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Visit our "True Stories" page to read about the adventures, mishaps, and humor of guiding in Maine!  

 So, here it is...in the course of any given week there is always something that just reminds me why I love my job! Here's a few quips and quotes actually heard recently...Now remember, my job is to provide YOU with an unbelievable trip, and I will, but sometimes unbelieveable is, well unbelievable!!! Enjoy!

Hunting Buddies

Hunting has always brought people together. Our mission is to continue that tradition.

The below story is just another testament as to why these life skills are so important and powerful....

Two years ago, during a week of camp at UMaine 4-H Camp and Learning Center, these two boys, Gunner Fournier (our son), and Axel Lindsay both met during "Hunter Apprentice." This program is a week long experience where young folks can get some hands on hunting experience and learn from folks in the field. There, they learned about hunting techniques, safety, and opportunities available to young hunters. They had an exciting week, and made a true friendship at camp.

During the fall, they reconnected, and Axel joined us here at Orion for a weekend duck hunt. Both boys were successful, and I enjoyed watching these two young guns share ideas and knowledge about the outdoors. I saw my lessons for my own son paying off, and the skills gained at camp being applied.

They stayed in touch throughout deer season and swapped advice and tips throughout the winter. In May of this year, Axel again joined us, this time for a Turkey hunt. My wife and I had a front row seat to watch magic!

During an early morning hunt, we watched them call a big Tom from his roost. We were calling to the same bird, and Dee passed up what could have been her first Turkey, and allowed him to cross passed our setup, and then Gunner started in. His calling was perfect, and as the bird approached their decoy, Axel quietly raised his shotgun and took the shot...

The excitement was great, but greater was watching my son in his element, so proud of his friend, never doubting his yielding, and enjoying the hunt beyond words. As we sat and watched, I realized that the time invested, the time away at camp, and the friendships gained in this tradition and lifestyle are the reason we do what we do. We've enjoyed getting to know Axel, and I'm sure he and Gunner will have many hunting adventures and stories to tell in the future.

From this I take two things: The importance in a week at summer camp, and the investment in your own children are not to be overlooked. There's plenty of distractions and obligations today, but taking the time to focus on what's important will pay dividends for a lifetime.

Visit UMaine 4-H Camp and Learning Center's website for details about the Hunter Apprentice Program, or other camp offerings at umaine.edu/bryantpond

  

February Ice Fishing

So this week I have guided 4 different ice fishing trips. We have had some great fishing, we have drilled  thru almost 32" of ice, and we have caught everything from brook trout to smallmouth bass. We also have about 3 feet of snow everywhere! One morning I picked up my clients at their condo at Sunday River for a day of ice fishing. On our way to our fishing spot we passed a small pond and the client asked "Is that where we are fishing?" Nope I said, we're fishing a pond another 20 minutes away.

Moments later we passed the Irving gas station on RT. 2 in Bethel. The client says "Wow look at that lake (right behind the gas station)...I wonder why there's nobody fishing out there...Is that a good spot?

I replied "Well... it's kind of slow fishing out there...seeing how that's a potato field!" Later he found out that I actually did know that there are more fish in North Pond than in a crop field along Rt. 2!

 

What are those moose antlers made of a anyhow?

 Looking for dropped moose antlers is one of our favorite pastimes during the long snowy winters. Many clients come to enjoy a warm fire and hot banana bread and cocoa in the warming hut before we head out into the "willywags" in search of fallen moose antlers. Upon returning after a wonderful snowshoe trip I pointed out the differences in the shape and size of several antlers. I flipped the largest antler over to point out the unique patterns in the bone to one of my clients and she said "These are absolutely beautiful! What kind of wood are they made out of?.....Wait, did I just say that? " Her two friends got a good laugh, but then collectivley asked "No, Really, What are they actually made of?" My answer of Moose Mahogany was well recieved and we enjoyed the warmth of the woodstove as we watched the snow melt from our boots and enjoyed another great day in the Maine woods....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


2010 Maine Moose Hunt   

As a Registered Maine Guide and Licensed New Hampshire Guide, you never know where your travels will take you each and every fall. We look forward to the pursuit of big game and spend countless hours traveling throughout the Northern Forests in search of the very best hunting opportunities.

