Back Country Bear Hunt

4 years ago was the last time we got drawn to hunt bear in Minnesota, and since then a lot had changed for our family. We moved twice, got new jobs, and oh yeah, had a baby! But what had not changed was our desire to hunt this amazing creature. It typically takes 3-4 years to get drawn to hunt bear, so when your name is called, you are ready.

After the stands were hung and bait was dropped, it was a waiting game. The first two nights for me were slow. One bear came close on night two but I think he winded me and took off. After hunting both nights with a partner, I was encouraged to hunt solo to increase my chances of seeing bear since they have very good scent detection. It worked. On night three I had 3 cubs and a sow come in to the bait and the sow was making her way up the trail towards my stand when our guide and good friend drove by on a 4 wheeler to help Brian track the bear he had just shot since he was hunting just down the trail from me. Mama then took off with one of her cubs but soon returned. I cannot lie, bears at the bait pile is one thing, but a mama bear making her way up the trail toward me and being there alone was a whole different experience, I was afraid she would hear my heart beating it was so loud…Thank goodness I had my Xpedition Xception in my hand! They took their time eating and eventually took off. While the sow gave me a perfect broadside shot at 10 yards, there was no way this new mama was going to shoot that mama. I want those cubs to make it another winter, so I passed on that opportunity. Not long after they left a lone bear showed up but did not give me the shot I needed and I was not about to take a so-so shot.

In the end I had the most exciting hunt I have ever had, I learned a lot and had a great time with friends and family, which is what hunting is all about for me.

Karissa Smith
Above The Game