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Posted: 7/29/2010 3:24:32 PM EDT
One of my deer hunting buddies finally got a bear tag, after 10 years of applying. He's gonna hunt over bait in the Nicolet. He has a cabin up north (so do his parents, and his brother, all 3 cabins on the same lake near Eagle River) but he lives down south, near Waukesha. Since I'm only a few miles from the baiting site, and I've hunted the area for 20 yrs and know every inch of it, I offered to help place the bait during the week when he can't be up north. I put up my new trail-cam to see what comes in. In less than 2 weeks, I'm astounded that I've gotten over 400 videos (20 seconds each) and there's 7 or 8 adult bears and 3 cubs coming every day. Two of them are in the 450-500lb range. There's one sow with three cubs.

Monday of this week, as I approached the bait site about 2pm, I got within 20 yards when suddenly one of the smaller bears (about 200lbs) suddenly stood up in the brush about 15 yds from me. I set down the two 5 gallon buckets I was carrying and drew my holstered 1911 and racked a shell into the empty chamber. I had a CMC "Super Mag" with 10 rnds of 230gr hydroshoks, and two more in a mag-holder on my belt... but I suddenly felt "under-gunned" when the bear walked toward me instead of running off. I reached down with my free hand and threw him a stale chocolate bismark from one of the buckets. I hit him in the left front paw with it... but he took another step toward me, so I threw him another one. He then picked it up and started eating it as I backed away. I went back to my truck about 100 yds away, looking over my shoulder the whole time.

Yesterday, I went out again, this time a bit earlier - about noon. I brought along a freon operated air-horn, a big can of pepper spray... and as a last resort, a Super Blackhawk in .44mag, loaded with 300gr LBT hard-cast handloads. I blew the air horn every 15yds or so on the way in, and talked loudly, whooping and hollering. All went well. I swapped out the SD cards in the camera, put the bait in the hole we dug, then covered it with the pine logs we cut from a nearby dead tree. I was walking back up the trail to my truck, not expecting any trouble so I was quiet, and when I rounded a slight corner, there was one of the bigger bears (about 450lbs or so) coming down the trail toward me. We spotted each other about the same time.... we weren't 25 yds apart. I dropped the empty buckets and grabbed for the pistol with one hand and the air-horn with the other. One blast of the air horn and he ran back up the rail. I didn't holster the .44 until I got back to my truck.

Living up north, I see a lot of bears, coyotes, even some wolves.... but i'm usually in my truck when I see the bears. Being 25 yds from a startled bear, with no escape vehicle, is a "differant" feeling. It's an adrenalin rush, that's for sure... and helluva lot of fun.
Link Posted: 7/29/2010 4:55:21 PM EDT
Won't it be kind of hard for you buddy to hunt them after you scare them off blowing on that air horn not to mention all that loud talking?
Link Posted: 7/29/2010 5:15:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Parruthead:
Won't it be kind of hard for you buddy to hunt them after you scare them off blowing on that air horn not to mention all that loud talking?


Nope...when the season comes the shooter goes into the bait with the dood and his buckets. Business as usual except when the dood leaves the shooter stays...if all goes well...bang!...then the fun stops.
That said...here's what I know after a good many years stompin the woods...fear the bear that don't fear you!
Good luck!

Link Posted: 7/29/2010 6:41:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/30/2010 3:47:08 PM EDT by rfb45colt]
Originally Posted By Parruthead:
Won't it be kind of hard for you buddy to hunt them after you scare them off blowing on that air horn not to mention all that loud talking?


Nope. It serves two purposes. First, it's supposed to scare off any bears that are in the bait area, so you don't find yourself between a sow & her cubs. Second, it lets them know, if they're in earshot, that it's din-din time.... as soon as we're gone.

The big one I ran into yesterday was in the bait pile 22 minutes after I turned the camera back on. I went back today and baited again, and swapped SD cards. When I looked at the 68 videos I got since yesterday, I checked to see how long it took him to return. The camera gets triggered when I lock the bear proof box after I turn it back on, which is the last thing I do before leaving. The next time it got triggered, 22 minutes later, it was the bear. It was about 5 minutes after turning the camera on, that I bumped into him on my way back to the truck. So it took him about 17 minutes to swing back around behind me, and hit the bait. I know it's the same bear, because he has a unique mark on his right rump where the hair has been worn off by rubbing his ass on a tree (I've got him doing it on video, several times).

