Alberta Bear Hunt: Close Encounters

Bearstare2 Went back to the stand I hunted the first night and saw the same bear. The more I watched him the better he looked. I had lots of time to size him up and he is a fine boar with thick shoulders and I would put him at between six and a half to seven feet.

I got one really good look at him around 9 o’clock when he took an intense interest in my stand, which is when I snapped this photo. He circled underneath me twice and started sniffing the wooden steps of the ladder leading to my perch. He then stood on his hind legs and started to climb the two-by-fours.

As soon as his back leg got off the ground I leaned forward, stared him in the eyes and gave him a loud hiss.

He tumbled off the ladder, ran about 50 feet and turned and watched me. After 30 seconds he walked off and went back to gnawing on the beaver carcass that had been hung as bait.

He stayed around until last light and sauntered off just as the woods got dark.

—John Snow