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Should'a stuck him!

GilaMonster

New member
Joined
Aug 29, 2001
Messages
264
Location
New Mexico
Thought I would share a true bear story concerning a bear and myself. This was a couple of weeks ago on opening day of my elk hunt.

My son and I had found a perfect place to put together a makeshift blind next to a dirt tank. Many people would call it a pond, but in this part of the world, it's a dirt tank. In any rate, I was hunting for Elk and this particular tank was the only water source we could find anywhere in the area and there were Elk trails leading to it from several directions. A great place to kill my first Elk with a bow. There was an old half rotten tree within 20 meters of the tank with the furthest edge of the tank only 46 meters. That would be the furthest shot I would likely need to make so the tree would work out great. Most of the old branches of the dead tree had broken off many years ago and were just leaning up against the tree all around it. It only took a slight amount of adjusting a few of the branches and adding a few more broken limbs to make the perfect ground blind. I sat against the trunk and my son moved branches and broke off small pieces until I had a perfect opening to shoot through. I lifted the bow and swung it around and checked to be sure that I had no obstructions to shoot and it was perfect. My son then stomped down a bunch of the taller weeds so I would have a clear view and shot at any part of the shoreline of the small dirt tank. As a final step, he walked around it and I used my rangefinder to ckeck the distances and then I used a pen and wrote them down on one of the larger dead limbs beside me so I would know exactly the distances at each part of the small shoreline. He noticed that the only thing he could see when viewing me in the blind was my shiny, white face so I took some charcoal from an old burned log and crushed it up like powder and rubbed it into my face. Problem cured!
Now I was ready for the long wait in hopes of my Elk showing up before dark. It was about 3:00 PM when I finally settled in for the afternoon and my son mentioned to me before driving off to leave me that I might even see a bear. I told him something to the affect that I doubted it.
Within a short time period, a young muley doe came in and watered. She hung around a while and then finally left. I sat there possibly another 30 minutes or so and I spotted something through the bushes coming sown the wash that looked to be the color of an elk, but that was all I could make out. Then it came into view. I wasn't an elk at all, but a bear. Strangest looking bear I ever saw. He was golden blonde on his back and then it faded to white and then gray down his sides. His head was extremely dark. Almost black but more of a dark gray and brown mixture. That's about the best I can describe the color. His leggs were also the same color as well as under his belly. As he continued closer, I remember thinking he was the ugliest bear I ever saw. He was definately not attractive at all. He was a reasonably good sized bruin but not huge. Bigger than average though, that's for sure. About 300 lbs I would judge from comparing him with the size of the bear I had shot perviousely. I had already decided that I didn't want to stick a bear with an arrow while both of us were on ground level. This was due to a bear charging my oldest son after being hit with a 165g Trophy Bonded Bearclaw fired from his 30-06. That bear took seven rounds to kill and died within a few feet of my son while I was unable to do anything to help him. I didn't need or want any possiblity of an angry bear with an arrow in him while I was on ground level with him so I declined to shoot this particular bear with my bow. I watched him as he circled the tank in front of me as close as 20 yards. He finally went to the edge and tanked up on the water. He drank for quite a while. He was one thursty bear. He turned and was quartering away from me with his front leg forward. It would have been the perfect shot angle if I had wanted to take him but I still fought the urge to kill him. Remember, it was bear season too. Finally he jumped in the water. He splashed and rolled in the water and generally had a great time from what I could tell. It was a wonderful thing to watch. Especially from that close distance. He finished playing in the water and slowly walked out of it onto the bank. Then he bagan sniffing around and slowly walked to the weeds that my son had stomped earlier to give my a clear shooting lane. The wind shifted and he smelled me. He looked directly in my direction and put his nose in the air. He didn't run. No, he opened his wouth and started lapping his toung from one side of his mouth to the other. I'm hard of hearing and he was making slurping sounds that I could hear quite clear. He then walked straight towards me and stuck his head into the opening we had cleared for me to shoot through. I was within a couple of feet of his little beady eyes. It was as if he was staring directly into my eyes. I think he was. It was really creepy! I didn't even have my hand on my bow. My bow was propped against a limb in front of me and slightly to one side with an arrow nocked. I was frozen and couldn't move. Hell, I was afraid to. I didn't want to startle him. No telling what he might do at that point I thought. He smelled me and couldn't see me. I guess he figured it was too much work to tear the limbs out of his way and he began to circle the makeshift blind. I didn't want to stick him with an arrow at first, but by this time, I was sure wishing I had stuck him while I had the opportunity to do so because I was starting to get just a tad bit concerned about this situation. He smelled me and then came looking for me. Yea, I was maybe just a little more than concerned by this time. I tried to keep my eye on him without moving but the only easy opening into the blind was directly behind me. Hell no, I wasn't waiting for him to join me in my little hiding place. I figured it was either him or me and I wasn't about to let it be me without a fight. I eased my hand into the strap and held the handle. I clipped my trigger onto the string quietly with little movement. I never moved so fast in my life as I got to me knees and twirled around the tree. He was with a couple of feet of me and the sudden movement startled him. Luckily for me he ran the opposite direction. Only about twenty feet though, and stopped looking back trying to figure out what the hell had made the movement. He stood there staring at me for a moment and then slowly walked off sniffing the ground and generally going about his business as normal as if nothing had ever happened. I watched him go up the little high sspot to my right and then walk along sniffing and looking around. He never got in any hurry at all. I was damn happy to see him leave and then it all sunk in and I started quivering.
I hunted that same spot a couple of times after that day, and never saw him again. I had made up my mind that I would stick him the next time I saw him. Well, no harm done and it was one of the most exciting occurances I ever had in the wild. Man, it's great to be alive and able to hunt! :D

[ 09-13-2004, 23:42: Message edited by: GilaMonster ]
 

GilaMonster

New member
Joined
Aug 29, 2001
Messages
264
Location
New Mexico
I was thinking at the time he was playing, that I wished I had taken my camera with me. I'm glad I didn't though because the sound of it operating and the flash (it has an outo flash) could have gotten him a little stirred up..
It was a great experience now that it's over! LOL
 
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