The air-horn acts as a dinner bell. When the season opens, my buddy's brother will drop him off, but they'll both walk into his stand, blowing the air-horn occasionally. Then when he's up in his tree stand, his brother will walk out, blow the air-horn a few times, get in the truck and leave. That's the same routine we've been using, and will continue to use... except the part about the shooter staying behind.

BTW... I have undisputed video proof that the old saying is true.... bears do shit in the woods.
Link Posted: 7/29/2010 6:57:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/30/2010 8:21:09 AM EDT by rfb45colt]
Originally Posted By dIIshoots:
Originally Posted By Parruthead:
Won't it be kind of hard for you buddy to hunt them after you scare them off blowing on that air horn not to mention all that loud talking?


Nope...when the season comes the shooter goes into the bait with the dood and his buckets. Business as usual except when the dood leaves the shooter stays...if all goes well...bang!...then the fun stops.
That said...here's what I know after a good many years stompin the woods...fear the bear that don't fear you! Good luck!



No shit. That 200lb bear that walked toward me on monday, after I yelled at him several times, was more scary than the 450lb bear that ran like hell when he saw me, on wednesday (the air-horn didn't hurt on wednesday... I didn't have it with me on monday, cuz the freon ran out and I didn't get another can until tuesday). That's why I left the .45acp at home and brought the .44mag after that incident. I've got a Dan Wesson .44 also, but it has a 10" barrel with a scope mounted to the rib. It's not much good for close-up self-defense. I ordered a 4" barrel from Numrich, but it won't get here until next monday. Double-action Dan Wesson is better than single-action Blackhawk if a bear charges. Both my partners have S&W model 19 .357s.

The second to the last thing we want to do is have to shoot one in self-defense. The last thing we want, however, is to engage one in hand-to-hand. We figure the most dangerous one is the sow with the cubs. She's only about 250lbs.... but I'm only 235lbs, and her claws and teeth are much bigger than mine, and at my age, my running days are behind me.

Link Posted: 7/30/2010 2:29:35 PM EDT
Post pics! I'll help host them if you don't have a site for it.
Link Posted: 7/30/2010 3:02:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Kuraki:
Post pics! I'll help host them if you don't have a site for it.


Right now, all I have is 20 second avi videos (459 of them in the past 13 days). The camera is a DLC Covert Assasin II. This afternoon when I baited, I switched the camera over to take stills, so I'll likely have some tomorrow that I can put on photobucket. Also, tomorrow, we're setting up 2 more cameras, both are Bushnell Trophy compacts.

We got a really cool video yesterday.... the two largest bears are fighting over the bait!!! When we got there today, we noticed a bunch of small balsam trees in the bait area were knocked flat. It wasn't til we downloaded the SD card that we knew how they got knocked down. That video is 13.7MB (it happened at . 5:36pm yesterday, so it's in daylight color... the after-dark infrared videos are only about 4MB) All the action takes place in the first 4 seconds... after that they're not in view of the camera. I really wish it recorded sound too. If you'd like to see it, I can e-mail it to you. It'll take a while to download it, but it's worth it.

Link Posted: 7/30/2010 3:05:31 PM EDT
Watch that shit...a 200 pound blackie displaying that kind of agressive crap has NO FEAR of you. Those buggers can move faster than the speed of light...well almost. Get real good with that Dan Wesson remember your kill shot on a charge is the head...if it was me I would take the scope off and get about 100 rounds of XTP. you know the rest of the drill.

+ 1 on the pic's!!
Link Posted: 7/30/2010 3:46:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/4/2010 6:19:47 PM EDT by rfb45colt]
Originally Posted By dIIshoots:
Watch that shit...a 200 pound blackie displaying that kind of agressive crap has NO FEAR of you. Those buggers can move faster than the speed of light...well almost. Get real good with that Dan Wesson remember your kill shot on a charge is the head...if it was me I would take the scope off and get about 100 rounds of XTP. you know the rest of the drill.

+ 1 on the pic's!!


