There is a bear #4, Dark thirty

by david on November 25, 2019

It was not the alarm going off at dark-thirty irritated me.  It was the fact I was already awake and had been for some time.  I never sleep before the first day of the hunt. Too many scenarios and what ifs running through my head.  I would like to say I bounced out of bed ready to go, but it was more like a grumpy old bear being woken up in the middle of hibernation.  Oh well, it wasn’t anything several cups of the wonder beverage known as coffee would not fix. Dressed and rifles in hand, we headed down to find some coffee and food.  Breakfast was intended to be a quick on-the-go affair. Lots of packaged pastries, granola bars and fruit. Since they are not a part of my regular diet, I caved to my cravings and ate a Honey Bun and a Bear Claw.  I savored each with its own cup of coffee. The sweets actually improved the coffee considerably. After finishing, and against my better judgment, I stuffed a thermos of the lackluster coffee in my pack. Then I decided to add a few more flavor-enhancing honey buns just in case the coffee needed another helping hand.  Appetite temporarily sated, we headed to the parking lot and found Zack and Josh.

We stowed our gear in their trucks, climbed in and headed out into the darkness.  There was just enough mist to make the windshield wipers a necessity and their slow constant rhythm combined with the heat inside the truck made me drowsy.  Another cup of coffee would deal with that. We drove for about 45-50 minutes to our field. Josh told me it was a huge field with a pair of elevated double stands on one edge, which would allow Doug and I to hunt side by side, possibly even taking bears at the same time.  Eight to ten feet behind our stands was the border of the federal wildlife refuge. The bears came out at night to raid the crops and then returned to the safety of the refuge at dawn. We would be setting up to intercept the bears as they returned from feeding. The close proximity to the refuge made precise shooting a necessity.  If the bear made it back into the refuge, it was lost. We could not follow. A wounded and subsequently lost bear counted the same as a killed trophy. That would be an expensive mistake.

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