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Topic Archives => Classics => Topic started by: Gary Norris on February 02, 2008, 10:26:00 PM

Title: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Gary Norris on February 02, 2008, 10:26:00 PM
These two hunts took place years ago, and have alot of history behind them so they will take some time to tell.  Hopefully you will think it is worth the time.  Most of you know one of the guys in this story and very few of you know me.  By the way,  friend,  when you figure out who you are -- jump in and help with the stories.  I have been hunting with Longbows since my friend made me one to go on our first bear hunt.
This hunt took placw in about 1972 when I went to Canada with a great friend of mine and his Dad.  We made our way to Canada and got set up across the lake from the main camp.  We were settled in that evening and the owner of the camp came over to talk and plan for the next day when we would take boats over to the main camp.  As he was leaving, he mentioned that we would be hunting with a special guest.  I'll introduce him to you with a picture of his personnal bow.

  (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v229/ckinslow/fredbear4.jpg)
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: geno on February 02, 2008, 10:32:00 PM
Charlie??
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Danny Rowan on February 02, 2008, 10:36:00 PM
That would be Fred Bear, the special guest, I have seen that pic somewhere before.

Danny
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Gary Norris on February 02, 2008, 10:44:00 PM
Here is a picture of me leaving the next morning.

 (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v229/ckinslow/fredbear9.jpg)
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: IB on February 02, 2008, 10:53:00 PM
Gary you look a "LOT OLDER" now   :goldtooth:
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Charlie Lamb on February 02, 2008, 11:01:00 PM
I recognize the scar on that guys left arm! Keep tellin... I've got a hunch!!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Missouri CK on February 02, 2008, 11:11:00 PM
Hey Vance,

All I know is that its a pretty ugly looking group so far!

Chris
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: IB on February 02, 2008, 11:14:00 PM
I'm just waitin for a Mistake   :biglaugh:      :biglaugh:
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: doctari on February 03, 2008, 12:01:00 AM
I agree with Danny, Fred Bear. The bow is a lefty. Keep the story going, I bet it is a good one.
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Robhood23 on February 03, 2008, 12:10:00 AM
At least that is Freds bow by looking at the shelf design!!!
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Gary Logsdon on February 03, 2008, 12:13:00 AM
In the 70s I walked the edge of the Au Sable River with a lanky fellow who had a bow like that tucked under his right arm. A few years later that bow (or one just like it) was hanging on a peg in a little nook off his office in Gainesville.  Am I getting warm??
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Brian Krebs on February 03, 2008, 01:04:00 AM
sure does look like Freds bow; but.. doesn't look like his arm holding it.
 I am finding interest in the string silencers..

keep the hints coming  :)
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: adeeden on February 03, 2008, 06:14:00 AM
Hey I know that place!

 (http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l87/adeeden/bearhuntgear099.jpg)
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: adeeden on February 03, 2008, 06:17:00 AM
(http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l87/adeeden/FredBearBS.jpg)
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: deertraks on February 03, 2008, 06:45:00 AM
Gary, I think I know who it is. He is left haned and I think he is the leader of the crew.
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Charlie Lamb on February 03, 2008, 10:29:00 AM
Well, looks like the cat...er...Bear, is out of the bag. I'll have to drag out some "never before seen on Trad Gang" photos and put them up.

Gary and I met when we were both impressionable 18 year olds in a small midwestern college. We both shared the same passion for the outdoors and all things hunting, trapping and archery.
  (http://www.tradgang.com/upload/charlie/MenGaryncampfire1.jpg)
Over the years we shared many adventures, but in those early days it was mostly harrassing the local ground hog population and scaring hell out of the occasional cottontail.

One of our favorite hunts after school was a walk out some railroad tracks that ran through the middle of town and soon led to farmland.
      (http://www.tradgang.com/upload/charlie/megarybridge.jpg)
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Charlie Lamb on February 03, 2008, 10:34:00 AM
Looking back it amazes me how things have changed in this state. We often traversed country that now teems with whitetails, yet in those days we never so much as saw one track.

Gary was from south central Iowa where he had lots of farm community family and the run of almost an entire county.
As a nonresident I could't hunt deer there but eventually helped Gary get started.
I was always amazed at the number of deer that country contained...even then.

Of course when you come from a place where seeing A deer in a month of hunting was doing alright, then seeing 2 or 3 a day was mind boggling.
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Charlie Lamb on February 03, 2008, 10:47:00 AM
I introduced Gary to bowfishing and he took to it right away.
  (http://www.tradgang.com/upload/charlie/meandgarybowfish2.jpg)
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Budog56 on February 03, 2008, 11:22:00 AM
TTT
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: IB on February 03, 2008, 01:38:00 PM
Well so far things are keepin pretty TRUTHFUL  :clapper:  

But it's still early..... HU Chris  :goldtooth:
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: bentpole on February 03, 2008, 01:43:00 PM
Great stuff guys! Amazing.
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Gary Norris on February 03, 2008, 02:14:00 PM
Thanks guys for all of the comments.  I appreciate them.
Now that you have figured out that my friend is Charlie Lamb and we were lucky enough to get to hunt with Fred Bear , I'll go on with the story.

