( SATURDAY ) The next morning the clock went off at 4:30 AM. We got up an went out for our next hunt (all I could think of was my brother's nice buck). Well, I didn't see anything that morning, so I got down and started looking around for a new place to hunt. I came across two nice spots to place stands at. Finally, I thought I would put one of my stands here and one at the another spot. If I didn't see anything here in the evening hunt, I would hunt the other spot tomorrow. I was now down to 3 more chances before we went home. We spent the afternoon fishing in the near by pond (my fishing was about as good as my hunting was). Time seems to go by so quick when your enjoying yourself. Before I knew it, it was time to head for the woods again. I was hoping the spot I choose would give me some sight of a deer. We got to our stands (I had brought one of my tarsal glands to put in a branch), I got myself setup and started up the tree. I was there 45 minutes and I heard the leaves behind me begin to move around. I slowly turned to look at the deer, and to my surprise, it was the biggest bobcat that I had ever seen (BOY, WAS I MAD). I knew that I wouldn't see a deer that day and I only had about 30 minutes left before I had to get down. Then I heard my brother shoot, I almost jumped out of the stand. Well I looked over for the bobcat, he was gone too! It got dark, so once again I got down and headed for the camper. My brother had shot a nice doe, 140 pounds. I told my brother we had to go to Wal-Mart because I had to pickup some ammo and socks. We cleaned the doe and headed for town. My brother and I talked all the way there. I only had 2 more chances now.
( SUNDAY ) The clock didn't go off this morning and we woke up at 7:00 AM, too late for us to go out hunting, now my hunting weekend was not looking good. We talked about what we were going to have for lunch. Both us said fish sounds good, so we spent the morning fishing and had fish for lunch. After lunch we got our rifles to checked them out to make sure both were still on ( I think my brother wanted to rub it in ) because we were shooting at a 3D target of a deer. It was now time to head for the woods for the last hunt for 2 weeks. I told my brother I was going to sit with him since he had all the luck this weekend. My brother headed out 5 minutes before me. Then I got on the other ATV Golf Cart and headed out for the last hunt. I got to the spot where I park the golf cart, I knew this bobcat had been here, his foot prints were all up and down the road. I thought, I bet he is close by. I got almost to my climber and stopped to put the tarsal glands out, then went on to my climber. I had Just got in my climber and took the first step when I heard my brother shoot, and then again. Well, I said, he missed HA HA!
I got to the top of the tree and I heard a crash. I turned to look and there stood a nice deer that had it's head behind a bush and a tree so I couldn't tell what it was until it put it's noise in the air to wind the air. There stood a nice 10 point. He looked right me, so I jerked up the rifle and shot, he went to the ground. I thought, "Yes!" But then he went to get up and I said, "Oh no!" and jerked up the rifle again and shot. He went out again. I rushed down the tree to see my buck of a life time. When I got there I found one bullet hole to the heart and the 2nd shot had been a miss. This is my 10 point buck with a 14-1/2" spread and tines 10" long
After a large number of articles and pictures on Bear hunting in a number of hunting magazines I finally got it set in my head I was going. With the deer in our area recovering from hard times and all my reading I had developed a real bad itch for something new, A Black Bear. I had talked with a friend from work several times proir to actually going Black Bear hunting. He had taken Bear before in Idaho and had been to Alaska in 95 where he had bagged a Seven foot Black on a hunt he had put together unguided.
I started to save my money ahead of time when we decided we would go in the spring of 97. Both of us living on the Utah Idaho border we dicided to go to Idaho. We both worked for the same company. Working four ten hour shifts a week made it so we did not have to take time off from work, yet it gave us longer weekends to hunt.
In Utah you have to draw a tag to hunt Bear, but in Idaho you can purchase a tag over the counter. A Non-resident hunting Lisence and Bear tag is around $326.00 in Idaho.
Our first weekend out was in late April. We hooked up a camper to my old Jeep J-10 and headed for Salmon Idaho after work. My friend Mike grew up hunting and fishing in Salmon. After being there for just a couple of days it was obvious he knew a large amount of the wilderness in this area like the back of his hand.
The first area we decided to go we had to hike in on some logging roads that were still snow drifted over. The hiking in that morning was'nt too bad accept for a few areas that when you walked you would step through the crust on top of the deep snow and sink in up to your knees. Some areas were deeper then others but we got to where he wanted to go. We spent the day glassing seeing all kinds of wildlife and without seeing any Bears. This was the only day that I can recall we did not see a Bear. Latter that afternoon when we decided to call it quits we found hiking back out was going to be some real work. The packed snow that we hiked in on had been softened up by the day of spring sunshine. Every step we took we sunk in. We were in up to our hips sometimes and all you could do was roll out on top of the snow to get out of the hole you in. It took us twice as long and a whole lot more sweat to hike out than it did to get in. Because there was so much snow up high we decided we would try some lower elevation locations the next day.
