I live in Allegany Cnty. I have been hunting for 20+ yrs and I have always had the attitude that I would never kill a black bear. Because I wouldn't eat a bear. And I wouldn't want to take a bears life just to aquire the expense of a trophy rug that my wife would hate anyway. But mostly beacause in the twenty+ yrs of countless hours on stand..... I had never had a bear encounter. I have always said that black bears are rare in this area and until they start showing up like squirrels.....I will let them walk.
Two weeks ago I had my first encounter. I estimated this bear at 300lbs. I ranged him @ 24 yrds. Broadside, quartering too, and quartering away shots available.....and I just watched. Honored to have an encounter. Never picked up my bow. Wow. I was lucky.
On the 10th of Nov. (my b-day) I had a doe come in @ 20 yrds. I wanted to show my kids and wife that actually knew what I was doing out there so I settled my pin on her @ 20 yrds and released my arrow. I hit a branch on a tree and hit the doe alittle farther back then I wanted to . I knew it was a bad shot as soon as it hit her...... she trotted 15 yrds and tipped over on the other side of some brush. She sat up and sat there panting and I was helpless to do anything. I coudnt send a folklow up arrow cause I didnt have a clear shot. And she was out of MY range. So I was content to just watch her as she laid there. Head up, ears down and panting......
After 45 minutes, she got up and walked away. I waited until it was very dark. Got out of my stand and retrieved my slightly bloody, and very stinky arrow. I decided right then and there that I was not going to push her and I slipped out of the woods and immediately started recruiting the search party for the next morning.
I was in the woods at 7:45am and was very upset to find this doe not more than 60yrds from where I shot her. She had become the open all night buffet for some coyotes. I was very upset. I thought I was doing the right thing by waiting till morning. So with heavy heart I had to explain to my kids that I was unable to harvest the deer that I shot. And that I let her lay where she was.
Which leads me to the topic at hand, On the evening of the 14th. I was in the same stand hoping to harvest a deer before the opening of gun season.
I had watched a doe step out of the woods to my right at about 65yrds and walk into the golden rod field. She walked to the middle of the field and turn left to a group of apple trees to my left at about 200yds. She ate there for about 15 minutes and then walked back into the field to the hedge row that was about 1000yrds away and began to sneak down the edge of the woodline. I lost sight of her a couple of times, but I managed to see her movement from time to time. Then all of a sudden she had her tail up and she was hauling ass outta there. And not towards me. I thought....WTH ???? She couldnt have winded me.
Then all of a sudden..... here they come. There were 5 (five) (cinco) black bears coming my way on a run. Right towards me. 3 were small @ 100+ lbs and the other two were BIG 250+ lbs. Within a minute of me seeing them they were 15 yrds away. The larger ones @ 20 and 30 yrds.
I am convinced that they were going to feed on the remains of the doe. It was the most exciting moment I have had in the woods. EVER.
And Noel, although I did not pick up or draw my bow...... They sure are beginning to look alot like squirrels. All 5 at one time were standing up smelling and I was thinking...THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!!