When we were camped that night and Gordie, owner of the camp, (I think that was his name) told us that Fred Bear was coming in to hunt, we really didn't believe him.  Not until the next morning when a chopper landed by the truck and out stepped - - Fred Bear.

Why was Fred there ?  If you can remember back that far it was the time when the compound bow was just coming in.  Fred was there to try out the new Bear Compound and kill a bear with it to get pics of Fred and the bear killed with the new compound. There were media guys and advertising people everywhere.

 Fred , Charlie , and I shot a lot together and the compound really didn't fit the style of shooter that Fred was.  If you have ever seen him shoot, you know what I mean.
 He didn't hold the anchor point at all.  When he hit anchor the arrow was gone.

  You could tell it was really bugging Fred that they wanted to show him with the compound.  We wondered what he would do.  Finally he just put the bow down.  Told the ad people to destroy all of the pics of him with the compound.

 He said "I have never shot a bow like this and I'm not going to.  Find someone else to promo it"  That was that.  I thought it was neat as hell.
  (http://www.tradgang.com/upload/charlie/Fredbearcompound.jpg)

 We need to get back to the first morning.  Sometimes my writing style jumps around a little.

There we were getting our gear into the camp the first day and there  seemed to be something going on pretty exciting.
 One of the hunters from the hunt that was finishing up was coming in with a huge black bear.

He had stayed out all night with a can of sterno and a can of honey on it to pull in this bear.  It was his last night and he didn't waste it.

The picture of the bear is with Charlie's dad.  He went with us and did the cooking and kept the beer cold.  He was a great guy and I'll always have great memories of him, Charlie and the hunt.

Well Lamb that's it so far - your turn to add to the story, Remember how dark it was in that timber.    
 
    (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v229/ckinslow/PICT1062.jpg)

    (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v229/ckinslow/fredbear3.jpg)
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Missouri CK on February 03, 2008, 03:06:00 PM
Vance,

Well they haven't started telling stories about pictures like this yet so I'll let them keep going.  

 (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v229/ckinslow/107fa3701.gif)

Chris
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Kingwouldbe on February 03, 2008, 03:29:00 PM
Thanks for the blast from the past.

I wish a lot more of you OLD TIMERS would post up, it is the best stuff.
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: A. Kinslow on February 03, 2008, 06:26:00 PM
Great thread!  The only thing that makes it better is to hear them in person.  Looking forward to tackling some turkeys this spring with you both.
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: SouthMDShooter on February 03, 2008, 06:44:00 PM
Great Thread!
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: The Whittler on February 03, 2008, 08:40:00 PM
Thanks for the pics and story.
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Charlie Lamb on February 03, 2008, 08:40:00 PM
Do I remember how dark the timber was? You gotta be kiddin!!   :scared:  

I'd hunted with this camp several years previous and after my first week hunting bears in Northern Ontario I swore I'd never bear hunt again.

The camp was Gordy Bentley's "Bear Paw Landing". Gordy would set up his stands within a few feet of the bait and they were seldom more than head high... I could usually lay my bow on the platform standing flat footed below it.

As if that weren't enough, the set up was always in the middle of a clearing that a compact car wouldn't have fit in.

I'd sit in my stand hardly daring to breath waiting for the bears (which I was sure were behind every tree and all with a taste for human flesh).

As the witching hour would approached I'd get more keyed up. Each minute that ticked away was one minute closer to a bear showing up and of course one minute closer to darkness.

By the time it got too dark to shoot I was sure a bear was waiting below for my departure. The first step backwards down the ladder took all the courage I could muster... being sure I was lowering myself into the jaws of death and all.

Somehow I got through that week without messing my pants or having a heart attack and without so much as seeing a bear.
One evening I'd caught a flash of movement off in the brush and shortly had a big shiny black raven walk into the clearing.

That was so weird I about hurled with...er...excitement.

I'd vowed after that first hunt to never hunt bears again.

But as time went by my memories leaned more toward the camp times, and fishing from the boat dock and the awesome Canadian sunsets and the aurora borealis.
The spooky nights walking out through brush that closed in on you like a coffin and waiting by the road to be picked up in pitch darkness had faded from my memory.

By the time Gary and I planned our hunt and were on our way I was one excited puppy... bring em on!!
  (http://www.tradgang.com/upload/charlie/BearhuntWabigoon.jpg)
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Missouri CK on February 03, 2008, 10:12:00 PM
I helped Gary load these pictures up on Photobucket so I'll throw this one out since it seems appropriate.

