My kids have been wanting to chase black bears with dad since last year, so a friend and his nine year olds came out with us for the week. We headed out Monday evening and were greeted with flat seas and a light drizzle. We decided to drop the shrimp pots relatively close to the port and anchor up for the evening. The kids were tired and so were the two dads. We awoke to more rain and a three foot chop. We pulled the pots, reset them, and headed to the hunting grounds about two hours away. I like to let the shrimp "purge" themselves in a bucket or two of salt water before heading them and giving them an ice nap. We pulled into a calm passage and processed the over night haul.
We encountered a young black tail buck swimming from the mainland over to an island. These little guys have been seen swimming several miles offshore. If it were August, he would be added to the freezer!
We arrived to the bay we planned on spending the week and my six year old spotted the first bear of the trip. It was working the edge of the treeline along the beach. We anchored the boat and deployed the raft, but the bear didn't want to play. In the spring, the bears are on the move constantly. They move from grass patch to grass patch and then retreat to the shelter of the forest. We decided to take the raft to shore and explore up a small stream. It leads to a small pond with some nice grass flats. This adventure was all about the kids. The actual harvest of an animal would be just icing on the cake.
We worked our way up the creek and up onto the grass flat and wouldn't you know it, an average sized black bear was grazing. The wind was in our face and the creek created enough back round noise to allow our thundering herd to close the gap.