When I am trying to get in shape for my fall hunts, I like to walk. I try to get in 3 miles or so a day. Sometimes, because of work, I am forced to walk city streets or local parks. But when I am in my northern Michigan home, my preferred walk is always through the surrounding woods. It is always more enjoyable for me, let alone my Lab Seka.
I am able to wear my hunting boots, cover terrain with some slope and help my body deal with the uneven ground. I even get to see some wild game on occasion. I always take my camera, well, almost always. I don't always get to use the camera, but there have been many times where I have been able to get some candid shots of deer, turkey, or even just squirrels. Unfortunately, most strolls do not result in any good pictures, but those that do are worth the extra effort to bring the camera. I contemplated leaving the camera at the house this morning but finally compromised with my two selves only taking the 300 mm lens instead of the much larger and heaver 600 mm.
This morning was a beautiful morning with the temp in the mid sixes. Perfect for a morning stroll Seka was ready, my camera was charged and off we went. Our planned trip would take us out through our property, up a neighbors hill along an easy ridge and into State Forest land. We would work our way through the woods for about a mile and an half, and then turn for home taking a slightly different route.. I try to very the route so as not to get board with the terrain or the forest.
We were about two miles into the hike, in an area that had been clear cut a couple of years back. I would skirt the edge of the clear cut as we headed off the ridge. The clear cut has become a favorite black berry patch of mine, and I wanted to see the berry potential for later this summer.
Just as I broke into the clear cut, still coming off the small ridge, I caught movement. Reaching for my camera before I fully comprehended what was moving, I was just a tad startled to see a good size black bear.. I think it was as started as I was, judging by the way it was moving. He bounded a couple of times toward the forest, stopped, stood up on his hind legs at the edge of a tree to get a better look at me. While I clicked a couple of pictures he was probably trying to determine how big a risk I was. I was muddling the same thought in my head as well while looking frantically to make sure there were no bear cubs near or behind me. No cubs, probably a boar.
He didn't take long to decide, and headed to the dark timber at an amazing speed.
We have seen bear around our property, and on our trail cams, but they are really shy, and we rarely see them except on the camera. This was a perfect treat to complete a perfect conditioning walk.