The Duck Bears Up Big


The Duck Bears Up Big

By Don Beckwith

Jul 23, 2009 – 12:03:17 AM


My bear hunt 2008

It has become a tradition for Fred Lutgar and me to get together and head for Canada to hunt black bear.  

This year I got some practice with my Bow Tech patriot with my brother and then on the 6th of August, I drove to Tinley Park Illinois to meet Fred. After having dinner with Mike Ditchler at Chef Klaus Steak and Seafood restaurant, we went to Canada, set up camp and started running the bait lines.  

While bating I picked a sight with tracks and signs of a big bear, knowing it is harder to get a chance at a big bear in daylight hours. I set up my double bull stand 15 yards from the bait site and got ready for the hunt.

Fred and I got a chance to go fishing before the hunters arrived in camp and we had a good supper of small mouth bass and walleye.

We have targets at camp and most every one practices daily. I picked my best carbon extreme arrows and set them up with Grim Reaper broadheads.

Bear season started the 15 of August and Fred and Robert gave us all a little inspirational talk and set up some meeting places after the hunt to make sure everyone would be accounted for as well as to help out when someone gets a bear.

The next day was the first day of the hunt,  Mike went with me to video but nothing happened.

Mark shot his bear the second day with Liz his wife videoing for him. The third day Liz went with me. No bear.

On the 4th day at dark a big bear stuck its head out and then disappeared. I knew then I was in the right spot for a BIG, BIG bear. Every day I bated and stacked the logs on top and every night and the bear cleaned every thing up.

On the 6th day Liz went with me to video and I set up a bacon burn to try to get the bear in earlier. The only thing that happened was it made Liz and I hungry. Directly behind my bait sight there was a turned over tree stump and each day I hung a bucket with an additional treats, hoping to get the bear in position for a good shot. One night the bear could not get the bucket off the stump and drug the whole thing, stump and all, into the woods. It took me a lot of time and energy to get the stump back in place.

The 8th day of the hunt we started breaking camp but I still had one more opportunity to hunt. The weather changed and it rained off and on that day and then cooled off. I knew that would increase my chances.

That afternoon in the double bull it rained hard then started clearing up about 7. The woods was quiet and cool. I knew my chances were good. About 7:45 I heard some branches cracking and got excited.

A few minutes later the bear stuck his head out. My 8 days of waiting was starting to be worth it. I wanted a big bear and this could be my opportunity. I wanted to go for my camera but I knew I might spook him and he might not come back till after dark. I was ready with my bow, and was thinking of shot placement form and follow through — mostly to keep myself calm.

The bear sniffed the logs on the bait pile then went right to the hanging bucket with the piece of Fred’s meat loaf inside. He stood up on the log — giving me exactly what I wanted — a broad side double lung shot. At 15 yards, with a wide open target, I settled in and took the shot. The arrow hit with a thud and the bear jumped into the woods.

Almost instantly I heard the bear moan again and again, and then nothing. I decided it was best to pack up my equipment before looking for blood. This took 10 to 15 minutes. It was starting to get dark so I got my flashlight and tracker line.

It wasn’t much of a tracking job. When I got to the edge of the woods, I saw the bear lying there. I knew he was way to much bear for me to handle and I would need all the help I could get to drag him out of the woods.

Mike was hunting in a stand and it was my turn to pick him up. When I got there I told him what I had and we needed to go back to camp to get Fred to help drag. Fred had just got in bed when we got there. I told him I had the bear and wanted us to get him out that night. He got right up and we drove to get my bear. Mike took a picture of Fred and I with the bear at the place he went down.

The drag wasn’t bad. The bear didn’t go anywhere and the trail to the truck was good. The problem was getting the bear in the truck. I backed the truck in the ditch and the three of us slid and pulled the bear in.

That last 30 minutes of this hunt, the excitement, and the anticipation made all the hours of waiting more than worth wile.

I want to thank every one who helped me have this great hunt. The people in camp, the Bear Lure and scent eliminating products that Rich Walton got from Wildlife Research Center for all the hunters. The light and extremely comfortable LaCrosse lace up boots that helped save my bad knees. The Grim Reaper RazorTip broad heads that did such a good job on this big bear. And the Jim Fletcher Flat Head that made my release so smooth and accurate. I can’t say enough about my Bow Tech Patriot, It is the best bow I have ever shot.

I have been on many bear hunts and they seem to get better and each year I learn more about the bears, the woods and the people.   


Don “Duck” Beckwith


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