Bear Hunt

Monday night, Matt announced that he had written me his bear piece. Turns out he meant by hand. Matt’s handwriting is not the most legible on the planet, so some editorial license has been taken. Grammar and spelling is mostly original.

Day 1. Morning hunt did not go due to storm rolling through. Strong winds + heavy rains knocked out a bunch of trees. Every hunt was wet sat in a ground blind at first to keep me somewhat dry. Nothing came in. Bait hit prior to us coming in.

Downed trees.

Downed trees.

Through the ground blind window

Through the ground blind window

Bait-filled stump.

Bait-filled stump.


Day 2: Temp started to drop got down in the 30s from the 60-70s it was. Started day @ 4:30, got to stand @ ~ 0600. New location sat in a ladder stand on some public land. Cold + nothing Evening hunt: Nothing @ all

Day 3: Morning still cold low 30s. No action in ladder stand. Night: No action at all. I think I discovered the end of the internet spent 10-11 hours a day in my stand. Thank god for smart phones or I would be completely board (sic).

Day 4: Morning hunt back to the ladder stand. Nothing. Night: Back to ladder stand & nothing. Bait was hit at the blind where I sat first night  They are going to have me sit there in the morning. Decided to have some beers at the camp to drown the sorrows of sucking so far.

Day 5: Beers were a bad idea “I’m getting to old for this” Able to get up but very groggy. Got to stand to sit was very rough glad I was on the ground because I fell asleep a few times. Called the day early to go back to camp to get lunch and sleep. Night: Back @ the blind They said they will not come in till Dark so stay as long as possible. As it was getting dark I saw a small dark 4 legged critter come over the hill. I got really excited I thought it was a cub and mom was coming right behind. So I pulled up my rifle to get ready. Then sadly I discovered it was just a really big Racoon and I watched him as the sun went down. No bears. Got back to camp to find that the bait had been hit @ the other stand, the the damn thing is where I am the bears are not.

Day 6: Morning back @ ladder stand, saw a few deer @ 0900 so I don’t stink. Saw them through the brush at abt 20 yards kinda leaned over to get a better look & startled another deer which startled me since it was 7 yard away. No bear. Night: Last night hunt, my best chance of getting a bear, I’ve already gone through all the stages of hunting. First: disbelief: how am I not seeing animals. Second: Anger- I paid money for this and nothing? Third: Begging. Please let me at least see something. Fourth: Acceptance. I will not get anything and will have to try again in a few years.

After I had accepted that, I was playing Solitaire on the smart phone. Great time killer, and contemplating going to the bathroom. It was about 6:15 pm. Some of the other bears were killed around that time. I wanted to go so I would not be dancing in my stand right when prime time was. But I didn’t wanna go because it was close to that time already, and I didn’t want to get caught with my pants down, literally.

As I was in silent debate with myself, I looked to my left. My first thought was “Why in the hell is that shadow moving through the woods?”. Then it hit me: Bear! I was excited and frazzled. It was walking past my stand. I quickly threw my rifle up in hopes of getting a shot at ‘er. The suddenly she turned and started coming towards my bait pile. As she got to the bait she kept going past it. Again, I go into panic because she is not going to present me with a shot. She had gotten just past the bait and an had decided to stop and take a look at me. She knew something was not right, but that was alll the time I needed. Perfect shot was presented through the trees. I was given about a foot gap to make my shot through.  Knowing I would not get another opportunity, I took it. Perfect shot. Both lungs, and the top of the heart. She fell five yards from where she was hit. I again felt like a twelve year old who just shot his first deer. I called the guides so they could help me get the bear out. I then called and texted everyone I knew. Again, twelve year old excitement. There never is anything quite as exciting as your first. I am grateful to be given the opportunity in adulthood to be taken back to being a kid: experiencing something for the first time.

Relieved, happy hunter.

Relieved, happy hunter.

photo (1)

Overall experience at the camp was good. I love the environment. The hunting was not as good due to the weather not cooperating. When the acorns fall, it’s a whole new ball game to the bears. And they fell early this year. During week 2 of their camp, we went 3 for 10. Week one went 5 for 10. As with all hunting, nothing is guaranteed, and a day in the woods is better than a day at work. We will be back to that guide again.


3 thoughts on “Bear Hunt

  1. Matt:Congratulations on the bear and the patience it took, plus making it happen when suddenly the chips were down. With big game I’m always “I cant believe what I’m seeing” when the chance finally comes too. Love “the stages of hunting” and the youthful excitement that you express!. Thanks to both of you for sharing- painful as it was..

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