The forest roads were much better in the lower elevations, but turning a corner to find a three foot snow drift was was still pretty common. The forty feet of chain and winch I had packed became quite handy for getting out of predicaments we found ourselves in. Getting stuck in the snow was not as bad as getting stuck in a creek though. We hit the creek a little too fast. The distributor got wet and the truck died. Mike was putting everything he could on the dash of the truck as the water got several inches deep in the cab. Meanwhile I had climbed out on the truck to get the chains so we could pull ourselves out. Getting unstuck can seem like fun normal duty when your out hunting, but when the current started moving the truck sideways dowstream thats when we knew we were having REAL FUN.
By the end of our second weekend out we had made contact with a couple of Mikes friends from his school days. Both Dan and Cody ran hounds. We made a made a deal with them for some dog food if we got a Bear with there assistance. Between us we had three baits to work off of. They were spread out many miles apart and all three baits were having Bear activity on them.
I also started packing my muzzleloader in the truck this week besides my 7mm. Mike thought I was nuts to bring it when he first saw it in my gun case. I figured I might get the chance to use it rather than the 7mm.
Towards the end of the hunt we had developed a routine. Some mornings we would go out and run hounds off of a bait with Dan. Middle of the day we would spot a stalk ,and afternoons we would sit in a tree stand over another bait set up by Cody until it was dark. We saw bears at all different hours of the day using all three methods.
When I finally took my Bear we had counted over twenty Bears seen. The bait we decided to sit on at night was showing signs of a big Bear. The first night however nothing came in while we were in the stand. We figured we had either ran him off comming in on the bait, or he winded us while we were there. Either way we decided to get in the stand much earlier the next day. After a little more than an hour in the stand we sensed that a Bear was in the area. There were some deer that came through acting real skittish and looking back over there shoulders. The slight breeze occasionally had a skunky kind of smell to it just before he showed himself. Knowing I was new to bear hunting Cody had told me this was the smell of a Bear. We were half asleep when he just appeared out in the open. He came in so quietly it was spooky. He was a big black ghost that came out of nowhere. He was so close yet you could not here a any steps that he took as he approached the bait. He walked in and looked right up at the stand we were in, and then he went to the bait. Cody wispered me to get ready while he stood up with the video camera. When he tapped on my shoulder three times it meant he was ready to record and I could shoot. The 300 grain Hornaday XTP from my Thompson Center Arms Thunderhawk hit him Just behind his left shoulder. It passed through his chest and broke his shoulder on the far side. Even after the shot slammed him to the ground taking out both lungs and breaking his right shoulder he still got up and traveled. We climbed down from the tree stand and found him about thirty yards off near the far edge of a creek. Both Cody and Mike were impressed with him when they saw him up close. They both told me that this Bear was an older Bear and he was as big as he was going to get after looking at the condition of his teeth. I was pretty excited and these guys were telling me I was one lucky SOB to get such a trophy my first time out. Plus I got to shoot him with my muzzleloader which made it even more special to me. This bear was over six feet and his skull scored 19 3/8 when dried. Ben Fahnholz of Life-Like Taxidermey in Carmen Idaho did the Bear rug for me which turned out great John Israelson of Logan, Utah scored the skull for me. He informed me that this Bear would have been lucky to live another year after looking at his teeth. John being a dentist showed me a hole in a broken tooth that he said would have become infected and would killed him within a year.
The state of Idaho aged him to be thirteen yearrs old from a tooth Ben pulled when we brought him the hide.
I owe a big thanks to Mike for taking me to his old stomping grounds. Dan for letting us shower and stay at his place a few nights. And Cody for letting me shoot this bear off of a bait he had set up. Hope to see you guys in the spring of 99.
