My first ground bear encounter!

chummer

5 year old buck +
I went for my usual 7am walk today. I was walking across the field when I heard some loud crunching coming from our pond. It was a couple hundred yards away so I started that way .22 in hand. I thought it must be a beaver or porcupine snapping branches. I snuck over to the hedge row anticipating a beaver plugging up the over flow pipe again. When I peered through I was shocked to see a big old bear 22 yards on the other side. I took out my phone to take pictures then figured that might not be smart to make the bear curious. He never saw me and turned and walked in the woods. I fired several warning shots into the year while yelling. I expected to hear him crashing through the woods but heard nothing. I figured it was time to get out of there with only one .22 shell left. Bears are rapidly expanding into our area but my only other sighting was from a tree stand. All in all it was a pretty cool experience. I hope the warning shots send him on his way. What was he crunching? My father in law keeps a jar of dog food under a bucket to feed the fish. It has been there for at least 10 years never been touched. Last night him and my girls were feeding the fish. Pretty impressive how the bear could smell that and find the jar.
 

bueller

Moderator
I used to have a red fox that would come up to our trailer and eat the dry dog food from my dog's bowl. At one point he was so tame that I could toss some his way and he would eat less than 20 feet from where I was sitting. Then the coyotes moved in and the fox relocated :(. Cool bear story. I've yet to see a wild one in person.
 

foggy

5 year old buck +
What was he crunching?

Errrrrr......another early morning hiker? ;)
 

Terrific_tom

5 year old buck +
What was he crunching?

Errrrrr......another early morning hiker? ;)

Foggy I read this as I was taking a drink of soda and spit half of it out. lol

Chummer the more that you see them the more relaxed you will become. I help a bear guide out every year and have been within 5 feet of bear without a weapon on the ground. That was last year, I went in to dump some bait at a bear bait, dumped the pail of bait in the stump covered it up, set the pail down and was spraying liquid smoke in the surrounding trees, I turned around to get pail and leave and a bear had followed me in, when he saw me he ran about 10 yards and went to the very top of the tree. It got my heart rate up a little. The worst are the sows with cubs when they start clicking their teeth and bluff charging.
 

chummer

5 year old buck +
Foggy I read this as I was taking a drink of soda and spit half of it out. lol

Chummer the more that you see them the more relaxed you will become. I help a bear guide out every year and have been within 5 feet of bear without a weapon on the ground. That was last year, I went in to dump some bait at a bear bait, dumped the pail of bait in the stump covered it up, set the pail down and was spraying liquid smoke in the surrounding trees, I turned around to get pail and leave and a bear had followed me in, when he saw me he ran about 10 yards and went to the very top of the tree. It got my heart rate up a little. The worst are the sows with cubs when they start clicking their teeth and bluff charging.
No thanks, I like it better when they don't see me. We are in a no bear zone now but rumor has it they may open it up soon. My other encounter was a mom and two cubs. They walked right under me on an evening sit. The problem was they were between me and camp and it was getting dark. I got down and took the long way back but at least I had the 30 o6 that day.
 

Terrific_tom

5 year old buck +
No thanks, I like it better when they don't see me. We are in a no bear zone now but rumor has it they may open it up soon. My other encounter was a mom and two cubs. They walked right under me on an evening sit. The problem was they were between me and camp and it was getting dark. I got down and took the long way back but at least I had the 30 o6 that day.

Just stay that the wind is blowing at them and they will smell you way before you have a chance of seeing them.
 
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foggy

5 year old buck +
Short Bear Hunting story.

I was hunting a blonde bear up in Canada. The guide had a look at it while baiting a week or so earlier....and it was a dandy. Bait site was full of oats on the ground with my stand about 75 yards back away thru some trees and brush. Good set-up, but a fair distance away from the bait (for bear hunting). Had a no-show the first evening into the site, and decided to give it another try the following afternoon.

