This evening was an event filled one. Hank and I waited a little longer to head up to the water hole today because there was not a lot of action at it until just before dark yesterday. It was in the 80’s and the hike felt longer and my pack felt heavier but I was excited to hopefully see a bear.
We arrived in no time as quietly as we could. The first thing we did was grab our viewer and check the game cam to see what may have come by while we were gone. A cow elk, some cattle, a bird, an ANOTHER BEAR picture!
As I whispered this to Hank, we hard some stomping in the brush to the south. Our firsts thoughts were that it was cattle. That is when we looked at the time and low and behold it was only about 10 minutes prior to our arrival. It was not a cow we had just heard. We immediately assembled ourselves and proceeded to pursue that bear that had just been here.
We checked the wind to see what direction would be optimal and we headed into the brush from the west. It was a quick and quiet process as we made our way toward the point that would be most down wind from where we heard the sound. We proceeded and then stopped and waited. We heard some logs being tousled. We moved forward a little further then stopped and listed. We heard brush being moved. We headed into the woods a little more. The brush was thick and tough to maneuver quietly through. We edged forward peering over the oak which was more than waist-high.
I was looking for the top of a bear. I knew it would be hard to see him through the thickets and oak brush. I anticipate the sight of ears or the top of a head or maybe even the hump of his shoulders. Nothing. I edged forward a little further and then CRACK, CRASH from the tree right in front of me. Hank and I weren’t sure if it was coming or going. Our hearts jumped and the blood pumped! I raised my rifle and threw the safety in the blink of an eye and Hank reached for my pistol as we heard the crashing and then it moved away. The bear was no more than 15 feet away in that tree before it moved. He was hidden and concealed below the brush. We ran forward a few paces trying to get a good view of him. Logs bumped and branches broke as he headed to the top of the hill where we were. He was now no more than 50 yards from us but we still could not see him. We could hear as he walked slowly across the top.
We didn’t want him to run so we quietly retreated back to the water hole to formulate our next move, or maybe just to wait. We waited for nearly an hour and heard a few bumps of logs over in that thicket to the south. We listened to see if they were moving closer or further. We must have been sitting there, listening, whispering and telling our story over and over again about the excitement before for at least an hour. A chipmunk shreaked and we heard brush movement to the south. Could it be him? Would he come out into the open soon?
We waited, huddled in the oak brush hearing thumps and cracks to the east and constantly checking the north and west. We have seen tracks from at least nine bears so we were sure another could possibly come from the other direction. Then it was quiet. What ever was coming from the south behind the brush had quit moving. We continued to wait. It would be about 15 minutes to sunset and then 30 more minutes of shooting light.
Suddenly out of the corner of my eye I saw movement. I looked through the branches and saw a bear cub trotting by from the north. Now my heart really raced. I whispered to Hank because I knew he hadn’t seen the cub. “A cub!” I showed him where and my hand shook. As quickly as I saw the cub, it was gone. I told Hank, “If there was a cub there, where was its mother?!”
We sat as still and silent as we could. My heart pounded out of my chest and the blood was pumping so hard that I felt like the top of my head was coming off. Hank said he heard a snort some distance behind us. My heart raced more if that is possible. We peered around through the branches we were hidden in. We saw nothing. We waited what seemed like an eternity without hearing another sound or seeing another movement. We finally made the decision to head out before dark just in case we came to a confrontation with that mother bear.
I stood outside the bush and scanned the area for bears while Hank gathered my pack. I was worried that sow may be near, and I am sure Hank was even more worried since he wasn’t the one with a gun. We strapped the packs on and quietly headed down the mountain as the sun went down. I am glad to know the sow is in there. Tomorrow we will be sure to look for the big man and steer clear of her. Thanks to God, we never did get a glimpse of that sow today!
Advertisements on this site do not express or represent the opinion of MAC Outdoors or Mia Anstine.