Sports Afield's Diana Rupp takes her first grizzly with a Model 70 Alaskan.
A grizzly hunt never to be forgotten.
Usually a hunt in Alaska is memorable. But this one went way beyond, becoming an adventure of a lifetime.
Last September, Diana Rupp, editor in chief of Sports Afield Magazine, joined Winchester Repeating Arms' Scott Grange on her first ever grizzly bear hunt. Diana is an avid hunter but there is nothing that can fully prepare you for an Alaskan backcountry bear hunt like this. It was ten days of pure adventure. Alaskan weather and all.
Both Rupp and Grange worked hard to be fully ready with extra preparations made to get in optimum shape and with extra attention to having all the right gear. The two ventured to northwest Alaska and were air dropped in with backpacking gear -- ready to create their own camps along the way over the ten days of hunting.
Diana hunted with the new Winchester Model 70 Alaskan in .338 Win. Magnum. Scott also hunted for his own grizzly, but over the first few days the focus of Diana, Scott and the guides was heavily on locating bears for Diana. On the third day Diana completed a stalk on a lifetime trophy -- shown above. The Model 70 Alaskan is a configuration with a great history. Designed for long actionn calibers -- including some of the largest -- it has always been a great choice for large and dangerous game. And now it's back.
Much of the time the words "rough weather" and "Alaska" are almost synonymous with Alaskan hunts. This time was no different. Rain, cold, wind, freeze and frost -- not necessarily in that order. Gear became an important factor. Diana and Scott used extreme weather layering clothing provided courtesy of Browning, which worked out very well in the tough conditions. This is a key part of the story since this hunt involved a great deal of hard, physical hunting where the temperature, rain, physical exertion, and perspiration in a freezing cold environment could take a huge toll if you are not using gear equal to the conditions.
This trip involved air drops, long hikes, relentless stalks, hours of scouting, crossing rivers, tiny campsites, being resupplied and, of course grizzlies . . . everything a true adventure hunt should have.