Charlie, I don't understand why you were so afraid of some bears at eye level?

Does this picture answer that question.....

  (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v229/ckinslow/DSCF1448.jpg)

I assume those are bear claw marks on that telephone pole.  

Chris
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: IB on February 03, 2008, 10:25:00 PM
(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/IronBull_/Smileys/yikes.gif) What year was this again!!
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Terry Green on February 03, 2008, 10:47:00 PM
I LOVE it!!!!!!!!!

   :bigsmyl:
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Brian Krebs on February 03, 2008, 11:24:00 PM
It is interesting that you look at the pictures and Fred is not smiling. If you knew Fred; he was a person that did not waste the opprotunity to smile. The compound bow element of the story seems to have had an effect on Fred.
 I know one time he saw my Bear take down; and walked over to me - pointed at my bow and said "now that's the kind of bow ~I~ hunt with!!".
 I asked him about the pictures of him with a compound; and he said " I am sorry I ever picked one of those ##$(*^& things up!".
 He laughed really hard when my bow shot 216 fps with an aluminum arrow; and people were mad that their compounds didn't shoot that fast  :)  He paid to have me shoot through the crono one more time; just because of the reaction it brought from the crowd.
 I never hunted with him - except in my heart   :archer:
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Budog56 on February 03, 2008, 11:30:00 PM
:campfire:
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Missouri CK on February 03, 2008, 11:33:00 PM
I'm just going to throw out some pictures for Gary so he can tell some more of the story in the morning.  I'm just the technical assistant on this story.  Sorry about the quality of the pictures as I tried scanning these and they didn't turn out so well. So then I had the idea of taking a picture with my digital camera.  Taking a picture of another photo is more difficult than it sounds.  

Looking forward to reading about these pictures.

    (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v229/ckinslow/fredbear6.jpg)

    (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v229/ckinslow/fredbear2.jpg)

   (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v229/ckinslow/fredbear.jpg)
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: BowHuntingFool on February 04, 2008, 01:44:00 AM
Pretty cool story and even cooler pictures! Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Charlie Lamb on February 04, 2008, 07:03:00 AM
Chris... in the pick of the telephone pole I think those were a combination of bite and claw marks. Don't remember exactly.

That is from a different hunt years later in Minnesota. Every few miles you'd find a telephone pole marked like that and there'd be a trail beside it.
Walk the trail into the brush until you hit a cross trail and put down a bait. Two days later... active bait station.
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Charlie Lamb on February 04, 2008, 07:08:00 AM
Looking at the last picture of shooting Fred's personal bow I just noticed the knife I was wearing.

Sure wish I could remember the maker's name... but I can't.

That knife now lives on the back side of Black Mountain in the Wind River range of the Rocky Mountains in western Wyoming.

Stopped for a sandwich with my old huntin bud Russ and it must have slipped off the belt of my fanny pack. I walked away never noticing it was gone.
We must have walked 15 miles that day.

I never got back up that way and probably couldn't have found the lunch spot if I did. Chalked it off as a gift to the mountain.
  :notworthy:
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Charlie Lamb on February 04, 2008, 07:14:00 AM
Anyway, back to Canada.

Like Gary said, we arrived to much excitement. Fred Bear going to be in camp and all, plus Bob Kirshner or Pa. had brought in that huge old boar on is last night.

My dad was truly impressed and I think the looks of that monster tempered his desire to bear hunt for the rest of the trip...that was the first up close and personal bear dad had ever seen.

Bob had come over to us and asked if we'd get a picture for him. In his excitement he'd laid his camera on the ground near his vehicle and promptly ran right over the top of it.

Somewhere I've still got a copy of the picture I took of Bob.
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Charlie Lamb on February 04, 2008, 07:29:00 AM
So being quite excited about bear hunting again, we went about the business of settling into camp. Like Gary said, we shot quite a bit with Fred and that was very cool stuff.

The first night on stand found me cussing the black flies and mosquitoes. Actually those of us who don't live in black fly country only THINK that mosquitoes are bothersome.

They are NOTHING compared to a black fly. Where mosquitoes probe and poke and hurt in a most irritating way, black flies have meat grinder jaws that draw blood and would make a preacher cuss with the intensity of the pain.

Other than that things were going well... I wasn't seeing any bears, and Gordy sure hadn't changed his baiting style. My eyes watered from the proximity of rotting chicken.

As the sun moved toward setting and the forest became still, I remembered why it had been so long since I'd hunted bears... CRAP!!!

I sat in silence praying for a bear to come to the bait and with each darkening second began to hope it wouldn't.
Once again I leaned over the edge of the stand platform and leaned my bow against the bowl of one of the trees that formed it's base.