They had built a real interesting A-frame style tree stand.....and I wanted to get a picture of it when I went into my stand......so at 2PM.....and after scanning the bait site for any bears on my way in.....I set my pack at the base of the stand and laid my rifle on my pack as I walked slowly toward the bait....while fiddling with my camera settings and looking down. Wanted to get about 15 yards away from the stand for the pic.

When I got that far toward the bait site.....I look up and there stands that big blonde bear facing me in plain sight....whom was evidently lying in the oats!! He was the same color as the oats......and I never saw him. HUGE blonde trophy bear......and my rifle was laying on my pack 15 yards away thru the brush.

I very slowly backed-up toward my rifle.....and the bear just watched me......and I watched the bear. He never moved a muscle?? :eek: Gotta wonder if he really saw me?? Maybe he was a blind blonde bear?? Got to my gun.....and slowly got it up....and on the bear....but now I was too low to get a good sight picture thru the brush. Ever so slowly.....I got on the ladder.....while standing backwards on my heels facing the bear......and made it up two rungs on the ladder. Decided to shoot.

Bad decision.....as I could not properly steady my wavering body while standing backwards on a ladder (never practiced that shot ;) ). My ill-timed shot MISSED a trophy bear of a lifetime. Duh.....shot right under that big dudes chest....and he was gone. :eek: (Still.....he wasn't going to stand there forever....and I don't know what else I could do....other than not to shoot......which, with 20/20 hind site....was probably what I should have done.)

Every bear hunt has a story. This one had a sad ending. At least it was a clean miss. :rolleyes:
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
Time to update the walking gun to a mare's leg.
 

tooln

5 year old buck +
That bear can fart louder than a 22 going off. You a 22 and 1 shot = good idea to leave.
 

Bowsnbucks

5 year old buck +
I agree, NH Mtns., they usually head for the hills when they smell you. But not always. About 30 yrs. ago I was bowhunting in a remote area of Pa. mtns. and had just walked in about 1 1/2 miles to some fields created by our Game Commission. It was October and the leaves had mostly dropped and were dry and crunchy. Walking was VERY noisy and as I approached a field, I stopped to catch my breath & survey the area from the cover of the woods. As I looked out around the fields, I caught a movement to my right in my peripheral vision. I turned my head to see what moved and right on the other side of the tree I was standing beside was a bear of about 200 lbs. I could have reached out with my bow & touched his nose!!! ( squishy sensation in drawers ). To this day I have no idea how he got right up on me with it being so noisy in the woods. I heard NO sound. He had to have watched me walk in. And I only stopped about 30 seconds earlier!!!

He looked at me 3 or 4 times between his looks out into the field. He sniffed the air a few times and then just slowly walked in front of me and angled off to my left and out into the corner of the field. He didn't hurry at all, but sniffed the ground all the way into the woods on the other side of the field. The time he spent standing beside me was about 40 - 45 seconds. Seemed like 20 minutes. I never moved - probably a good thing. Don't know what would've happened if I startled him being that close.
After the heartbeat settled down, I thought it was a pretty cool experience.

That memory is as clear & fresh today as if it just happened.
 
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dipper

Guest
He was probably chewing on clams or snails if he was at the edge of a pond.
Bears make very little noise in thick habitat. They are stealth.
I've been charged by a 300 pound grizzly while I was gutting out an elk I just shot in Montana. He stopped at 30 yards and just looked at me. I wasn't going to give him one more step, most would have shot him. The thought of dealing with shooting an endangered animal was the only thing going through my head. Kinda sad I was thinking about getting arrested and not my life. Glad it turned out.
Black bears are more afraid of you than them. Especially if a season is starting soon.
 

foggy

5 year old buck +
I took my SIL on his first bear hunt quite a few years ago. We used a baiting service up in NW MN. My SIL said he kept hearing a slight noise and felt the presence of "something". He had his pack under the seat on his tree-stand....and had a can of chew on top of the pack. His stand was about 8-9 feet high. He looked down between his legs to grab his chew.....and saw a bear's paw reaching for the chew too! He immediately shot the small bear as it backed down the tree.

