My Excellent Bear Hunting Adventure

I had a fantastic bear hunt this afternoon. After Terrik’s final soccer game of the season, which they lost, we had his team’s award ceremony at Dairy Queen. All the kids got trophies and ice cream. After that I hurried home, grabbed my gun and headed for the mountains. I had already loaded our canoe onto my truck rack. My plan was to go into the area I’ve been hunting via canoe so I could hunt whichever side of the lake looked more promising. This way I wouldn’t be limited to just one side after hiking in a mile and a half.

I got to the lake and hit the water right at 3:00. The weather was great, but out on the water it was a bit windy. According to my GPS I had 1.5 miles to cover to get to where I wanted to hunt. This time of year this lake is huge. And it’s ice cold. Just melted snow.

Here’s a photo as I headed in. You can see how incredible the scenery was. This is the view I had looking over the front of the canoe.

Heading In

It’s hard to see in the small photo, but at the very far end of the lake there is a narrow passage that leads to another large part of the lake. It’s sort of hour-glass shaped.

I really enjoy canoeing as it’s such a pleasant, peaceful way to travel. There were dozens of ducks and geese on the water and I would drift silently past them. Sometimes they would take off, other times they would just watch me go by.

This next photo is after passing through the narrow passage. This is almost to the far end of the lake. It was much less windy back here.

pict0010

At the very end of the lake it turns into a creek with a lot of brush on either side. This is where we’ve seen several bears. The creek is normally about 20 feet wide. Right now it is probably over a hundred feet wide. Here’s a photo I took as I rounded a corner in the creek, looking at where I wanted to beach the canoe.

pict0004

I beached the canoe right at the base of those logs, straight ahead of the point of the canoe. From there I climbed the hill on the left and got up to an area that Tony and I have hunted before. I think it was last year that Tony and I found so much elk sign in a small valley about half a mile from the lake. When I got to that valley I again found elk sign all over it. I also found some large bear tracks. Extremely clear and very fresh. And quite large. They were wider than my boot. Not from the monster bear I saw last year, but they looked like they were from a pretty good sized one. Here’s a photo of part of the little valley where all the bear sign was. Tony, you should recognize this place.

pict0005

Upon seeing the very fresh bear sign I got hidden and started doing some calling. I used a cub in distress call. I called for about 40 minutes but didn’t see or hear anything. So I decided to scout some more. I went further up the hill and at one point I heard what sounded like something move. I got very quiet and waited. And waited, and waited. About 15 minutes into it I heard a loud “huff”. Then nothing else. I waited another 15 minutes, then decided I should start heading back for the canoe. By now it was just after 6 pm.

The return trip was incredible. The wind had stopped and there were about twice as many ducks and geese as there were on the trip in. I took my time and just enjoyed the scenery as I glided across the glassy lake. Here’s a photo I took on the way out.

pict0014

Canoeing in these conditions is fantastic. Even though I wasn’t seeing any big game, I was thoroughly enjoying the trip. Everywhere I looked it was gorgeous. Here’s another shot showing my view over the end of my canoe. This is approaching the narrow passage that leads to the larger part of the lake beyond. I kept hoping to see a bear on one of the shorelines.

pict0017

By the time I got back to my truck the sun was just setting on the lake. Here’s a photo of it.

pict0018

I loaded the canoe back onto my truck rack and headed back home.

What a fantastic afternoon in God’s country!

About the Author

Tory Allman

Tory Allman

Tory Allman is General Manager at Cent-Wise Sporting Goods & Hardware in Redmond, Oregon.