Black Bear Youth Hunt
Proving Trail Adventures – Youth Hunt 2009
Proving Trail Adventures recently finished its second annual youth hunt. After several months of preparation, shooting range practice, and gear checks, we took to the mountains for spot and stalk black bears. This hunt is about investing in teens that have never experienced a big game hunt and doing it in a way that emphasizes that God is there walking with us. While we’ve looked to find teens with absent fathers, this year it was a father/son trip. We’re all about dads spending time with their boys. The crew was Tanner Heisler and his dad Bill, and Rian Vandegrift with his dad Rick (his brother Jared tagged along as well to see how its done). Ben Corwin joined up with us later to give a hand.
We headed out for a long Memorial Day weekend and a mile short of getting to our main camp, we were able to get Tanner on a really nice bear. At 230yrds, with the bear posing for us on a big boulder, Tanner made the shot and was able to harvest his first big game animal. What made it better was Tanner was using his new 30-06 rifle that he’d won in a VFW auction. Tanner had a heavy loaded pack for the long hike out and a big smile on his face the entire way out showed us all how the good things really can outweigh the difficult.
Rian was up next and hunting hard all day Saturday we completely wore him out making several good stalks that just didn’t finish well. With four (barefoot) river crossings, climbing up one side of the valley and then the other, he was so wiped out when we got back at 9:45pm that he didn’t have it in him to go after one more bear 700yrds above camp. Hiking out the next day we made another river crossing for one last stalk; again we came up short with the bear giving us the slip when we finally got within range. We didn’t get Ryan a bear but it was determined that he was the winner of the “Man Award.” Never complaining he kept right at it and worked hard for all those chances. Good job Rian.
There were many memories made during all of this and all of them are ready to continue doing these types of trips on their own in the future. There are so many moments out there that you just can’t teach anywhere else – they simply have to be experienced. Both Rian and Tanner will remember this hunt for many years to come; it was flat out a good time.
Look for more updates next year as I continue with this as one way to share my love for God and the outdoors with others.
Here's the picture of the bear Tanner took and the Vandergrift Posse.
That's prolly one of the most awesome things that we can do as outdoorsmen. To reach out and embrace others as our own and put them through some of the most trying but most rewarding times of their lives. If we don't do it then who will? Our legacy is our duty, as outdoorsmen, to hold up and pass along. Truly gods work @ some of it's finest. Great job guys. I look forward to seeing more from this and hopefully will one day get to enjoy the experience with you. Oh and by the way: Nice bear. Happy trails and be safe.
Good job!! Great story and I bet it was an awesome trip.