He got so panicked.....and did not want to crawl over the dead bear at the base of his tree.....so he jumped from his tree stand and walked out to find me.

I stood in some trees just off the road after dark, waiting to meet our ride. He was about a mile down the road from my stand. He came walking.....down the middle of the road....trying to whistle and make some noise. His eyes were as big as saucers and he was on full alert looking for bears. Grin. I love telling his kids this story. ;)

Every good bear hunt has a good story. ;)
 

NWWI

5 year old buck +
Every bear that I have encountered in wisconsin has ran when it was aware I was there. They get chased by dogs or shot at from bird feeders. They try to avoid people and they are silent when they want to be.
 

Ben.MN/WI

5 year old buck +
Every bear that I have encountered in wisconsin has ran when it was aware I was there. They get chased by dogs or shot at from bird feeders. They try to avoid people and they are silent when they want to be.

I drew a WI bear tag last year and I was pretty excited to hunt the bear that I had seen on trail camera for years. That old bear enjoyed chewing up and crapping on my permanent stands, so I figured he deserved to get shot. All of the bears that visited the bait site were scared of everything, so it was clear there was a bigger one in the area that they were worried about. On my way back to the cabin after a morning in stand I decided to still hunt along my tree rows that bordered my corn field. 50 yards in front of me a big bear stuck his head out of the corn and looked at me. He decided that I wasn't worth worrying about and he stepped out of the corn and onto the trail I was on. He took several shots through the boiler room with a .300 WSM, but after each shot he would get back up and keep moving. Eventually he ran out of steam before I ran out of shells. It was pretty unique to see a big predator like that look at me and decide I wasn't a threat and continue walking right in front of me. He knew I was there, but he really didn't seem to care. He should have known better too since his butt was filled with #6 steel shot that he probably received from raiding a bird feeder or garbage can years earlier. That old boar ended up field dressing at 421 pounds.

The rest of the bears I saw feeding at the bait site acted pretty playful and seemed to be scared of everything. I definitely agree that the vast majority of bears are scared of their shadows and will run away from people, but there are a few running around that act differently.

I have to walk by that field in the dark every time I walk back to the cabin after bowhunting deer. If the wind is right, you can probably hear me whistling and clapping a mile away. I have no desire to meet that bear's twin brother any time soon so I make sure they have plenty of chances to hear me coming and run the other way.
 

huntall

5 year old buck +
Let me tell you if we had bears in my neck of the woods.....my boy would never hunt till dark!
Boogeymonsters is enough..bears too...I don't think he would ever hunt till dark. lol
 

OkieKubota

5 year old buck +
Bear camper.JPG Back in 2008 we got our first trail cam picture of a small sow on our deer lease. We had no idea any bears were anywhere in the country... fast forward to now and they are an outright nuisance and very common... like overgrown raccoons is my best way to describe them. I got pictures of 8 different bears on a mineral block of all places. They tear pretty much everything they get around up including campers... this was one of our members campers...
 

Ben.MN/WI

5 year old buck +
Let me tell you if we had bears in my neck of the woods.....my boy would never hunt till dark!
Boogeymonsters is enough..bears too...I don't think he would ever hunt till dark. lol

It sure makes the walk back to the cabin in the dark more interesting. One night I watched a fat bear walk into the corn field that I had to walk through 10 minutes later. I whistled extra loud on that walk home.

Before we built our cabin, we would just sleep in the truck when we stayed at my land during hunting trips. More than once we heard bears snapping their jaws in the alder thicket 50 yards from the truck when they knew we were there. I'm not sure what the bears were trying to tell us, but we stayed out of that thicket.
 
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dipper

Guest
You haven't lived until you have to pull a dog off of a 300 pound black bear. If that doesn't get your blood pumping, nothing will.
 

Ogemaone

5 year old buck +
image.jpg image.jpg How would you like to walk in on this big boy. Hope he stays around.
 

foggy

5 year old buck +
^ Wow....he is a pig!
 
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