Monday, February 16, 2009

i never met a bear i didn't like.
i had a bear skin once. A friend of mine had to shoot the bear outside of their lodge, because he was becoming a nuisance and he was concerned for his customers. This being a fly-in lodge in Northern Quebec.
He told me the story of sitting on the roof of the lodge waiting for him to come to the trap they had set up with some smelly fish.
He also told me about the moonless night before, when the bear was out behind the lodge.
There is a road between the lodge and a steep hill that runs along the road going east and west for about a 1/4 mile. There are many small trees and rocks and the rest is scrub bush, with the exception of some tall pines on it. Down the road to the left is the old sawmill and some derelict vehicles and a couple of boats. To the right the road curves left and away from the lodge to an opening where the generator is, with one of the few lights that break up the darkness. But the hill obscures any light on the road behind the lodge. About the only sounds you would hear are a couple of loons on the lake, some frogs in the distance, and the quiet drone of the generator.
The bear was being noisy as he climbed up on the back of the old truck where the garbage was.
Upon hearing this my friend grabbed the gun, a flashlight and ran out the door of the lodge, down the steps and around the corner of the building towards the truck.
He heard the bear jump off the truck and go towards the hillside and stop. It was so dark that the flashlight barely lit up the sites on the gun. He could hear the bear breathing, sniffing the air and he could smell him, but he couldn't see him. Waiting for a few moments he thought this was useless. He then realized he was standing there in sock feet and no shirt on. He'd have to come up with another plan.
The next night brought the same occurrence, but he had a little surprise set up. His young assistant and himself sat on the roof with a large landing light from an old airplane. Connected to a truck battery for power they flicked it on as he got a bead on the back of the truck. BANG!!
The loud gun shot echoed across the lake. The bear jumped from the truck and took off up the hill going about 200 ft before dropping. He had made a perfect shot and was surprised at how far the bear had run.
It was a young black bear around 300 lbs, of whom i became the owner of his skin.
Of all the times i flew up there and spent time on the trails, fishing, building, hiking and the like. i saw one large moose, but never a bear. This bear skin was as close as i was going to get.

No comments: