Maine Bear

Send by email Printer-friendly version Share this

I remember well the year we had made plan's on going back to Maine on a black bear hunt. My wife didn't have an interest in bear hunting but agreed to tag along and video tape the hunt to go with the story. I had contacted my friend Mark and plans were made for the hunt. I didn't have to travel to Maine to get a black bear but listening to all the stories of what it was like to hunt in Maine for them and after being there with my wife for her first buck i just had to go try it. On this trip i elected to use my Remington 50 caliber black powder rifle. In this next story I hope you get the feeling of what it was like and maybe try it for yourself. If you've never taken a black bear in your life and would like to, then by all means try Maine.

It was the first week in September and the days were warm and the nights had a chill in the air. We arrived in Maine and met Mark at his home. With everything packed in the vehicle's we proceeded to where we were to stay at a camp site set far back off the main road on one of the many small lake's that inhabited the paper company land where we would hunt. Mark had stand's already set out in different areas around and through baiting each stand, had bear's coming into them on a regular basis.

After we had our tent set up and everything taken care of we rode around the numerous dirt road's taking in the sites and Mark pointed out where different stands were set back from the road. As we passed them he would say which ones we were going to try that had the best results with bear's coming into them. It was early in the day yet and what they do for a hunt is go early afternoon into a stand and sit till dark. Mark explained to me how this was done and i was anxious to try this style of hunting.

Mark had said that while riding around these roads, you had to be careful especially towards evening because of the many Moose that inhabit the land and that at any time one could just step right out in front of you. I've seen a few moose in the past while hunting and sure didn't want to hit one with my truck, so this was good information to have for the few day's we were going to be there. We also talked about how difficult it was to judge the size of a black bear and even most expert bear hunter's say it's one of the hardest things to do.

We returned to the camp and my wife had made us something to eat, then we sat around overlooking the lake and listening to what Mark had to say about bear hunting and how things could happen. The sun was still pretty high in the sky and very few cloud's, so we had plenty of time left before we had to leave for the stands. Mark said that he had two stand's set up in an area so that my wife could sit in the back one and be able to get a good view to video tape me and the bait pile. That sounded good to me so I took his word for it.

The time came to head out so we got our things together for the hunt and traveled with Mark in his truck to the site. Along the way we stopped and he showed us a blueberry field that stretched out almost as far as you could see and we decided that before we leave that we would pick a bunch to take home with us. Mark said that when we get to the stand we'll have to go in silently so as not to take any chances on scaring anything that might be in the area.

We arrived at the area where the stand was hidden from view of the dirt road where we parked, we quietly grabbed our things and followed Mark as he lead us in through the wooded area to the stand's. Mark pointed to each stand, the first being where my wife would sit and then another 20 yard's to my stand. We climbed up in the stand's as Mark carried a bucket of bait to add to what was already there and then with a bang of the bucket against a tree, leaving us there Mark walked back to the truck and drove away so that if a bear was nearby, would feel that it was safe to return to the food which was so readily available.

It was just after 4 pm now and we sat silently scanning the surrounding area for the slightest movement of an incoming bear. As we sat I looked back at my wife to make sure that she was ok and the video camera was ready to go. She assured me of this with a thumb's up and a silent nod. I acknowledged this and turned back to watch the bait pile.

During the time we sat and waited we were keeping an eye on a red squirrel that would keep coming out from the tree's onto the pile of bait, taking a few bite's and grabbing another piece would scurry off back out of sight. He did this a number of time's and it was about the 5'th time that he did this that he just fell off the pile of fermented donut's as if drunk, collected himself and ran back to the seclusion of the wood's. This was comical to watch and we both almost burst out laughing to see such an unexpected sight.

The light was starting to fade away and darkness would soon be upon us. Just as we thought that nothing was going to happen this evening I spotted movement of something black coming through the trees as it made its way towards the pile of bait. A "BEAR", I said to myself. As he stepped behind some brush I raised my black powder rifle to my shoulder so that he wouldn't catch my movement and prepared to take the shot.

