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Lee Wahlgren

The bear necessities

Cody Griffin had just purchased the bow the weekend before their trip and practiced some during the week for his trip to go Black Bear Lodge hunting. He was accompanied by his dad, Shawn, Mark Fansler of Kewanee and Jack Carey of Milan.

Mark was the first one to get his bear. Cody was the next one to get his bear. Cody was hunting at the far west site Monday night after seeing what the trail cam pics showed, two large bears hitting the same bait. The group arrived around 1 p.m. to find the bait completely gone again. Cody climbed into the ladder stand followed by his dad. Shawn was sitting just behind Cody on a hang-on stand so he could videotape his son’s first bear kill. They sat there for nearly six hours before they saw a large bear coming straight at them through the brush, The bear did not hesitate and walked a straight line to the ladder stand that Cody was sitting in. The large bear then paused a while and looked right at the hunters who were perched 15 feet above him. Both Cody and Shawn froze.

After analyzing the situation a little longer, the bear decided the two big blobs in the tree offered no threat. So he worked his way to the bait. He quickly sniffed around each bucket investigating. Once he committed to eat out of one of the buckets, Cody drew back his bow and put his pin just behind the bear’s front shoulder. The bear whirled around then circled back toward the hunters where he quickly expired 10 yards from their stand.

The bear turned out to be one of the two they had seen on the trail camera. He was a big old boar. The teeth on this big bear were well worn and he had several cuts and scars where he has battled other bears. They guessed his age to be about 15-18 years. The bear was over 300 pounds and measured 6 feet, 8 inches from nose to toes. They were happy when they knew it was a confirmed kill, and they didn’t have to track it.

Congrats to Cody for his first bear, a bow kill captured on video, his dad was with him. The only thing they didn’t know was who was more thrilled, the hunter or the cameraman.

• Opening day of dove hunting proved to be a moderate success. On day one at the canal parkway, there were 40 hunters, and they harvested 113 doves. The second day, there were 13 hunters, and they harvested 16 doves. At Mautinos, 28 hunters harvested 77 doves the first day, and 22 hunters harvested 58 doves on the second day.

Fishing on the canal has been decent. Some nice stringers of bluegills and crappie have been reported.

Lee Wahlgren is the BCR outdoor columnist. Contact him at pdub52@gmail.com

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