1999 Mike Ditchler (Chef Klaus) has been a regular at the annual bear
hunt Fred Lutger puts on in Ontario. He is a guy who sees a lot of
bears on his hunts. This year the weather changed his luck. On
three of the days he was totally rained out due to heavy rain
accompanied by thunder and lightening. And no one should stay in a metal
treestand during a lightening storm.
The weather cleared and on the
next 4 hunts he did not see any bears. But that was going to change
later on today.
Early today Fred moved Mike to a new area. We went in in the morning and set up a Double
Bull ground blind on an incline. It looks down on the bear bait 15 yards away.
Here is a closer look at the ground blind.
In 2001 Fred and I hunted
here with the same set up and Fred got a big bear here. (2001 Bear Hunt…) And other bears have
been taken at this site in the years since.
After the blind was set we ran the baits. Here is the rack of bait.
After the baits were refreshed we returned to camp. New
York strip steaks with baked potatoes was today’s fare. It was very fine
eating. Then we loaded up our gear and took off for the afternoon
hunts. I went along with Fred to video.
We dropped the Chef off at his new location and went to the area Fred
wanted to hunt. This time we were in treestands. One bear came
into the area and he stood in the woods behind us for a while but it
didn’t advance to the bait.
Yep, we’re talking flying and biting insects. This afternoon they were out in
force. It’s what I call a ThermaCELL afternoon. I would hate to think
about all the itchy, stinging mosquito and black fly bites we would’ve
gotten today if the ThermaCELL had not kept them off us.
Meanwhile, Chef Klaus waited and waited without seeing a bear. When
bear thirty came there were no bears then either. Daylight started to
fade and Mike knew it would not be long before last light came and his
hunt would be over.
Something moved in the trees to the right. A bear something.
A big one.
Fortunately, the bear didn’t fool around and wait a long time before
making his move. Instead it walked right to the logs and pulled
some out of the way to get to the bait.
It turned broadside.
Perfect. Mike drew and put his top pin behind the left shoulder and took his shot.
The bear woofed and ran to the left side of the blind. Mike popped his
head out of the shooting window in the blind to try to keep track of
He got a brief glimpse of the bear in the thick trees and heard a
loud crash … followed by a very loud, gurgling death moan.The bear was down, and very close by.
Darkness settled in quickly and soon Mike heard us coming to get him.
He hopped out of the blind and excitedly hurried to the pick up spot.
After he told us what happened we went for the bear right away. It was 20 yards from the blind.
We hooked up and dragged the bear to the truck. Then we went back for the blind and chair.
Later on at camp we made our traditional toast, “To the bears.” This evening Chef Klaus was bouncing off the walls with excitement.
The next morning we took pictures.
When we weighed Mike’s bear the needle breezed past 300 and our weahered game pole broke in two. The Chef has taken an adult bear almost every year for 10 years and none of them had crossed over the 300 pound mark. I waited until lunch and made a toast to the bears. And then added…