September 16, 2007
Saturday was the first day of deer archery season and small game opener, so there was going to be a lot of activity and pressure in the woods. The cold front had passed as well, so the temperature was back on the rise. I had little confidence in seeing a bear. Heck, with all of the nocturnal activity on my scouting camera, I had NO confidence in seeing a bear. In fact, I only brought out half as much bait as I usually do.
Before I even arrived at the spot where I park my truck, I counted three trucks and two four wheelers of grouse hunters. All evening, there was a lot of shooting to the south of me; what I think were goose hunters because at one point they blasted off 19 shots in one single volley! Half way through the evening’s hunt, I whispered into my video camera that I didn’t think we would be seeing much tonight because of all the commotion in the woods. But I was wrong. At 7:52pm Saturday night, seven minutes before the end of shooting hours, the bear that had been waiting for me to leave the stand each night, burst into the far end of the clearing on an almost direct route for the Stump. I only waited for a broadside shot to squeeze the trigger. One shot that passed through both lungs with the old reliable .308 at 15 yards rolled him sideways. The rack and slide of my Remington 700 and the metal on metal bounce of the spent casing onto the platform of my stand rang through the forest canopy while the bruin crashed about 50 yards into the pencil brush as he tried to circle back from where he entered. He had probably gone half that distance before establishing a considerable blood trail. Unbelievable! Nice!
This had to be the third bear that I had on the scouting camera that was the medium-sized bear. He’s not the bigger bear I had on film, but he is the biggest I’ve ever taken, 175 lbs. field dressed (probably well over 200 live weight). He is the first boar I have ever taken, and the first bear I have ever taken (or seen) beyond opening weekend. Persistence had paid off, he had finally made his mistake, and I was fortunate enough to be there to take advantage. After a dash back to town to pickup my lantern and atv (again, no confidence), and a buddy (Thanks Trapper!) to help drag him out, video tape of the blood trail, lots of pictures, and, the always interesting, drag out of the bear woods, we got headed for home at about 1:00am. I apologize for the blood in the pictures! The more I tried to clean him up the worse it got. Once again the Ballistic Silver-Tips did some damage. The first few pictures were from the previous night at the bait.