|May 31, 2000, 01:13 AM||#1|
Join Date: June 7, 1999
Location: Soperton, GA
Nothing like Rich's post about his hunt in Africa, but a hunt none-the-less.
We arrived at hunting camp Monday morning, May 22nd. We were greeted by Wayne Tanner and his assistant, George. After the introductions, handshakes, and being shown around the place, it was time to get ready for that evening's hunt.
Being from Georgia, I've never seen the infamous "blackflies". Let me tell you right now, I'll never again complain about a south Georgia mosquito! I love mosquito's now and can't wait to get eaten alive by them again.
The blackflies were nothing short of brutal. Any hole in clothing that lead to skin, they'd find, then tell all 1 million of their buddies, then they'd feast! But anyhoo, onto the hunt.
Monday evening was uneventful, until about 30 minutes before dark. Off in the woods about 100 yards out of sight, I heard a bear scratching on a bucket. The bear would scratch and scratch, and then be quiet for a minute... then scratch some more. He never showed himself, so at dark, I left the stand. Knowing I was "so close, but yet so far away", was kind of disappointing, but I still had 4 days left, so I wasn't worried much.
Tuesday evening, after the ritual of "taping", we went to our stands again - for another 7-8 hour wait. Taping, now that's something that needs to be done to be fully appreciated. Long sleeve shirts, gloves, duct taped at the wrists, pants, duct-taped at the ankles, headnet and shirt, duct-taped at the neck. Talk about HOT and uncomfortable, that was it. Like I said earlier, after the blackflies and sittin' for 7-8 hours, I'll never again complain about deer hunting in Georgia!
That evening passed by slowly.. a storm was rolling in, the winds began to pick up, skies grew dark, so I was just thanking the Most Highest for the breathe of fresh air, cool breeze, and somewhat relief from the heat. Basically, I sat, just soaking it all in.
I glanced at the bait station, and nothing was there. So I eased my head to the left, took a slow look, and nothing in the road bed either... so I eased my head back to the right, and caught this HUGE black mass making it's way out of the wood line. My heart pounded my chest as I was looking at my very first black bear! What a sight to see! I was amazed at his awareness. He would take a step and toss his nose into the air and just stand there, sniffing his surroundings. Once all was clear, he'd take a few more steps, and up into the air again with his nose, sniffing, looking, listening. I was, and still am, in awe about seeing him. He made his way to the 5 gallon bucket that was suspended from an over hanging branch, and flatfooted, stuck his head into it. I was told by the guide that if a bear stood up to reach inside of it, it was a "decent" bear, and that if the bear pawed at it while standing up, it was a smaller bear, and here this one is, flatfooted, sniffing at the lid of it! I began to reach for my rifle and he swung his big head around and looked directly at me - nose in the air, sniffing. He then did something that made my heart absolutely stop! He started to leave the area! He took about 4-6 strides to the right and fast, covering about 10-12 feet I guess and then he stopped - once again sniffing the air. Once he was comfortable with whatever it was that spooked him, he turned to go back to the bucket. Shaking like a windblown leaf in a tornado, I shouldered the Remington 700 and eased the safety off, thinking to myself, "it's now or never, but you NEED to calm down! Do what you've got to do, THEN be nervous!". Through the Leupold, I found his front shoulder and where it met his body, took a deep breath, let half of it out, and squeezed the trigger...
The 7mag thundered across those Canadian woods at 7:30pm on May 23rd, as the 175 grain Trophy Bonded Bear Claw made it's way downrange and into the big boars vitals. He dropped in the rear end, and tipped backwards. Obviously hit hard, he rocked back and around, with his front paws just clawing at something, anything, it didn't matter! His front paws found dark soil, and he was on his way out of there! I knew my shot was true due to his reaction, so instead of bolting another round, I just listened. 5 seconds later, I heard a tremendous crash and then the "death bawl". I knew he was down for the count! I eased the bolt back, caught the round and placed it in my pocket and THEN got all rubber legged and teary eyed. And try as I did, I wasn't able to swallow that lump in my throat. I'm getting chill bumps right now thinking about it.
Since it was only 7:30pm I had to wait until dark for the guide to pick me up. Folks, that was the longest 1.5 hours of my life! On top of the long wait, it began to rain!
I was faced with a decision. Track the bear on my own (which I didn't have a problem with, I knew he was dead) OR just wait on Wayne to come back and HOPE we have a blood trail. Deer hunting like I have most of my life, I know that if I'm going to have to trail something, I'd prefer to do it "fresh" -- not after someone else has trampled all over the area. So, I opted to just wait it out. My wait was more comfortable though, because I was no longer worried about not moving, or getting eaten alive with blackflies. I could now duck, dodge, swing and move at will...
Wayne showed up and after a short search in a constant downpour, we found no bear, but plenty of blood, so we went to get help. His "right hand man" George, Greg, Waynes son, Sean, and myself went back into the woods and about 15 minutes later, I heard Wayne yell, "Delton, what a whopper of a bear you've gotten yourself!" He had found my trophy.
The bears' stats are as follows:
8 feet from back paw to front paw.
Approximately 12" across the forehead, between the ears and eyes.
Excellent fur - no rubs, no scars. Just thick, and so black it has a blue-ish tint to it.
When we found the bear all I could do was just stare. There in front of me lay an animal that had no right being mine. It was my first animal and from what I hear, people have hunted lifetimes and haven't gotten a bear that big, and he fell to my bullet. A novice to bear hunting, in his home, I felt so undeserving of having taken him. What a magnificent animal he is.
I plan to have a 1/2 body mount done of him and it'll take close to a year before I see him again. I can't wait...
Here are a few pictures of him.
More pictures will soon follow. I apologize for being so long-winded in this post, but I'm excited and still in awe about the whole experience.
|May 31, 2000, 09:08 AM||#2|
Join Date: October 12, 1998
I'm really impressed MS!! Very nice bear indeed. I'll bet you felt about two inches tall when that bear looked your way. It's my hope to do a bear hunt someday.
BTW, in the photos with the people labeled, you didn't label Bear hehehe
|May 31, 2000, 06:37 PM||#3|
Join Date: March 2, 2000
hey.my freind went last year .he too was overwelmed by the flies that he took up smoking again after 30 years of being a non smoker.he said the flies hated to be around the smoke.glad you had a good time.i once took a guy from u.p.s.hunting for the first time.we drove to where we were going to hunt and i told him to walk down a logging trail and drop off.he took 20 steps from the truck and out from the brush jumped a 16 point 250 lb whitetail deer.he shot it and it fell dead right there.i mean right there.no tracking no stalking no second shot.he turned to me and said."i dont see what the big deal is to this deer hunting."ohhh well some people have all the luck.have a great season.seeya ed