Yates says this was his third time attempting this hunt. The first time he broke his ankle on the first day of the hunt when he slipped in some felt-soled wading boots. To make matters worse, he had just spotted an enormous bear about 1½ miles away. He was ½ mile from spike camp and had to crawl back because he could not even stand up. The same bear he was glassing came within 50 yards of his camp that night.
Because Vrem only does fall bear hunts in odd years, Yates had to wait another two years before going back. Bad luck again kept him from connecting on his 2007 hunt. Finally, last year he killed his bear within an hour and 15 minutes of starting the hunt on the first day. Good thing, because foul weather rolled in after that, with gusts of 100 miles an hour and sustained winds of 70 miles an hour. Although they set up camp in a drainage surrounded by alders that broke the wind, Yates says they had water coming up under their tents. "It was miserable," he says. He was stuck there for six days.
When the weather finally cleared, he says Vrem took him to hunt wolverine and wolves that were actively howling. Although they tried calling the wolves, he did not connect with any. As for his bear, Yates says he would not have lasted another winter. Seems the bruin had broken his jaw, which protruded an extra inch on the right side. He says the old boar was huge but not fat, and his claws were well worn.