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A MN Bear hunting adventure!
No Mercy's Link
Whew-it's been a whirlwind week! I've been on a quest to shoot a monster bear in MN since I first started bowhunting there in 1995. Although I have taken some good bears, I've never shot a true monster. I hoped to make that change this year, after a 3 year wait to draw a tag in our unit again. My good friend, Ed, who runs King's Corner Guide Service, has been on this quest with me for the last 8 years and 3 tags. We've had our share of learning together in our adventures, between finding bait sights and where to hang stands. We hunt in an area with very little pressure, and we have some big bears, as you will see from the pics I will post. These bears have proven to be as wily as an old whitetail, especially after the acorns drop.
No Mercy's Link
We have one we have nick named Sleepy, which is the bear I have been trying to tag. See attached video for the reason for his name. Unfortunately, I only got two glimpses of him, and a shot opportunity never presented itself.
Here's another video of him-
Well-fast forward to this year. We tried two new bait sites and went went with a few of our normal ones. The bears turned on fast! I was pumped-we were getting pics of BIG bears and two chocolate bears, which are rare for this area.
And this one started to show up regularly. I was getting pretty pumped!!
The baits were getting pounded now. Multiple bears on each bait.
We call this bait Big Balls....
Daylight pics would help! Nice bears but need them during shooting hours Always a dilema
We had them coming at all times. Morning. Midday. All night.
This big guy was pretty regular
Then-the acorns started dropping. Raining. All at once. The baits literally shut down. Now we have this happen every year, but this was a week earlier than normal. I decided to sit on the bait the chocolate and one big black colored bear were hitting on opener. It's on a ridge, way back in the middle of nowhere. Perfect wind, but it was hot. No bears sighted.
Night two my wife decided to sit in a blind with me. This was turning into a chess game, as well as a guessing game as to which bait was going to get hit. Spent a very warm evening listening to birds, chipmunks and squirrels, but no bears again.
I think I like where this is headed.
Night 3 I decided to move to a different bait. One we call Automatic, because of its past success. It was not as good this year, due to a pack of wolves taking over the bait. I never knew wolves would eat donuts and candy, but they do. No bears tonight either.
Due to really warm temps, I decided to take the next night off. Of course, you know one of the big boys shows up in my absence. Ugh. Can't win!
Sat two more nights. No bears again. Took Sunday off to celebrate my wife's birthday, and guess who shows up during shooting light.
Too bad you have such a wolf problem. We are about to take out a few I hope on Tuesday!!
Monday, Labor Day, would be my last opportunity for awhile to hunt. I decided to return to the same bait that the big bear was the previous night. The temps had dropped to the upper 60's and it was a beautiful night.
No Mercy's Link
At 7:15 he came in from my left, but turned and walked straight away from me. I was set up perfect at 12 yards in a ground blind. He circled around, and came out at 5 yards. I couldn't get a shot because of brush!!! Talk about adrenaline pumping. He was HUGE! He then walked over to the bait and I released. The shot looked good.
The trail camera even caught the shot!!
Here's a pic of how well the blind blended in
Anyway, it was not to be that night. After finding a big glob of fat, the blood trail ended, and after watching the shot video, we decided we did not want to pursue this beast after dark with minimal blood. Although the blood looked good, we determined the shot was a bit more back than I had though originally.
Very cool Jason...Congrats.
Next morning we were back at it. We picked up the blood trail and found the arrow. He was taking us through some absolutely brutally thick stuff, but the blood trail was good, until he went in the open.
He crossed some stuff that we thought to be not possible, and couldn't believe how far he was taking us. There was a bear den located in this old logging trash pile and he walked right over the top of it!
Sadly, the blood trail ended when the bear went into a swamp. I was devastated! We decided to just start doing circles around the swamp and see if we could happen to stumble on him.
Well, my guide, and best friend, Ed, did just that! The bear had swam across part of the swamp, then crawled up in a beaver run and died! I can't believe he even saw him! This is what he saw!
We discovered that I had totally underestimated the size of this bruin, as 3 of us could not budge him. We had to blaze a trail with a chainsaw and the Ranger to get to him. We had to use the winch to get him out of the beaver run.