The scope and the barrel are coming off monday, when the new barrels arrive (I ordered both a 4" and a 6"). Until then, the Blackhawk will have to do. In watching those two fight yesterday, I doubt I'd have enough time to get off more than one or two shots. Those SOBs are effin quicker than a cat. It's amazing to see them in action. The ammo I'm using is handloads that I've used for deer hunting. 300gr hard cast LBTs over the 20grs of H110. Out of that 10" barrel, I've chronographed them at an average of just under 1,300fps. I shot a whitetail buck with one a few years ago, from a head-on angle. It penetrated the deer from end to end. They'll for sure penetrate a bear's thick skull.
Link Posted: 7/30/2010 6:07:20 PM EDT
That is neat the way you trick them into learning the dinner bell.. !! I think I have 2 or 3 points towards my permit. I don't have a place to hunt or dogs chase them for me but i'll look into that when i get closer to get my tag,
Link Posted: 7/30/2010 6:14:51 PM EDT
I got my tag last year, all I can say, a 3 inch hollow point 12 gauge slug stops a bear in its tracks. Not to mention the bear is really tasty
Link Posted: 7/30/2010 6:28:39 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Kuraki:
Post pics! I'll help host them if you don't have a site for it.


Two emails with videos attached sent your way. Watch how fast they move when pissed and in attack mode. .44 mag just doesn't seem big enough.

Link Posted: 7/30/2010 6:33:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/30/2010 6:43:45 PM EDT by rfb45colt]
Originally Posted By Parruthead:
That is neat the way you trick them into learning the dinner bell.. !! I think I have 2 or 3 points towards my permit. I don't have a place to hunt or dogs chase them for me but i'll look into that when i get closer to get my tag,


There's lots of bears in this area. Too damn many in most peoples' opinion. And there's plenty of public land. We knew we had one where we're baiting cuz we've deer hunted the same area for 20+ yrs., and we've seen them during bow season. We had no idea there were that many!! We've got 7 differant adults (and 3 cubs) on video, in just the 1st week of baiting.

We set up a 2nd bait site today, about 2 miles from my house, on private land. The landowner's neighbor is a friend of mine, and when he found out from my friend that I know a guy with a tag, he asked if we'd please come and shoot the SOB that's been terrorizing his dogs and wife. It comes right up on his deck and knocks shit down going after the hummingbird feeders. He showed us a picture he has of it, taken last May, through his patio door (the bear's right on the other side of the glass). He's a big one too.

We're putting another camera on that sight tomorrow.

Link Posted: 7/30/2010 8:18:20 PM EDT
Well I do have that little 18 acre plot just outside of sugar camp.. I forgot about that... So I guess I do have land.
Link Posted: 7/30/2010 8:32:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By dIIshoots:
Watch that shit...a 200 pound blackie displaying that kind of agressive crap has NO FEAR of you. Those buggers can move faster than the speed of light...well almost. Get real good with that Dan Wesson remember your kill shot on a charge is the head...if it was me I would take the scope off and get about 100 rounds of XTP. you know the rest of the drill.

+ 1 on the pic's!!


Jeebus. Should you take a knee like dangerous game in Africa so you don't overshoot them during the charge?
Link Posted: 7/30/2010 10:36:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AJ_Dual:
Originally Posted By dIIshoots:
Watch that shit...a 200 pound blackie displaying that kind of agressive crap has NO FEAR of you. Those buggers can move faster than the speed of light...well almost. Get real good with that Dan Wesson remember your kill shot on a charge is the head...if it was me I would take the scope off and get about 100 rounds of XTP. you know the rest of the drill.

+ 1 on the pic's!!


Jeebus. Should you take a knee like dangerous game in Africa so you don't overshoot them during the charge?


Nope...aim small shoot small...

Link Posted: 7/31/2010 4:27:04 AM EDT
I thought that was "aim small, miss small". Shot placement is key. Slow is steady, and steady is fast.
Link Posted: 7/31/2010 4:35:54 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Parruthead:
Well I do have that little 18 acre plot just outside of sugar camp.. I forgot about that... So I guess I do have land.


That's plenty if you're hunting over bait, and Sugar Camp has a lot of bears. I saw a big one last fall on Pine Lake Rd, about a mile & half west of the Sugar Camp school. Dogs would clear that much land in 15 minutes. Our second bait sight is on a 6 acre parcel. But the neighbor has 8 also that we can hunt, and behind both is an 80 that's all swampland. The key part is it's rural, shooting is perfectly legal (and not uncommon at all), and the adjacent properties are all wild land.

Link Posted: 7/31/2010 7:55:07 AM EDT
I just put in for this year's preference point which will bring me to a whopping 5. I really wish the DNR would open up more tags. It's obvious there are way too many bears in some spots.
Link Posted: 7/31/2010 12:52:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2010 12:59:38 PM EDT by rfb45colt]
Here's a few pics from yesterday. The big bear was back in the bait hole 34 minutes after we left it. The hole in the ground where we put the bait is now about 30" across and 2' deep. The bears dug it, not us. We started with a hollow log, set upright, right on level ground. The vegetable oil we pour on the bait soaks into the ground, and the bears dig it up. The sections of the hollow pine log can be seen lying on the ground. The bears ripped it apart.

first pic is both one of the biggest and the smallest. The big guy sat on the bait pile for hours. The small one circled for about 45 minutes, waiting to get a crack at the bait.



