Bear Hunting Update
What a year. I hoped, as always, that the next bear hunting update would include a picture of me sitting with a dead bear, a photo taken moments after pulling the trigger. Moments before field dressing and heading off to the tagging station and the butcher.
Sows & Cubs
Sows and cubs – at all three sites. We have a small sow with twins behind the house, one with triplets and another with twins at the first site, and one with twins at the second site. This is the first time we’ve had two sows with cubs at the same site. Other bears tend to disappear from our sites when mommas show up with cubs in tow. No other bears have come to site one since the single bear walked through a few days after setting up the site. At two, they showed up and Big, the 350 pound bear I have my eye on, disappeared. They all disappeared for a few days. It’s been quiet. I enjoy watching the cubs on game cameras but they don’t put meat in the freezer.
This is site one.
Behind the house.
They’re hard to see so I cropped the pic from site two.
The Big Boar
And then, on Monday night, Big returned. He’s (he is an assumption, I didn’t personally check) gained a lot of fat since he disappeared so wherever he’s been, there’s plenty of food. That could be anywhere. The amount of natural food available is unreal and now that we’ve gotten a little rain the mushrooms should start. That’s a 50 gallon barrel he’s in front of. He’s now bigger than the barrel. We can use a little bear fat for things like biscuits but at this point weight isn’t a “trophy” as it’s just a lot of fat. We’re in this for the meat. If we weren’t I wouldn’t have taken a 101 pound bear last year. Maine has too many bears. Any bear taken to be eaten is perfectly acceptable with the exception of sows and cubs. Sows because they’re raising cubs and cubs because they provide so little meat.
I didn’t talk about this much last year. It was a hard year. Steve is sitting at site two, where I usually sit, for two reasons. There’s nothing to harvest at one. And, last year I was harassed for weeks. It got rough. It started with someone dumping fish guts around my then new truck. I couldn’t get around the gate without stepping over the smelly guts. I couldn’t leave a window cracked open because of the stench. Then, they left blueberries for me to walk in. If I’d stepped in them I’d have taken the smell of blueberries into my tree stand and up the ladder with me.
And then it got worse. They rode ATV’s behind my site. Not too smart, riding ATV’s in the line of fire.
When I didn’t pack up and leave they came in behind my stand and yelled. I ignored them. They came back and fired off shots. The warden hung out on the road to my site for a while.
My truck was parked outside the gate (I hunt on private land) in full view of a somewhat busy road. People partied by the truck. I could hear them so I got down from the stand, walked out far enough that the key fob’s signal could reach the truck while leaving me out of sight, and hit the panic button.
Someone ran hounds behind my site. To a local, I’m obviously hunting there with my truck parked outside the gate every day except Sundays for three weeks.
They didn’t scare me but they did piss me off. They didn’t run me off. I don’t believe they wanted to hurt me, just drive me away. Nobody’s bothering Steve. I hope it stays that way.
Truce? Congrats? Random?
The night I shot my bear I was parked inside the gate, out of sight. I had to be let in, locked in, and let out. It was a pain but the
idiots people backed off for those few days the truck was out of sight. Steve and Peter’s trucks were parked outside the gate. Obviously something was going on. When they came in there wasn’t anything on or near the gate. When Peter went out to get something he found a “bear bomb” (spray can of scent attractant, not the deterrent bear spray.) on the gate. Were they calling a truce? Congratulating me? Was a successful hunter done with the spray and leaving it for me as a random token of good luck? I don’t know. I passed it on to someone else with a good luck wish.
Cross your fingers for us, would you please? I’m sitting behind the house just in case another random bear shows up (they show up, check out the barrel, maybe have a small snack, and don’t return) and Steve’s waiting for Big. We could use the meat this year. The only meat we’re raising are the chickens. One bear, big or small, and one deer would go a long way toward filling the freezer. I hope we have a harvested bear in the next bear hunting update!