if it had caught their scent. We may never know.

She shot at the side of the bears head.  Knowing animal anatomy very well (she was an experienced trapper, and had skinned hundreds, perhaps thousands of animals) she knew exactly where to aim to penetrate the skull at its weakest point.

She shot, the bear dropped. It was huge.She went to the bear and fired the rest of the .22 long cartridges that she had, loading the single shot rifle repeatedly, to “pay the insurance” as Peter Hathaway Capstick said.  She made sure the bear was dead, and not just stunned.  My father taught me the same lesson when I was 13.

Here is a picture of the bear’s skull and the .22 caliber holes in the left side.

 

A Grizzly Bear Skull From The World Record Animal Shot By Bella Twin With A .22 Caliber Rimfire Rifle, in 1953, in Alberta, Canada
1953 World Record Grizzly Skull

 

For those curious about how to place that shot on a live bear, the place to aim is half way on a line from the center of the eye to the ear hole.

From the front, you would aim directly up the nose. If the bear’s mouth is open, aim for the back of the roof of the mouth.  Aiming above the nose will likely miss the brain.

What rifle did Bella use to shoot the world record grizzly in 1953?

I wrote an article asking for help in 2014. Several alert readers replied over the intervening period.  Because of their efforts, and the Internets, I have been able to find more detail about Bella Twin, her rifle, and the event. One reader was able to track down the current location of the rifle and send me pictures taken by the curator of the museum. The rifle is a Cooey Ace 1 single shot .22 rimfire.

 

The Cooey Ace .22 Caliber Rimfire Rifle Used By Bella Twin To Kill The World Record Grizzly Bear in 1953 in Alberta, Canada

Bella Twin used the rifle for many years on her trapline. The rifle was produced between 1929 and 1934.  From a commenter at Ammoland:

 

Here is a quote from the curator of the museum about the gun when i talked to him via email:

” I can tell you that the rifle is a .22 caliber single shot Cooey Ace 1. I can also tell you that the rifle’s condition, which has remained as it was when Bella Twin shot the bear, leaves a lot to be desired. There is corrosion on the receiver and barrel, the front screw that holds the stock to the barrel is missing and has been replaced with hockey tape. There is a piece of rubber under the barrel – probably as a method of “free floating” the barrel. There is no finish left on the wood. The stock is missing a part by the receiver and there is a wood screw reinforcing a crack in the stock.”

Bella Twin was a Cree woman. She had a reputation for being a deadly shot.  Her grandson, Larry Loyie became an award winning writer.  He wrote a fictionalized account of the bear shooting to include his grandmother in his prize winning children’s book, As Long as the Rivers Flow. From smokyriverexspress.com:

Kokom Bella Twin is a highlight of the adventures in As Long as the Rivers Flow. The tiny 63-year-old Cree wo- man, who lived on Rabbit Hill overlooking Slave Lake, shot the biggest grizzly bear in North America.

“I had to put Bella into the book. She was being forgotten. The only people who remembered her were readers of hunting magazines,” said Larry.

In As Long as the Rivers Flow, Larry wrote that he was with his grandmother when she shot the bear. It made sense to put the story into the book, but Larry was not with his grandmother when she shot the bear. In 1953, Larry had been gone from Slave Lake for five years.  I suspect his grandfather, Edward Twin, had died. Bella was 63 and was spending time with another man.  Larry refers to Dave Auger as Bella’s partner in a family picture. Dave Auger was with Bella when she shot the bear.

 

Bella Twin, Who Harvested The World Record Grizzly Bear in 1953 With A .22 Caliber Rifle

 

Bella Twin and her partner Dave Auger, family photo by Larry Loyie. The photo was likely taken in the 1960’s or later, because it is in color.

In Bruno Engler: Photography, the famous photographer has pictures of Bella in front of the bear skin. When Bruno told her that he wanted to take the picture, she insisted on going home and sprucing up, and changing into nicer clothes. Engler writes:

She was dressed very simply. When she thought I was going to take a picture of her she said “No, I have to go home first.” And she came back with a dress and put some cornstarch on her face for makeup. I said “Bella Twin, you looked much better before.”

Women want to look their best in a photograph that will be shown to the world. This explains the somewhat awkward grip on the Cooey Ace 1 in the Engler photograph. Her left hand covers up the repair to the rifle.

What ammunition did Bella Twin use? The written accounts say .22 Long.