Next is the big guy, still at the bait later, after dark. The log at his feet is 4' long and about 5" in diameter, to give some size perspective. .



And here's the big guy sleeping over the bait hole, while another of the smaller ones circles around it.

Link Posted: 7/31/2010 1:10:52 PM EDT
Here's a few more.



Link Posted: 8/1/2010 6:48:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/1/2010 11:44:49 AM EDT by rfb45colt]
Don't know if this is gonna work, but I'll try to link the bear fight video.

The video is 20 seconds, but the fight already started when the camera triggered, and in 4 seconds they move out of the camera's view. But it's a cool 4 seconds. Judging by the number of small trees knocked flat in the direction they went, it lasted awhile.

http://s890.photobucket.com/albums/ac102/safcrkr/?action=view¤t=IM000002.mp4
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 7:02:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/11/2010 7:11:56 AM EDT by rfb45colt]
All the hard work (aka "fun") of baiting everyday for 2 months has paid off!! About 7:10pm on the 1st day of the season, my buddy Dale got the biggest bear we had coming into the bait. In fact, the 3 biggest bears were all there at the same time. He took the biggest, with one shot from his .300WSM model 70. We had 2 trail cameras set up, to record 30 second videos, and one of them got the shot recorded! The bear ran off about 100 yds. We tracked him down by the bloodtrail about an hour later (if you've never tracked a wounded bear, in the dark, in cover so thick you can't see 15', you don't know what adrenaline is). Field dressed weight was 350lbs (we hoisted him up on a 440lb limit deer scale when we finally got him back to the cabin) so live weight was about 420lbs. Dragging that big guy was a bitch, but luckily for us he ran right toward an old fire trail that we were able to get an old Toyota 4-runner & utility trailer through. We found him dead, facing his back trail, only about 30 yards from the fire road. We had to use an electric winch to drag him up onto the trailer.

Pics were taken the next morning. It was after midnight by the time we got him back to the cabin, so we waited for morning to get the photos. (The bear we got is the same one in the trail cam pics in my previous post. We've got a total of over 1,500 videos & stills of bears in the bait since late July, so we know them all pretty well.

Dale & his bear.


The bear


The baiting/hunting crew. I'm on the left, Dale in the center, Dale's bro Dave on the right.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 7:33:27 AM EDT
Nice job.. Congrats... Awesome pics, thanks for sharing them..'

The one with the bear sleeping over the bait pile cracks me up...... Nothing like sleeping on our breakfast....
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 10:26:32 AM EDT
Nice...VERY nice!! Is it going to be a rug or mount? With a head that size either will be a trophy.
Did anyone mention how good BBQ bear ribs are?
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 3:40:00 PM EDT
Very nice, thanks for sharing!
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 5:14:52 PM EDT
Thanks for sharing! It sounds like you had a blast! Tell your buddy congratulations! It sounds like you guys did everything right to keep the bears on the bait for that long. That in itself is a big accomplishment.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 5:51:09 PM EDT
Very Nice!!!

Did anyone else see the bear taken in shawano county this week? 710 lbs.!!! If i find any pictures I'll share them.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 4:06:42 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dIIshoots:
Nice...VERY nice!! Is it going to be a rug or mount? With a head that size either will be a trophy.
Did anyone mention how good BBQ bear ribs are?


Full body mount. It's already at the taxidermist, in Antigo. He took it down there right after the pics were taken (with a stop at the registration station on the way).
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 5:34:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By rfb45colt:
Originally Posted By dIIshoots:
Nice...VERY nice!! Is it going to be a rug or mount? With a head that size either will be a trophy.
Did anyone mention how good BBQ bear ribs are?


Full body mount. It's already at the taxidermist, in Antigo. He took it down there right after the pics were taken (with a stop at the registration station on the way).


Good job! The sooner the taxidermist gets to work the better. Bear hides can be fussy with the warmar temps. That should make a tremendous mount. Some day I would be interested in hearing some of the details of that hunt...I'm sure it's worth repeating as a bear that size don't come along everyday.
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