Thursday, October 7, 2010

Da Bears!

Last weekend was busy with social events which got in the way of fishing.   Wisconsin bear hunting is in full swing and 2 of my friends sent in pictures of their trophy bruins.  Because I have no fishing report for this week, sharing their stories and pictures might be something of interest.  The first picture is of my good friend John Felix and his bear hanging in the garage.  John really knows how to take a picture and this bear looks enormous.  Rather than repeat the story I copied his rendition from his e-mail as it is much more interesting.

This bear was suspect of clawing the boards on Harlan’s sugar bush on land 15 miles south of Ashland. It is the same property I shot the 350 lb. 10 years ago. Same bait as well. We hung a trail cam and looked for the largest animal, which is usually the one that marks his territory. After a month of pictures and effort it was decided that this must be the one. He was coming in mostly of and on all day, and night. The first day of season it was windy beyond. Harlan sat with me in a two man ladder stand to video. We got out early because of the wind. I waited until the following Monday to let the bait cool off and see if we had turned them nocturnal. I went to the stand and was settled in by 3:15 PM. The first time he approached he was around 35 yards + out. I had my 50 cal. TC with me but also had the bow as he looked around, turned and left the way he came. I processed all this and by the time I saw him coming back I didn’t have time to turn on the video.  When he got to the 25 yard mark, he presented a standing shot between a gap in the trees about 18 inches apart (this was like a hallway of trees and his frontal area including a heart shot was visible and I could see his head on the other side).  I knew the distance but double checked with a rangefinder. I squeezed off the shot, the broad head just grazed the triceps on the left side, caught lung and pierced the heart center mass on the top fat ring. It was a total pass through. He ran 33 yards and collapsed in 5 seconds graveyard dead.

Pretty exciting if you ask me! John claims the bear was an older male, probably in the twilight of it's life.  Although it was over 6 feet long and had a large head, the bear had practically no fat on it and weighed about 240 pounds.  A younger, healthy bear would have been much larger.  This brings me to the next picture, my friend Greg Kimblom.  Greg shot this bear with his Remington 30-06 on private property in northern Wisconsin.  The bear weighed 225 pound dressed out and was one of 5 that was visiting his baiting station.  Being further from his hunting area than John, he decided to take this one.  As you see, both bears weigh close to the same however as they say, I picture says a thousand words.  Hanging in front of John, his bear looks massive.  Posing for a quick field shot, Greg's bear doesn't look as large yet in both cases they represent the average weight of a black bear shot in the midwest.  Of course they can get much larger with reports of 600 - 700 pound boars being shot every year.  Either way these will make great rugs for the living room, assuming their wives are tolerant!

Indian Summer is in full swing and Friday night is the peak of the New Moon period, time to try our luck trolling rouges on the Mille Lacs reefs.  With temperatures in the 80's, it is too nice to pass up.  Shallow reef trolling has been slow this year however with the water temps in the 50's it's got to get better.  On Sunday morning I will be running the store at Lundeen's Tackle Castle, stop in and say hi.

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