 

A Vintage Box of Whiz-Bang Rim Fire .22 caliber Rim Fire Rifle Cartridges, Used to Kill a world Record Grizzly Bear By Bella Twin
Ammo Used to Kill The 1953 World Record Grizzly

 

This style of box was produced by CIL in Canada from 1950 to 1956. It is probably the type of ammunition Bella Twin used to shoot the world record grizzly. Bella Twin is specifically recorded as reporting that she shot it with .22 Longs, not Shorts, not Long Rifles. I recall that into the 1960’s Longs were more expensive than shorts, but cheaper than Long Rifle ammunition.

The High Velocity .22 Long dates back to the 1930’s and uses a 29 grain bullet at 1240 fps.  The High Velocity .22 Short dates to about the same period, with the same bullet as the Long, but a velocity of 1125.  The difference in velocity is 1240 – 1125 or 115 fps.  That amounts to a 21% increase in energy for the Long, but far short of the Long Rifle, which is almost double that of the .22 Short.

The energy figures are listed as Short 81 foot pounds, Long 99 foot pounds, and Long Rifle 158 foot pounds, all for High Velocity loads of the period.  A standard velocity .22 Long Rifle is listed at 1140 fps, with 120 foot pounds of energy, or 21% more than the High Velocity Long.  The modern CCI standard velocity .22 Long Rifle travels at 1070 fps, with 102 foot pounds of energy, still 3% more than the High Velocity Long.

What was the location where the bear was shot?  During my research, I came across a photo of the right side of the bear’s skull. The right side has the location where the bear was shot written on it. The bear was shot in Section 24, Township 71, Range 6, W 5th Meridian.   That is a section of land about 7 1/2 miles south of Slave Lake. The bear was likely shot just west of Florida Lake.  A section is one mile square.

 

A Map Showing Where Bella Twin Killed The World Record Grizzly Bear in 1953, In Alberta, Canada

 

In Larry Loyie’s obituary in the Smoky River Express, Bella Twin is described as a tiny woman. This photograph suggest that she was under five feet tall.

 

A Photograph of Bella Twin, Who Shot A World Record Grizzly Bear in 1953

 

We know the date the bear was shot, because it is recorded on the top of the skull. Most written accounts only say it was the spring of 1953. It was on May 10th of that year.

Bella Twin was only a name for most of the time I knew of her. I wondered about this famous huntress for many years. Now we know that she was an expert trapper, hunter, and a crack shot.  She was a beloved grandmother who taught her grandchildren well and knew the Cree traditional folkways.  She lost one man and found another.  She was shrewd enough to parlay the world record grizzly into cash. She sold the skin and skull separately, and sold the old, beat up rifle as well.

Bella Twin, I salute you. I would have liked to know you. Born in the Canadian wilderness in 1890, your life stretched between worlds.

May your memory and deeds live long, told around many campfires. I will tell my grandchildren about you.

Readers who know more about Bella Twin, please share your stories.

 

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

 

See the Original Article Here

 

Link to Gun Watch

 

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For Some Information On Another Previous  World Record Grizzly, Read Our Post About Grancel Fitz. 

 

I might also add that Mr. Fitz’s beloved .30-06 now looks like a Howitzer compared to Bella’s .22 rimfire. It’s all about perspective, I suppose…particularly when pointing whatever you have at something as bad as a bear…

 

Michael Patrick McCarty

 

For a captivating and hair-raising read, pick up a copy of:

 

Ask the Grizzly/Brown Bear Guides: Ask the Guides (Hardcover)

We have found the most experienced guides in the business and asked them how they hunt for brown bears and grizzlies. These guides have been on hundreds of hunts and have seen all kinds of hunters, rifles, and calibers for their particular quarry, and they pass on their experience and knowledge to the reader in this extremely interesting book. If you want a brown or grizzly bear, you are well advised to listen to what they say. Combined, these guides have over three hundred years of accumulated guiding experience!

New From:$29.95 USD In Stock
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The Big, Bad-Bore .30-378 Weatherby Magnum Strikes Again

RCBS .30-378 Weatherby Magnum F L Die Set (Sports)

RCBS .30-378 Weather by Magnum 29501 2-Die set 7/8 inch -14 threads. Hunting reloading dies. Made of the highest quality materials

New From:$36.49 USD In Stock
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“More than most American game animals, the pronghorn, by virtue of the terrain he inhabits, is genuinely the rifleman’s quarry of choice”. – Thomas McIntyre, Dreaming The Lion, 1993

 

October 2018

 

A Trophy Pronghorn Antelope, Taken At Long Range With a .30-378 Weatherby Magnum Rifle In Southern Colorado. Photograph By Michael Patrick McCarty
Pronghorn And The 30.378 Weatherby Magnum – A Perfect Match

As you can see, the Pronghorn would appear to be dying of advanced age in Southern Colorado, unless of course they run into a fast-moving bullet first.