Sent in by: Euge
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I've been hunting this ranch in South Texas the past four seasons. It is 30,000 acres and the hunts have been by invites only. These invites come from giving the company (who has the ranch) large orders of Plumbing fixtures and Piping. The previous years have been guided and the type of hunting has been from the top of a hunting rig, "safari style". You actually drive from the top of the vehicle. I've seen some great bucks hunting like that, but those big ones know your coming way before you enter their domain, so typically "IF" you see them, they are mostly running shots. (OF WHICH I HATE). This past year, i arrived at camp on December 20 and was scheduled to hunt for four days. This is the time when the bucks in South Texas are in Full Rut, so, needless to say i was quite pumped for being able to hunt at this time. After arriving at camp my business associate "Gary" instructed me to grab a bunk for my bedroll and get dressed for some hunting. He asked if i had full camo, without hesitating, i said yes. He said, "put them on, i have a special deal for you". After getting "camo'd out" we loaded up in his truck and headed out into the pasture. His truck wasn't a top drive rig. It was what he used everyday. I asked, What's up? Where are we going to hunt? He said everyone else is going to be drive hunting, and that he was going to put me in a tripod by myself. At that point i knew i had a tremendous chance of shooting a trophy buck. Well, we drove a couple of miles to this old tripod, leaned it over into the back of the truck and headed back towards camp. Gary said pasture one hasn't been hunted much, if at all, because everyone wants to get as far from camp as possible. I didn't mind... Well, we drove up this sendero and gary backed up to line of brush and we leaned the tripod up into location. He said, across the sendero about 200 yards away there's a large scrape a buck has been working, and he felt like it was the "big boy" of this area. I climbed into the tripod and gary left. That afternoon, i saw about 20 bucks and a bunch of does. All the bucks were eight points or less and were not shooters on this ranch.. They have a 10 point 20" minimum rule. Right after dusk, Gary showed up to bring my back to camp. We chatted about what i had seen and asked if i wanted to hunt there again in the morning. I said yeah. By the way, while in the tripod that afternoon, i could see camp about a half mile away. The next morning we all woke up and ate a great breakfast. Then it was off to hunt. Gary and i waited for all the hunters to get into the top drive rigs and head out, then we headed out. I got into the tripod at 6am. Before Gary left, he said, "what time do you want me to pick you up"? I said, "around 9:30 or so"... When it got light enough to see, bucks and does were coming out of the brush from behind me and going out to the sendero to get a belly full of corn. I saw some really nice bucks, one a 19" nine point came by and didn't even know i was there. I could have pelted him with a rock. A cold front had come in that morning and it was quite brisk sitting in that tripod all morning. Well, 9:30am came and the buck who has been scraping up the area hadn't shown up. All the deer left with their belly full, and i was down right cold. I remember asking myself, where the Hell is Gary? 10am came and went, still no Gary. I was looking through the binoculars at camp to see if i could see him, and even thought about walking back. Boy am i glad i didn't. Well, i lowered the binoculars and out of my peripheral vision noticed movement to my right. i slowly moved my head in that direction and a doe was walking out of the brush about 100 yards from me, she was heading back out to the corn. I was moving my head back to face the front and right there in front of me, about 40 yards away stood a HUGE 8 pointer and he was staring right at me. He has seen me turn my head. Well, we had a staring match for what seemed like 10 minutes. I tried not to make direct eye contact with him so as not to spook him. About that time he laid his horns on his back, and stuck his nose straight up in the air.. I thought, what the heck is he doing. Well, the wind was blowing at me, so i looked out into this prickly pear cactus flat and a doe was moseying out into it. SHE WAS HOT, and her scent had been blown to this buck. Well, suddenly he forgot about me on the tripod and was making his way to his newfound girlfriend. Once he had her in sight he started running her around this flat. About this time, I was saying, dont come Gary, Dont come Gary... ;-)
Anyway, after a couple of minutes of this he finally ran this doe right
against the edge of the brush and then back out into the flat. I raised the
binoculars to get a closer look again, and when i looked at the edge of the
brush a magnificent 10pointer was sticking his head out looking at this huge
8pointer chase this doe around. And in HIS domain. Well, after counting 10
solid points and feeling sure he was a shooter, i put down the binoculars and
grabbed the rifle. When i put the gun up and looked through the scope, he
wasn't there. The time was 11:00am and still no Gary. THANKGOODNESS! Well, i
was looking over my scope to see where the eight pointer was and the doe was,
they were still frolicking in the pear flat. i looked back over to where the
buck had stood and there he was again. Just his head sticking out and at 300
yards. About that time, the 8Point ran that doe by the "Big Boy" and i guess
he has seen enough. He laid his ears back and got into a dominant stance, and
side stepped out into the opening. the 8Pointer trotted off from the doe, i
guess to better size up his opponent. Well, the 10 Point was now standing
broad side and it was now or never. I held still, took a deep breath, let out
half just like my dad had taught me, and squeezed the trigger. At the sound of
the gun, there was a loud "PaaaLuuuPPP". The deer jumped about six feet
straight up and then ran at me about 100 yards and fell. I glanced at my watch
11:20am, and still no Gary!. I got out of the tripod and went to look at my
buck. He has 11 points. A double brow tine made the eleventh point that i
couldn't see at that range. 11" tines, 6" bases, 20" main beams, and scored
155 B&C. It was a heck of a hunt!!!
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