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LadyTrapper

Bears, bears everywhere!

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New to this blog thing, so thought I would start off with a story I had wrote about my first experiences bear hunting years ago. Here in Nova Scotia is it legal to hunt over bait and there are times that we do. I wont make excuses for that, but have found it to be the best way for good shot placement on an animal that deserves to be taken quick and humanely. 'Nuff said...
be forewarned...it is rather lengthy...here is my story.

You ain't going without me!!!"
My exact words as my husband and I drive home after his purchase of his bear hunting license.
You see, we usually snare our bears in the trapping season, but this year there looks to be quite a little cub sign at the bait site. Little claws marks in the hardwoods as they appear to have been scurrying up and down the trees in a game only cubs would understand I suppose. The last place
you want to set a bear snare is somewhere where cubs play and mama bear keeps close watch.
Bear hunting will allow us to watch, wait, and see who is feasting on the gourmet of day old donuts, muffins, bagels, and buckets of lard and fryer fat.
Around 4 o'clock, after last minute instructions to the babysitter, we head out... me and my husband(whom I call Trapper), and we can't forget..ol' Bessy, the .243 Browning me and hubby share (fight over) each year. Yes, you heard right! .243 for bear hunting. I can almost hear the groans and sighs.
The drive is one filled with laughter and hopes of seeing a bear or two and keeping our fingers crossed for a boar. The chitter chatter stops as we park, get out and head into the woods behind the bait to a rusticlly and hastily made ground blind. (two fallen logs in front of us). As we
approach, I look around as the trees used as scratching posts, the fresh bear "doo"...this whole place just seethes bear sign. We settle in behind our "top of the line" blind, hubby to the front with ol Bessy, me behind him,just sitting in the leaves(it was kinda comfy)
We didnt sit but a half hour when I could hear something making it's way up the trail. Trapper has lost some hearing over the last couple of years (working with a power saw and a screaming wife...just kidding) Anyways, I have been his "ears" in the woods. I could hear them first, but he
saw them first. They seemed to appear from everywhere. One sow with 2 cubs comes in on one side and another larger sow with a wee little cub comes in on the other. Of course, the big sow who is boss in these woods is not sharing her pastries with no one but her own offspring. She
sends her little guy scurrying up a tall hardwood while she puts the boots to the younger sow and her 2 cubs. These 2 cubs are larger and look to be yearlings.
Well......now this is when things get interesting. Now where do you think that mama and 2 cubs will run? They will use their emergency escape route of course. And what do you suppose is smack dab in de middle of said escape route??? Oh yes, two fallen logs and two wide-eyed
bear hunters sitting on the ground. As I was busy trying to get in Trapper's pocket, he iswaving his arms at the oncoming trio. I had always heard they have poor eye sight and they truely
seem to, for they were only 15 feet away before they veered off to the left, ran past us 20 feet and
STOPPED!
Meanwhile the larger sow is looking our way wondering what all the commotion is about. Now we know we are in a pickle.
Being between sows and cubs is the last place a hunter wants to be. The sow and cubs behind us had not been able to wind us and are well....curious to know what we are. She stands up on her
hind legs and peers down me who just happens to be closet to her. It's a wonder we didnt break our necks in the next few minutes that pass trying to keep an eye on the bears in thefront and in the back of us.
I will not lie, I was skeered. The gal behind is not leaving. She wants to know what we are. It feels as if she is breathing down my neck. I say to Trapper.."Come on now...shoot up in the air, or shoot me cause someone needs some relief" Shooting the any of the bears was just not an option.

BAM!!

One shot over big mama's head, she spews out her mouthful of donuts and the whole herd of bears disappear in the woods, as quickly as they came. ...or so we think.
We sit and regroup a minute and after a few nervous grins at one another, we start to breath again and even chuckle a bit. But ......what is that noise? Could it be little toenails scraping "down" a hardwood tree?

"Oh shizzit" (edited for publication purposes) says Trapper. "Don't let him start hollering for his big hairy mama"
"My gosh aint he cute!" says I.
And was he ever....he was as big as a large raccoon, just a little ball of black fluff. I thought he was the dearest little furball.... until he opened his big fat mouth!!
Before his little feet touched the ground, he was screaming bloody murder. Everyone else had left and he thought he was alone.
Have you ever heard a cub hollering for his mom? They sound just like a whiny kid only ten times louder.

"MMMMMWWWAAAWWWWWWWW" ....he wails as he hits the ground running.
"Mmwwwaaawwww!"
Now that little guy thought he was doing big business as he "bolted" down the trail past us, full
speed for a cub. His little short legs were just a going but I am sure we could have walked
faster. He continues summoning his mama as he disappears in the woods too.

Did I mention before that "HIS" mama had not used the exit trail, but had gone back in the woods
where she had come out of.
So here we sit in the trail she needs to take to catch up with her cub. Time to git outta here. It was an easy decision. Not one of us disputed it. We gather ourselves and keep close watch for big mama. True to a mother's nature, she comes back into the bait site before we can leave. We stand up and start talking loudly at her.
"Go away Mama, your baby's alright" yells Trapper. I dont think she believed him because she continued towards us. She did not fully charge us, but she sure did not back off. She kept her head low and eyes piercing.
"Just dont run "...whispers Trapper to me.
I'm thinking to myself...**Yeah right ! Like I'm gonna run away from the guy with the gun.***
I may have been shaking like a dog passin' razor blades but I sure 'nuff aint stupid!!!!

"Stay behind me and we will back out of here real slow" said Trapper..
He meanwhile was talking loud to the bear. He was not yelling at her, but simply telling her she was alright and so was her cub. She didn't look convinced
Once we were well away from the exit trail, she stopped coming towards us and headed in the direction of her cub, who by the way ,we could still hear in the distance "mmwwwaaawwww"
I was never so glad to see that black chevy in my whole life! We stood outside the truck and said nothing for the longest time.
Then I break the silence by sayin...."No one is gonna believe us you know"
But "we" know it happened this way. It was an experience we will never forget or give up. On the way home we rehashed what happened, excitedly reliving the moments. I dubbed Trapper the "bear whisperer"
We were so glad we came outta there with no one getting hurt, including the bears. At least we now knew what was coming to the bait.
In the next couple of nights we go back, this time with the video camera and catch the young sow and 2 cubs on some great video. They exit on the trail beside us not ten feet away. We made not a sound and they never knew we were there. The third night, we moved our blind to the far side.
We waited longer this night but was pleased to see a lone male come into the bait. We waited a while and watched to be sure he was a lone male. Trapper made one clean shot to the head and filled a bear tag for the 2004 season. He was not a big one, just under 200 lbs. We did
get the entire hunt on video and our living room has been filled with family and friends many an evening since to watch our adventures with the sow and cubs and the successful hunt.
We relive it each and everytime.

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  1. LadyTrapper's Avatar
    Note: There was mention of snaring bears here, and I would like to mention that it is the foot snare we use, legal in our province.