The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,643 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bear Tales


The hulking , black , form cautiously steps over yet another fallen log. Padding silently through the maze of blowdowns, the bear heads for the safety of the thicket. As he crosses the moss covered rocks, the faint trickle of the creek below conceals any sounds he might be making. The early morning mist coupled with a fresh blanket of snow provide deep contrast to his jet black coat. Slowly I place the forend of the Winchester across my makeshift rest. Heart racing like never before, I place the crosshairs of the Luepold just behind his massive shoulder. The culmination of years of hunting these mystical animals is finally at hand. One more step and he clears a fallen log and presents the perfect broadside shot I’d hoped for. I firmly start my squeeze and await the surprise of the shot. BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!!!! The annoying sound of the alarm clock has rudely interrupted yet another perfect hunt!

I don’t know about most folks, but the P.a. black bear holds down the top spot in my books. A big buck or big gobbler is quite a trophy, but a P.a. bear would be the ultimate. Each and every year this “flatlander” makes the trek north to chase my dream. There have been plenty of close calls and near misses , but I have yet to add a bear rug to my wall.

One year, the night before bear season found us youngins restless and brimming with anticipation. Into the old Bronco we piled to kill some time with an evening of spotting. Bouncing along an old Jefferson County back road, we neared a large apple orchard. I flicked on the light and there not twenty yards from the road sat the most imposing sight I’d ever seen. I’m by no means an expert in field judging a bear but this bruin was huge in every sense. He sat on his haunches, just like a dog, and enjoyed a fresh supper of apples. To make things even sweeter we had access to the surrounding tract of land! The next morning we were pleasantly greeted by a fresh coating of the white stuff, this was too good to be true. Several guys would head in from the opposite end of the property while a few more started in from the orchard hoping to cut a track. A large pipeline near the far end would be manned by no less than five hunters in search of the slightest movement. Not two hundred yards in we found his trail in the powdery snow and just as we had hoped he was heading for the pipeline. The meandering trail zigzagged back and forth deeper into the thick laurel. As we neared the pipeline I fully expected a shot at any moment, it never came. Somehow the big bruin eluded the watchful eyes of ten hunters who knew he was there. A small bench in the pipeline hid him from view as he crossed the pipeline and into the safety of the thickets ahead. He knew exactly where to cross the pipeline, in the lowest spot around and hidden from view.

Another memorable hunt found us just across the Clarion River in nearby Elk county. On a steep river hill by the name of Zimmerman. The sitters would come in from an access road on top, while the drivers did their best mountain goat imitations in climbing the nearly vertical, laurel covered hillside, from the river road below. Halfway up, lungs screaming, and thighs burning, I was startled by two shots echoing from above. Energized by the sudden excitement, I hurriedly climbed the remaining distance to the top. A couple of fluorescent orange coats in the distance caught my eye as they huddled over a black object. Seems as though the lucky hunter had been perched on a massive boulder well before our sitters had arrived. Out of consideration our guys moved a little further up the mountain. And wouldn’t you guess where the bear headed as he broke from the thick cover of the laurel. After the initial letdown of it not being one of our guys, I found myself happy for the lucky hunter. He was a first time bear hunter and thanked us profusely for pushing the bear to him. He had quite the trophy to go along with a nasty cut on the bridge of his nose. He had carried a large camera around his neck and in the excitement after the shot the camera had come up and caught him square across the nose as he ran towards the downed bear. I honestly don’t know who bled more him or the bear?

Several years back I had the good fortune of an invitation to a friends camp near Medix Run. Little did I know that I would stumble into some of the best bear habitat you could ask for. The great tornadoes of 1983 had cut a wide swath through across Parker Dam and into the Moshannon State Forest. And if there’s one thing I do know about bears, its that they love the thick stuff! The nastier the better! That first year we moved two bears and the same member of our group promptly missed them both! I silently doubted his story on the second one until the large tracks in the sandy creek bed confirmed his tale. One hundred yards and broadside and he missed not once, not twice or even three times. Five shots found their way harmlessly into the Elk County soil. To this day he will never live this one down, will ya Jimmy?

Each and every year since we have made the trip to Moshannon. Every year we have had bears shot all around us and put some out to other hunters. However we have yet to score on a bear. In a few short days, the annual trip will be made yet again. The area around Shaggers Inn will once again be invaded by the “flatlanders”. the excitement is high and with some of the reports I have received it will no doubt be another good year. With some hard hunting, mixed with a healthy dose of good luck, maybe this will be the year that my sights will settle behind that massive black shoulder and I will finally claim the greatest of all Pennsylvania trophies!



P.s. Good luck to all you bear hunters! Be safe and shoot straight!


Bonz
11-17-08
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
541 Posts
Very good stories clay.I have a bunch of stories myself,but since my hunting partners are your cousins I am sure you have heard them all hundreds of times.Good luck and shoot straight.Call my house this weekend and maybe we can get our groups together for some drives,or at least a beer and some more stories.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,643 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hey Mechanic,
ask Fred about the guy with the camera! the poor guy was so worked up i really don't think he knew that he was bleedig profusley! if i'm not mistaken i've got a few pictures of you guys with Dennis's bear, ten or so years back. my dad was there for that one and i was looking at some of the old pics tonight and thought you were there too?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
541 Posts
Yes I was there when Dennis killed his bear.I dont think that I am in any of the pictures.I was the photographer that day,unless someone else took a pic with me in it.I remember that we tied the bear to a pole and Ron and me carried it out of the woods.the bear bled out its nose the whole time and when we got to the truck my pants and boots were soaked in blood.That was a good time you should have been there.

I remember Fred telling me the story of the guy with the camera.He said the guy looked like a tourist on vacation in Hollywood with that camera around his neck and all kinds of other non hunting related stuff he carried up there.

Were you with those guys on Zimmerman Hill the year Ron shot at and missed those bears back there.I think it might have been you who pushed those bears that he shot at out of the thicket.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,643 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
yes i pushed those bears. i could hear them before daylight tearing the heck out of something in the thicket in front of me. after about an hour i couldn't stand it any longer and had to go see what was making all the racket. sure enought hey exploded out of there like a freight train! yeah i kinda miss huntin Zimmerman, but it was a one and done deal! but there always seemed to be a couple of bears in the vicinity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
541 Posts
They are in that area.A year or two after you guys hunted there a tornado went through there and broke and blew down alot of trees on top of the hill.My buddy has a camp near there and we were at the camp the night the tornado went through,it sounded like 100 jet airplanes takeing off at the same time back on that hill.I have hiked back there several times since then,but I have not hunted there since the tornado went through.It probably made a good place even better.That year you kicked those bears out is the only year that I didnt hunt with Ron.Instead I went to Lycoming County by where Dennis shot his bear,and it was so foggy for 3 days you could not see more than 30 yards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,226 Posts
This bear tale isnt mine, but one that was passed down
from an older family member. Im guessing that this happened
sometime during the 20s or 30s when deer and bear season
ran concurrent with each other. One of my uncles, his
father and some of his cousins were deer hunting and one
member of the party wounded a buck, while they were
trailing the deer, a black bear that had been bedded
down in thick brush, stood up on its hind legs and one
member of the party killed it with a neck shot. It wasnt
a large bear, but it was the first bear that anyone
could remember being shot in that area for the longest
time. This happened in NW PA, but I dont know which
county.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top