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Not a deer but...

slonstdy

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
472
Yesterday storms came thru with heavy rains and strong winds knocking lots of leaves off the trees and sending small branches down. The forecast for today said there was the possibility of rain late in the morning for a few hours and 18mph winds with gusts up to 28mph steady throughout the day, not really the makings for an enjoyable hunt. So when the alarm went off at 4:45 this morning and I heard the wind howling I laid there for a bit contemplating what to do. The warmth of the bed had a firm hold of me and thinking about swaying in a tree in those winds in low 40 degree temps didn't seem appealing but then I thought about all those stories you hear about crappy conditions and the big deer guys have taken when they didn't think anything would be moving so I finally pulled myself up, jumped in the shower got dressed and out of the house.
I got to the tree and made the climb quickly up the "split maple". It's located on a shelf about 50 feet wide along the mountainside with a trail running perpendicular to the slope of the hill.. I positioned myself on my ROS between the split which is about two feet wide between the trunks at this height. Standing there in the darkness I again started to think this is a waste of time but then remembered that at the end of every hunting season I always curse myself for not hunting every moment I could have. I swore to myself for this season would be different and I would hunt hard.
At 7:10 in the grey light of the morning a black bear walked down the steep hillside I was facing and came almost straight to my tree. He began sniffing the ground and started eating the ground plants and stems. The downside to this tree and area is the very limited shooting lanes due to the amount of small saplings and branches growing every which way. Last week I let three doe pass by and then an 8 pointer met them 40 yds down the trail and walked past me within 14 yds but I couldn't get a shot on him. My bow was in my hand the moment I saw the bear and I started to swing around to my left as he went to my weak side on the right of the tree. He stayed around the base for a couple of minutes then looked up the tree. The wind was blowing hard in his direction, I thought maybe he got my scent, but then he got up on his hind legs with his front on the tree. This has happened to me in the past so I wasn't concerned until he started to climb up! He only got up about three feet before I said loud enough for him to hear "hey bear". He stopped and backed down the tree but stayed at the base and continued his foraging. He circled the tree a couple of times nibbling on stuff, all the while I was dancing on my steps first to the left then swinging back to the right trying to get in a good position for a shot if he presented me with one. I drew on him once but it was a bad angle with a possible branch in the way so I backed down. Scenarios were going through my head rapid fire, trying to plan for every move he could possibly make and my response to it. He came to my strong side facing away, sprawled out and began eating something. I squeezed between the trunks and decided to take the straight down shot. In the dim light I hung off the steps, put my pin on his left side and released. I heard the hit as he grunted and bolted down the hillside.
I wasn't sure where the arrow hit but planned to get down at noon and survey the area for the arrow and blood. At 10:00 the skies darkened so I decided to get down and search for blood before the coming rains washed all traces away. Found blood within five feet of where I shot him and followed a good blood trail down the steep hillside to where he was laying in the brush about 70 yds away.
This is the second animal I've taken this year and only because of hunting from a saddle was I able to do so on both. It almost feels like I have wings because I can move around so freely in any direction and concentrate solely on my shot and not worry about balance or falling or any squeaks like I would have with a treestand.
I want to thank you guys out there for all your help and for freely sharing your ideas and experiences. You have made my transition to saddle hunting an awesome experience!
 

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Deltahuntr

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
1,311
Great story and congratulations on your bear! Stay safe and good luck.
 
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