Once again I swallowed hard and stepped backward down the ladder, searching for the next step tentatively expecting to be dragged down into frothing jaws.

Once again I crept from the darkened forest into the open and felt releif with each step away from the tree line.

I'd eventually overcome this feeling, this primal dread as it were. Not this night or the next, but by the end of the hunt I had begun to revel in the excitement of it all.
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: stykshooter on February 04, 2008, 07:45:00 AM
Cool pics thanks for sharing
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Littlefeather on February 04, 2008, 07:49:00 AM
Good stuff guys! I'm kinda shocked to see Gary posting.

Funny that your shooting style remains the same after all these years Lambo'. That's your relaxed style when we're just stumping and killing ain't in the game. Even left handed your style looks the same. Neat!


I suppose reading through this thread I've found a smile and also some sadness. Looking at those pics of bygone days and seeing Fred, a legendary Bowman, so relaxed and unassuming makes the ol' eyes a little watery. The "known" archers of today sure don't seem to carry such graceful, unassuming style. I don't think Fred ever really knew how important he was to all those who were watching him. The way it should be! It sure sucks to see our Hero's die. Sure wish I'd have been born just a little earlier and have spent more time watching him myself. I do get to hunt with Lamb  :bigsmyl:   Carry-on fella's! Really great stuff! CK
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Littlefeather on February 04, 2008, 07:51:00 AM
Were you shooting 4 under Charlie? CK
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Gary Norris on February 04, 2008, 09:27:00 AM
Once Again,
Thanks a lot for all of the comments about our story.  This is new to me although I did do a lot of writing in my previous life.  That was when I owned a hunting club in MO and I wrote about Sporting Clays.  That is another fun game to do with a shotgun.
A few comments about the comments:
To Brian,  you are right Fred did have a great time at what he did and you are right again, He really didn't know what he meant to the people that admired him.  He jumped way over the top of my list when he told his people to get rid of the pics of him and the compound.  It is too bad that people like Fred are gone,  That is why things like this are important.  We need to remember and pass on stories.  If we don't - Little people like my grandson , Charlie, won't know why we love the shooting and hunting and being with the ones we do it with.
To CK,
I'm a little shocked too.  I've been talking with Chris for some time about writing some stories with Lamb.  It sounded like it would be fun.  Several things have happened to me this past 2 years that make you say to yourself "I'm going to change and do some more of the things I like to do"  Well - here we are and it is Fun.
I'll finish this part of the story tonight with some more pics and then we will move to the bear hunt in Minn.  I think you will all like it.
Thanks Guys
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: JoeM on February 04, 2008, 09:50:00 AM
:thumbsup:   THANKS!!!!   :campfire:
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: A. Kinslow on February 04, 2008, 06:16:00 PM
"I'm going to change and do some more of the things I like to do"   - AMEN

The rat race will get us all in the end.  We each spend too much time dealing with the everyday grind, and not enough taking the time to do what is important:  Spending time with those that are dear, Surrounding ourselves with quality people, reconnecting with the natural world, soaking it all in...

Thanks Gary & Charlie for sharing how it all got started.  It will be fun to write some new chapters together.
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: The Whittler on February 04, 2008, 06:28:00 PM
Thanks for the great pics and stories.

Alan
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Brian Krebs on February 04, 2008, 06:59:00 PM
Bears will mark their territory by standing up and putting their backs to a tree; and then they turn their heads and bite the tree. I am not sure if they are leaving scent from a specific gland; but they do leave not only scent - but the height of the bite marks leaves an indication to other bears of the size of the bear in that territory.
 As noted; it helps to find these markers when putting out a bait  :)  
  I love the pictures !! thanks so much for sharing  :)
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Charlie Lamb on February 04, 2008, 08:48:00 PM
The week as a whole was a little slow in the bear hunting department. I never did see one. But man did we have some fun.

The average day went something like this...
Up fairly early with a cup of coffee and down to the rock shelf that ran out into the lake to catch breakfast.
There was seldom any problem catching enough walleye for whichever meal we chose... and we chose it for many. It's my favorite fish for sure.

My dad decided early on in the hunt that bear hunting just wasn't his cup of tea, so he mostly fished and cooked and hung around camp.
He's been gone for 30 years now and I sure miss him. Those were some great days for us.

In the mean time Gary was having much better luck in the bear department, but I'll let him tell about that.

I remember one comical incident that reminds me that I'm not the only one who was a little "edgy" in my early bear hunting days.

Our usual routine was to put four guys in a vehicle and drop them at their bait site one at a time.
We'd be miles apart so it took a while. The guy driving would park near his bait and pick everyone up in reverse order of what they'd been dropped off.

