Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: My 2009 Bear

  1. #1
    Member elkmasterwyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    SW Wyoming
    Posts
    98

    Default My 2009 Bear

    2009 Black bear
    CRUNCH TIME! This was the second time that I had gotten a chance at this bear, in the last four hours! To say that my heart wasn’t about to jump out of my chest would be a total lie. The words that kept running through my head were, “Be a ‘Finisher’ you’ve worked too hard to blow this now!”
    During the late winter months I got a wild hair, and decided in the spring I was going to do a DIY spring black bear hunt in the high country of southwestern Wyoming. Over the duration of the next two months, to say I was busy would be an understatement. I spent countless hours reading everything I could find about bears, bear baiting, bear habitat, behavior and anything I could get my hands on about black bears. Hours were spent searching for the ideal bait and studying Google Earth, to find that “perfect” spot to set up a bait station.
    With all of the decisions made; where to place the bait, what to use, and how to get it there, I was ready for season to begin.
    On April 29th, I left home at 2a.m., to go to work, so I would have enough time to pack in, in the afternoon. I met up with my Mom, Dad, and Charles on the mountain, she would hunt horns while we packed bait. Due to snow and mud, we were only able to get within three miles of the trailhead, with the pickups. From here, we used four wheelers to reach the trailhead with the bait, barrel, tree stand, and trail cameras.
    Previously I had built a cart to carry the barrel with. Due to the lightweight construction, the excessive weight of the pre-baited barrel broke a wheel off of the cart! This mishap left us with a mile (straight uphill) and one SERIOUSLY heavy barrel of bait to go! Well, my dad seems to always come up with something to make due in times like these. He a got a long pole, and two tie-down straps, we tied the barrel to the pole, one guy in front, and one in back, we were set! So we thought.
    Needless to say, when we got back to the trailhead, eight hours later, we were tired, sore, and hungry. I cannot even begin to let those two know how much I appreciated their help. They broke their backs (almost literally) to help, and without their help, I could have never pulled it off. The bait was set, the tree stand up, and the trail cam was waiting. The only thing left now was for some ol’ hungry bruin to find it!
    I decided to give this some time to happen, so I elected to wait until the 5th of May before returning to check the bait. It was hard to stay away from the bait, but I knew it would take some time for the bears to find it, and I didn’t want to disturb the area anymore than I had to. Let me tell you the days spent waiting, were the longest of my life!
    As I made the decent off of the ridge, into the saddle that my bait was positioned in, I was chock full of excitement and anticipation, to see if my bait had been hit. As I came around that one last spruce tree and into view of my bait, my heart sank L, it had not been hit. All of the homework, and back breaking work, I was certain it would have attracted some customers, but it hadn’t. My dad made this trip with me, as he was just as excited about it as I was. He told me, “ Don’t worry, they’ll find it, keep your head up.” That was all it took, from that point on I was determined to make everyone’s hard work pay off. I made a promise to myself that if I didn’t connect on a bruin, it wouldn’t be from lack of effort. We cooked up a batch of “Bear Crack” that would have made the great Cameron Hanes proud, reset the camera, and headed down the mountain.
    This scenario just kept repeating itself, like a bad dream every time I checked the bait. I was beginning to believe that I was doing something wrong. One afternoon when I got home, I stopped by the local mechanic shop and talked to Slim, a seasoned bear hunter that was very generous with tips and advice. After I told him my situation, he told me “Just keep doing what you’re doing, welcome to bear hunting.”
    On May 11th, I once again shouldered my “Too Heavy” pack and headed up the mountain with a hefty load of bait, bear crack makings, and the propane stove. Half way up the mountain, I came around a large pine and had a face to face with a bull moose! His velvet clad antlers were starting to make their way out past his ears. After about a two minute stare down he had decided he didn’t care much for this hunter, and trotted off out of sight. Wow, that was exciting! Defiantly not a sight I would have seen if I was sitting at home. With the sight of that bull fresh on my mind, I finished my trek to my bait. I rounded that same old spruce tree, that so many times had provided me with disappointment, and FINALLY! My bait site had been ravaged by a bruin! The barrel had been tipped over, and the trail camera was ripped off of the tree.