Mike Kite took this gnarled, old warrior at nearly 650 yards with a 30-378 Weatherby Magnum and a 180 grain handload. It has been his cartridge of choice for many years, and with results like this it is easy to see why.

Congratulations Mike, on another fine Colorado big game trophy.

The .30-378 Weatherby Magnum Mark V Rifle With Synthetic Stock, High Powered Scope, And Bipod. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty
A Long Range Weapon To Contend With

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

You Can Read More About The .30-378 Here.

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Teaching Your Kids About Hunting

Carhartt Men’s Big & Tall Gilliam Vest (Apparel)

Amazingly durable and dependably water repellent. Rolls with the punches when the rain rolls in. Lightweight yet warm, wear the gilliam by itself on warmer days or as a layer on chillier days. Made with a 1.75-ounce, 100 percent nylon cord ur a shell and nylon lining quilted to 100gram polyester insulation this jacket also features a mock-neck collar, left-chest map pocket, two lower-front pockets, two inside pockets: one with a zipper closure and one with a hook-and-loop closure, additionally the lower pockets have a hidden snap closure and this jacket also has a drawcord adjustable hem, triple-stitched main seams for durability and a drop tail for added coverage with a length of 28 inches for regular sizes and 30 inches for tall sizes.

New From:$62.80 – $148.49
Variations::
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Teaching Your Kids About Hunting

 

A man and his young son walk the grasslands while hunting birds and upland game
Carrying On a Family Tradition

 

Children and hunting are two of the greatest joys in life. What better way to have the best day than combine your two favorite things? While teaching children about hunting might prove to be challenging, it is also one of the greatest lessons you can teach your kids as well as one of the most rewarding for you. Here are a few tips to get started.

 

Put Safety First

Hunting is dangerous, so when teaching your kids, make sure they get the message. Teach your child the responsibility of handling weapons, and practice with them before hitting the woods. Remind your kids that hunting might be fun, but it isn’t a game.

 

Get the Gear

You and your child should be outfitted for the hunt, from your boots to your hat. Don’t forget lots of orange (see the safety point above). Purchase quality gear from trusted retailers like Carhartt, and enjoy it for years to come.

 

Be Patient

Remember what it was like when you were learning to shoot a gun or throw a ball? Your child will be experiencing the same things as you teach them about hunting, so be patient. Also, don’t withhold praise. If they are doing a good job, let them know.

 

Be a Role Model

Children love to do whatever adults do. It’s the plight of childhood. Be the type of hunter you want your children to be. Part of being a great hunter and role model is keeping a positive attitude. Whether the deer get spooked or the shot isn’t aimed perfectly, stay composed and positive. There will always be more deer, but you can’t replace a moment to teach your kids about positivity.

 

Teach Conservation

Hunting isn’t just about bringing home the venison. Hunters are conservationists, and that plays a huge role into the sport. Teach your child about harvesting only what they need as well as the balance of giving and taking. Explain how hunters play a role in population control and what you can do to ensure these animals, as well as the land, trees and vegetation, are still around for their children.

 

Connect with the Outdoors

Hunting is more than making a kill. It’s about connecting with nature. Encourage your kids to take everything in, from the birds chirping to the wind in the grass to the vines growing up the tall oaks. You could even take a minute to enjoy nature and discuss the hunter’s role in maintaining the ecosystem, from keeping the balance to not disturbing nests.

 

Make a Tradition

While we love passing down a good hunting tradition, you can also use this time with your kids to create new traditions. It will make the hunt even more special to the kids, and it will be a great tradition they can pass down to their kids.

 

Look Forward

Children are the future of hunting. It is our responsibility as adults, mentors and parents to teach them the right way to hunt. This way the tradition of hunting can be passed down through the generations.
We love hunting, and we hope the next generation carries on our longstanding traditions for years to come. Good luck with your young ones, and don’t forget the camo!

Posted By Michael Patrick McCarty

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And of course, get your Carhartt on!