Have you ever had one of those hunting seasons where just about everything went wrong? Well that was black bear season for me this year. If you saw last year’s black bear coverage, well, this year was a bit of a disappointment.
I got my bait out even earlier, fully expecting to have black bears all over it before the grizzlies made it down out of the mountains. I was wrong. Within a couple days, there were at least 5 grizzlies on my baits and no black bears.
After realizing that we were fighting a losing battle, we moved some of our baits to new locations. For most of the season, we just weren’t getting much action, until right at the end of the season. One of the baits looked pretty promising, but the night I made it out to hunt, I nearly had to share my blind with a 9-foot grizzly (see the crazy video here)! ?
I had one bait left, and it had a relatively small black bear on it. But on the upside, I had a few pictures of a larger one hitting it, so I put all my eggs in the basket. My buddy Mat Fuelling and I headed in to try for a shot at the bigger one. After sitting for a few hours in the less than ideal swirling wind, the smaller bear came in. We watched it for about half an hour, and I decided to wait and see if the bigger one came. It’s funny how after sitting for hours, and straining your eyes and ears for the slightest sound or movement, you will begin to see and hear things that aren’t really there. ??One of the funniest moments was when I saw movement through some very short weeds and couldn’t figure out what the heck was making the weeds move. It turned out to be a baby porcupine that walked right up to us! Unfortunately that was the only excitement for the night.
Well, with only one day left in the season, I threw my gear together and ran my boat up the river and got settled into my makeshift blind. After only 10 minutes, I heard something behind me, and it was that smaller bear coming back in. I watched it for a few minutes, and the more I watched, the more I thought about how good some bear sausage would taste, and how this was probably my last chance for the season.
I finally decided to take the bear, and with one arrow through the heart, a sense of relief washed over me. At least one thing went right this season.