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Time pays off!

29 Aug

The pressure was mounting as Chris arrived.  His hunt was shortened by one day already due to work and he was fighting the clock.  I was ready as soon as he arrived to get him in his tree and utilize what daylight we had left.  Chris wasn’t concerned that he had just driven over 10 hours, he was focussed on his target.

We often advise our hunters that until a pattern is established with them on their own bait, putting the time in and sitting that stand is crucial.  Chris was no exception.  He was ready and willing and he knew his bait had been very active before his arrival.

Excitement mounted as we reached our destination and spotted 3 different scat piles directly leading to his hunt area. We cautiously approached with the new meal and his gear and to our relief the bait pile had been hit and hit hard!

As Chris climbed his tree and set his stand, I went to work masking our scents and getting another meal ready for those bruin.  As soon as we both had finished what we set out to do, I slowly retreated and made my way back to camp.

That afternoon went slow and the sun was blistering hot.  The air had settled to a stagnant and thick coating and I knew that Chris would be feeling it.  As sundown approached and he pulled in, I had to see if we had another bear down.

“Nothing today.”  His eyes were tired and the color was more pronounced on his face than it was earlier.

“I sat that stand and I didn’t see much other than birds and squirrels, but I did hear something.  It sounded like teeth clacking together.”

Chris and I both knew that there was a bear there that day.  He or she must have known something was different and it was exercising caution.

“I sat and hoped that it would come in but no go.”

We parted ways after making the next day’s plan.  We both agreed that there was a good chance of a harvest from this bait and he wasn’t going to waste that chance.

Morning came and Chris was the first out of camp.  It was a long hot day for us here at the lodge and we were all feeling sympathy for the men fully covered out in the field.  There was no break from the heat and sun and the bugs were being particularly unforgiving.  2 had come in with their harvest and now we all sat and waited in anticipation…….nothing!  No more bears that night.  Chris was still optimistic and the smile never left his face.

“I got to the bait and it had been hit.  It wasn’t as disturbed as the the first day but the logs had been rolled back and most of the food picked out.”

We had warned Chris that there were multiples on the bait and one was particularly noted for neatly rolling the logs back and politely removing what was needed so we knew that one had returned.  We advised him to get out early the next day and start before the heat could get to him.  Maybe something would be on the move and he would have an early day.

The day came and went.  A full 12 hours in the stand and not a bear in sight.  Chris said it was the most peaceful place he could find anywhere but I could see in his eyes that he was anxious to reach his goal.  He hadn’t driven all this way to sit up in a tree and watch the squirrels 🙂

A new plan was made and we called in the help of Terry, our bear expert.  Chris would head to his stand and Terry would come later and work his magic.  Terry knows each and every bait in our units and is very familiar with what and who is taking each well laid meal.

Chris again, was up and out of camp first, eager to set the plan in motion.  Terry sat and finished his coffee and laid out his supplies.

“I am heading out.  Chris should be back in within a few hours with a bear if all goes to plan.”

And with that he was gone down the road.  As the time passed and daily routine took place, Chris and his hunt were constantly in the back of my mind.  I knew that he and all of us were doing what we could and now it was a waiting game……

2:30….a black truck…..it slowed at my door.  Chris was stoic as he emerged.  As he approached the door his poker face wasnt giving anything away.

“So….”  I couldnt bring myself to ask, it was up to him to tell me.

Without a word the smile hit his face and his hand came up….HIGH FIVE!!!!  BEAR DOWN!!  All the tension left my body and the excitement mounted.  She was a nice 200lb sow and as we both suspected, probably the polite one that had so neatly taken her dinner.

“What a great but tiring hunt!”  I could see the exhaustion finally overtake him as we prepared her for her photo session.  Thanks to Terry, all the hard work Chris put in had paid off……..now it was time for a rest!

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