Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Second week of Bear Camp 2015

The second week of the 2015 bear season started off long before the guests arrived.  A contact in the early spring with Mike Walker about he and one of his sons possibly hunting with me.  He decided to book his first bear hunt for he and his son Damon for the second week of the 2015 bear season.  He and Damon arrived in camp where they met a veteran bear hunter and good friend Matt Miller.  It was a light week with just three guests, but we were looking forward to it.



We had our orientation, and then headed to the range to check rifle zeros and prepare for what could be a long week of sitting in the woods waiting for an opportunity to shoot a mature black bear.  After lunch on Monday we headed into the woods in one of my core bear hunting areas.  I got Mike out into his ground bling, then his son Damon and finally I got Matt to his location.   Later that afternoon My cell phone received a text from Mike letting me know he had a short wait and had shot a bear.  I headed to his location where I found him waiting for me.  His bear had dropped at the bait.  We took a couple of photos of he and his trophy on location, and then loaded it onto a litter to carry it to my truck.  We then proceeded to head close to where Damon was sitting in his blind where I had hopes of hearing the rifle shot with his dad.  Well shortly after parking the truck we were rewarded with the sound of a rifle shot followed quickly with a second shot.  Well since Damon was hunting with a single shot rifle I knew immediately it was Matt that fired.  A minute or two later a text arrived saying he had shot a BIG bear.  I was just 2 miles away so I quickly drove to the location and found the large boar dead just a few feet from the bait pile.  It was too large for the three of us so I went to pick up Damon as this bear required 4 men to carry it to the truck.  What a day.  Two nice bears in the truck and Damon had seen a bear, so 100% shot opportunity and it was only Monday.
Matt Miller and Mike Walker and Their Bears
Matt and His Boar Bear

On Tuesday Damon and I headed out to the woods.  He spent the afternoon quietly and did not shoot a bear.  I sat on a stand nearby and had a bear come within a few feet of me from behind me.  I had no shot as it was away like a rocket once it decided to leave.  I picked Damon up and we headed back to the lodge for some of Nancy's good cooking and entertaining stories from Damon about his level of nervousness sitting in the woods waiting on bears.

On Wednesday  Damon and his dad decided to sit together.  I put them on a good bait way off the beaten path.  They did see a real large sow, but she had cubs and as such is off limits to my hunters.  Then the skies opened up in a torrential downpour.  Matt and I headed in to get the duo from the  monsoon like downpour and head back to the lodge to dry off and recharge for the next day.

Thursday Damon and Mike moved to a different bait that appealed to Mike, as he had accompanied me that morning as I freshened some of my locations.  I sat at a different location and as the sun set watched two small bears feed on the bait.  Damon and his dad did not see anything this afternoon.  We headed back to the lodge and I meditated on where to put Damon for his final sit for the week.  I decided on a site with a pretty steady history of being a productive location.

Damon and I headed out on this Friday afternoon.  I placed him in his blind, went over the best bear hunting practices, and headed off to a stand to sit in while I waited for Damon.  Well here is where it gets interesting.  While I watched a small bear at my location, Damon felt tremors in the ground.  As he explained at dinner that evening, it was like a scene from the movie, Jurassic Park.  A small tremor could be scene in a puddle, and it grew larger and larger and then there it was, T-Rex.  Well T-rex wasn't at his bait site, but apparently a pretty BIG bear was.  Damon raised his rifle, settled his sights and then his hood from his jacket fell forward over his eyes and the bear that came to be known as "Ground Shaker" ran off.  Well as Damon tells the story he tried to sit still which is 1 of the three rules for successful bear hunting.  The other two rules are also, sit still.  Well anyways, he was jumping at every sound as he feared "Ground Shaker" was going to turn him into nitrogen rich humus.  As he struggled internally to try and sit still, he had almost decided it was pointless, and to gather his things and leave the stand, when a large bear appeared on the bait.  Damon made the shot and then sent me a text message.  I hurriedly left my stand and headed to the truck to go find his bear.  It took a little effort as bears do not leave much sign, but in a short time we found his 200 plus pound mature bear in a thicket.  It was a struggle for the two of us to carry it to the truck, but we managed.  I am starting to feel my age a bit though.  We made the trip back home where the successful trio of hunters gathered to admire the final bear of the week, taken in the final moments of the day.  A very successful week of hunting Maine black bear and Mountain View Drifter Lodge & Outfitters.
Damon Walker and his mature Maine Bear





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