HUNTER’S JOURNAL: BEAR HUNTING, A NEW FOUND RESPECT BY TONY BARNER

TONYBARNERBEARHUNTCMYK

Rules are set for five percent of people that don’t have any morals, and it seems like the only people that get talked about are the five percent. In other words all we hear and all we focus on are the negatives. The folks that bear hunt with dogs have been given a bad name due to that five percent. I hope that after you read this story you will have a different outlook on bear hunters.

I was invited to go on the 2013 early bear season in Nicholas County but I was reluctant just because of what I had always heard. Then I thought “this is the only way I will ever know for sure” boy has my mind been changed.

My morning started at 4 a.m. and as soon as my feet stepped in my boots on the porch of that old hunting camp it was like someone pushed the fast forward button. We made it to Nicholas County a little after day break. The four or five trucks that were in our hunting party split up and we were looking for a hot track. Companies could learn a lot from these bear hunters because they communicate very well. I didn’t understand all the terminology but the guy (Cory) I was riding with was gracious enough to educate me as we went along.

It wasn’t long and one of the guys hollered at Cory on the c.b. radio and said he had found a track. Cory and I made our way to him and the decision to turn the dogs lose was made. Within seconds after the dogs were on the ground you could no longer hear them. Most folks think these guys sit in a truck all day looking at a tracking device. NOT EVEN CLOSE.

Once the dogs had treed it was time for us to make our assent up the mountain. I was excited and I lead the charge for about the first 25 yards. In my mind I was prepared but about half way up the mountain my body said “you’re not ready”. We were treading through rough steep, rocky and laurel infested terrain. Everyone was patient enough to wait on me, that included the guys, dogs and the bear. Once the harvest was made and we had gotten back to the truck I was so tired I thought I would sleep the rest of the day. But the day wasn’t even close to being over. We did enough hiking that day to kill the average man.

After evaluating these guys all day, I learned that they could care less if they ever kill a bear. For them it’s all about having an extremely healthy well trained dog and they do it with precision.

A special thanks to D.J., Justin, Cory, Jason and Kish for making my first bear hunting with dogs experience awesome!!

– Tony Barner, LBSPY #45 (Nov 4-18th, 2013)

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