First Bear For Mike

Many Thanks to the Bowhunting.Net 2011 Bowhunting Bear Sponsors: Canoe Canada OutfittersFreddie Bear SportsThermaCELLAlpine ArcheryGrim Reaper BroadheadsGoat Tuff ProductsLeupold OpticsSpyPoint Game Cameras,  Victory Arrows and Primos/Double Bull Blinds.


Kirby Knaskedt is a familiar face to folks who’ve followed our online bear hunts over the years. This year he came with 3 of his friends. The four of them went out together and set up treestands for everybody.

Travis, Mike, Randy and Kirby.

This is the first every bear hunt for Mike Gansmann of Saint Jacob, Illinois. On the first day’s hunt Mike’s stand was the furthest one out so he was the driver (of Kirby’s truck) and dropped off the other 3 hunters. When he got to his hunting area he pulled a little too far off the woods road and got a front tire stuck in some rocks.

Thanks to 4-wheel drive Mike maneuvered the truck until it came out. Then he walked into the woods  to his treestand. The first afternoon’s hunt was uneventful.

But on the next day’s hunt his luck changed. Movement in the woods at 6:50 pm caught his attention.  A wolf came to the edge of the small clearing where the bait was and walked around, back and forth, for twenty minutes. Then it ran off.

Then Mike saw a bear come out of the same place the wolf had. Mike slipped is bow off the bow holder and waited to see what happened. The bear came closer but stayed inside the woods edge of the small clearing where the bait logs were.

Soon the bear approached the logs from the left and rolled a log off the pile. Mike was now ready to shoot but the angle wasn’t good and he held up.

When it rolled the second log out of the way the bear turned broadside. Mike saw his opportunity and drew. He picked the spot, settled the pins in, and “cut ‘er loose.”

The bear spun around and bit at the entrance wound. And then turned and ran off to the left. Mike watched it run and saw it go down. When it made a death moan Mike figured he had his first bear.

He called his brother and told him what happened. His brother said he knew something was going on because Mike was breathing heavy.

Fifteen minutes later Mike climbed down and slowly approached the bear and poked it to make sure it was dead. Mike wanted pictures.

He was “so adrenalin charged” he drug the bear back to the logs. He had used his ThermaCELL during his hunt and set it by the bear to run the mosquitoes off. Then he set up a tripod and took his own pictures with his bear.

Mike Gansmann with his first bear. And his first big game with a bow as well.

Mike went to the truck and waited until hunting hours were over and drove to where he let off Kirby. Surprise, Kirby was sitting on a white 5-gallon bucket and Mike noticed the glow of a Lumenok on the arrow he held in his hand.

And here is Mike telling us what happened on video.


Many Thanks to the Bowhunting.Net 2011 Bowhunting Bear Sponsors:
ThermaCELL It runs off biting insects, period. Mosquitoes and blackflys will never ruin your hunts again. Canoe Canada Outfitters Get away to our pristine wilderness. Outpost cabins by canoe or fly in. Great fishing. Group expeditions. Moose and bear hunts. Call 807-597-6418 or Email
Alpine Archery Some of the most innovative and creative bows and archery products made, no guff. Freddie Bear Sports America’s Top Archery Pro Shop for 34 years. Everything you need to bowhunt and shoot archery. Bear and Turkey hunts. 708-532-4133 or
Goat Tuff Products Absolutely the best glue made. Opti-Vanes and other fletching products and the new Equalizer. Primos Double Bull Blinds Proven in the field to be the best. Lightweight and roomy. Quick and easy setup. Adjustable shooting windows.
Strut & Rut Energy Shot Bring new energy and second wind to your hunting. Formulated specifically for hunters. Grim Reaper Broadheads Designed for enhanced penetration. Watch ‘Em Drop with Grim Reaper’s tough and accurate mechanical and fixed blade broadheads from one of today’s leaders.
SpyPoint Game Cameras Know where your trophy is. Which model fits your needs? Victory Arrows High-performance carbon arrows. Straight, tight tolerences, consistent spines. Made for the most demanding bowhunters and target shooters. The #1 Bowhunting and Archery video site. Leupold Optics The world’s best in binoculars, rangefinders and spotting scopes for hunters and outdoorsmen.