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PA Public Land Archery Bear from a Saddle

Jul 29, 2020
I just received my new H2 Saddle last week. Put the first sit in it on Saturday morning buck hunting and didn't see any. For the evening sit I went out to a new piece of public land that I've never hunted. Its located next to a private land corn field. I bushwacked back and found a tree next to a beaver pond and some cattails and set up 4 hawk helium sticks and my new cranford ring of steps. The new H2 saddle had me positioned nicely.

Saturday in PA started a bear season for archery and muzzleloader. I had a bear tag but have never seen a bear archery hunting so I was not planning on bear hunting on Saturday. After an hour of sitting I couldn't believe it but there was a bear walking beside the beaver pond. It disappeared into the thick brush awhile, then I hear something moving and saw black. It came out broadside about 25 yards with a ton of saplings between us. I saw a small opening that I could shoot through and came to full draw. After standing still for 30 seconds the bear started moving quickly and I pointed and shot quick. I saw the arrow hit back and low. Oh no, I think its a gut shot! I thought instead of waiting I better trail this bear a little while before dark because this place is thick everywhere around. After a steady zigzagging blood trail for a ways with no gut signs, blood slowed significantly and went into some tall swamp grass. It was getting dark and I made the decision to come back at first light. I wasn't confident in the hit, plus tracking in that swamp with flashlights probably wouldn't work very well.

First light my dad and I tracked and tracked and tracked through cattails, hardwoods, thick swamp grasses and brush. This bear was all over the place. After 4 hours and the blood trail crossing back over where we were already tracking and really confusing us (we missed the cross blood trail the first time through), we were starting to lose hope that we would find it. I starting making a circle to try to pickup where it went out. After awhile my dad yelled for me to come over. I went over and there was the bear dead, about 20 yards from where we already tracked, out in plain sight. We were so focused on the blood trail we didn't see it 20 yards away. We drug it out through the hardwoods, 890 yards in an ice fishing sled. My brother came to give us a hand. We rigged a rope up so 3 guys could drag and it worked great. The easiest 1/2 mile drag you could imagine.