Fishing alongside bears was unnerving to say the least

Years ago, I would travel to northern Canada to fish for Dollie Varden and grayling.

After several trips, I ended up fishing with huge bears sharing the stream with me. To say I was uneasy would have been an understatement. I never had any trouble with the bears back then. They didn’t have any young with them, so I guess I didn’t create a threat to them.

They breed right before winter and have their young during the hibernation period. That is a dangerous time to be in close proximity with them. Even a black bear with cubs feels that you are a threat. I scheduled my trips in the fall, always for that reason.

I started out with a model 29 Smith and Wesson in .44 mag, which I thought was enough gun until I saw a grizzly bear. That animal looked like a giant to me, and I didn’t know if the .44 would be enough gun, especially if the beast charged. A deer when hit may run 100 yards and then lie down and bleed out. A bear is totally different, as they can kill you before they die.

Maybe I was a bit paranoid, but that size bear was downright scary. Even though some states have some very large black bears. I remember hunting in New York where some truly large black bears ruled the roost. I finally ended up buying a .500 Smith and Wesson, the largest handgun in the world at that time.

I remember practicing with that gun. The recoil was punishing, and the ammo was expensive. I finally got some reloading dies and a bullet mold. That cut way down on the expense.

Thank the good Lord I never had to use that gun, but it sure felt good having it on my hip. I still have it, but I don’t travel up north anymore because of my age and the numerous regulations at the airports.

I sure hope they eventually get this virus under control.

HUNTING REPORT

Getting ready for the second half of the 2020 deer season, I didn’t leave my ground blind out because I am going to need to move my position for this season. I did see deer, but they were too far away for me to shoot. I will need to move my position to try to intercept them this time.

Waterfowlers still are doing well on Canada geese. Early hours are best, and it pays off to try some new areas, as the birds move away from areas where they have been shot at.

Squirrel hunting remains good. With no leaves on the trees, the animals are easier to see, and they are really feeding up for winter.

I finally did see a bunch of wild turkeys last week. There were about
15 of them. As luck would have it, they are close to some areas where I have permission to hunt. Just hope they stay there. Many of them were young birds. It looked like they still were moving with their parents.