One of the guys... a kid named Vince... was the last in line to be picked up and instead of waiting on the road for us he'd decided he would  wait in his stand until we arrived at the road.
We would honk and let him know we were waiting.

Well, Vince's stand was way back in along a pretty little lake that teamed with ducks and loons and it would take him quite a while to get out to the truck.

One evening we pulled up and honked as usual and everyone got out to enjoy the night and the sounds of the Canadian bush.

We had just settled in by the front of the truck when off in the distance we heard a blood curdling scream... Yeooooooooooooowww!!!

It seemed that we barely had time to get concerned when Vince came racing out of the darkness.

Side heaving and totally winded he looked to be in one piece and we looked him over good until he could talk.

Seems he had just left his stand in the pitch darkness and was making his way through the thick timber on  a bear trail (what else?). Off to his side came the sound of heavy foot falls closing fast.

In that instant of recognition that some critter was closing fast, Vince's adrenaline level spiked like a tea kettle coming to boil.

Blind in the black of night and surronding brush Vince would only wait a second and it was on him.

A snowshoe hare rocketed out of the brush and across his feet, immediately followed by it's companion. Bunny grabass in the bushes.

It was too much for Vince and the tea kettle boiled over with a screeching scream. He went from zero to light speed in less time than it takes to read this.

I'm sure no Olympic sprinter could have covered the rough terrain any quicker than Vince did that night.

While there was a little good natured ribbing at his expense I doubt there was a man there who wasn't glad it was him and not them.
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Charlie Lamb on February 04, 2008, 08:49:00 PM
Thanks for that info Brian. I knew that, but I'm not much of a bear hunter anymore and if you don't use it you lose it.
  ;)
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: doctari on February 04, 2008, 11:01:00 PM
I love Bear stories, Fred Bear, and Black Bears. Keep em coming, This is good!
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: IB on February 05, 2008, 12:30:00 AM
With these OLDEN GUYS, it takes em a bit. They fergets things REAL EASY in between naps and all  :bigsmyl:  

I just Know there's more ta come BUT WHEN  :help:
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Bjorn on February 05, 2008, 02:11:00 AM
Wow! Guys now that really is a great story and looking back today what a thrill it must have been just to be there. I feel privileged to have read the story and seen the pics.
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Charlie Lamb on February 05, 2008, 07:15:00 AM
Gary spent about an hour writing last night only to lose everything he'd written in a glitch during submission... been there, done that, myself!
He'll be along in a while when he gets his fist removed from the wall.
   :knothead:    :mad:
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Charlie Lamb on February 05, 2008, 07:47:00 AM
While we're waiting for Gary let me post a few thoughts about Fred Bear...

Even at the age of 74-75 (his age when we met him)Fred had a twinkle in his eyes and a hint of mischief in his heart.
He was a practical joker and seemed to work at ideas for having fun.

He was very "available" to whoever wanted a piece of his time and for the time he was talking with you made you feel like you were the only one worth talking to.

Fred was a real inventor even into his later years. That part of him never really waned... note the silencers on his string in one of the pictures.
They appeared to be some sort of weatherstripping material.

He was a generous man. He offered to let me take his personal bow to kill a bear with... I suck as a lefty or I would have.
I found out that this was not an uncommon gesture of Fred's.

On the first night in camp, we'd not been to the "state store" so we had no refreshments. I was elected to go to Fred's cabin and mooch a six pack... Fred sent me back with a case.

Though Fred did spend a little time hunting bears ("I've killed a bunch of bears and don't really need to shoot another one."), he seemed to really enjoy time out on the lake fishing.

When in the woods hunting bears, on that trip, he fabricated a "stalking blind". In other words, a barrier that shielded his movements from a bear on the bait.
Fred would wander off for periods of time doing whatever and occasionally return to the area of the bait.
He'd check for bears from a distance and if one was present he would be able to stalk down a cleared trail to the barrier.
Pretty smart hunter.
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Horne Shooter on February 05, 2008, 08:18:00 AM
What great stuff...thank you for sharing this with everyone.
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: tadpole on February 05, 2008, 08:27:00 AM
This is great, thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Whip on February 05, 2008, 10:50:00 AM
Too cool!  I had no idea what I was going to find when I opened up this thread.  What a treasure!  :thumbsup:    :thumbsup:    :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: bohuntr on February 05, 2008, 11:03:00 AM
Thanks Charlie and Gary for sharing this with all of us!!!  :clapper:    :clapper:    :clapper:
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Drew on February 05, 2008, 11:19:00 AM
A big thanks to Charlie and Gary for sharing this and the pictures.  

I'm sitting on the edge of my chair, just like i would be at the campfire, wide eyed and listening to every word!
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: alaskabowhunter on February 05, 2008, 11:24:00 AM
great post and pics, thanks.
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Trooper on February 05, 2008, 12:39:00 PM
Man, this is a great thread.  Thanks for sharing your memories and pictures.  Please share more!!!!!!
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: returntoarchery on February 05, 2008, 03:25:00 PM
Is that a "B" riser on Fred's TD?

