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Keith's Bear Story


         Well this is my story about the bear.  Early Monday morning dad and I woke up and went over to Bruce and Emmie's for a big bear hunter breakfast of buckwheat pancakes.  We all ate our fill until we couldn't eat any more, packed Bruce's luggage into the jeep and headed to Warren.

         We arrived about 8:00.  I was dropped off at Camp Karen and was to walk down to the end of Carr brook and push the hemlocks and around the side of Goat Mountain.  Well I did just that.  Dad stood near Webs Ferry boat launch and Bruce sat up the hill on the ridge.  It was a tough climb around the mountain, I fell about three times and hurt my shoulder a
little along with my ankle.  At about 10:10 AM I came out of goat mountain.  I found dad near bye.  He said that he had seen about a dozen deer and a Fish Commission officer who informed him of three bears near Red Oak Campground.  I told him that I had seen only three deer.

        We walked back to the jeep and blew the horn twice.  This was the signal for Bruce to come down off of the ridge. 20 minutes passed and Bruce was not there yet so we blew the horn some more.  Then I took a little side trip over to the Island on the other side of Webs Ferry but I did not see anything.  When I came back Bruce still wasn't around so we blew the horn some more.  So I decided to go up the hill and look for him.  I walked up to the bench and walked up and down it from where it was steep to the point but there was no sign of Bruce.

         I went back to the jeep where dad was sleeping.  He then drove me over to a dirt road that went onto the hill between Hooks brook and Corn planter. Dad dropped me off on top of a hill and said " I'll meet you here at five o' clock" Finally I got to hunt alone with no one to tell we what to do. So I took off towards trout run point where I saw some bear poop the week before when I was squirrel hunting with my friend Ray.  I hiked all day through the slashing and saw a few more deer but nothing too exciting. About 4:30 I came out to the road where dad left me off and started walking down it.  There dad picked me up with Bruce in the car and we were off to the hotel.

         I quickly found out that Bruce had been sitting on the ridge all along until dad went up to get him at 4:00 PM.  We stopped over where Betty was staying at but they wouldn't answer the door.  Then we went over to the Motel 8 and unloaded our stuff.  Then over to Perkins for dinner.  Then back to the hotel.  I took a shower and went to sleep on the floor.  Dad and Bruce each got a bed.  The next morning we got up about 5:30 and ate at Perkins again.  I was a little stiff and tired but
oh well.

         We then headed to the place where I was let off the day before. It was mostly slashing.  We decided to take a drive up to Red Oak Campground which was accessible by the dirt road through the woods.  We got there and turned around and went a little ways where dad stopped and said that he was going to put on a drive around the sunny side hill and
part way through the slashing.  He told us to stand on the other side of the slashing where it was pretty clear to shoot.

         That is what we did.  I drove down to the road and parked near a gravel bank. I told Bruce that I would sneak down to the point and stand down there.  He was going to find a spot just off of the road some where.

          It was about 8:45 AM when I got to my stand.  I cleared a nice spot where I could see down the point of trout run.  Behind me about 20 yards was the slashing, to the right was hooks brook, to the left was trout run. I was supposed to get on the radio at 9:00 but I didn't because I felt that I would just spook the area around me and that I didn't have anything to talk about.  At 9:10 five does came 40 yards below me at a slow walk.  Dad must have pushed them over here I thought.
They hung around for about five minutes and left.  At 9:30 I got on the radio and told Bruce about the deer.  There was no report from Dale.

         At 9:35 AM I heard some crashing.  Something was running down the side of the slashing headed my way.  I pulled my gun up and got ready, It is probably just some more deer I thought.  Boy was I ever wrong.  I saw a whole bunch of black fur come over the crest of the hill almost straight for me.  My heart probably should have jumped somewhere up in my throat but I had no time to get nervous.  I picked out the biggest bear and shot it as it came only 15 yards away from me with my 270.  The three 100 lb cubs followed it.  Well I have to say that I have killed four deer with this gun some close, some far, but every single one that was hit with my 150 gr. slug dropped right there and didn't move one inch and when this bear didn't even flinch when I hit it in the chest, through the guts, and out it's black leg on the other side, I was pretty amazed.  Well my bear was getting away and that's not a good thing if you are a bear hunter so I stared running after it.  I ran over 100 yards to where I closed the distance between me and the bear to only 50 yards.  There I could see that the bear was slowing down so I took another shot which went clean through it's ribs.  Yet not even a flinch from the bear!  It started running again this time towards
the slashing.  I ran over another 100 yards after the bear and saw the cubs take a mad dash into the slashing.  The bear was now tuckered out, it could hardly go any farther.  I ran up beside a big oak tree and prepared to make the fatal shot. But the bear was on the other side of a fallen tree slowly making it's way toward the slashing.  I knew that I had to shoot it
before It ran into she Slashing.  You know it's not over till it's over.  So I had to kill it.  I thought that I was not going to get a shot off until the bear stepped up onto a log in clear view of my cross hairs.  All that I could think was GOOD BYE.  BANG I put another shot in it's chest but yet not a flinch.  It just darted into the slashing.  DOLT I thought to myself.  I ran up to where she went in and saw blood and then a little further was the bear.  I snuck up and poked it with the barrel of my gun to be sure it
was dead.  And then yelled "Hey I got a bear".  I was pretty happy.  I ran back to get my radio because I left it at my stand and then went back to the bear.

      My dad and Bruce found me and congratulated me.  Then my dad went and found some plastic to put the bear in on the way home while Bruce guided me on how to gut a bear out.  It took dad and me till about 1:00 PM to drag the bear out.  And finally we got it in the car and on our way home. There we showed a lot of people and took lots of pictures and went to the check station.

     The sow bear's estimated live weight was 246 lbs.

     Well that's my bear story the way I saw it.

                                                        Keith Hastings

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