Best bear hunt ever...

Let me just say, when this post goes live that my wife may not talk to me for a while.

I ended up getting laid off from a job about two months before going on a scheduled bear hunt in northern Canada with my hunting buddy.  At my current stage in life I knew that if I didn't go on that hunt that year I would dream about it until retirement rolled around.  So I sold my perch fishing boat to go.  And we went.

I've only had one thing at the taxidermist prior and call him to ask if he could do a bear.  Not only could he but he would give a deal if he could come with us.  Talked it over with my hunting buddy, by talk it over he slapped my upside my head and said, "call him right now and tell him yes."

Fast forward a bit, I'm in the tree stand on the forth night, in the middle of nowhere, holding a stick and string and an arrow hoping something three times bigger than me, capable of slashing me in half with one swipe of the paw, walks passed my.  And with an hour a light left one black bear did.  I let my arrow go, I saw it hit its mark and heard the sound every archer wants to hear, and that bear ran.

Now if you've never been in this situation, let me tell you that ever single cell in your body is listen since you cannot see anything past your shooting lane.   And with every cell intently listening and you hear a bear's death moan, its enough to make a grown man pee a little.  If you're not familiar with the death moan, basically the bear uses its last breath to scare the crap out of you.

Got my bear, not huge, not a baby, but a bear.  Later on the next day the taxidermist rolls into camp shaking, chain smoking, saying he's shot the biggest bear he has ever seen.  Poking fun at him we go to help him retrieve his bear.  All of us doubt the size of this bear as the taxidermist has never shot a bear before and a lot of people misjudge the size for the first time.  But when we saw this bear, OMG.  After all the shooting and cheering and some French Canadian speak from the guide died down, I stood with my feet on the belly of this giant and couldn't see my hunting buddy on the other side.

So fast forward a bit more, we are back home over a month now and I think I had enough cash saved up to get my bear mounted.  The taxidermist was so grateful for the whole experience he said he would do my bear up anyway I wanted at cost.  He came over and we spent about an hour going over forms, mouth pieces, eyes, whole thing.  He had everything he needed except the hide.  We walked out to the garage, opened the freezer and the stench of deaths was over powering.  He grabbed the bag from me and ran to his truck saying I might be able to save it as he drove away.

I walked in and ask my wife what happened?  Throughout the past few years she has changed her story a couple times about how or why she unplugged the freezer but she has always taken ownership of it.  

Couple days later the taxidermist stops by with a necklace he made from the claws of the bear and was deeply apologetic.  That necklace was all I had to remember that hunt.  Couple years later, same wife, same bear claw necklace somehow made it to the dogs mouth and she mistook it for a chew toy. 

If yo ever get a chance to stop in the range while Candice is there, ask here where the bear mount is and pray she doesn't hit me to hard later.


As a vegetarian I shot my first deer.

Before I start, please remember we all make mistakes in our lives.  I was a vegetarian and a card carrying member of PETA for ten years.  My wife was pregnant with our first child and like many new parents we were planning out this little ones future including what she would eat the rest of her life.  "I'm not raising this kid vegetarian," said the wife, who wouldn't even consider eating a salad without bacon on it.

Around this same time a good friend whom taught me archery was telling me the ultimate archery challenge was to successfully take down a whitetail.  Still a card carrying member of PETA at the time, I couldn't do it.  Shortly after that my workload had lightened up drastically and I had time to read some of my buddies hunting magazines and started listening to his stories.

But when my buddy said it took him 3 years to shoot his first deer, I knew I could beat him.  Call it pride or male stupidity, all I knew was capably of doing this better than him.  He helped me scout all summer long, lent me a climbing stand, and was more than willing to offer his help (and laugh at my ignorance).

Third day of archery season, he dropped me off at my spot and drove down the road to his spot.  I got in my stand and settled down faster than the previous two days.  I was ready.  Just as the sun was setting, 5 bucks walked in from my left.  As soon as I saw movement my eyes locked onto once shoulder blade as he walked 20 yards in front of me and turned broadside.

I shot a small 6 point.  

I watched him mule kick and run towards the nearby river.  I sat back down and tried waiting the couple hours like the book says.  5 minutes later I climbed down, retrieved my blood covered arrow, and walked towards wear my friend was going to pick me up.

A short bit latter he pulled up and opened the passenger door from the inside and said, "Hop in."  Without the hint of a smile I asked, "we gonna go get my deer first?"

"B@#*S%&."  All I did was lift up the arrow.  His eyes got wide and before he could say anything i was telling him every little detail.

So we grabbed our flashlights and headed into the woods.  Found the blood trail and started tracking.  My friend was ahead of me because he didn't want me to screw up, I mean he was teaching.  Just than he said we should switch and I could continue.  We did, I took one more step and there he was.

This little guy is hanging by the cash register at the range.  My not look like a trophy and I get comments from time to time about the size of the rack, or wasting my money for getting that mounted.  I've shot bigger bucks and black bear, landed some huge steelhead and a couple natural brownies, that small 6 point is the biggest trophy I have.  I still have the picture of me crouched behind it holding my PETA membership card.  

My interaction with police

Let me first say I've had more interaction with police officers from New Jersey to Indiana than I will ever admit to you in person.  I am not the biggest "fan" of modern law enforcement.  With that being said and all the news stories about cops lately, I feel its important to tell a about one particular run in I had with a small municipality in Lake county who's officers generally have a poor reputation. 

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