Day 1 Starts With A Bear
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Last Updated: Aug 6, 2010 – 1:11:39 PM
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Our bear hunt with Fred
Lutger’s Wilderness Adventures goes back almost 20 years. This is a hunt that
myself, Donald Duck, Chef Klause, Kirby Knockstedt and Fred look forward to all
year. This year another group of bowhunters are joining us to bear hunt. For
some it will be their first bear hunt. Others go almost every year. Why? Because
Fred Lutger knows how to hunt bears with a bow.

Day 1 Starts With A Bear

By Robert Hoague

Aug 29, 2008 – 5:05:19 AM

The other hunters (and some
fisherman) arrived during the previous afternoon and night. We got up
at daybreak and ate breakfast and prepared for a busy day. The first
thing on the agenda was to go into Atakokan and buy bear and fishing
licenses at Canoe Canada. Bud and Jeremy Dickson saw to it that
everyone was taken care of.

Jeremy Dickson of Canoe Canada with Fred Lutger.

Canoe Canada is the Canadian
outfitter for our hunt and has the rights to our bear area as well as
several others. Actually bear hunting is a side line for Canoe Canada.
They offer Canada’s best canoing, kayaking, and fishing. Canoe Canada
also has remote, fly-in cabins and lodges. Even expedition packages to
the untouched wilderness of Quietco Park. They offer a variety of
packages for groups of all sizes, small to large. Anyone interested in
getting information of Canoe Canada can email them at

Afterward, Fred and the Duck took the hunters out to show them the stand sites. Every stand they checked had the bait hit.

Later, after the day’s main meal Fred had a meeting with all the bear
hunters and went over the schedule for hunting times. He emphasized
where to shoot as well the right shot angle to shoot a bear, broadside
or quartering away and center of its body vertically right behind the

Fred Lutger discusses the upcoming bear hunt.

He asked if everyone had
brought game tracker string and explained that before tracking a bear
was the first thing to do was to tie off the tracker string at the
stand site and allow the string to come out as the tracking progressed.
When the bear was located they would follow the tracker string back to
the stand with the bear in tow. Then he did our secret ceremony for
bear hunters.

Next I passed out bottles of Scent Killer to each of the hunters. This is the well known scent spray that eliminates your human odor from boots, clothing and gear. Enough for everyone was sent by Wildlife Research Center.

Wildlife Research Center sent Scent Killer boot and clothing spray for every bear hunter.

As I gave it out some
asked if it worked. My answer was, “Absolutely.” And a couple of
hunters jumped in with their testimonials of how well it has worked for
them. It is a very effective scent eliminator and Wildlife Research
Center is a quality company. And their generosity to all the hunters
was sincerely appreciated.

With a good home cooked meal (cooked up by the Duck) behind us everyone that was bear hunting prepared for the hunt.

Fred went over our meeting stations for after the hunt and we drove to
Big Rock. The bait was hit again and I dumped new bait on it. Next I
re-covered the bait with logs. And then I climbed into the treestand.

This is the GameTamers TS-30 treestand with a swivel seat. Comfortable and quiet.

GameTamers sent me a TS-30 to use on this hunt. It has a very
comfortable seat that swivels silently. The platform is a roomy
30-inches. I used the TS-30 every day but one and it is a top notch
hunting treestand with a seat that is far better than most. When you
sit for 4 to 5 hours a truly comfortable seat like this one is much

We cut some limbs and pulled them up into the tree to give extra back cover.

Bears are equipped to be quiet, padded feet, head to toe fur coat, and
in spite of their size, a light step. But underneath the moss, ferns
and low brush there are dead limbs and branches that can crack,
sometimes soft sometimes loud, when a bear steps on them. They are the
signal for us to be totally quiet and motionless. A bear might take an
hour or more to come to the bait and noise or movement near the bait
can keep them from coming in. Hearing those tell tale cracks is

I also brought along
new Pro-Ears Gold and put them on. These are the latest in hearing
enhancement and they beat out anything else I’ve ever tested or used.
Clear is the word, clear and no static, because they are digital. And
one of the best things about them is you can adjust the volume for each ear
— so you can tell what direction a sound came from.


Listening with the Pro-Ears Gold for twigs and branches to break.

Half an hour before
dark the Pro-Ears picked up a faint and distant crack of a branch. Ten
minutes later I didn’t need the Pro-Ears to help my hearing, several
limbs broke to the left of the tree and a bear walked into view about
30 yards away, in the trees in front of us. I removed the Pro-Ears. The
bear kept walking and when it was 50 yards past us it turned I lost
sight of it in the pines to the right.

Soon it stepped out (just out of bow range) and it looked like it was
going to walk away. Then it turned toward the bait and went to it …
and roughly bashed some logs out of the way. It pawed around, all the
while facing in our direction.

It pulled more logs off the new bait and got himself broadside doing it. It was a BowTech moment, for sure.

I was already hooked up and had the bow in position to draw. So I drew.

Yikes! We had pulled limbs into the tree and hung them around us and
one of the limbs caught my hand and arm. I pushed to get the the
obstacle out of the way and then lined my peep up with the top pin on
my bowsight. When I released my hand hit the limb and I did not see my
hit. There was a loud “thunk” and when I got focused on it the bear ran
to the trees where we first saw it and stood for several minutes. Then
I couldn’t see it any more. I told Fred I didn’t see the hit.

“The hit was good.” Fred told me. And he added, “The video camera quit, we don’t have video.”

To me its all about the hunt, the video is fluff. If we get it fine, if we don’t so be it. I put on the Pro-Ears again and turned them up all the way and listened — but heard nothing. We climbed down.

The arrow was sticking in a bait log like it had been sledge hammered in. And I guess, in a way, it was … by a BowTech 82nd Airborne sledge hammer.

Grim Reaper broadhead deeply embedded in one of the bait logs.

The Grim Reaper Razor Cut penetrated the bear and then sunk deeply into
the log. We walked to where the bear had stood to see if it was there.
It wasn’t. We followed the blood trail another 25 yards and got into
the seriously thick brush and trees. Fred marked the spot with orange
We’d recover my bear in the morning when there was good light.

We met everyone at the rendezvous spot. Several bears had been seen but no more shots. We all returned to camp and the Duck fried fish for everyone.

I slept uncomfortably that night, uneasy because I had not seen the hit myself.

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