 

This years Moose hunt began back in July, when we booked our clients’ hunts, and prepared for their arrival. Once we establish what type of trip they are looking for, which zone they are to be hunting in, and what their expectations are we get to work.

 

This year, one of our clients was that of celebrity status, and his name must be withheld. He was to hunt in Maine’s Zone 7 and held a Bull only tag as that is all that is offered in that zone. Zone 7 is known to be one of the top producers of large bodied bulls with respectable headgear. His previous experience in Moose hunting began in Vermont where he was drawn 5 years ago, and took a respectable 36” bull that came in at 595 lbs. on the scales. He was interested in pushing that to a 50” Maine moose if possible, and that was what we planned on doing.

 

 

In July, we made several trips to scout, and more or less become familiar with the landscape, logging roads, and available resources. I quickly found several hotspots and places that I would like to hunt if it was my own tag. At Orion Outfitters we treat every single hunt as if it was our own. In August we are full boar with bear season preparation, and find little time to focus on moose hunting. This is when we turn our heads and let the moose continue to build those mighty antlers that we so much seek to adorn our den walls!

 

Once bear season is over we quickly switch gears and again get ready to head to our favorite moose haunts. On one such trip north to Rangeley I planned to spend the day scouting and hiking many miles in search of good sign. I arrived in my “hotspot” by daybreak and quickly saw bulls crossing the roads, and cows enjoying a snack along the route. Mostly young bulls and a few large cows appeared in random places, and quickly gave me a sense of the structure of what was in the vicinity. After getting off into the “williwags” I found what I was looking for…rubs and thrashed trees that for no fault of their own have become the focus of a bull intent on strengthening his neck and working that velvet off. Beds were countless and not a maple sprig was left untouched. We were “On the Moose!”

 

We don’t stop there. My next task was to talk to the locals and especially the local game warden to ask for their input. Coincidentally, their feedback put me in the exact location that I had seeked out as our set up point. I felt that we were in the right spot, and was very confident that we were close to wrapping up our scouting. Although moose will frequent areas that they are accustomed to using for their summer feeding and travel, once the rut begins, all bets are off as they will travel miles from their core area in search of a mate to breed or a bull to fight.

 

Back at camp we prepare our gear. This can take days or even weeks. This year we had to purchase a new trailer as our last one has seen it’s last trip to the tagging station due to sustainable damage from the heavy bear baiting season, and the dragging of many game animals on bad roads. Milk crates were packed with chains, ropes, pulleys, and every conceivable piece of rigging that may be needed. Then the “truck box” is packed with all of the items needed to sustain a work truck in a harsh environment such as the North Maine Woods roads. Jacks and wrenches, fluids and sockets, check, check, double check!

 

Now it’s time for meal planning, menus, and grocery lists. I do this planning based on “what would I like to eat!”  Once food is packed, clothes and camping gear is packed. This is broken down into personal, kitchen, and group gear. I tend to pack extra everything as I don’t like to be inconvenienced.

The location picked for our lodging was an abandoned Boy scout camp, that has just about everything you would need for a traditional Maine moose hunt including a fire pit, outhouses, and a great place to pitch a spike camp along the banks of the Kennebego River! The view is incredible, the location is remote, yet close to a small store where you can tag your moose, and buy the necessary provisions needed to sustain oneself for a week in the woods.

 

A quick trip north to set up camp and then we are back at our base camp waiting for the day to arrive.

 

On Sunday, October 10th Steve and his sub-permittee arrived, this being his brother Michael. Although they live in different states, they still find time to hunt with each other on occasion. After a quick shakedown at camp we headed north to our spike camp. There we unpacked and settled in for a dinner of moose roast, potatoes, and carrots around the welcome campfire. The temperature held at a steady 38 degrees. We got to know one another, and as the night grew longer the anticipation grew for the morning to come as opening day for moose was merely hours away!