Also what poundage was Fred shooting?

This is a great thread! Keep them coming.

Frank
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Mark Baker on February 05, 2008, 03:37:00 PM
Really enjoyed this one, Gary and Charlie, even  with the  slow  "dial-up wait  for the pics"  hassel.    Thanks  a bunch!
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Mrs Stickman on February 05, 2008, 03:40:00 PM
I know I am a Trad Gang addict.  It's the only addiction my husband doesn't complain about.  Never had it so bad as when this thread came along.  I think I check 3-4 times a day to see if it has been updted.

Thank you Gentleman!
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Robhood23 on February 05, 2008, 05:35:00 PM
Come on your killing me here. lets here about the MN bear hunt!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: adeeden on February 05, 2008, 05:40:00 PM
Garry, I hope you don't mind if I add a picture or two to this thread if you do let me know and I'll edit them out. I hunted out of that same camp last fall and one of the things I enjoyed was watching the sun rise from the landing between the cabins and the dock each morning. Maybe it will bring back a memory or two for you as well.

 (http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l87/adeeden/bearhuntgear075.jpg)


 (http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l87/adeeden/bearhuntgear061.jpg)

 (http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l87/adeeden/bearhuntgear074-1.jpg)

And by the way that rock ledge mentioned earlier still gives up plenty of walleye!
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: adeeden on February 05, 2008, 05:52:00 PM
Gary, the picture of you in the boat was great. I think they must still have the same boats now!

 (http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l87/adeeden/bearhuntgear026.jpg)
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Missouri CK on February 05, 2008, 06:39:00 PM
Looks like Gary and Charlie tell stories the same way......either that or Gary broke his hands punching that wall.

Dennis,

Those pictures of your are great.  

Chris
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Budog56 on February 05, 2008, 07:41:00 PM
:campfire:
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Gary Norris on February 05, 2008, 08:40:00 PM
Thanks Lamb for taking up the slack.  The story was going real well last night until I goofed up and lost it.  So I'll try again.  
Comments about the comments :
Fred was  shooting a 69 lb bow at the time of the hunt if I remember right.  I was shooting 65 and Lamb was probably at 70.  Needless to say - I was impressed.  He shot it with ease.
It was fun to sit around at night and listen to Fred's stories of hunting Bear and Moose, etc.  All the stories we had at that time were about rabbits and squirrels , so we didn't tell many.

Welcome to all of the new readers.  We'll try not to let you down.

Hey Dennis,  Thanks for the great pics.  We saw those sunsets and just didn't get them on film.
Great addition.

Somebody needs to kill a bear in this story !

The week went like Charlie said.  A little slow.  The compound guys were hitting some but we didn't see any of them.  The were also the guys that didn't like to practice. something about conserving their energy.  Thye guides weren't to happy about it.  They had given strict instructions on where to shoot a bear.  When the guy announced that he shot one in the head because he thought his Super Expanding Glodo head would penetrate anything, I thought he was going to get shot himself.

Charlie mentioned how dark it was at night .  As many of yoiu know ,that is an understatement.  We had to get to our stands by going down a bear trail.  I asked our guide what to do if you ran into a bear.  He said " Get on a stump, and look real big.  They respect size."  I wondered if they would respect the fact that I had just crap--- my pants.
I sat in my stand for several days with nothing happening.  Then one morning I got there and the bait had been hit and thrown everywhere.  The truck was gone and I didn't know what else I could do so I got in the stand.  Charlie mentioned how low they were.  I just stepped up in mine from the ground.  Lucky I was young and dumb and ?  or that might have bothered me.  I was there for a little while and just about to get to the good part of the book I was reading when I realized I was listening to something.  What the hell is that ?  I think that is something breathing.
 Problem is---  IT ISN'T ME !!  
I looked right underneath me and there was a huge black bear.  I looked at by bow with the arrow laying by it and to tell you the truth - It didn't look all that deadly.  The bear sat there for some time and I thought I would pass out.  He finally got up and circled the clearing.  He would walk a few feet and then stop.  He never took his eyes off of me.
I was able to get the arrow nocked but, I had to hold it on the string with both hands.  If I let go it rattled so bad I was afraid I would scare him.  Like I was a threat or something.  I decided not to even try to shoot him.  I doubt that I could have hit him with a shotgun.  I was able to get the arrow off of the string before I hurt myself.  
   (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v229/ckinslow/gary022.jpg)

   (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v229/ckinslow/PICT1063.jpg)
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Charlie Lamb on February 05, 2008, 08:57:00 PM
Great sunset pics Dennis!! Thanks for that.
  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: tippit on February 05, 2008, 09:03:00 PM
This is a great story guys...the pictures, the camo, the Hair, Geez where did that go!  Thanks for the trip back...Doc
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Gary Norris on February 05, 2008, 10:01:00 PM
I can see this bear in my mind right now just like it was back then.  His muscles rippled with each step .  He was so powerful . It was all in slow motiom.  It was truely the most awesome thing I had ever seen.  It was simply a priveledge to be in his home.  

