This was the third day on stand at Louie's Outpost and Timber Wolf Air. While Louie, Rick and Rob had all been more than helpful, Jim was getting a little perturbed. Bob and David had each seen bear, and other hunters in the camp had scored, with a gun and with bows. "All I had seen so far was a couple of pine martins and a red fox," grumbled Jim.
The day was breezy, and Jim had gone out early to be sure and be there before the bear hit the bait. But as he climbed off his quad after an hour ride, and stole toward his stand, he could hear the bait barrel being rolled by a bear. By the time he could see the barrel, however, the bear had vanished into the brush.
Determined, Jim climbed into his stand and began the long wait. The wind was strong, and the leaves made it impossible to hear anything. Bear are skittish in the wind, jumping at any noise, and as the afternoon wore on, Jim began to wonder if he would ever see a bear.
"I was about to give it up for the day. The wind wouldn't stop, and I was tired from setting for almost 6 hours. I turned in my stand to get my detached quiver which was hanging on a hook in my tree, and when I turned around, there was a bear at the barrel! Where had he come from? I wasn't sure, but I was happy to have seen my first bear."
"It didn't take but a second to realize that this was not a shootable bear. I would guess his weight at about 100 pounds, and he was probably about 2 1/2 years old. I decided to enjoy the show."
"He laid right down beside the barrel and proceeded to rake the grain to his mouth. He would do this for a while then he would get up and wander around the barrel for a bit. Then he would lay down and start the whole process over again. He went over to where the meat bag was hanging, but he was too small to reach it. But it was when he was reaching for the bag, that I could see he had, ah...how should I say this, ...outdoor plumbing - he was a small boar. I must have watched him for an half an hour, before he got up and meandered away."
"The wind calmed down and I was a bit pumped by seeing this little guy, so I decided I might as well stay till dark. It was just a few minutes before eight that I heard what I think was a big bear coming in behind me. But he must have scented me because he made a awful racket as he ran off."
David, for the first night, didn't see a bear.
"It was about 7:50, and I heard someone calling, and rather insistently, said Bob. "I had decided I better go find out what all the ruckus was about, and took my arrow off my bow, turned around in my tree stand and put it in my quiver which was hanging on the back side of the tree. As I turned back around to attach it to my bow, so that I could lower it to the ground, I saw a bear coming in. It was coming in from the same direction as the sow I had seen with the three cubs."
"I was a bit startled. And now I stood there with a bow in one hand, my quiver in the other and no easy way to get an arrow back on my bow. As I watched this bear, I was a little concerned that it might be the sow again, but as I watched, I was sure that this bear was not as big as the sow I had seen earlier. I watched for the cubs all the while I was trying to get my situation back into a shooting position, just in case my size estimate was wrong."
"The bear came in without hesitation, right for the barrel. It licked the top, and attempted to worry some grain from the barrel holes. After a few minutes it stood up to check out where a bait bag had once hung, and then came back to the barrel."
"Finally, after deciding I had to do something with my quiver, I deliberately put it into the bow mount, but without snapping it in all the way to avoid the audible 'click'. I extracted a 2315 Easton arrow from the quiver and got it positioned on my string, and arrow rest and got my camera into a record mode."
"Although this bear was not as big as the last I saw, it was definitely a shootable bear. I watched and filmed the bear for probably a few minutes before I decided to try for this one. The bear came down from a standing position checking out the bag tree again, and walked around in front of the barrel. As it did, I drew my Matthews MQ1, put my bead on its chest, and touched the release - sending my 125 grain Thunderhead broadhead toward its target. As the arrow disappeared into the bears chest, I knew it was mine. The arrow hit slightly high and directly behind the bears right shoulder and passed clean through. A perfect double lung shot!"
"The bear, grunted and sprinted off to my right, but with forty yards it was down. I never lost sight of it, although I forgot I had the camera attached to my bow. Within a minute of my shot I could hear its last breath. The bear was mine!"
"As I walked up to the down bear, I couldn't help but feel a strange combination of awe, joy and sorrow. What a magnificent animal, and what a great hunt."
Louie later estimated the bear's weight as about a 200 lb bear, about average for their camps.