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.
Nashville Don Gets His Bear
By Robert Hoague
Sep 19, 2008 – 7:25:02 AM
Don Himmelberg saw a
totally black bear (even the muzzle) on his first hunt but passed on it.
The next afternoon a big bear came in to the back side of the bait and
pulled a couple of logs off. When the bear turned broadside presented a
shot Don took it but things didn’t work out. Don moved to to new
location and saw a mahogany colored bear. The bear was apprehensive about the
bacon burn Don had going and it turned around and eased out the same
way it came in.
On yesterday’s hunt Don Himmelberg put out his bacon burn and got in his stand at 5:00. Weatherwise it was
a partly cloudy afternoon and breezy. Everything remained quiet until 8:00
when Don had a violent coughing attack. He was convinced he “scared
everything for 5 counties away”.
Twelve minutes later, 15 yards away on the right, Don saw a bear in the
woods, walking slowly toward the burned out bacon burn. The bear stuck
its nose in the bacon burn can and Don saw a quartering away shot
opportunity materialize and took his shot. The arrow penetrated into
the left rib cage and went in past the fletching.
The bear ran, jumped a log and took a trail to the right and attempted
to jump over a downed tree … but couldn’t make it and slid off the
tree trunk and turned left and continued in that direction, down the
hill. Don heard several loud limb cracks and the woods fell quiet.
Half an hour later Don descended fro his treestand. He found blood
by the bacon burn and on the tree the bear had jumped over. There was
no arrow. He marked the blood and went to his truck and drove to pick
up Mike, Robert (from Tennessee), Don and Liz.
Don felt good about the shot placement but not hearing a death moan made him nervous. He had a sleepless night.
At 5:30 the next morning he, Robert Edwards and Fred Lutger went to the
stand site and took up the trail. Ten yards into the thick, rocky woods
they found the fletching end of Don’s arrow shaft. The rest of the
arrow was 5 yards further. The blood trail trickled out in 10 yards.
Not seeing any more blood Don crawled under a downed pine tree (on a
hunch) and saw a black hump ahead 15 yards. Don skirted around some
saplings, hoping it was the bear.
“I found the bear,” Don called out. Robert and Fred worked their way to
him and in Don’s words, “”handshakes and congratulations were flying
Fred took a few pictures and they pulled the bear to the truck.
Don told me, “I was very thankful to be given this second opportunity to shoot my
biggest bear ever, on the last day, in the last hour of the hunt. It
was a wonderful hunt, the food was great, the fellowship was what made
the trip worth while.”
Don is quite a cut up and enjoys joking around. His frenchman aviator imitation had us all laughing and we made him do it almost day. But he had plenty of other laughables up his sleeve. Here is one.
Don cuts up in his cooking outfit.
Don Himmelberg owns his own law firm in his home town Nashville,
Tennessee and specializes in Criminal Defense. Two year’s ago his wife
gave him a bear hunt in Maine as a Christmas gift. He went and saw a
bear but didn’t get one. Afterward, he got on the internet and saw the
past hunts on Bowhunting.net and booked a hunt with Fred Lutger for
2007 and bagged a mahogany color phase bear on the third hunt, out of a
That year Don was hunting a site he liked. Fred had put a ground blind there and
Don was apprehensive about being “eyeball to eyeball” with a bear but
went along with it. The first hunt he saw 3 bears, two blacks and the
mahogany bear. The mahogany came to the bait and grabbed a scent set up
and ran into the woods and crunched away on it loudly.
The next afternoon the mahogany bear returned at 6:00. It poked its
head out of the brush and turned right back around. At 7:30, without
Don’s knowledge, the mahogany bear worked its way behind the blind and
when it started toward the bait Don saw it … 12 inches away.
Don drew when it was 6 yards from the blind and quartering-away. The bear heard
the arrow run through the whisker biscuit arrow rest and bolted 20
yards past the bait. Then it walked back to the bait and stood up on a log,
broadside at 10 yards. Don drew again and took the shot. It ran into
the brush for 30 yards and Don got to hear his first death moan. He had
his first bear.