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Close encounter in Mckean County

1454 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Gander Lander
So sunday my Step-dad and I make the 5 hour journey north to do some early muzzleloader hunting. The drive up was great smooth sailing. We were greeted with 5 inches of the white stuff on top of their mountain with a temperature of 46 degrees and snow melting quickly. We got everything unpacked and did some things of the cabin were building and settled in the basement with a kerosene heater for the night. Cold didnt even begin to describe what i was feeling. It was down right freezing. Being in the middle of a cold didn't help either, but i was not gonna let that stop me from hunting my favorite season. We woke up and it was 38 in the basement and 26 degrees outside. This provided for impossible still hunting with the melting snow from the day before being frozen and crunching so loud you would swear a deer within a mile would hear. Got to the ridge and settled in. Saw nothing but 3 black squirrels at around 10:00 decided to go for a walk cause the snow started to soften and footsteps became alot quieter. About 400 yards away i jumped what appeared to be the queen of the mountain she ran about 125 yards away and stood off the side on an old logging road looking back at me. I raised the encore and was unable to get a clean look at her in the scope to get a shot. Made a walk over to the ridge where my step dad was hunting he said he found a bunch of fresh bear tracks and a red squirrel but that was it. We walked back to camp for lunch around 12:30 at lunch and headed back out. Did alot of still hunting and came up empty handed. Made a big circle and ended up back at camp got some more snacks and water. Met my step dad and he said he saw 6 grouse and 2 black squirrels about 200 yards from camp. So i decided to take the mossburg 12ga. for a walk to see if i could get my first grouse or even a black squirrel. Walking down the trail i look to my right and there stood a nice sized doe just staring back at me. I thought you have got to be kidding me!! 12 gauge in hand and a doe 25 yards in front of me just standing there! So i walk back to camp grab the prohunter and head back down the trail kicking up 2 grouse and seeing 3 gray squirrels along the way. get to where i saw the doe sat down hit the can a few times and noting showed up. Now were about 30 min from legal shooting time so i decide to just head back not wanting to be out there after it gets pretty dark. so im walking back with my head down looking at tracks and get up over the one little hump in the trail i just so happen to look up and there sits a black bear right off the side of the trail! i froze immediately cause im a mere 40 yards away from him or her. Im just stareing at it and its not moving at all i begin to think thats its the elusive stump bear we all see to often then all of a sudden the stump throws its head back and starts sniffing the air. I watched in amazement as it just sat there looking around. I grabed my phone out of my pocket to take a few pictures and in the cold during the day my battery had died. so i got my walkie talkie out of my pocket and beeped my step dad and said i got a bear 40 yards in front of me just sitting there. He said do you want me to come down i said sure bring a camera my phone died. The whole time talking on the walkie reaching in my pockets the bear never moved. As my step dad came over the ridge the bear took off down the mountain and he never did get a look at it. I have been bear hunting for 7 years and never saw a bear during any kind of hunting season besides the ones at the cabin while being up. We walked to where it was sitting as it had flattened all the grass where it was. And looked down the mountain where it ran and saw a beautiful bear trail. It was low through the thick brush and was hollowed out nicely. Were both excited to come up during bear season to hunt the new property cause now we have found a nice trail that they seem to work pretty regularly. All and all we saw alot of game and just because no shots presented themselves we had a blast and cant wait to get out again together to hunt that magical mountain filled with game.
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That was an awesome story 5C...made me cold though...LOL

"Magical mountains" this state has its share of them and certainly sounds like you got one.

Looking forward to more stories from you and your Dad. Have a great season.
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Thank you RB!! They love their new property up there. I don't know if you saw pics of the cabin being built yet or not. Here's the link.

I gotta get some new ones shortly
That was a good story, though it sounds like everything managed to evade you! Sounds cold up there, and I'm glad you posted that link because I sat here thinking why the heck would they be in the basement of their camp? Looks like it's going to be a beautiful place!
great story! sounds like you had a great wilderness experience only outdoorsman/outdoorswomen get to witness!

thanks for sharing
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