 

4:00 am came early and was welcomed by low 30’s and a clear starlit sky. I quickly got to the first chore of the day, which always begins with a coffee pot, and then double checked the gear. Camouflage was the dress code for the day, and after a couple of quick cups of camp coffee we were off to our first set up. We arrived about a half hour early, and awaited the legal shooting time to begin our accent of a small mountain in search of our first moose. At legal shooting light, a told Steve to load up, and he quickly nodded. As a finished a short cow call a shot rang out feet from my backside, and as I spun around I found Steve there in shock! As he closed his bolt, his gun fired! This is uncommon, yet as unnerving as you can imagine. He was surprised and also gun shy that his rifle may repeat this again, which it didn’t. As the rule says-always point your muzzle in a safe direction!

 

We spent the first few hours calling and climbing into the notch, and basically getting ourselves ready for the day. Our anticipation was apparent by our inventiveness in our calling and slow travel. At the top of the highest saddle we jumped a small cow, and she sauntered off up ahead of us. Soon we turned our attention at hunting our way back to the truck, and saw zero moose along the way. Several shots had been heard and each time, it was the same thing as if you were sitting in the church hall with an almost filled BINGO card and someone called BINGO…Shit! I would think to myself, and then brush it off as a yahoo road hunter missing his target!

 

We spent a few hours checking a few random spots out, but the wind was all wrong, and things didn’t pan out. Overall, I was very happy with our first morning as everyone was in synch and there was nothing but optimism on the horizon. We selfishly took a short nap along the roadside, as we also assumed the moose were doing the same thing, and it seemed like the right thing to do. After we recharged the batteries, we headed into a piece of land that was just perfect for moose hunting. A short ways in we slowed down and I started calling. I was greeted by a quick call back and we were ready to engage a bull. After 15 minutes of talking back and forth, the bull quieted down and Steve and I proceeded ahead to stalk the bull. I returned to grab Joe and Mike, and we started to circle around to see if we could put the sneak on this ghostly bull.

 

We traveled about 10 minutes and we were surprised by a bedded cow that soon disappeared. A minute later, a nice mature bull appeared and Steve brought the gun up. I scoped him at 142 yards, and estimated him at 45”. A nice bull, but not yet a shooter. Steve and I chatted quickly about the opportunity, and slowly moved ahead. There I spotted not 1, but 3 moose just getting up from their beds. One was a cow, one was a bull of small size, and one was the monster we were looking for! Problem being…the sun was literally 2” above his head! Steve struggled to get him in the scope, and could hardly put him in the rangefinder. Unbenounced to them I had been suffering all day with a pounding migraine, but the show must go on!

 

Joe and Steve could see them well, but it just wasn’t meant to be. We tried to get up on them, and it was then that I realized that I had somehow dropped Steve’s Leopold Rangefinder in the excitement. After a hasty search I punched it into my GPS and decided to return later. We closed out the day with a wrap up of that piece of woods, and a quick hunt along Elephant Head Road, that I deemed as “Indian Territory”.

 

 

We returned to camp after a long ride back, and I headed into Oquossuc for some meds and a cup of coffee. I returned to a nice fire and moose chili, which Joe had worked to heat up and have ready. We replayed the day a few times, and each time that bull got bigger and bigger! The temps dropped down into the 20’s that evening, and it was nice to be in a warm sleeping bag.

 

Again, 4:00 am came early, and we had a quick cup of coffee and were ready to head out. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and where I wanted to be for the first hunt. I spend a lot of time playing things in my head, and envisioning the possibilities. We drove the dusty roads and stopped a mile from our first approach. Here we would get our things together, and take care of all of the little adjustments that we would need to take care of so our arrival would be smooth and quiet.

