Well here’s the story.
I’d about given up looking for elk after walking too many double digit days, when I got a whiff of some sort of rotten carcass on the mountainside. More out of midday boredom and morbid curiosity than anything else I decided to try to find the source of the sink. After following my nose about three hundred yards, I knew the carcass/gut pile had to be close and I started looking for the source. That’s when I noticed a huge pile of bear scat right in front of me. It wasn’t until then that I realized I might find a bear or a coyote feeding at the site. And at that very moment I turned to see the big sow staring at me from about 25 yards away, and I don’t mind telling you all it was a little unnerving, to say the least. The first thought that raced through my head was, that the only time black bears attack is when they have cubs or when you find their food cache. And the next though that came to mind, was that there was no way I could get my fat ass up the nearest tree before she was all over me.
2006 Longbow Bear
This is one of those occasions I wished I packed a sidearm, just in case. Ironically, the night before I’d told my brother that the 44 Mag. he packed around everyday was just unnecessary weight. But at that point considering my only backup was my pocketknife, which felt a little undersized, I sure was wishing for his pistol.
Those of you who have seen me shoot my longbow, know I probably didn’t have any business even trying to shoot that bear but I had a legal tag in my pocket and figured I’d better give it a try. I knocked an arrow and released squarely hitting the tree right next to her.I think what really freaked me out was that she didn’t so much as flinch.Deciding “what the hell” I knocked a second arrow, by this time I was shaking so bad it wasn’t even funny.As I drew back and released, my arrow hit home but I thought I’d hit too far back and as she spun, I went flying up there as fast as I could, knowing that a wounded bear on the mountain was about my worst nightmare and hoping I could get another shot. About half way there I saw black hairs behind the tree where she was standing and realized I was standing on top a big log pile about four feet off the forest floor. Thinking it wasn’t the best place to be if she decided to come back my way, I noticed that if I circled back a ways I could come in from a different angle on solid ground and get a better look. As I circled around I saw there was a bear lying at the base of the tree and I could see my arrow stuck in the tree covered with blood. I still wasn’t sure if another bear was lying there or what was going on but after further investigation, by means of throwing lots of rocks and sticks I found I had made a double lung shot and she didn’t go more than five feet!
Drew might have been as excited as me.
We later guessed her weight at around 300 lbs. I know there are a lot of you tough guys out there that probably wrassle with little cubs like this one but it was an experience I won’t be forgetting any time soon!