    The adrenalin that was running through me was amazing. Just the whole scene was enough to give me chills. I slowly walked over and looked at my poor camera lying helpless at the bottom of the tree. When I picked it up, I noticed a dirty, sticky paw print on it. I thought to myself, “Must be camera shy”. I tied the camera back on the tree with what was left of the tattered straps, re-baited the barrel, and climbed into my tree stand.
    I’ve never been one to sit long but have recently found that while in a tree stand, I do some of my best thinking. That night I had plenty of time to gather my thought, while waiting for the big boy. I thought about my wife and son at home, and how lucky I am to have them. I was caught up in my thoughts, when I heard snow crunching. Slowly a heavy set dark cinnamon colored bear materialized out of the proverbial ‘’Nowhere”. He was very cautious, walking only a few steps at a time, he would then stop and scan the area with ears perked up, looking for danger. My excitement level was through the roof! I was sure this bear was as good as mine. Things headed south. I blew my chance at that bear, but that is a whole other story in itself.
    That night when I climbed out of my stand and down the mountain, I was very disheartened. I just kept thinking that I may have blown the only chance I might get. One thing I’ve learned from this season is that in Wyoming, there is not a bear around every other tree like there may be in Alaska or Canada. It hurt to know that I’d come so close to tasting sweet success, only to fail. These are the experiences and moments that builds us as hunters, and is a necessary part in a hunter’s life.
    The days to follow were very uneventful at my bait. At this point I really was starting to think that my only chance had come and went. I continued my baiting duties religiously . Then it happened! One night after checking my lethargic bait site, I climbed back up on the ridge to glass a little. At two miles, I spotted a nice blonde color phase bear. I had nothing to lose and I couldn’t believe I was going to get a break like this. I bailed off of the ridge, and hot footed it across two more, to close the gap. As I climbed up the last ridge, a 45degree grade, the one the bear should be feeding on top of, I felt the wind kiss the back of my neck. Needless to say, when I topped out the bear was gone. STRIKE TWO! Wow I thought to myself, I’ve worked so hard for this and everything keeps going wrong. I once again headed back to the truck in the dark with a cold drizzling rain. I got to the trailhead and had to scold myself for feeling sorry for myself, I had to remind myself this is hunting.
    June 4th, this was the 15th trip I’d made up this mountain. I stopped halfway up and sat down, staring across the drainage I’d just climbed out of. I contemplated giving up, throwing in the towel right then and there. Season had been open for over a month, I’d been rained on nearly every day, I was missing my family, and my legs, back, and mind were way beyond tired. The numerous days of leaving home at 2a.m. to finish work in time to hunt the afternoon, were wearing on my body and mind. I was almost at my limit……Almost! Once again I told myself, this is DIY public land hunting, it’s just the way it is sometimes. I picked myself up and continued on to my bait. I climbed down the mountain that night with nothing to show but a visual in my mind of a un hit bait, and the lasting memory of watching a cow elk, with twin newborn calves. A couple more trips to check the bait had no better results.
    June 11th, I had four days left in the season. I was starting to feel some pressure. Tag soup is not my favorite, but I was seeing some in my near future. Around that same old spruce tree I stepped, words cannot be put on paper to describe how I felt to see my bait site torn to pieces. I quickly retrieved the SD card from the camera, slipped into my rain gear, and climbed into the tree stand. I had just settled in and started looking at over one hundred images on my card viewer, when a commotion in the timber quickly got my attention. I readied my rifle, looked up and saw a dark figure slipping quickly through the trees, about 125yards away. By the time it cleared the heavy timber, it was at only 90yards. I was very surprised when out popped a beautiful chocolate brown bear. This bear knew something was up, at 90yards it shielded itself with low pine branches while it scanned the area. I will always believe this bear heard me climb into the stand, and was investigating what was coming to steal its bait. After about two minutes the bear turned and walked back into the timber, never offering me a quality shot. I had so much adrenalin surging through me, it’s probably a good thing that I didn’t have to try and pull of a shot. The next four hours went by painfully slow. I was left wondering why it hadn’t come all the way in, if it’d be back and if I’d be able to keep my composure when it came right down to it.
    I didn’t hear a thing, but when I looked to my left, a familiar dark figure got my attention. There, in the same spot, doing the same thing, stood the same bear. This time I told myself that I had to make this happen. After about two or three minutes of scanning the area, it decided to wander back into the timber. At that moment my mind was in overdrive, I vividly remembered reading in Cameron Hanes’ book about his buddy Roy Roth being a “Finisher”. I so badly wanted that right now. I flipped the safety off and told myself, “If given a chance, finish this.” The bear was moving to my right, when I flipped the safety off it made a clicking noise and the bear heard it, this caused the bear to spin 180degrees, it now was facing right to left and had moved into a shooting lane. I had but a fraction of a second to draw down pick a spot and squeeze the trigger.
    As I heard the last branches breaking, shortly followed by a death moan I’ll never forget, I knew it was over. I sat there for a moment, almost in disbelief at what I’d just accomplished. I had done my homework, stayed persistent, and went the extra mile, and had just taken my first
    Black bear, all in the beautiful high country of Wyoming. I was pumped! A short blood trail, photo session, and a tough skinning job later and I was packed up and ready to head down the mountain, that I’d learned to love and hate at the same time. Just as I got my pack on and headed towards the truck, the sky opened up and started to rain. I didn’t mind. On my journey down the mountain, for the last time, I reflected back on my amazing season. I thought about how the emotional highs and lows made me come so close to giving up, how I’d missed my family, and how I’d experienced things that few ever get to. This was one of the toughest hunts I’ve ever had both physically and mentally. The reward when I succeeded was among the sweetest. I reached the truck well after dark I was soaked, sore, and happy to get that extra heavy pack off of my back. It was all worth it and I couldn’t keep a smile off of my face.

