Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Bear Hunting Experience

CAUTION - At the end of this post, there will be a picture of me and the bear that I harvested using my rifle. If you are not a hunter, you probably want to just skip this blog entry.

I have had this blog for a couple of years and have never really shared that I also hunt besides stamping, card making and scrapbooking. But I have decided that it was time to share this great hunting experience.

I am a bear bait sitter now, when I first told that it hurt us alot, but we got through it and even though I drew a bear tag decided to make the most of it. We did alot of scouting for a good place to put bear baits, kept a journal of the times that the bears were hitting and kept to a schedule as to when we would do our baiting.

When I heard that 09/09/09 can be a lucky day, the first thing I told Jim, maybe we will have some luck and this will be MY lucky day. Jim the ever calm one says, "Maybe." Don't you just like these calm ones?! We were sitting on the porch having our morning coffee and I am thinking about bears, Jim says, "I wanted to tell you something, if we see a bear and you shoot, don't be afraid to shoot again, you have 5 shells."

After checking our Pipeline bait and it was negative, we were both alittle down in the dumps. The only other bait that we have is Pony Creek, what if that one wasn't hit either? Then I was going to be mad at Jim for not putting out more baits, but he had said lets just wait and see. Sometimes he can be so calm, when I am getting all nervous that we might not even see anything! But the Pony Creek bait was hit, we re-baited and pretty much decided that this would be the bait that we would sit on.

Tension was high at the Ehlers house, there was the backpack to pack, I had to make sure that I had everything and Jim is already loading the 4 wheeler and he isn't consulting with me. Wait a minute we have to make sure that we have my book, a water bottle, my M&M's, the Therm-a-Cell in case of bugs. Jim just looked at me and rolled his eyes, What?!

The tension got even higher when HE decided that we should be in the woods by 1:00 p.m. so we were and I am silently thinking, this is so stupid, why do we need to be out here so early!! So I read my book, while someone else who is also in a tree stand figits and moves around; hmmm I think he should have brought a book! Its warm and I just know that a bear is going to smell us. As the time ticks by, I finish my book; oh well I guess I will just take a nap, my nice tree stand as arm rails and I have my rifle sitting on my lap. Poor Jim has no arm rails so he really can't sleep, he just moves alot! About 5:00 I wake up and now I am bored, I am getting stiff, I have nothing to do; so I start thinking.............about stamping and the next project that I am going to make. At 5:30, I think Ok now I am really bored, and kind of hungry, probably shouldn't move very much BUT like Kelly and I have found out when nothing is happening, just start screwing around and something will happen! So I start going through my backpack that we have hanging in the tree between us. I think I would like some M&M's, I am getting these dirty looks from Jim like I am moving too much; too bad, opening a box of M&M's is not the easiest thing in the world with one hand! AND THEN......

I can't believe my eyes, there is a bear! He is half creeping half crawling up the ridge towards the bait. I reach over and tug on Jim's pant leg, "bear". Jim didn't even see it at first he was looking the wrong way! There was hardly any wind, the bear circled around the bait but wouldn't come in, we continue to watch and then Jim says, "Get your gun up!" Oh yeah I forgot about that!!

I put my Remington 742 up, and slowly take the safety off I am watching the bear, but there is one tree in the way, I can't get a shot. It seems like we are watching this bear forever, later I learn from Jim it was only about 10 minutes. Seemed like forever to me!! I am watching the bear through the scope and just hoping that he comes just alittle bit further towards the bait and he does! I squeeze the trigger, the bear goes down and then jumps back up and whips around and comes right towards our tree, he continues another 50 feet and goes down. I stand up lean back and take one more shot and the bear drops about 50 feet from our tree! Ok NOW my heart is just pounding, I am so excited! After getting a congratuatory kiss from my hubby, Jim says I have to get down and put another bullet in the bear to make sure. We can see the bear from the bait. I say ok I am just going to sit here a minute and wait for my heart to settle down; as Jim is getting down, I am getting on my cell phone to call Justin. For some reason he can't understand me, he keeps saying, "Mom slow down and breathe!"

It was the V bear that we have been watching for the last month and a half. Beautiful coat, all nice and shiny.

It was a great shot according to Jim, I took both the lungs out and the bear was dead when it ran past our tree. He found both of my bullets when he skinned it out. I have a new respect for a bait sitter, it takes alot of time, work and patience to have a successful hunt. Now that its over it might sound like it was easy but believe me it wasn't. It was also so cool to watch a bear come into a bait, and what they do, how they circle and how they make no noise at all when they come in.

I want to thank my Jim, without him the hunt wouldn't have happened; he did so much work for me by finding a good place for the baits, baiting, running to Cadott to buy the bait and keeping track of everything. He was my guide, gofer and moral support. I want to thank Justin for helping Jim find the perfect spot in Pony Creek for the bait, for helping with the baiting and for helping us put up the stands. Thank to both of them for all of the words of encouragement and little pieces of hunting tips that I actually remembered! I also have to thank Steve Flynn and Tony Erickson, who dropped everything when I called them and came out to help us load the bear and get it out of the woods.

I had a great hunt that I will never forget, it was a wonderful adventure just like I was told it would be. Thanks for reading my story.


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