 

I slowed the truck to a halt and parked on the shoulder of the road we were to hike in on. As daylight approached and nighttime waned, I began calling in the still cool air. You could hear a pin drop! We worked our way in about a quarter mile, and it was there that we heard the unmistakable crunch of a moose in the thick stuff. We were patient and I called slowly and deliberately. As we move closer we soon heard  a bull on our right in the swamp, and still another on the right in the chopping. Each time we set up, we heard several calls and a lot of movement ahead. We moved slowly, and listened to every detail. The calls ranged from “oil pan” lip service, to dominant grunts, with a few random cow calls in between. I matched them and rattled a few times as well as rubbed and raked the brush. As we engaged the first real set up a truck drove in and the driver was motioned to STOP! by me. After a few expletives, I ignored his presence even though he was compelled to stand on his hood and glass us for a half hour. I continued to work these bulls and get ready for the shot. A while later, our guest of honor left, and we focused on the bulls again.

 

I decided to really play it up and make a racket by rattling and stomping in the water and mud. After ten minutes we slinked ahead 30 yards, and I spotted 2 moose in the cut above us on the right. A quick check with the binoculars revealed a monster bull with a cow. I grunted to get his attention, and he continued to move along the slope. Steve and I rushed ahead like a rutting bull and I grunted as we traveled the 40 yards. At the edge of the cut we took up a position and Steve got the gun up. I glassed, and decided it was a trophy bull worthy of his bullet. After the short scramble it took a minute or two to regain composure, and I estimated the shot at a strong 200 yards. Steve tried hard to take aim, but was hampered by some brush and adrenaline! A minute later he was steady, and on his target with the assistance of a small fungus growing on the birch tree we used.


New Hampshire

Monster Moose!

 

Every once in a while the stars align and everything goes your way, or so it seems. After a busy season of guiding bear hunters at Orion Outfitters and Guide Service, we got a chance to actually hunt ourselves. This is usually a rare opportunity as we are almost always guiding other hunters to their trophy bear, deer, or moose. This year was to be different. My wife Deirdre drew a moose tag in Maine in Zone 4 for the September season, and a few days later she drew a tag in New Hampshire’s management unit C1. Beyond that we had already scheduled a trip to Montana for a long awaited Elk and Mule Deer hunt during the first week of November.

 

Our first moose hunt took place near Lake Caucomgomoc. We stayed at Loon Lodge on the shores of Round Pond and we enjoyed visiting our friends Ray and Leslie Cooley, who are in their second year as owners and guides. We were there in 2008 for our first moose hunt in which I had drawn my first tag in 9 years. Dee was my sub-permittee, and she shot a beautiful bull on the first day of the hunt. This year we spent 4 days looking for the right bull and we passed on 5 or 6 smaller bulls during the first few days. The 50” bull we passed up on Monday was now looking better and better! On Wednesday morning we decided that we would take the next respectable bull that we found so that we could “kick back” and enjoy the rest of the week. Our children joined us on this hunt and we wanted to get in some partridge hunting with them. We ended up taking a nice bull that weighed in at 750 lbs. and would certainly fill the freezer. My wife and son Gunner got a chance to shoot their first partridge, and we spent several days relaxing and enjoying the peak foliage of the North Country.

 

Two weeks later I guided a client from upstate New York to a trophy bull in Rangeley in Zone 7. After passing on several great moose we finally found the one he had been waiting 21 years for! It was an exciting hunt and a great week, but by Friday we were switching gears and were getting ready for our New Hampshire hunt in Zone C1.

 

Saturday morning came quickly. My wife Dee, our son Gunner and I began calling at first light. The plan was to hike in about a mile and work our way slowly into several cut areas away from roads and away from other hunters. Most moose hunters will stay close to the roads or “twitch” trails to ensure an easier retrieval. Our concept and approach is that a moose hunt is a hunt of a lifetime-each time, and if you are looking for a trophy moose, you are going to have to earn it.

 

During the first three hours we had called in four separate bulls and two cows were also seen. One bull in particular became a nuisance and had to be  “scolded” for coming a bit too close, twice! The rest of the first day was fairly quiet and uneventful yet it was still a great day to be in the woods. I experimented with a few calls and we enjoyed hunting together. Throughout the day we joked about how close the moose were coming in during the morning hunt. At the end of the day we enjoyed a nice campfire and looked forward to the next hunt.

