What a great day to be ALIVE! Woke up at 4:00 am to the sound of rain. Hmmm...that wasn't in the forecast when I went to bed. No worries; I'm bad to the bone! So I hit the highway for the 45 minute drive north. The rain had all but subsided by the time I reached my designated parking area, so away I went across a golden rod field to reach a predetermined destination that I hunt/scouted on Saturday, and according to my phone app was 1.1 miles back in. Half way across the dark-wet golden rod I flushed a ringneck rooster and immediately soiled my Scent-Lok suit. So much for the days scent control. Good thing I'm bad to the bone. It may have done in a lesser man.
Daylight was just creasing the eastern sky as I nestled into position underneath a hemlock which sat adjacent to an impenetrable swamp that was now at my back. Three separate oak & hemlock covered ridges dumped into the swamp in this general area. I couldn't cover them all with my bow, but after conversing with RegularJoe (who turned me onto the area) and Saturday's scouting, this place just felt beary. On Saturday I'd discovered a distinct bear trail (now to my east) that meandered along the swamp edge at the bottom of the first ridge complete with fresh tracks and crap, but it fizzled out after approximately 75 yards. None the less it was heading into the bottom of the second ridge and this is where I chose my ambush point for today. Only being my second time on the property I was wishing I'd been able to gather more preseason intel, but it is-what it is and for today this would be my starting point.
About 60 minutes into the hunt I was wishing Trump would've built a wall on our northern border to keep the illegal Canadian geese from crossing into the U.S. If I heard one honk, I heard a million. And then shortly after 9:00 I heard a stick crack to my left along the bear trail. With bow in hand intently focusing in that direction, I again heard more commotion that I knew could only be another hunter. Pretty soon fluorescent orange came bobbing into view and I lowered the bow. He got within 30 yards before he saw me, waved and swung wide. In line and beyond him was another hunter walking at the same pace. Obviously a coordinated drive east to west across all three ridges. I kept my bow in hand because I felt like anything bedded on the ridges would probably head my way. Alas 30 minutes passed and nothing. Now what? I texted RegularJoe who I knew was also hunting to see how his morning was unfolding.
Snap! A stick cracked somewhere out in front of me and to my right. Bow back in hand, I watched & listened intently. And the for the second time that morning I soiled my Scent-Lok. I could see the LARGE black form headed in my direction. 100 yards - It's a BEAR! 90 yards - It's a good bear... 400 pounder!! 80 yards - He's coming right to me at the perfect angle...I'm going to get a SHOT! 70 yards - He turned into the swamp and out of my life.
I was crushed!!! And so it goes, elated and devastated all at the same time but not defeated. Tomorrow's day 3 and hoping the 3rd time's a charm. Plus, it's my birthday and I've never killed a bear on my birthday before. However, the Injun in me thinks maybe me need'um firestick!