At the dawn of mankind in North America, bear hunters held down a special place in their community. It took skill and prowess to bring back a deer or wild turkey, but harvesting a bear took all that, plus an additional inner strength and courage.
This year thousands of new and experienced Spring and Fall Bear hunters and bowhunters will make the long jaunt to black bear country. They will brave the hordes of black flies with bug dope and mosquito head nets–that never quite protects them from all the bug bites. The weather will probably be unstable; it can quickly change from cold to hot, clear to rain, calm to windy, and it may even snow.
At night the bear hunters will forget about the persistent itch of their bug bites as they silently watch in wonder as the Northern Lights shift and move across the starry sky (to me it’s worth the trip for them alone).
Not every hunter will see a bear. Nor will everyone that sights a bear put their bear tag on one. But a respectable number will see bears. And quite a few of them will harvest one.
Ask any bear hunter, the one who went once, or the veteran who has hunted for thirty years, they all remember the first bear they saw when they were hunting bear. Bear hunting isn’t for everyone. When some see a bear they pack their gear – that day – for the trip back home. Others go over and over, because the passion that bear hunting rouses in them forces them to go every year.
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