I couldn't look back at my wife to make sure she was ready for this because it was happening to fast. The bear stepped cautiously from the cover of the tree's and with a sniff of the air for safety headed for the bait just ahead of him. The area where the bait lay was small so I knew I had one chance to make a good shot. Aiming the rifle low behind the front shoulder I squeezed the trigger. The bear immediately took off running away into the woods but feeling I made a good shot knew that he shouldn't go far. My wife, being nervous at this point shouted at me to wait for Mark to get here and I agreed only because I knew that she would be scared if I left her sitting alone as I trailed my game. Louise said to me that she did get it all on video tape, even the part with the red squirrel. We laughed about that part and couldn't wait to see it again when we replayed the tape.

I took my radio out of my pack and turned it on to call Mark and what I didn't know when all this happened is that Mark was sitting in his truck just down the road about 1/2 mile waiting for the time to pick us up and heard my shot. Just as I was calling him he was pulling up along the road where we parked before. I got down from my stand and met him half way on the path. Did you get one he said? I replied, yes, I hit him then he ran off through the thick brush. Then Mark said, let's go see if we can find him.

Darkness had settled in by this time and with flashlights we trailed the bear's path. We asked my wife to sit there just in case and from the bait pile we started looking. It didn't take long as the bear only went about 30 yards and piled up. The bear weighed around 150 pound's and Mark went back to the truck to get a carrying stretcher to make it easier to get him out of the woods. With flashlight in hand, Louise led the way back to the truck and upon reaching it we laid him down on the ground and with the headlight's of the truck continued on with the video. While shaking hands, Mark congratulated me on getting my first bear as we talked about the sequence and I thanked him for allowing me to have such a great hunt. We got the bear loaded into the truck and headed back to camp. Indeed it turned out to be an experience I would not soon forget.


Deer Slayer's picture

Congratulations on your first

Congratulations on your first black bear. Thank you for your story, I really enjoyed it. I'm not married , but i'm looking forward to the first time I take my fiance hunting. We have a couple of double stands in some good spots that would be good to take her to. I'm sure having your wife with you and getting your hunt on film was a special moment. once again, congratulations. 

arrowflipper's picture

Loved the story

Thanks for a vivid picture of your bear hunt.  I felt as if I was sitting in that tree stand with you.  It's so exciting to wait for a bear to come into a bait.  Kind of exciting and a bit unnerving at the same time.  I've heard lots about bear hunting in Maine and was even asked to go on a hunt this coming fall.  We have a pretty good population of black (brown, blond, red) bears here in Washington State and I'm thinking about trying for another one.  I have a nice brown phase blackie on the floor and I'd like either a black or blond one to go with him.

And on top of making a great mount/rug, they are fine eating.  Congratulations on your successful hunt and thanks for the story.

groovy mike's picture

Great story buddy.

Great story buddy.  I don’t think that you ever told me about this hunt.  It sure all worked out just like it was planned.  I’ve chased bear in Maine a couple of times but I have never pulled a trigger on one.  Seen a couple but never taken the shot (yet). 

 At least your showed up for the hunt!  As usual – great job placing your shot and its pretty cool getting your hunt on video too.


Great pictures too! 

Rem2arms's picture

Thank you fellow hunters for

Thank you fellow hunters for your comments on my story's. I hope you all enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoy the writing of each years hunting experience. 

ManOfTheFall's picture

Great story, I really enjoyed

Great story, I really enjoyed it. Congratulations on your first black bear. It sounds like you both had a great time. Sharing it with your wife has to be special. Then you also get the hunt on video, that makes it even better. I don't live in bear country but I would like to try harvesting a bear with my bow sometime.

hunter25's picture

Great story and

Great story and confratulations on your first bear. I have never yet had the good fortune of going on a bear hunt but look forward to doing so someday. Maine is definitely one of the places I'm checking out as I would prefer to stay in the country if I can. It's especially exciting that you were able to share the experience with your wife as that adds to the memory of the hunt.

Sounds like you had a great time and I bet your already planning to do it again. I know you've got me thinking about it.

Thanks for sharing your story.

jaybe's picture

Great story! I can just

Great story! I can just imagine your wife's concern about you getting down and going after that bear following the shot. People who aren't used to being around bears (me included) feel really intimidated at the thought of being on their home field.

I have always heard that Maine has a lot of black bear, and the many thousands of acres of public land in the northern half of the state provides excellent habitat for them - as well as some really big bucks!

Thanks for the story and picture. I was hoping to see the video. maybe you could put it on You tube and let us know.

Thanks again!