Bear Hunting with My Son

Terrik agreed to go on an afternoon bear hunt with me today. I was very excited because he has always been very anti-hunting – doesn’t think I should be killing any animals. So for him to agree to go bear hunting with me was a big step. The weather was perfect, right at 70 degrees. And the scenery was incredible. We went to the same place I canoed in a couple months ago. The lake is now gone and this is how it looks. Here’s Terrik glassing the treeline.

pict0001

Two months ago all this was under water. Now it’s a luscious, green meadow with knee to waist high grass. As we headed toward the far end of the valley we immediately began seeing a lot of deer and elk sign. They must come down here at night and eat. About half way to the far end we found some bear droppings – not incredibly fresh, maybe a few days old. We also found some bear tracks in one of the creek beds that run through this valley. The further back we went, the taller the grass got. Here’s a photo of Terrik in waist high grass.

pict0003

And here’s one of Terrik in neck high grass.

pict0004

OK, maybe not.

The ground beneath the grass is so full of holes and ditches that it was fairly difficult walking on a lot of it. Both of us stepped into a hole at least once. The hole I stepped into was waist deep. My left leg went down into the hole and I landed on my stomach in the grass. Luckily nothing hurt. Terrik fell a couple times stepping into smaller holes. There is so much grass it’s difficult to see the ground, so we had to walk very carefully.

Here’s a photo showing where we stopped to have a snack and something to drink. The tracks are from someone on horseback passing through very recently. In fact we saw them through our binoculars. There are also deer and elk tracks along this stretch of creek bed.

pict0005

As we neared the end of the valley we saw more bear sign. Some of it very fresh. And one large set of tracks in the mud. When we reached the end of the valley, we headed into the hills. Lots and lots of elk sign. All total we went about 2 miles in. We cut back through the timber for about half the return trip, then dropped back into the meadow and walked the rest of the way back in the grass. Terrik caught lots of frogs. Here’s a photo of him holding one up for the camera. It’s a bit too small to see.

pict0010

Overall we had a great time. We were only out about 5 hours. Terrik enjoyed it a lot which I’m thankful for. He said he wouldn’t mind going again with me. And he was pretty good about being quiet when he needed to.

About the Author

Tory Allman

Tory Allman

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