2020 Hound hunt

Shooter Buck

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Pine-Locks story

Sunday October 4th Shooterbuck and I pointed the truck North and started the 6 hour drive up 95 and 11 towards Portage Lake Maine. The ride was uneventful, and we arrived and unpacked with time to confirm the sights on our rifles were still on before dinner.

The next morning started with a 3:45 wakeup, after a light breakfast and loading up dogs by 4:30 we were on the road to start checking baits and looking for a track to start. Many bears had already laid down for the winter and the few that were still coming to baits were not staying long so the options were not plentiful but there were enough. By the time shooting light rolled around we let 2 of the better hounds out to start a 3-4 hour old track. It wasn’t long till they had jumped the bear and we watched the GPS to find a place where he’d cross a road so we could pack in more dogs.

We got ahead of the bear just in time to get a look at it crossing the road in front of us with dogs right on its tail. To close for a safe shot. ShooterBuck has a good video if we can manage to get a link up here. After a 2nd time crossing a road the dogs bayed the bear up on the ground under an evergreen. We were able to get within 15 or 20 yards but never could get a shot clear of the dogs.

Shortly after this the bear treed. He was standing with all 4 paws on a hung up blow down like it was a balance beam between two trees.
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We were able to sneak in and tie back the dogs quickly as the bear was wanting down one way or the other.

I made a neck shot with my peeped 35Rem Marlin 336 from about 10 feet, basically straight below the bear and he fell to the ground landing about 3 yards away. A couple, likely unneeded but better safe than sorry, finishing shots for good measure were added once he hit the ground.
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So I was tagged out about 90 mins into day one. This wasn’t a problem for me since I had been 0 for 3 of prior bear hunts. The rest of the week I was able to tag along for 3 additional bear hunts and help wrangle dogs and help pack bears out of the woods. We spend the afternoons checking and rebaiting for the next morning’s hunt and shooting incidental birds as we came across them.


Overall a great way to start off our season. Shooterbuck also tagged out. I’ll let him tell the story.

Shooter Buck-

Tuesday we had a few failed tracks the dogs just couldn’t stay on and we ended up back at camp around lunch. We took the afternoon to ride around and shoot some birds. We ended up with 7 in about 2.5 hours.

Weds started with a little rain over night so we were not expecting good conditions. The first bait checked had a bear hit a few hours prior. We checked one more bait and it started raining again. We went back to bait number 1 and waited for legal time to let the dogs out. We let two dogs go to see if they could figure out the track. They ended up crossing the main logging road and we added more dogs. It was looking like some of the dogs may have had the track but other went in different directions. After a while it didn’t look good and we started picking up the dogs that came back out to the road. We had got all the dogs but one and we were about to go check some other baits and come back and get that dog a little later when one of the guides said he could hear that dog and it sounded like he could be treed. We didn’t really think that one dog had treed a bear by himself and he was over a half mile down in a swamp. They sent a few of the younger guys that were helping out down in to see what the dog had. We were assuming he had just treed a coon so we didn’t want to send everyone in there and waste time. When they about got to the dog they heard bark scraping as something came down the tree and ran off. It didn’t sound like a coon coming down the tree so they let more dogs out. They treed again in about 500 yards and the rest of us made our way down across a big cut into the swamp. We got to the tree and saw the bear about 30ft up. We leashed all the dogs up and shot the bear. It is pretty exciting heading into the tree with all the dogs going crazy trying to keep the bear in the tree. We skinned and quartered the bear and packed it across the swamp and back up the hill to the trucks. Our rainy day turned out pretty good.
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Pine-lock

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Great report. Love the story and photos. That one with the hounds on his tail is amazing.

It was a great chance to shoot him but with the dogs so close even a heart or lung shot on the bear gives it time to tear up dogs before it’s finished figuring out it’s dead. It’s certainly something to get up that close.
 

SportsmanNH

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Very nice ! Congrats to both of you !

I never knew that bears den up that early.
Last year I was finding bear tracks where we hunt in zone 17 the 3rd week of November.
 

Pine-lock

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Very nice ! Congrats to both of you !

I never knew that bears den up that early.
Last year I was finding bear tracks where we hunt in zone 17 the 3rd week of November.
Last year they were out exceptionally late. We had one on camera on Christmas Day in southwest Maine. They seem to be making up for it this year.
 




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