Bear and Boar Weekend

Thread starter #1

GTHunter

Senior Member
Here is the story of my first bear and mountain hog from this past weekend. I mostly wrote it for myself to remember years from now so I included a whole bunch of unnecessary details, but those of you that enjoy extra long hunt stories might enjoy it. Thanks!

My wife was out of town for work in Paris this past week, so I booked a cabin by myself to hunt bear for the weekend on one of the early rifle hunts where I had been scouting and archery hunting already this year. I discovered on Friday that I had screw up my reservation and it was actually Saturday - Monday, not Friday to Sunday as I had thought so I was already off to a good start... I got up early Saturday morning and was in the stand on my food plot that I have been hunting through archery season. I have a trail camera on this field and have been getting pictures of bears for the last month. Just as the sun was coming up, a truck slowly cruises by the field. Usually the gate is closed to prevent this from happening, but the gate was open for the rifle hunt. I was already ****ed about this occurrence, and then I hear a shot not 5 minutes later from the direction the truck went. I automatically assumed the driver was poaching by shooting out the window. I then heard another 2 shots about 30 minutes later from a different direction. The bears were on the move somewhere. By 11 AM two more trucks had driven past my field and I had decided that this field was not going to be a viable hunting spot during this hunt.

I don't know who's post it was that I saw so I apologize for not giving credit where credit is due, but I read more than once in the bear forum to look for bear slides on forest service roads and then go uphill from there to find the food. I drove down the road a little ways and almost immediately noticed where something had been crossing the road near a creek. There was an old logging road paralleling the creek like most of the ones in these woods, so I decided to follow it up the mountains. Almost immediately I started seeing sign and about 1 mile in I heard a sound that I had never heard before. It sounded exactly like I imaged a bear eating nuts would sound like. I slowly stalked up the ridge until I could see branches shaking,but I still couldn't see a bear. I got to within 75 yards and I guess he saw me because he came climbing down the tree although not as quick as I expected if he had definitely known I was there. I don't think it was a legal bear, although I am terrible at judging, as you will see later. I noticed the bear was in a hickory tree, but I did see a few white oaks that had been climbed in the area so I knew I was in a good spot.

I wanted to go back down to my truck to get my stand a different way than I had come up, so I walked over to the next ridge. On my way over there I wasn't being as careful as I should have been after the bear encounter and I walked right up to a nice boar hog about 300 yards from the bear's hickory tree. Luckily the wind was right and he gave me 3 chances to shoot him, which I finally did and dropped him right there. It was too perfect as I had just been messaging @jbogg a couple days before about wanting to shoot one of the big mountain boars he had been posting. I hiked back to the truck to get my cleaning gear and big back pack for carrying out quartered game, taking note of the white oaks that had been climbed along the way. This was a great spot. After hiking back up, processing the pig, and taking it out on my back, I went to town to get ice. On the way out I passed a man in a truck that told me he was the one that shot earlier that morning, and that he had not shot from his truck like I had thought. He told me a story about shooting but not recovering a bear, which I believed, and I went on my way. I sat the field one more time that night, leaving having decided to never sit there again. I went to bed that night at 11:20.

One side note, when I went back to my truck to get water and knives before going back up to gut the bear on Sunday, a man walked by who told me that he was the hunter who had shot twice the day before and killed a bear. He also told me that I was probably correct in thinking that the man I had spoken to the day before did in fact poach a bear out of his truck and that he was known poacher who had committed the offense in the past. I believed the second man, as the timing of the truck driving by and the shot was too close together to be anything other than someone shooting out of a truck. If the later story is in fact true, I am extremely disappointed that the first man lied to my face about what he had done and I hope he gets what he deserves.

Since I had gotten up early and stayed up late the day before, I decided to sleep in a little on Sunday, and then sit all day until dark in my new found spot. I was all settled into my stand overlooking multiple white oaks with fresh sign by 11:00 AM which was later than I wanted. I was 100 yards from where I shot the pig and 200 yards from where I saw the bear in the hickory tree. At 12:30 I noticed a bear coming from my left at about 80 yards and heading up the mountain behind me. At first glance I thought it was too small. By the time I got turned around in my stand to shoot, it passed behind some trees and I never saw it again. For the next few hours I kicked myself for passing on a legal bear that I just assumed was too small. I was determined to sit until dark, but I was getting lower on morale with each hour. Around 4:30 I hear something coming through the brush loudly to my right. Out pops a bear on the perfect heading which will bring her right in front of me. At first I again think she is too small so I shoot her with my phone instead of my gun. (See the video below). She crosses in front of me at about 20 yards and I am trying to judge her based on the size of her ears compared to her head. I'm still thinking she looks too small when I see that her belly is huge and remember my remorse from earlier. At this point she is crossing through a blow down about 50 yards away and I decide it is now or never. The shot is a little far back and she took the bullet a long way, but I eventually found her expired in a blow down, surrounded by poison ivy, which I am paying for today.

