My kids and I had been slowly working my stand locations every night for over a month and still hadn't had a hit on my bait. I was starting to get the tag soup taste in my mouth. Its a good thing I had positive feed back from several guys that all said "dont worry your still early" and "they will find your bait" or I would have probably re registered new bait locations. Then finally on June 7th I got my first bear on my camera. To say the girls and I were excited would be an understatement. We now new we were in the bear baiting game.
Here is a photo of my first bear on my bait.
Thanks to Chad Doyle I already had a tree stand to sit in. So the plan was to sit in the tree every night after work for the next 9 days. Well on my first night in the stand this bear came in and tried to climb in my tree stand.
I had a turn of bad luck and the bears disappeared off my baits for several days. So I went back and check my first bait with my girls and we found out that bait was getting hit by a sow and two full grown cubs. Here is a photo of them
In fact I had 2,500 photos of these bears and they were pretty much camping on my bait all day long. I figured it would be a great bait to bring my kids on and sit in the blind with me so they could see see a few bears. I had no idea they would be in for such a treat on the first day in the blind. Anyone that has girls will know its nearly impossible for them to be quiet in a blind. Top it off my blind is really only big enough for one guy with a bow. Well after about 2 hours of waiting and telling my girls to be quite I heard a noise behind the blind. I thought it was a moose that had been leaving his tracks near my blind every now and then so I didn't think much of it until it stepped on the tree cuttings I placed behind the blind for protection. Now I new it was a bear but I thought it was just one of the cubs so I asked my daughter to look out the window and tell me what it was. She did and I snapped a photo. The look on her face is priceless to me because she was sitting 6 feet away from a huge wild bear.
She looked at me and mouthed it was a big one so I peeked out expecting to see one of the cubs. Nope it truly was a big one and it was walking away. Now I had the girls attention and they were quiet the rest of the night. You could have heard a pin drop in the blind lol. After about 15 more minutes we had another bear I hadn't seen on my cameras come in walk back and forth about 50 yards out. All we could see were its legs. This bear would never commit and would eventually walk off but another 15 or so minutes went by and the sow came in and sat down on he butt like a dog sniffing the air. She new we were in the blind and also didn't commit to the blind but what a show. I don't think my kids will ever forget seeing how hard work does indeed pay off.
I was now feeding several bears and my kids started falling behind in school so I made a decision to not take them anymore and try and end the hunt as soon as i could. The bears were simply out eating what I could bring in so I made a few phone calls and in less than an hour I had several guys commit to packing in bait with me on different days during the upcoming week.
Thanks Chad, Gary, Phil, Jerry, Shawn, Ken, Kaden and Cody. Without the help from these guys I wouldn't have been able to pack in enough bait to feed all the bears. These guys all took time off work made several trips during that week and during my hunt to help me out.
The whole time I was using the blind My girls and I would put out the shirts and socks we hiked in with and we would switch with the ones we left in the blind. My hope was eventually they would have to accept our smell and not be spooked when we were in the blind.
After seeing the bears just sit there, pacing back and forth, and having a bear 6 feet away with no shots Chad thought I could get it done with a tree stand and he helped me pack one in and set it up. Did I say I hate tree stands? They scare me because I not only hate heights but im also a narcoleptic. The next night I sat in the stand until it started raining and I gladly got back into the blind lol. I had a big black boar come in again from the back side smell me and walk off with no shot opportunity. So when it got dark I swapped the cards and went home. This is what I saw when I got home.
I also had several photos of the cubs but they weren't with the sow anymore and they were coming in all day long. So I made a plan to switch things up and come in the morning and sit all day in the tree stand. I had to get the hunt done because I was simply using too much time off work. I couldn't sleep that night because I just new it was going to be a good day in the stand. So I got up early and hit the trail with 75 lbs of new bait. I climbed into the stand and again nothing came in except a deer. After 2 hours of sitting in the stand and having no sleep I had t get out and get in the blind for a nap. I fell asleep for an hour or so and awoke to a weird sound in my dreams that seemed to come from one of my daughters saying "daaaddy." The sound was eerie and it kept me from falling back into a deep sleep. A few minutes later I heard a stick snap and heard munching. This is what I saw