Maybe I'm stupid but, that shot sure didn't look to far back to me. Good luck and God Bless
I finally had my monster bear! While we could not weigh him, the 3 of us could not lift him into the Ranger! We had to devise a lever/pulley system using the Ranger and a tree to get him up in the bed.
We are guessing between 400 and 450 lbs. The hide was right on 7' from nose to tail. Skull is 20" green score. Heck of a bear-especially in MN.
An awesome bear and an end to my quest.
Cool. Where was the shot? God Bless
Shot hit liver, diaphragm and guts.
That was a day to remember!! Congrats again !!
Way to go on the recovery! God Bless
That bear has a nice coat too.
Nice animal, congrats.
That's a honey of a bear!
Congrats and way to stay at it. Sweet rewards for hard work.
Rug or lifesize?
That topic is currently up for discussion in our house! If you know what I mean. Haha.
Jason, congrats on a true Northwoods monster!!!
What a pumpkin head!
Congrats on a great trophy. That hide is beautiful.
Great story & picts, great bear. Thanks for sharing!
Congrats on a great bear! I was up that way at the first of the season as well hunting with 2 friends. I couldn't believe how thick those woods are up there. When I was blood trailing my bear, it was hard to see more than 10 feet in front of you. My bear wasn't as big as yours but we were impressed by his size. As you can tell from the pics, we recovered him at night which is a whole story in of itself! We calculated his weight to be right at 350 live weight. Thanks for the story!
And happy you should be! Congratulations!
Congrats KY Eyebow!
No Mercy - a couple observations...
Your first bear picture has stretch marks. Was that bear bigger than the one you got?
I think you were wise to not pursue your bear the first evening. We might have had a thread from the bear's perspective on how to turn the tide on a hunter.
Was the meat any good after being out that long? I was in central MN over the weekend and the night temps were ~40F.
Amoebus-yes-definitely bigger-that bear is still out there somewhere! Yeah-once we ran out of blood that night-we thought it best to back out-he could have eaten us in two gulps.
Unfortunately, and it still makes me sick, the meat was not good. I think with him crawling in that beaver run, combined with having 2-3" of fat all the way around him, he just never cooled efficiently. I tried my best, just couldn't get it done. It sucks.
Congrats KY Eyebow!
Thanks, No Mercy. Sorry about your meat spoilage. I shot him on opening day and you may remember how hot it was then. I shot my bear at 615PM and it took us until 2:00 AM to get everything taken care of as far as skinning, hanging, etc. It was alot bigger job than I typically have back here at home with a whitetail! Wonderful experience.
nice bear fond memories, congrats
And these pricks are back
You should take the highest bidder w/ a tag and put him on that bait!
Congrats on a great MN bear!
Haha. I wish we had daytime photos of him.
Kind of a big toothpick, but whatever works I guess
Keep your pics rolling!
Great stuff Jason!
Now they're coming during the light. And there's the proof-wolves like licorice!
Congrats on an awesome bear Jason! You guys did some solid work in recovering him! I think it's time to start laying down some wolves.
Thanks Brotsky. Appreciate it. Congrats to you and your wife too!
Congrats and thanks for sharing!
Congrats and thanks for sharing!
Here's the mount I'm going to have done. I'll build the base and habitat myself.
Dang good read.
You did great
That will be a real cool looking mount too.
Good luck, Robb
I think we should change the name of this bait to the zoo!!
Crazy what comes to this bait!
Well, sounds like Sleepy made his last move. One of the locals killed a giant bear right in his area. Damn. The end of an era.
That's a good sized cat. Bucket list item for me.
The fisher is beyond cool.
Nice bear No Mercy! Been baiting and hunting bears for myself and others in MN for over 20 years. We have killed only one bear the size of yours in that time frame.
KY. Careful posting that picture. That's not a legal bait station in MN.
55 gallon barrels can be used on private land only and they need to be secured to a tree. Pig Doc, Without hijacking this thread, we don't know if that is a bait station or not. But if it is, not legal. :o)
Anyway, Very Nice bear Jason!
No Mercy's Link
Well, Ky hijacked the thread already and that barrel is not secured to a tree. Let me guess, not a bait barrel, just a random barrel laying around where the bear died.