 

Day two we awoke early and we quickly got ourselves in position. Our plan was to repeat the same route as the day before, only this day we would work a little quicker to arrive at the edge of a distant cut by about 8:00 a.m. in hopes to catch any bulls exiting the open areas and heading to the darker timber.

Along the way we quickly found it to be much quieter than the day before, and the activity seemed to come to a halt. Just before we approached the clear cut we stopped for a quick snack and a chance to remove a layer of clothes as it was starting to warm up a bit. We stuffed our gear into our daypacks and put our water bottles away and prepared for our next move. As we started out I said “Be ready for anything, the moose should be movin’!” We turned and took no more than 5 steps and we quickly heard a crash just on our right side. I turned and spotted a bull walking towards us not 20 yards away!

It happened so quickly that we had little time to react before he busted us. A quick grunt didn’t hold his interest long and he turned his head away and started to make his move towards the thick foliage just a few feet away. As he turned, the size and mass of his antlers became more apparent and several drop tines and massive tines were visible, yet for mere seconds. We knew that this was no ordinary moose, but his trophy status was still yet to be learned as his head was still at an awkward angle and partially obscured.

 

Milliseconds seemed like minutes but we found our mark and held steady on the target. The crack of the Remington 7400 broke the silence of the crisp fall morning and a 180 grain Core Lok .30-06 bullet found its mark. A second shot followed….and the moose disappeared into the forest. All that was left in his place was a few swaying branches and several snapped saplings. All was quiet again and we looked at each other in disbelief. Never before had such a large animal appeared without warning, and soon disappeared so quickly.

 

After a few minutes of replaying the shot we went to the last known position of the moose, a mere 21 yards away. His hooves had dug deep into the moist earth and left evidence of his size. A quick search revealed that the shot had indeed found its mark and the giant bull was down only 40 yards away. His enormous right palm was visible and the mass and tines shocked us immediately. Once we were able to turn his large head and get both antlers free from the forest floor we just stood there awe! I guessed he’d go 60” yet wasn’t sure. I was wrong…he went 62” and he was not only wide but the palms were tall and as solid as a 2”x 12”! Our son Gunner was speechless and his smile was priceless! It was at that moment that I not only felt fortunate for this opportunity, but was fortunate to have experienced this together with my wife and son.

 

After several hours of some creative “moose retrieval” we had the moose at the check in station. Even though this bull showed dramatic weight loss from his rutting activities including his hips and ribs being visible through his thick hide he still weighed in at a respectable 840 lbs. His antlers sported several drop tines and some very thick points and massive bases. We are awaiting the official score at this time but expect it to be very high based on preliminary figures. The mount is currently underway and it should be ready in time for the PCCA Sportsman Show in Orono this March, and the Skull and Antler Club of NH’s show as well.

 

Our motto at Orion Outfitters is “Work hard, hunt harder, fish often!” Words we take seriously!

 


Mark Temprine Sr. joined us for the 2009 Bear hunting season. There were 8 hunters in camp during our second week and we began on Sunday with our typical family style dinner and a chance to get to know each other around the campfire. We swapped stories, and basically talked "Bear Hunting 101" Questions were answered, hunters realaxed, and friendships began...

Monday was very busy for everyone getting ready for their first hunt in the Maine woods. The adrenaline was starting to flow even before they took to their stands. We have a routine that works well to put hunters in the right place at the right time and to give them the best chance for success!

Once everyone was in their stands, we return to camp to prepare for meals, run other bait sites, and generally keep camp running smooth. As the hours pass we await for the calls to come in....."Bear Down!" Our first evening we had several nice bears taken by Jake and Dennis and all before the "Witching Hour" usually the last hour of the day. We had both bears and hunters back at camp with a great start to the week. After dark I returned to pick up the other hunters to return to camp to enjoy a hearty dinner, and to swap stories of their hunts. We had bears on the game pole and spirits were high! Jake and Dennis had the smiles to prove their satisfaction of a great hunt in the Maine woods!

Tuesday a.m. our successful hunters left for some trout fishing, and the bear hunters relaxed at camp or took to a morning hunt. Later that evening Tim took a beautiful bear and we were again back at camp with another addition to the game pole before dark. That evening of picking up the balance of the hunters will go down in infamy! Read the next story for the exciting details of a hunters "Ground Blind" experience!

The rest of the week was spent in the same manner, hunting hard, fishing, relaxing, and enjoying each others company. Although we had 3 different hunting parties at camp, everyone seemed like family and everyone participated in dragging bears out, and helping to pack heads and hides for their return home to their taxidermists.

Thursday evening was a long night with tracking into the early morning hours with 3 bears shot that day. Tracking after dark for a jet black bear cannot be described, it must be experienced! This is what we live for and what we hope to provide for our guests...We are not content to provide a "canned hunt" or a mediocre experience.

As the week continued, we had very good success, yet did have 2 hunters that had bears coming in, but still after dark. Mike had passed on a smaller bear earlier and was waiting for the brute that was destroying the bait each night. Mark had still not seen his bear, even though he had put the time in both morning and evening, and "did everything right." On Saturday afternoon he and his son packed for their long trip back to PA as they had planned on leaving after they left the woods that evening. I doubted that this would happen though, because I was still confident in what was to hopefully take place that evening.

On our way in to Mark's bait I stopped the truck and turned to Mark and told him "This is your night! I have 100% confidence in you and tonight is your night. This bait is being hit by a monster as well as several other bears, and tonight you are going to become the Comeback Kid and become a legend!" I also told him that as his guide I was not nervous that he would not tag out, and would not be...until about 7:15! During this conversation I told him to sit tight and watch behind the bait because there is a dark hole in the swampy cedar bog and that is where that bear will enter from. Mark looked back with a positive and eager smile and after my traditional "Pound It!" hand shake he walked into the stand with a renewed confidence.

The afternoon was spent processing bears and saying farewell to a few of our successful hunters as they departed. The day wore on and as the light slowly faded....the call came in. "Ron, I just shot a monster! It was just like you said...." "Sit tight and listen to the woods....we'll be out there in a bit....Good job Mark!" I said.

After picking up a hunter we loaded up the drag sled and headed out, arriving about 45 minutes after dark. On our way in we startled a bear on his way into the bait. Minutes later as we approached the stand, Mark whispered "watch out...another bear on the bait!" I flicked on the spot and the bear moved off.{only to return minutes after we began tracking.}

Mark described his shot including placement and the reaction of the bear. He motioned where the bear ran towards, and the "death moan" heard. After a few minutes crawling through the swamp we were on a solid blood trail...ending at a large oak tree where the huge bear was lying right behind against a log. After we regrouped around the bear it became very apparent of what Mark had accomplished. He had earned this bear, and it was a true Trophy Bear! It was built like a grizzly and had the head of an angry boar-the king of the forest! It took 5 of us to get this trophy back to the truck and on the game pole. The bear weighed in at a whopping 400 lbs. even! Not 398...not 402, but 400 lbs. even!

The adrenaline rush and the feeling of a job well done continued late into the evening. The following morning in the daylight we truely realized the size of this bear. Although there are certainly larger bears out there, the state average is 120-150 lbs. and anything over 200 lbs. is considered a true trophy. This is the equivalent of that 12 point buck with the double drop tines you've been chasing!

The shot placement was perfect, and Mark did a great job given the low light and the size of the bear. Knew you could do it Mark!

Dee and I want to again thank all of our 2009 hunters for your patronage and your friendship. You have made 2009 an unbelievable season...one that will be hard to beat. But be forewarned...there are larger bears to come and again we will need your help....

 

RF


As the above story alludes to, our 2009 Bear Hunting season was full of excitement! It is a common misconception that a bear over bait hunt is easy, and that black bears are bumbling balls of fur, that wander in to feed only to be shot at. This couldn't be further from the truth, and anyone that has hunted them will attest to this. They are the most cunning and intelligent creatures in the forest and are not easily fooled. They hold the upper hand and if you approach this hunt with the mindset that you must outsmart the predator, then and only then will you become successful in taking a trophy bruin.

Monday evening Tim hunted a stand we call Moose Alley. The first evening was uneventful other than a bull moose making his presence, and I removed the ground blind upon walking in to get Tim out that evening  because we were going to set up at "Bruiser" where a huge boar had taken charge of the bait.{We walk our hunters into their stand, bait and scent it up, and then return after dark to walk them out without them disturbing any incoming bears.}

Tuesday, Tim was my last hunter in that evening. He assisted  me in getting them out, and then he and I set up his blind at his new bait site. He wanted a 17-20 yard shot as he was using his bow so we set him up at 17 yds. Before leaving I offered him my pistol as a "backup" but Tim declined. I baited the site and sprayed his blind with scent killer before walking out.

The afternoon was busy with an early bear down at 4:45 pm. The bear was added to the game pole and I returned after dark for the other hunters. Tim was to be last again this evening. Upon walking in I made a mental note at how quiet the woods were that evening. I usually have to "push" bears off the bait after dark, or other critters that tend to come in to feed in the shadows of night. I gently try to push bears off so as not to alarm them and prevent them from returning to the bait.

As I approached the bait site and ground blind I heard a limb snap. Then another, followed by an angry growl. The GGGRRRR! GGGRRRR! GGGRRR! continued and seem to be circling the blind. With headlamp off, I fixed my attention on where the bear was and tried to locate the ground blind. I carry a 12 GA. and spot light for this occassion and worked my way closer to the blind quietly. When I was within 30-40 yards I whistled to Tim 3 times.....no response. I yelled his name once and again no response.I didn't want to spook the bear, but needed to move it away from the blind. I decided to call Tim's cell that should have been on vibrate to signal him to put his red light to the side of the tent so I could pinpoint his location in the camoflagued blind.

Unfortunately his home number came up first...and after a fruitless call that resulted in Tim's wife answering and becoming confused with the fact that I was whispering "I need Tim's cell number please..." I had to hang up...and felt very uneasy with the previous phone conversation! {You never want to panic a hunter's wife!}

That was it-Time to move in. I throttled up the spot and quickly approached the blind. The bear held tight and started swaying it's large head back and forth and circled the blind one last time...and finally wandered up onto a knoll above the bait. Bears are reluctant to leave an easy meal and will often bluff charge to claim their stake.

As I approached the blind I immediately unzipped the back door and Tim, with his gray beard and knit hat stuck his head out and said "That was the most exciting experience in my entire life!!! That bear just about stuck his head into the blind! That was awesome!" I haven't lost a client yet...and don't intent to...ever, but that was about as close to the excitement as I want a client to get! Tim made a good call by not giving his position away by making noise or turning his light on.

We quickly snuck out to the truck and returned to camp, and EVERYONE heard the story.....more than once! The fact of the matter is that we returned the following day and Tim hunted from dawn to dusk. Upon arriving I found that a 4" tree that the blind was tied to was bitten in half right above the guy line, and the other tree was snapped off also above the line. All of the brush that was used to conceal the blind wasn't just removed...it was gone! Thrown all about and broken up into kindling!

Wednesday was a quiet day for all of our hunters, but the following day was busy as we had 2 bears shot and one shot at with a bow, and missed. Tim took a beautiful and quite hefty old bear. Not the "Bruiser" that had tormented him on Tuesday, but a very respectable bear indeed. In fact he shot this bear and called it in to camp just at last legal shooting light, and 20 minutes after the shot a second bear came into the bait, tugged at the barrel for a bit, and then decided to pay Tim a visit in the blind! He heard the bear approach and this time he snapped on his flashlight and "barked" at the bear-causing it to scoot off.

When we arrived we tracked his bear for about 75 yards into a swamp and found his trophy! It was truely a great hunt, and I think I enjoyed it as much as he did! The best thing is...he's returning in 2010, and I have no doubt that we'll get him on that big boar, and that the stories of 2009 will be told again and again!

Thanks for a great week!

RF

 
Monday, December 18, 2017
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