It's hard to describe the range of emotions that I felt in that moment. She was beautiful, yet sad. It was wildly satisfying, yet somber. Anyone that has harvested an animal, I think especially a bear, knows what I am talking about. I have been trying to shoot a bear for almost 10 years now, and I had finally accomplished it. The walk back to my truck was one of pure elation and relief. I had done it. When I tried to move her for gutting and tying to my stand, I knew that she was well over 75 pounds, little did I know that she would weigh 125 field dressed. I tied her to my Summit Viper, which I have modified with MOLLE shoulder straps and a kidney belt, and when I first tried to stand up I didn't budge. At that moment I knew I had bitten off more than I could chew. I got stood up with the help of a downed tree and struggled my way down the mountain with over 150 pounds on my back. I have never suffered physically like that before. I was teetering on the edge of tumbling down the mountain with every step, using saplings and blow downs for support. I now understand why people use trecking poles. By the time I got back to the truck I was exhausted but I have never been more proud of myself. I had a full bear in the back of my truck.

I would like to thank everyone that has posted in the bear hunting forum over the last few years especially @goshenmountainman , @Killer Kyle , and @jbogg. You guys graciously provided myself and everyone else with invaluable knowledge on how to find and hunt a bear in the north Georgia Mountains. This was the most successful and fulfilling weekend of hunting I have ever had and it will have a special place in my memory forever.


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-Herman
 

jbogg

Senior Member
Congratulations again on a great hunt Herman! A nice boar hog as well as a beautiful bear all in one weekend is going to be tough to beat. Mountain hunting is addicting. It’s incredibly demanding physically, but also very rewarding. My summit goliath Treestand is heavy enough in those mountains, so I can’t even imagine strapping 125 pounds of bear to it. Oh to be young again. The cabin rental is a great idea, and I hope to do the same thing myself. Good luck the rest of the season I hope to run into you at some point.
 
Great story of a great hunt! There is no way i am strapping a bear on my climber. I hope i wasnt one of the trucks that drove by you sat morning. Congrats on your first bear. They are all trophys!
 
Congrats! A great story and glad I could help. Enjoyed reading every part of the story. And hope you get many more in the years to come, most people don't shoot them because of how hard they are to get out, myself included. But I made my mind up this year that I would take two if given the opportunity, and I am trying to get my son on two, he already missed one. Last year while deer hunting I saw over twenty bear, we are getting to many for the deer to reproduce fast enough, I saw less than twenty deer in the mountains all hunting season last year and I hope everyone that wants to get a bear gets one this year. Happy hunting to all, and good luck!!
 

Rabun

Senior Member
Thanks for sharing your story GT! What an incredible couple of days you had in the forest! I can relate with your emotions...I have not killed a bear, but always feel emotions when a deer hits the ground. I have now mentally prepared myself (I think) to take a bear given the opportunity. Your story is inspirational and I'm sure you will relive it many many times. Congratulations!!
 
Thread starter #10

GTHunter

Senior Member
Thank you for all of the kind words everyone. Each and every one of you that have ever posted in this sub-forum should take a little pride in knowing that you helped me accomplish this. I have read pretty much every post on here in the bear and hog hunting forums and I rank those two at the top of the list of best subs. The little communities that exist within them are filled with the best men and women that GON has to offer. The willingness to share hard earned knowledge of hunting game on public land is unrivaled and I am indebted to you all. Thank you.
 

Mark K

Senior Member
Man, while I have no desire to hunt bear, that story was incredible!! I’m often playfully criticized for my stories, but like you, I leave out no details. Congrats on achieving your goals and THANK YOU for an awesome story.

Just a FYI, I save all my stories with dates in my notes section on my iPhone.
 

j_seph

Senior Member
Man, while I have no desire to hunt bear, that story was incredible!! I’m often playfully criticized for my stories, but like you, I leave out no details. Congrats on achieving your goals and THANK YOU for an awesome story.

Just a FYI, I save all my stories with dates in my notes section on my iPhone.
There is still one better for adding all the details of a hunt and that would be DEE
 
Man that was such a great read!!!! Congratulations on an awesome weekend!!!! Isnt it amazing that you did all of that for the price of a hunting license and a big game license? Some people pay thousands of dollers to do what you did for 30 bucks and by your own accord and research. Congratulations!!!!
 
Great story! Well written too! 1st spot got boogerd so you found a nuthern! That's how you hunt public land! Cut yer losses, thank God for over a million huntable acres and find another spot. Keep public land public!!!
 
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