Back then I was a trapper and I took some muskrat scent with me as a coverup.  Not real sure why I thought it would work since we were covered with Off to keep the black flys away.  Each day I would take a stick and dip it in the scent then rub it all over me.  You guessed it - then I would toss the stick into the tiny clearing by the bait.  The big guy stopped by the stick when he smelled and ate the stick.  I reached for the razor sharp knife in my belt.  Man,,, was I glad when he kept moving, I would have hated to die from a knife wound.

Like the ghost of the timber he was, he disappeared  without a sound.
I was trying to get over that sighting and here comes another bear.  He hot footed it right bown the trail without stopping.  I just sat there.  About dark I looked each way down the trail .  There was another bear standing on his hide legs right in the trail.  I waited as long as I could and I got down.  You can only imagine how much noise I made that night going out.

Tomorrow would be the day.

As the guide left me in the morning after rebaiting.  He offered this advice. "You will kill a bear today.  Don't f=== this up."
Very to the point, I thought.

I sat for just a short time and here he came.  He wasn't the big guy ,but that was OK.  Fred said he was a 3-4 year old.  "Just like his first bear." What a nice guy Fred was.

The bear came in and I was able to nock an arrow and get ready.  As he went under me the arrow was already gone.  I thought it looked a little high but the angle was good.  The arrow was at about 3/4 penetration and flagging as he ran.  The 65lb Hoyt Pro Hunter had started the job and now the Ben Pearson Deadhead needed to finish it.  

It was early in the day so I waited anh hour or so and walked to the road.  After waiting another hour, I decided to do what they told us not to do.  I'll just go find that bear.  I got back in the stand and pictured where I last saw him.  After tracking small drops of blood for about 35 yards I spotted him.  He was down under a log.  I followed blood right to the log and he wasn't there.  It was just black moss.  I took the arrow off of the string and turned around.  I had walked right by the bear and almost stepped on him.  The scream I let out was the first scream in the woods that night.  Lamb told you about the second.

It was a fun camp that night and the end to a truely great hunt.  I had known Charlie's Dad for a long time but hadn't spent much time with him.  As Charlie said,  we lost him years ago.  I will always be grateful for the time we had on that hunt.

Thanks for all of your comments.  This is new for me and I really appreciate it.  We 'll get the Minn. hunt started in a few days.  It should be a great one.  Gary

  (http://www.tradgang.com/upload/charlie/GaryandFredBear.jpg)
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Missouri CK on February 05, 2008, 10:20:00 PM
This is Samantha on Chris' computer....Way to go Dad (Gary) and Charlie....I have seen 100s of pics of you guys and probably only know stories to about 1/2 of them. I am glad my dad is finally doing this.  Thanks for being great story tellers and hunters for the rest of my family to follow......SAM
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: **DONOTDELETE** on February 05, 2008, 10:32:00 PM
:readit:
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Charlie Lamb on February 05, 2008, 10:37:00 PM
Frank... yep! That's a "B" riser.

Sam... your comment made me get a little misty! (cut it out m   ;)   )  I'm glad he's getting around to this too!!
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Budog56 on February 05, 2008, 10:48:00 PM
awesome story cant wait for the next one..
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Missouri CK on February 05, 2008, 11:01:00 PM
Wow,

My wife Samantha "Sam" (Gary's daughter) just got on my computer and posted on the trad gang.

Now instead of telling me to stop spending so much time looking at stuff on trad gang she is actually posting! Awesome.  

Chris
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Molson on February 06, 2008, 02:07:00 AM
Priceless!!!!!!  The photos...the story...it doesn't get any better.  Great Job!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Wulomac on February 06, 2008, 07:15:00 AM
Great stuff!!!
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Labs4me on February 06, 2008, 08:47:00 AM
Gary:

Your story made me feel as though I was in camp with you and the rest. I'm still chuckling over the thought of you screaming when it dawned on you that you had just walked right past the bear.  :biglaugh:   Talk about an interesting "trophy" in its own way- having a photo of Fred kneeling beside your bear must be very special for you.

