Bear Bait and a Buck

December 9, 2011
The ultimate dream of a 15 year old boy was to be a big game hunter. His dad had been a hunter his whole life. Therefore, the boy had been around hunting forever. He always enjoyed it when hunting season came around and his dad would bring home all of the big bucks that he shot. The young boy could hardly wait until he was old enough to shoot a buck himself.
The start of his “hunting” experience was when the boy got Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 20005 on the computer for Christmas when he was 10 years old. He loved that game; he played it 24/7. The game made him just even more excited for when he could hunt. The only things standing in his way of hunting was that he needed a gun to hunt with, and he needed to take the hunter saftey class that every new, young hunter needed to take in order to hunt.
He wanted to buy his own gun, but in order to have enough money for it, he had to start saving up for it before his eleventh birthday. He was sure he would have enough money for the gun with birthday money and all the money from him doing extra work around the house. The reason he wasn’t getting a bow yet was because his dad said he should wait a couple years until he would be big enough to pull back the string. The second thing standing in his way of hunting was the fact that he needed a hunter safety certificate. He figured that he would take the class when he was 11 ½. Then, as soon as he would turn 12 he would be able to go deer hunting. When the test came at the end of the class, he passed it with flying colors because of all of the hunting experience he had by learning from both his dad, and his computer game, Cabela’s Big Game Hunter. That meant he would get to hunt in the next season if he got a gun. At the end of the summer, he turned in a huge load of scrap metal that he and his dad had been collecting for the past years. The boy didn’t know what it was for in the beginning, but he believed that his dad was planning that it was for the boys gun the whole time. That put his money collections over the total amount needed for the gun he was looking for. The next week he went to the sporting goods store with his dad and next thing he knew he had his very own gun.
In his first season of hunting, he shot a big doe. He was really happy about that. The next year he shot his first buck. It was only a three pointer, but it still had horns on it, so he was still very satisfied. The boy even shot a doe that year, too. In his third year of hunting, he shot an eight point buck. This was just an average buck, but it was much bigger than the three pointer. The young boy felt like he was finally like his dad. That deer season ended and Christmas was coming up. The boy decided to ask for a bow for Christmas. His dad must have thought he was finally old enough, because on Christmas morning there was a bow sitting under the tree. This meant the boy was going to be able to hunt the whole fall, and not just the nine day rifle season. He couldn’t wait for the snow to melt so he would get to go outside and target practice with his bow. Once he actually was able to practice, he went down to his shooting pit with his bow and bow target every night, and shot for up to a half hour each time.
Early fall came and even though the boy was 15, his dad decided he wanted to sit with the boy his first few times out bow hunting. Therefore, they needed to go buy a double person tree stand for the two to sit in. Once they got it, they put it together and went out scouting the woods for a perfect spot just like a professional hunter would. The two found what looked to be the best spot on the property and set up the stand there. On their way out of the woods, they found some bear poop near a swamp. It looked old, so they thought nothing of it.
As soon as the season started, the boy wanted to go out hunting. That was all he ever thought about. Sure enough, after school one day, his dad asked him if he wanted to go out hunting. The boy yelled, “Of course I want to go hunting!” He got on his camouflage clothes as fast as he could, and he and his dad headed out. They got out to their stand and settled in. The two couldn’t have been sitting for more than a half hour and they already saw a doe. She was too far away to shoot though, but, at least, it was some action that entertained the boy. About one hour before dark, the boy heard something behind him crashing toward his stand. He turned around slowly to see a nice basket rack six point buck walking parallel about 50 yards away from the stand. Unfortunately that was too far away of a shot for a bow. He was waiting for it to come closer, but all of a sudden it was turned around and calmly walking away. That was about it for that day’s hunt. The boy didn’t shoot anything, but it wasn’t too bad for his first bow hunt. At least he saw deer.
The boy’s second time hunting was also an evening hunt. While the boy and his dad were walking out to the stand, they ran into their neighbor on the side of the road. They were talking to him about going out hunting, and he informed them, “I used to hunt on your land when the previous owner had it, and it is very good hunting land.” This encouraged the boy even more and made him want to go out and shoot a deer more than ever. Therefore, they said goodbye to the neighbor and headed out. The sad part was, the only thing they saw was some fresh bear poop right next to the stand. This meant that the bear was still around.
That next weekend the boy wanted to go but for a morning hunt by himself. On Friday night, he asked his dad if he could try hunting the next morning without him and the dad actually said that he could. The next morning, he woke up at 4:00 a.m. because he was so excited for the first time he would be able to go hunting by himself. The boy then got all of his clothes ready, ate breakfast, and headed out for his stand. He had been in his stand for a couple of hours when he turned around and to see a buck walking away from him on the same trail that the other buck was on. The boy tried calling it back with the grunt call and rattlers, but it just kept walking away. That was all he saw for the morning hunt. That afternoon, his uncle and cousin came over for the evening hunt. Once those two were ready, the four hunters, the boy, his dad, his uncle, and his cousin, headed out for a hunt that the boy would remember for the rest of his life.
The only thing he ended up seeing while he was on the stand was a small glimpse of something moving in a swamp off to his side. He figured it was a squirrel or some other kind of small animal. Once it got dark, he decided to get down and start walking to his dad. That was when the real adventure started. He had one little flashlight to see where he was walking, but other than that, everything was pitch black. While he was walking, he heard something making growling noises off to his right. He started worrying and he would frequently shine the light all around on his right side. All of a sudden, he saw something moving. He stopped and shined the light on it. It was a huge black bear! The bear was the size of the ones you see in National Geographic movies. The scariest moment in his life was about to get even worse. The bear started lumbering toward the boy. The boy started making noises and yelling at the bear to try to scare it away just like his dad had always told him to do. It didn’t work! He knew his dad was right around the corner of the field that the boy was running along so he ran his heart out to get to him.
His dad had a pistol and could shoot at the bear. Therefore, when the dad saw the boy getting chased, he started shooting at the bear. He wasn’t able to hit it because it was so dark and the bear was running so fast. It was just enough though because the bear turned around and started galloping away. The boy got to his dad and they went back to their house as fast as possible. Just those shots must have scared that beast away for good, for they didn’t see it, or any signs of it, for the rest of the season.
The problem was that they didn’t see anything else either, up until 10 minutes before the season ended on the last day to hunt. That was when a perfect, hunting magazine, 12 point buck walked in front of the boys stand. He shot as soon as he had an open shot, and hit the perfect buck perfectly. It ran 25 yards and dropped. The young boy finally felt like a big game hunter.

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