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I got to the east bait about 2:30 yesterday afternoon and the bait crib was completely torn apart and a lot of the bait had been consumed. The photos showed exactly what I had hoped. If you remember, I decided to leave this new bear alone for a couple days in the hopes that he would become comfortable at the bait and come in during shooting hours and it worked perfectly. As you can see by the photos, he arrived at the bait at 8:14 on the 8th, then 7:35 on the 9th and then 6:53 on the 10th. Perfect. I put out about 75 pounds of pastries and 40 pounds of beef scraps and a half bucket of apples that a friend gave me.

I settled into the stand about 3:00 for a five hour wait. It is too dark to shoot at about 8:05 right now. The wind was out of the west and it was a really nice afternoon with temps in the low 70’s. I am not in love with a west wind but as long as it doesn’t go southwest I should be okay. The main trail approaching the bait comes from the northeast. About 5:00 I could hear thunder in the west and it was getting closer. By 5:30 the trees were swaying, thunder was pounding and it was clear the storm was going to hit me. I got out of the tree and hustled to the truck, arriving just as the rain hit.

I waited out the storm for over an hour before heading back tot he stand when the sun came back out. It was now 7:00 and I had one hour to go. The rain had stopped but it was dripping off the trees really bad and every little gust of breeze would soak me. The temperature had dropped into the 50’s and I was getting cold.

About 7:30 I realized that the wind was now light out of the southwest. Man, I have invested 4 1/2 hours of out five in this place, should I really bail out now??? I convinced myself that I could get away with it and the bear would be hungry with this cold wet weather and he would show up at any minute. Grit it out, I told myself, it’ just the cold soaking into my bones that is telling me to head for the truck and the heater.

Well the bear was a no show. And unfortunately I do think he winded me. Here’s why. At 8:05 as I was about to climb down. I heard a branch snap about 30 yards to the west of me. The opposite side I was expecting the bear to come from. Now keep in mind that you will never hear a bear approaching a bait unless he wants to be heard. They will sometimes snap a branch, clack their teeth or whatever, just to get a reaction from another bear or whatever might be at the bait. I am pretty sure he had winded me and circled. It was getting too dark to shoot and I needed to get out. So I climbed down. I can tell you that getting out of a treestand in the dark with a bear in the area is a little unnerving, and there was a quickness to my step as I headed to the truck.

This big one comes in during the middle of the night about every third night. He is a pretty big bear but I don't have a realistic chance at getting him unless he decides to come in during the day for a change.

This big one comes in during the middle of the night about every third night. He is a pretty big bear but I don’t have a realistic chance at getting him unless he decides to come in during the day for a change.

I hope I didn’t blow this. I will go back up Friday afternoon and if the bear comes in ┬áduring the daylight tonight I will hunt again and pull the stand at the end of the hunt, bear or no bear. I have spent enough time and money on these darn bears and deer season opens Saturday. Time to move on.

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