Lindabear The bear hunting turned on yesterday. No doubt about it, the animals have shaken off the winter doldrums and are on the move looking for food. We took five bears last night, beautiful thick-furred black specimens including Linda Powell’s whopper that’s pictured above.

My bear wasn’t huge, but his pelt was too thick and too perfect to let him pass. I shot him at less than 20 yards and he folded up right there, which was good for me because the spot where I sat was surrounded by 360 degrees of swamp. If the bear had gone any distance tracking it could have been interesting.

The ride to the stand last night was a bit of an aquatic adventure. My guide and I had to cross a couple of spots with the water coming up to nearly the top of the quad’s seat. And on the ride out after the hunt he managed to sink the front end of the ATV in a fast-flowing creek when part of the bridge he built just the other day gave way. We had to use the winch to get the machine back onto what was left of the bridge, which I’m guessing washed away in the night.

Back in camp we celebrated everyone’s success. One hunter in the party took two bears, filling both tags in the space of an hour. When the hunting heats up here the action can be fast.

—John Snow