By Kenny Bayless
Special to the Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE — When Steve Reedy and I were sitting on a picnic table one day reminiscing about past hunts, it was like throwing gasoline on a camp fire.
Steve said, “Lets run up to Jill Delong’s in Quebec and do some black bear hunting with our bows.” In the next 10 minutes we were practicing at 40 yards from the target. In a couple of weeks a truck load of Indiana rednecks headed for parts unknown in upper Quebec.
Actually Steve has hunted with Jill over 40 times. Steve even has a hunting stand named after him from a previous year’s hunt, when he harvested a Pope and Young record book bear with his bow.
As we unloaded our strategically chosen food supply we had a week’s worth of Beanie Weenies and bread, so somebody had to kill something.
I was watching a young bear cautiously making his way into my bait. I knew a big bruin was in the area. He circled and kept his head and nose in the air, listening and smelling so he wouldn’t become the bait.
There was a string to pull up your bow or gun tied to a limb on my left that went all the way to the ground. A small piece of old carpeting that was meant to keep your feet from shuffling and making noise had fallen to the ground lying next to the tree trunk.
To my surprise the bear inspected the piece of carpet, then like a human, turned around and sat down on it.
The string caught his attention as he leaned back against the tree, so he reached out and started swatting at it with a paw, like a cat. I thought, “How cool is this?”
I slowly reached out and took the string in hand to jerk it up and down which really turned him on. If I would have had a fishing lure on the string you would be like jigging for fish.
He finally took the string into his mouth and clamped it between his teeth. I was pulling so hard I thought I would pull a couple of teeth from him.
After getting tired of that game he went sauntering off to live for another day.
I waited until after dark to leave my hunting stand, with a long walk ahead of me. About halfway back, I met up with my buddies that were well-armed, thinking the worst. They said, “What happened to you? Did you get one?”
I said, “I tried something different, so I went jigging for bear and the one I caught was too little, so I threw him back.”
Note: For all of you that have a taste for wild game, Verlin Funkhouser tells me there is a wild game dinner/fundraiser at the Emmanuel United Methodist Church, 6076 U.S. Hwy 150, West Terre Haute, on Saturday. Fellowship begins at 5 p.m., dinner is at 6 and speaker Ken Beck, former owner of Black Widow Bows, starts at 7.
Menu will include your choice of venison chili, Italian venison, venison and noodles, alligator gumbo, vegetable soup, pheasant, mashed potatoes, green beans, coleslaw and homemade breads. Drinks and desserts are included. Advance tickets are available at $15 each. There will also be a silent auction and door prizes.
Call the church office for more details at 812-535-4218. All proceeds go toward Emmanuel UMC building fund.
Contact Kenny Bayless at email@example.com.