It was windy this morning. Right out of the east. Heavy overcast and threatening rain. It stayed that way all day until late in the afternoon when it began to clear. The temperature had dropped probably 15 degrees too.
Louie, from Louie's Outpost and Timber Wolf Air, had encouraged David and Jim to be on the stand earlier yesterday, but this morning, he told them to get in about the normal time, 2:00 pm. "This wind will make them real skittish," Louie told us. "And with the temperature drop, we may not see many bears today."
Bob had the opportunity to travel with Louie as he baited and checked some of his other baits. "We traveled up to Rocky Island lake, about 2 hours by car from the base camp. It was like homecoming to me. I had hunted with David's father Skip at Rocky Island lake with Louie in 1993 for Moose. It was nice seeing the cabin that had been prominent in many of my fond memories."
The "Silver" barrel
"Louie took me to a bait that he, Rob and Rick (Louie's partners and son's) call the "Silver" barrel. It didn't take but a second to understand why it was called that. The barrel is back in the thick woods with three or four trails coming into it. Louie said, 'We can't keep bait in it. The bears hit this bait so hard and so often, they have scraped all the paint off of it.' Rob is the one who primarily handles the baits in this area, but Louie had to meet a fishing group going in today, so he swung in to check out the "Silver" barrel."
"I had opportunity to visit Louie's second camp on Rocky Island lake as well, but we'll save that for later. We did see eagles, and a couple of big flocks of geese starting their run for the south. We also got to see a number of loons."
David and Jim did not fair very well in the wind. That doesn't mean they didn't see anything. Early in the evening, about 6:00 pm, a red fox came in to David's stand. "He was beautiful, and was the biggest fox I had ever seen in the wild," said David.
"He came in careful and always alert. The wind was right, so he didn't scent me, but he sure wasn't happy about that blob in the tree. As he moved about the area, checking for game or scraps from the bait, he was constantly looking up at my stand."
"It is getting later in the week, and I am beginning to second guess my decision not to shoot that bear the first night. Not seeing more bear was beginning to ware on my nerves, but seeing this fox was a pleasant diversion."
When we got back to camp, Louie, Rob and Rick (who is also the pilot of the operation) compared notes, and concluded that Louie's prediction of little bear action was right on the money. Because of the wind and drop in temperature, the bear baits had been hit less in the last twenty four hours than any time since the season had started. But clearing is expected for Wednesday, and we hope that will bring the bears back into action so we can see more of ...