There is a bear #2, Heading East

by david on November 20, 2019

The last of summer and early fall passed quickly.  Quail season had started and we had completed the annual pilgrimage to Ocracoke to wet a line and lift weights 12oz at a time.  Time flies the older one gets, and November 12 arrived quickly.  We found ourselves heading east on Hwy 64 in the direction of the Mattamuskeet Outpost.  The three and a half hour drive went quickly. The miles pass unnoticed if the conversation is about something you love.  We talked strategy for stand hunting and for still hunting. Neither of us was wild about the idea of hunting with dogs, but that was a possibility and we discussed that too.  When we got a little ways from civilization, the surroundings changed to flat and very rural. It alternated between wide-open farm fields hundreds of acres in size to vast strands of timber.  This was perfect for bears. The large agricultural fields provide a food source for the bears and the timber provides cover and refuge. This combination of agriculture and cover is the reason the coastal bears get so big.  North Carolina does not get cold enough for long enough for a prolonged hibernation. The crops are just about a year-round food source and the bears eat a lot and often. After stuffing themselves with whatever is in season, it is back into the woods for a nap.  We kept our eyes peeled as we scanned for bears, but we did not see any.

The Mattamuskeet Outpost is a renovated restaurant and motel and provides very adequate accommodations for a hunting base of operations.  Very 1970’s but clean and comfortable. The lodge and hunting operations were run by Rob Orr. He ran the place while we were there and kept things running smoothly.  He has a charter boat and I had the pleasure of fishing with him for a day, but that is another story. We checked in and after stowing our gear we headed over to the range.  No 20+ hours in a plane and overzealous baggage handlers but our rifles needed checked just the same. Three shots from each confirmed the zero was exactly where it was supposed to be and we dropped them back at the room.  With that particular chore taken care of, the two of us set off to explore our temporary home. It really took less time than I thought. We started at the amply stocked pro shop, the outdoor fire pit and the restaurant. We even found our way down to the skinning shed.  Unwilling to go back to the room, and even though it was a little early, we headed out to meet some of our fellow hunters who just happened to be having a few cold ones at the Outpost’s bar. I knew Doug and I would not be the only hunters in camp, but I did not count on 15-20 either.  Turns out with tens of thousands of acres to hunt, and some hunters choosing to hunt together, space was not limited. Like-minded folks, pleasant conversation and adult beverages have a way of making the time pass quickly.

Previous post:

Next post: