GARY'S BLACK BEAR HUNT - TOK ALASKA 2007
This story is named "Three Strikes...You're Out!" Shannon and I, (that guy should be getting a royalty check as much as his name is used in these bear stories), went hunting on June 16th with the hopes of me finally taking a bear with my bow. I had gone the night before and sat for eight hours and didn't even see a bear, so I wasn't too optimistic to say the least. Anyway here we go... We got to the bait station and put out some scent and climbed into the stand at 5:30pm. Around 6:00 I was getting tired so I decided to lay down and take a nap. Fifteen minutes later, Shannon was shaking me and saying "Bear, bear!" When I looked out, there was a bear walking out from under our stand. Luckily Shannon heard him, because I was sound asleep. I slowly got up to watch the bear. He didn't even mess with the barrel. He ate some food laying on the ground and was only around for about ten minutes, then he left. I was thinking "Great...that was probably the only time I would see a bear all night." After about 30 minutes, my heart settled back down and I was ready to take another nap. I laid back down and fell asleep. Not long after that, the same bear came back in. Although this bear was long and lanky, I had decided I would take him if he presented a shot. He didn't mess with the barrel this time either and was only around the station for about fifteen minutes, never presented a shot and left...again. Now I'm just frustrated; same bear, two times, no shot. I started getting tired again shortly after so I laid down and try to take another nap. (See where this is going?) Sure enough about 20 minutes later that same bear came in again for the third time. This time he he hung around longer and was eating dog food from under the logs we used to "crib" the barrel. I stood up, nocked an arrow and anxiously hoped the bear would turn to give me a quartering away shot. Guess what? He finally cooperated! By this time my heart had settled and I was relaxed. I talked myself through the shot process, before I even drew my bow. It was just like target practice. I got the bear in my sight picture, concentrated on my front pin and let the arrow fly. It was a complete pass through, taking out both lungs and lodging in a log on the other side of the bear. The bear went only five yards and rolled up. GAME OVER! It had been years since I had taken a big game animal with my bow, now that monkey was off my back. I thanked God for the bear and took a minute to reflect. I couldn't wait any longer, so we got down to go see bear. After a few pictures, Shannon and I prepped the bear, loaded up and headed back home. The fun was over and the work was about to start.
(click to enlarge)