A Particular Bear-Hunting Adventure

Some hunts just go down in my memory bank as super special. Oftentimes it is just a little factor that elevates a hunt’s status to super unique. More usually than not, that “super” addition has absolutely nothing to do with the harvesting of an animal.

It may be a random occurrence, like a hummingbird trying to feed off my pink fletchings since it was convinced it was a flower. It could be something like the amazingly vibrant falling star I saw even though hunting at the sky one particular morning.


Being there with my son Jeb when he killed his very first large game animal with a conventional bow is what made this hunt super specific for each of us.

I saw it whilst anxiously waiting for the sky to lighten up so I could truly see the bull in the meadow that was bugling every handful of minutes. I know that long, vibrant flash could have been a meteor, or it could have been space junk hitting our atmosphere.

But since I am an optimist, I am going to call it an remarkable falling star. I never got that bull, but that hunt will often stick out in my mind simply because of the screaming bull — and that star.

The hunt I am going to share with you here started out typical, but it ended up being elevated to super-special status. I hope some of you relate to why it was so specific to me that I had to place “super” in front of it.

While hunting at our spot in Colorado, my friend Tom Phillips invited our oldest son Jeb and I to go on a hunt with a group of guys from Trad Gang. Jeb has a busy schedule, as he helps about our ranch and farm, and he also aids guide our hunting clientele when he can.

He is going to college for an AG enterprise degree. Luckily, this hunt fell more than his summer season getaway from college, and he was more than happy to trade out some perform time on a John Deere for a black bear hunt.


Jeb was far more than happy to trade time off from running a John Deere for a spring black bear hunt.

We introduced our boys to hunting, and they naturally took to it like ducks to water. We also never pushed them to shoot any sort of gear, and rather opted to let them attempt each and every weapon out there. Then they could make a decision for themselves if they wanted to be hunters, and if so, what gear they wanted to hunt with.

Jeb tried it all increasing up, and leaned toward a compound. He has taken frogs and rabbits with his recurve, but his preferred weapon for large game always been the compound. He has harvested very a few critters now, and we teasingly contact him “Lucky Jeb” since he just appears to get the biggest animals out of anyone else in the loved ones.

Two of our close close friends are Mike and Nancy Palmer, and they have known our boys since they were pups. Mike and his father have been constantly avid classic bowhunters, and they produced Palmer recurves. Mike’s father passed on to the Satisfied Hunting Grounds, and for Jeb’s birthday a couple of years ago Mike gave Jeb a specific gift — his father’s recurve.

Even though Tom made it clear that Jeb could take a compound on the hunt, Jeb wanted to take Mike’s father’s bow. I was a tad nervous, due to the fact I knew Jeb had by no means harvested a big animal with a classic bow.

On top of that, with his work and college schedule, he would be hard-pressed to practice significantly. My worries had been partially put in check when I saw how properly Jeb was shooting. He place in the time, and he was shooting quite properly out to 25 yards.

When we arrived at camp in Quebec, Canada, we realized right away it was going to be a fantastic hunt. The guys that had been on the Trad Gang hunt with us have been awesome. I elected to sit with Jeb to film his very first big game classic bowhunt, and to assist him out. He had killed bears with a rifle on our ranch, but he had never taken a bear with his bow.

Everyone drew for stands, and Jeb drew one particular known as “Moose Tower.” We waited quietly for close to eight hours our initial evening in the stand, but nothing at all showed up except for a few fat squirrels that worked on the bait.

The subsequent night close to dusk, a bear appeared on the far side of a small clearing, and then disappeared just as fast. At camp that evening, far more bears were hanging from the pole. Other folks were harvesting bears, and the stories had been flying. Some have been almost certainly even accurate.

We went to the exact same stand the following day. As silently as fog forming above the water, a bear gradually and quietly produced its way to the bait. That’s when it started. Gradually at initial, but gradually rising in its erratic nature. Jeb’s Muzzy broadhead — the head his grandfather had invented and named — started shaking and bouncing all over the spot.

I looked down at Jeb from my treestand above his, and realized his legs had been shaking as well. We have all been there. Here was a 20-year-old man, with a bear only eight to 10 yards away, and he looked like he was getting a seizure — I loved it! I wish I could say I was as calm and cool as an ice cube, but let’s just say I am glad a person wasn’t filming me.

The bear slowly left, and I guess I will in no way know if it was due to the fact it heard Jeb’s Easton shaft emulating a woodpecker on his bow’s wooden riser, or if it just decided to leave. Either way the bear was gone, and it left behind two men trembling from the excitement of getting a bear in that close. As we snuck out right after dark, Jeb smiled, his teeth glowing white in the darkness.

“I got fairly excited, and I don’t feel I could have shot even if I had wanted to,” Jeb mentioned. I told him to remain calm and just focus on generating a great shot if we got an additional opportunity.

Back at camp, almost every person had filled their tags. The stories have been as fun as the hunting, and I am glad there wasn’t a polygraph about. I might have even told a tall tale or two.

The next evening, we were back in our very same stand. Just like the evening prior to, a bear silently appeared before us, and with it so did the shaking. It wasn’t as pronounced as the evening ahead of, but it was there. I was performing my ideal to control it, but I was pretty excited. Jeb’s convulsions seemed to come in small waves. I was watching his broadhead and using it as a kind of Geiger counter.

The bear was in and out, and I was biting my lip. There had been several times I would have taken the shot, but I knew Jeb was the only 1 who could make that choice. At one particular point the bear was broadside and Jeb started to gradually draw, and then he gradually let down. I was going nuts. A brain aneurysm was a critical concern.

I was getting a hard time keeping it together, and I was restraining myself from yelling SHOOT! I could have temporarily blacked out from the stress, but as my eyes focused I saw Jeb drawing back again. This was it — the moment of truth. The arrow left the bow and my heart was singing.

It was a fantastic shot — as good as it gets. It is difficult to say which 1 of us was a lot more excited. It would have to be a close get in touch with amongst Jeb, me, Mike’s father, who I believe was with us, or Mike. That is how a conventional bowhunter is made. That is why to me, this hunt has a “super” in front of “special.”


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