My cousin and I headed to Maine for the week to hunt bears with hounds, and my father came along to experience it with us. He has already shot a few bears with hounds. We have become good friends with the outfitter and he has stayed at our place in the past while doing sportsman shows. And I was able to “guide” him on a few successful cottontail hunts.
He had no issue with me kenneling my dogs at his place while we bear hunted, so I didn’t hesitate to bring my dogs along to run them in the afternoons or incase we got our bears early.
Sunday we settled into camp on Sunday and scouted for hares in the evening. We had a nice run and saw him twice.
Monday morning we loaded up the big hounds and started checking baits, the third bait we checked had a really nice bear on it at 5 am. Paul dropped his best dog down to start the track and off she went. Once she crossed a road we drove down to check out and see if the bear was jumped or if she was still cold trailing. The dog box erupted as we got to the line. The bear was jumped and he dumped 5 more dogs on the track. Within 2 1/2 hours the dogs were showing treed and we made our way in. It was a 900 yard walk to the tree and the woods was exploding with hounds barking. My cousin made a nice shot on a 250 pound male and then the work began.
After we got the quarters to the butcher we ran my beagles. The dogs jumped one but he wanted to run big. It sounded nice but we never saw him. I was able to shoot a grouse with my contender. We shot a few during the week while checking apple orchards for bears and they made great table fare.
There were so many apple trees and apples we found plenty of sign but never any bears. So we went back to the baits. The baits weren’t being hit very hard since a lot of bears already went into hibernation. Last year the guide was seeing bear tracks in December but there was a lot of beech nuts last year. This year was a poor beech nut year.
We spent a lot of time Thursday and Friday looking for my bear, so we didn’t get the beagles out until Saturday again.
Finally on Friday we found a bear that hit a bait at 3 am. He dropped his start dog again And let her do her thing. After the dog crossed a road again we drove up and the dogs in the box struck. But not as hard as when they did for Justin’s bear. But regardless it was Friday and something needdd to happen, so the dogs got dropped. It appeared they caught the bear not far in but that wasn’t the case. The influx of dogs messed up the start dog and things went to ---- for 45 minutes. Finally Molly took the track out by herself and started driving. We worked on picking up dogs and let Molly do her thing.
The bear came close to crossing the road a few times as I stood ready but he didn’t want to leave the thick cover. Finally, after 3 hours she showed treed. The guide didn’t feel comfortable that the bear was in a tree so he brought another dog in with us. His gut feeling was right and we saw Molly walking the bear in the pines but no shot was available. He let Mojo go and it was just enough pressure to put the bear up a tree.
The second to last picture is Molly. She did all the work so I wanted to make sure she got her credit without mojo.
Friday evening we had a few extra hours before dark and we went fishing for landlocked salmon. We had 5 hit and landed 3. It’s catch and release only this time of the year but man can they fight.
Saturday we finished up our trip with the beagles. We had 4 jumps and 4 in the bag. I switched back to my 20 gauge and shot much better. Again the running was outstanding. After 5 1/2 hours we called it quits bc we had to clean up the cabin and pack our gear up to head home.