These stories and older photos make me appreciate that time is really slipping by, but I truly enjoy reading about the experiences of my fellow TGers. Thanks to you and everyone else for sharing. Must have been quite an honor to share a camp with a legend.
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: doctari on February 06, 2008, 09:42:00 AM
Thanks Gary and Charlie for sharing, It is rare to hear stories from people that where fortunate to hunt with Mr. Fred Bear. Mark
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Missouri CK on February 06, 2008, 12:26:00 PM
Since Gary finished his story last night I'm going to post the last of the pictures from this hunt.  I enjoyed looking at all of them and so I figured you guys would like them as well.  Maybe Charlie can fill in the rest as Gary is out pushing snow today as we got about 8 inches last night.

  (http://www.tradgang.com/upload/charlie/FredBear1.jpg)

   (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v229/ckinslow/fredbear2.jpg)

   (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v229/ckinslow/fredbear7.jpg)
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: beachbowhunter on February 06, 2008, 02:57:00 PM
Chris, now it's all coming together for me...how you and Charlie are "related" that is.

Samantha welcome to Tradgang. We usually joke about how the guys around here married up (and it's always true). Knowing what a great young man Chris is would make you pretty darn special. Has he bought you a bow yet?  :readit:  

Gary and Charlie..thank you very much for this story and the ones to follow.

Norb
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Raineman on February 06, 2008, 03:13:00 PM
I'd buy this book in a heartbeat. As someone stated earlier....I feel honored just to read it. When I read about the rabbit I nearly fell off my chair at my desk. Everyone in the office was wondering what the heck was so funny, and I told them they just wouldn't understand. Awesome guys....Thanks.
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Montyc on February 06, 2008, 04:45:00 PM
All I can say is thank you for sharing.  The pics and stories are just awsome.  It sure makes me remember all of the hunts I have had with my brothers and dad over the years.  I guess it is time to go make some new memories before it is to late. Thanks again.
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: philil on February 06, 2008, 05:30:00 PM
You're right Montyc!

Thanks a lot for sharing!
Awesome read   :clapper:
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: returntoarchery on February 06, 2008, 05:41:00 PM
Ditto.     :thumbsup:    :clapper:
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Charlie Lamb on February 06, 2008, 08:50:00 PM
One more short little story... The guide and I had talked about me not seeing any bears and he suggested we look at a spot where he had a test bait.

When we arrived at the spot it was evident that it was a pretty good location AND the bait was torn up.

We didn't know much about portable stands in those days and we certainly didn't own any, nor did the outfitter.

If there was going to be a tree stand there it would have to be built.
It was a much more open location than the other places, so it almost had to have a tree stand.

We soon got to work with axes and spikes and in short order had a perfect stand built... to my specs!

Built between three pine trees it was about 12 ft. up and 20 feet from the bait. The platform itself was natually brushed in by pine limbs and you'd have had to look real hard to see me up there if you knew I was there.

Being the last day of the hunt was coming up,I decided I'd go for broke. A full moon lit up the night almost as bright as day so I'd have plenty of light to shoot by and it was legal to do, so I planned for an overnight sit.

I really wanted a bear!

I'd go in the next morning and get dropped off early. I'd not get picked up until the following morning. It would be a long vigil... no doubt.

So we proceeded with the plan. I packed sandwiches and drinks and an extra jacket for the night time.
Soon I was climbing into my roost and the guys were speeding off merrily down the gravel road.

The day went by pretty uneventfully.... I didn't see a dang thing! As evening approached I grew more intent and studied every bush and rock.

In my plan I knew I could shoot accurately by the bright full moon. What I hadn't taken into consideration was that from the time the sunset and it got dark, until the moon rose and it got light enough to see, was about 2 hours.

I mean to tell you it got as dark as the inside of a cow. Once again I had to fight the feeling that bears would be climbing up after me. Not to mention that I'd done just a little too much reading about Sasquatch before the trip.

I was never so happy to see the moon.

Once the moon was up it was as I'd thought. Bright enough that the trees made shadows and I could clearly see the bait.

But alas, the night turned out to be as unproductive as the day had been.

The guys picked me up around 8 a.m. and we headed back to camp to pack and get ready for the long drive home.
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: mmgrode on February 06, 2008, 08:56:00 PM
Aweome stories fellas!  I love to hear stories from the past!  Thanks, Matt
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: Ernie Black on February 08, 2008, 07:54:00 PM
ttt
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: C.W. on February 08, 2008, 09:26:00 PM
I haven't posted very often since joining this site.But this time I have to say thank you for the great story and pictures.
Title: Re: Fred Bear and a couple of bear hunting tales
Post by: DannyBows on February 08, 2008, 09:39:00 PM
I really enjoy these stories of the Legends of our sport. Thanks for sharing them with us, and please continue to do so. You fellows have been truly blessed to share some of the moments of your lives with such special men. Decades from now young members of this site and our sport will be sharing stories and memories of time spent with outstanding sportsmen now active here. These will be the "Good Old Days" for them.