    I like to give extra thanks to my dad and Charles, thanks to them this all happened. Also to Slim, who unselfishly offered tips and advice. My wife and mother also deserve thanks for always taking care of things at home, also thanks to them for helping pack the bait gear out. Once again thanks to everyone involved while I traipsed through the mountains running down a dream and a lifetime of memories that I’ll keep forever

  2. #2
    Member AK145's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    640

    Default

    Is it just me...or is this thread missing something....like a PICTURE!

  3. #3
    Member Noble Killer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Nelchina, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    156

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AK145 View Post
    Is it just me...or is this thread missing something....like a PICTURE!
    Not just you, it is a good write up just missing a couple key things.
    1. Pictures of well deserved trophy
    2. Measurements "" ""
    Other than that it is a VERY GOOD story of what it is like your first year bear baiting.
    -Caleb-

  4. #4
    Member elkmasterwyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    SW Wyoming
    Posts
    98

    Default

    My bear squared 5' 11" with an even 18" skull, and as far as pics go, i tried to post them but got lost, could someone help me, i'd love to share themalaska outdoors.jpg

  5. #5
    Member elkmasterwyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    SW Wyoming
    Posts
    98

    Default

    Never mind i figured it out, thanks for reading and i hope you all enjoy the storyalaska outdoors 2.jpg

  6. #6
    Member baitem907's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    425

    Default

    Awesome write up! Thanks for sharing
    Jess
    Bait Em 907
    Bear Bait & Moose Lure Company
    www.baitem907.com
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bait-E...56572604387163

  7. #7
    Member Noble Killer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Nelchina, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    156

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by elkmasterwyo View Post
    My bear squared 5' 11" with an even 18" skull, and as far as pics go, i tried to post them but got lost, could someone help me, i'd love to share themalaska outdoors.jpg
    BEAUTIFUL bear, well deserved. Congratulations.
    -Caleb-

  8. #8
    Member Kotton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Anchorage ak
    Posts
    652

    Default

    All you baiters should give spot and stalk a chance...
    May blackie 7'3"


  9. #9
    Member Kotton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Anchorage ak
    Posts
    652

    Default

    another may spot and stalk blackie 7'


  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Kenai
    Posts
    1,888

    Default Nice 1st bear!