Found a video of the winch burning out on us. Lol
Pig Doc, We just propped the bear up on the barrel for pics after we got him back to the shed to get him skinned. It was not used for bait. Why would you think it was a bait barrel if it wasn't specified as such? Have a great day, Pig Doc. I'd think if anyone should call me out on "hijacking" this thread, it would be No Mercy. No Mercy, if I offended you by posting, I apologize. Some of you all(Pig Doc) on here just really need to get a life. You ruin the whole concept of this site by accusing folks who are just trying to add to this bowhunting site.
Nah man. All good!!
Check out this slob!!!!
It's coming together nicely!
My little man was surprised at how big it was!
Great thread and a helluva bear ! Congrats !
Thanks Drycreek! Can't wait to get the base finished!
Great thread, I like the pics with short written words. It's hard to maintain interest when the author is long winded.
I've killed some nice animals in my career, but my most rewarding is my only bear, a P&Y black bear that I baited myself in MN. To me, there is no equivalent.
Congrats on the bruin. You will admire that trophy above all others.
Looking good Jason! What a mellon head is right...yikes!
Good luck this year on "the slob!"
Thanks Mark. No more bears for me. I think I'm going to hang it up and let the boys kill the bears for awhile.
Never say never Jason. I gave up Black Bears about 10 years ago. Hunted them last year, and will again this year. Beats the heck out of turkey hunting. (Sorry Chris)
Mount looks great...
I hear ya Cory. I'm going to concentrate on deer for once this year. I'd like to shoot a velvet one, then actually do some upland and waterfowl hunting....
Hey I think I recognized that room- did Paul mount it for you? He really does great work doesn't he?!?
Scoot-you guessed correctly! He does a great job!
Hey Jason, I missed your bear hunt last September but I am sure glad you brought it back up to show the stuffer.
Great pics and story. Exciting for sure.
my best, Paul
Well, I finally got the skull back. That was an adventure all it's own!??
Scored 19 12/16". Bruiser of a MN bear!! Also got the age back from DNR-they say it was only 4 years old.
Mount is nearing completion too. I'll update with pictures then.
4 years? I find that one hard to believe. Do you think the dnr could have made an error?
That's a great story!
Its possible Grubby. I'm thinking the same thing.
Do you know if they aged the bear by pulling a tooth?
A monster regardless of age....Congrats Jason!
I assume you are bear hunting again (assuming you got drawn)?
Medicine man, when you register a bear in Minnesota you are required to submit a tooth.
My bear came out of the MN woods last year in 4 pieces that weighed 280# My guessed live weight was 340#. My aged tooth patch/card came back at 3 years old?????? I have been in contact with MN Bear Researcher D Garshels now---something is going on with whom is doing the aging. I sent in 3 teeth from my bear. Not just one.
Mark-no. I'm done bear hunts for awhile. Time for the kids to take over.
Yes. It was aged with two teeth, which is a requirement of the mm dnr.
Bears are hitting SOLID with multiples on most baits. We shall call this one Tank!
No Mercy's Link
Great bear and very nice job telling your story. This is the stuff I love to come and read. Very nicely done and a nice mount. A lot of excellent pics. Maybe I don't need to go all the way up to Manitoba bear hunting anymore :)
I can't believe how many animals you have coming in to the zoo bait.
Question.... Are those timberwolves? Just curious, they don't look extremely big yet are certainly much bigger than coyotes. Just curious what type of wolves those are.
I've wondered about the coloration of them too. As far as I know, they are Timber Wolves. Here a more recent video of a mama and 5 pups
The mount is almost done!!!
Wow what a trophy , and you suck!! ????, I've dreamed of a pig like that
Finally officially scored. 19 11/16. Pretty damn happy!
Rightfully so - tank of a MN bear!
I'm anxious to get my skull and age back from my bear this fall, although hard to believe a few of the ages posted here.
Here's the mount. Still waiting on the barn wood base
He's on display at the Scheels in Fargo, ND for awhile, and will move to the new Scheels in Johnstown CO next year
Looks awesome Jason...congrats!!!
The final piece of the adventure arrived last week
Did you have it measured for the Minnesota book?
NOguts-yes-it is also in the MN book
Congratulations. No Mercy, I was also looking at the wolf pictures, I am from N.C. and they look a lot like the Red Wolves we have, you can have ours if you want. Forrest
HAHA-no thanks Forrest. You keep them-we have enough!