We don t have porcupines where I live. We also don t have many bears, so when the occasional one is spotted, the 6 o clock news reports about the posse that stalked the poor bruin through a ritzy neighborhood. So if I want to hunt bears or see porcupines, I go somewhere that seems exotic to me, like coastal British Columbia.
Upon arriving in a B.C. bear camp years ago, I noticed all the guides had porcupine quills in the tops of their caps. Minutes later, as my hunting partner, our guide, and I headed out for the afternoon s hunt, a porcupine waddled across the road in front of us. Snatching my cap from my head, the guide ran for the porcupine and slapped its back with the crown of the cap. And that s how they all got quills in their caps and I became one of the guys. Nice.
A few days later, we were on a logging road on the side of a mountain that felt like the top of the world. Although there was leftover snow on the ground, it was a warm, shirt-sleeves day. My hunting partner spotted a large black bear about 300 yards away. It was a shootable distance for him, and he had a gun with enough oomph to do the job from that range, but between us and the bear were a vertical rock cliff, a patch of thick alders loved by grizzlies, a wide creek raging with the waters of the spring thaw, and a large snowbank. Getting the bear back to the logging road looked difficult, if not impossible. He shot it anyway, and we started plotting its retrieval.
The route would be circuitous, through, around, and over the obstacles between us and the bear. Without the aid of GPS units, radios, or any other electronics, we realized just staying on course would be challenging. So the plan was that I would stay on the mountain where I could see both the bear and my fellow hunters and direct them as needed. How did I get so lucky?!
I watched the scene below as the two men navigated their way to the bear, occasionally pointing left or right to get them back on track. Finally, they reached the dead bear, and the guide turned to me with both arms stretched overhead, waving in a criss-cross manner to let me know they had found the bear. I acknowledged him with the same signal “ and suddenly pain seared through my head. I had bumped my hat while waving, and a porcupine quill had nailed my scalp.
&$%@#*!!! I yelled, reaching for the brim of my hat to remove it. The cap wouldn t budge. I tugged a little harder, but the pain was worse by the second. My head hurt, my ears throbbed, every individual tooth in my mouth pounded. I sat in the logging road with hands on each side of my hat, tugging firmly but gently. It was nailed to my head. I reached for the quills and thought I could somehow figure out which ones were pinned to me. Every one I touched made the pain worse and still didn t budge.
Finally, there was no choice but to be more aggressive, like ripping a bandage off quickly. With both hands, I pulled my hat as hard as I could. This time it came loose, every little fish hook quill end attached to a chunk of bloody scalp. I later counted 84 bloody quills.
I dropped my head into my hands, my fingers massaging my aching scalp, my eyes clenched. Soon I realized my arms felt strangely warm, and I opened my eyes to find my hands and sleeves soaked in blood. My head was gushing, and I needed to stop the bleeding. I recalled that just down the logging road was a small waterfall, the runoff of the spring thaw. I walked there, blood streaming into my face and over my clothes, and stuck my head in the icy water. It worked; in a few minutes, the bleeding finally stopped, and I washed the blood from my hair.
I looked down at myself, seeing that my shirt was a bloody, sticky mess. My hunting partners were still at least a couple of hours from returning. I could see for miles, but there was (probably) no one around to see me. So I took off my shirt, washing it in the waterfall, streams of blood running down the roadside. I rinsed it until the water ran clean, then wrung it out. I found a sunny spot and spread it out on a rock to dry.
In the meantime “ combless and mirrorless “ I arranged and fluffed my hair with my fingers, trying to get it dry. My shirt eventually dried enough to wear, and I got myself dressed and back together. Minutes later, my partners emerged from the ravine, loaded with bear, and there I sat on the big rock where they had left me.
I could only imagine how shocked my hunting partners must be when they returned to find me in such a mess, especially after they had climbed down a rock cliff, crossed thick alders, waded a raging creek, trudged through a snow slide, field-dressed and skinned a bear, and returned through the same hazards with their first load of bear hide and carcass.
But they didn t say a word! OK, they re excited about the bear, I thought. Soon they ll finish telling their story and will notice. Not a word. Nada. Nobody noticed.
I guess I could easily attribute their negligence of my ordeal to their being men. I could call them inattentive and self-centered. In reality, they didn t notice because, after a week in bear camp, a waterfall shower and mirrorless grooming didn t hurt my appearance at all.
See the original article at TheHuntersWife.net
I met Hannah at the youth bear hunt when I was interviewing the kids that the ABC Sportsmen s Club had sponsored. This spunky little gal was raring to go and told me she would be on a hunting show some day! You go Girl!
Here is 12 year old Hannah s Bear Hunt in her own words:
The first day we went out and we checked on the baits in the beginning of the day. We saw 2 cubs alone and there was 1 mother and 3 cubs. It was a good sized mother, but of course you can t shoot a mother with cubs. Then at around 2 o clock we looked at one bait, and we saw medium sized tracks and we guessed around a 200 pound bear.
We got ready and we decided to go after it. We let 1 dog go and started to hear the howling and we let 3 more and then another 2. They all started howling and we kept going back and forth and back and forth because they kept on running on the bear tracks for 2 hours because the bear would not go up a tree.
The bear was running in circles. My guide Larry noticed there were 3 dogs going in one direction and 3 dogs going in the other and it was weird because we think there was a small 100 pound (bear) and another 200 pound bear. Three dogs were chasing after one and 3 dogs were chasing after the other. We put 3 more (dogs) out there and we ended up with the 100 or so pound bear up a tree.
We had to walk at least a mile out in the woods and we found it. It was up in a tree and it was about 125 pounds.
We were getting the dogs tied back and getting ready to shoot and it went down the tree. It ran out and he let the dogs go again. Larry asked if
I wanted to go for a different one and I said no because none of the other kids had one yet at this time.
Our truck was way over on the other side and we were closer to some trucks on this side of the woods where there were other people that helped us. He (Larry) went to get our truck and we heard howling really close to us. One of the other hunters came back and he said that the bear was on the side of the road up in a tree.
We ran down the road and there it was up a tree and all the dogs were there. Then I shot it once and got it in the lungs and then it climbed up the tree. We didn t know if I missed it or not. It was weird and then we hit it again, I think in the neck and it still wouldn t drop. So we hit it 1 more time and it finally dropped. It weighed about 125 pounds.
Hannah s first words when she saw the bear were I can t believe this! It s like I m dreaming.
A big THANK YOU to the Medford Hunter Safety Instructors, Ashland Bayfield County Sportsmen Club, Bayfield County Wisconsin DNR Warden Pat Quaintance, and Guide Larry Leer of Ettrick, WI and his entire crew of awesome Hunters for making this little girl s unbelievable wish happen.
Youth can sign up for the WI LTBH (Learn to Bear Hunt) program on the WI DNR webpage or at a DNR Service Center or at a hunter s safety class.
One more note: Hannah has also taken her first deer in the WI Youth hunt last weekend. Congratulations Hannah.
See the original article at CampWildGirls.com
Team HuntingLife.com Date-9/12 and 9/13
Opening Weekend Opening morning and the weather was not what we had hoped for. Temps on Saturday morning were in the 60 s and 100% humidity. Terri Lee was hunting and since Kale was working Joe Sharp took over the filming.
Oma and Opa picked up Tali Friday night, (she was not happy) so we could head out early in the a.m. Tom is working so he can t watch her. Joe and Amy had supper with us and I took my last shots with the bow from the garage rooftop. Everything is ready. All my clothes have been washed in scent killing laundry soap and placed into a tub with cedar and pine boughs, even my underwear and socks. I am going all out after that big buck.
4:20 the alarm goes off and I am not ready to get up. 2 nights without sleep, due to excitement, had me dragging. 4:25 I am out of bed and into the shower. We are going to be chasing after a big buck that we have seen on the trail cams, but not this a.m. We are doing a trial run at the apple tree stand. The big buck has been coming in early evening and we do not want to spook him but I do want to get some jitters and bugs worked out. We see two small bucks and a doe as we thought we would.
I head over to pick up Tali and go home for some much needed rest and later a change of babysitters. Auntie Nicky picks up Tali at 4:00 p.m. Tom will get Tali back after work and meet me back at home, after hunting. Into the shower again, as it is so hot and I am so sweaty I have to become scent free again. Joe picks me up at 4:30 so we can head into the stand early. It is so still and muggy.
We take the wheeler in at 5:00 and bait the stand like we did the night before. We have been running the wheeler in every night at 5:00 for 2 weeks picking up trail cam pictures trying to pattern this buck. We are hoping to get the deer used to the wheeler noise also. Joe returns the wheeler to a remote spot while I get set up. We get settled in sweat pouring off of us.
Around 6:00 we have a visit from a pesky bear. We have only seen him in here once on the cameras and he picks tonight to show up. He does not want to leave. It is getting closer to the time we have been patterning our buck and we want him out of there. We start throwing rocks from our Grab-it bag. We put it in the stand earlier just in case something like this would happen. We never hit the bear but Joe almost took me out as his rock ricocheted and nearly hit me in the head! lol. He should have had that on camera.
Joe finally decided he was going to get down and chase the bear out. (I was going to film because I knew this was going to be good!) When he stood up to get out of the stand, the bear finally walked away. He was not happy he huffed and puffed as he sauntered off.
Nothing more came in and we headed out at dark, planning to return the following morning. When I arrived home, supper was waiting for me. I have an awesome husband!
9/13-My husband Tom is home this morning so no need for babysitter. Joe picks me up at 5:15 again. We head into the stand in the dark. Not much happening this morning. We think the bear has changed the dynamics of things. Weather is still very humid and warm. We pull the trail cam pictures and head home to review. We want to know how long it was before the big buck returned last time, after the bear raid. He had been back the following day. That was good news and we were hoping he will make an appearance tonight.
I Head back home for family time, a nap and another shower.
5:00 p.m. Joe and I head back to the stand again. Same routine. Joe drops me off and ditches the wheeler. We get settled in. It is probably close to 80 degrees just slightly less humid than last night. The air is very still though, no breeze. Around 6:00 we have a small doe come into the bait pile. She hangs around for a short time.
We can hear something coming in from behind us and circling around. Through the limbs I can see the deer and I get a glimpse of horn. My heart begins to race slightly. If the pattern we have seen is true, the 9 pt will come in, followed by the big buck. He finally steps out head down and I can see it is the 9 pt. He looks up directly at us. We don t move a muscle.
The mosquitoes are biting my cheek and back of my neck but I know I cannot move. I know I am not going to take this one but if we spook this him, the big one will not show up for sure. He continues to look at us and then moves back into the woods and comes around at a new angle. At one point I thought it was the big buck coming in and my heart was jumping out of my chest. I took some long, silent deep breathes to try and compose myself. Then it felt like my heart totally stopped. I thought maybe I had had a heart attack and just hadn t fallen over yet.
The deer kept staging for quite some time, coming in part way and then retreating. He finally departed, and it was pretty dark in the woods by now. We never spooked him and I don t think he knew we were there. I didn t realize until I talked to Joe that it was the 9pt all along. The big buck didn t come in and we will not be back to hunt there for a few days. We will be checking the trail camera, though to see what he is up to and work on a plan from there. Later in the week I will be filming Kale. Stay tuned for more!
Remember to join us on www.wisconsinoutdoorsnetwork.com!
See the original article at CampWildGirls.com