First light the next morning found us on Robbie’s bait and a short 30 yard walk to Robbie’s bear. Frank Vrandack was hunting with us again this year. We brought in Frank’s ice fishing sled and loaded up Robbie’s bear for the pull to the truck. I’ve used other means of hauling out bears, but this is the easiest method I have used.
NOTE TO SELF, get one of these sleds before deer season. I think I will get two and leave one here at bear camp. Frank is from north central Wisconsin, an avid ice fisherman and big game hunter. Who would have thought these two sports would have so much in common.
We headed for my bait sight and followed the flags from last night and resumed the trail. With the good light the trail was easy.
We found my bear in short order. The bear was big. Not as big as he looked alive but I knew he would be big enough to make the book. The quick measurement between top canines was over 2 inches. And the front pads were over 5 1/2 inches. These two indicators usually will indicate a skull measurement of 18 inches or over, enough to make the book.
After a picture taking session it was a hard drag out, but the sled made it a bit easier. Back at camp we weighed the bear. The bear zoomed right past the 300# mark on my scale and bottomed out. I have had to use two 300# scales to weigh some bears in the past, but this trip I only had the one scale.
For video: Fred Lutger’s Record Bear
Needless to say, I am very proud of this animal and my first experience hunting with a crossbow.
With Illinois’ unlimited doe tags, and deer season just around the corner, I can’t wait to get this Barnett into the woods and continue my newly added dimension of hunting.
Hunt safe and have fun this season.