    Beautiful bear & a great story & pics Elkmaster!
    Congrats on sticking it out & pushing yourself. Really paid off!!!

    Not to hijack the thread but I see you used an Eberlestock pack. How do you like it?? I have the Blue Widow (no rifle scabbard) & like it so far.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  11. #11
    Member BrentC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    318

    Default

    I'd love to see a 6 foot cinnamon bear in my sights. That makes a great trophy. Cinnamons don't come by very often, some areas have more, and some less, but either way, to get a large color phase black bear is a fantastic accomplishment. One that many bear hunters will never get to experience.

  12. #12
    Member elkmasterwyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    SW Wyoming
    Posts
    98

    Default

    Thank all of you for the nice coments. I was/am thrilled to take a nice color phase bear my first year. Vance, my eberlestock is great, i am absolutely sold on their packs. I also have a badlands 2800 and it is a great pack, just doesn't fit as well. The first time i tried on the eberle, i was sold, it just fits me so well. The load i packed out when i killed that bear was 80-90pounds including my rifle and the bear hide, the load handled very well and never shifted once. I really like the versatility of it, i've used it many times as just a day pack. How do you like yours?

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Kenai
    Posts
    1,888

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by elkmasterwyo View Post
    Thank all of you for the nice coments. I was/am thrilled to take a nice color phase bear my first year. Vance, my eberlestock is great, i am absolutely sold on their packs. I also have a badlands 2800 and it is a great pack, just doesn't fit as well. The first time i tried on the eberle, i was sold, it just fits me so well. The load i packed out when i killed that bear was 80-90pounds including my rifle and the bear hide, the load handled very well and never shifted once. I really like the versatility of it, i've used it many times as just a day pack. How do you like yours?
    So far so good.
    Haven't used it a lot with heavy loads. Heaviest was a 5 day canoe trip where about half the trip was portages. Pack weight was between 50-60#. Was very comfortable on the trip.
    I put a fair # of miles on it this year using it as a day pack moose & black bear hunting with 25ish# loads all day. Again, very comfortable & & VERY quiet. I also like knowing that if I drop a critter I can make that 1st trip out count!
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  14. #14
    Member OHTroy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    88

    Default

    I use my eberlestock as a day pack also, it is nice to know the first trip out will count. I haven't loaded mine real heavy yet, I still use my trusty Barney pack for the big loads.

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Kenai
    Posts
    1,888

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OHTroy View Post
    I use my eberlestock as a day pack also, it is nice to know the first trip out will count. I haven't loaded mine real heavy yet, I still use my trusty Barney pack for the big loads.
    The frame pack (Barney's) is waiting in the truck or camp...
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  16. #16
    Member aksheephuntress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    seward,ak
    Posts
    431

    Default



    ....Beautiful bear!!
    -Congratulations!

    -I really enjoyed reading your account of the hunt, and your pics!
    ....a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed....

  17. #17
    Member BrentC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    318

    Default

    I used to have an Eberlestock J-104 Just One that hauled many heavy loads, including moose quarters and as much of a mature bull caribou that would fit in it. It handled the loads great and without a single broken stitch. I ended up sending it back to Glen Eberle to fix a zipper issue. Instead of fixing the zipper, they sent me a the newest version of the pack, the J34. It's hard to beat service like that.

    It's unfortunate that they had to suffer such great losses during a recent fire that took out much of their main warehouse. I'm sure they'll be back to full production soon.

  18. #18
    Member elkmasterwyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    SW Wyoming
    Posts
    98

    Smile

    I want to thank everyone, for all of the compliments. i am also glad to write my story and share it, i kind of felt all of the excitement all over again, anyways thanks and hope everyone has enjoyed it. I've got a turkey hunt coming up in three weeks, i doubt it will be as exciting as a bear hunt, but maybe i'll have a good story to tell!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •