December/January 2014 EHJ (Issue 140) - We were looking across a canyon at the big, chocolate-colored black bear of my dreams. I had just told Tony that I was going after him.
Tony had a different perspective and said, "You’re going to do WHAT?”
It was late morning and how much longer the bear was going to stay feeding in that meadow was a serious question. The 1,200-foot drop in elevation and subsequent climb to get across this little canyon was just another minor consideration.
I didn’t have a solid idea how big this bear was since he was a mile away as the crow flies according to the GPS. But, if you looked at the turkey feeding right behind the bear and the elk feeding down the ridge below the bear and compared, it certainly looked like a worthy trophy. Having all three species in the spotting scope at the same time, coupled with the spring flowers and green grass, made the entire setting very memorable. It was downright intoxicating to a spring bear hunter going on day 10 of hunting this limited draw unit.
Up to this point, we had endured10 days of every type of weather imaginable, including fog, rain, sleet, snow, lightning and some combinat ions of the aforementioned that are beyond description. But today was clear, dry and mild, which added to my excited optimism and completed the idyllic setting of what an eastern Washington spring bear hunt should be.
We all have those reclining chair dreams of what to expect on a hunt as we read hunting magazines, sip our morning coffee and clutch recently obtained hunting tags. Rarely do hunts come to a realized state in the full HD quality of those dreams. Today was shaping up pretty good though, except for that 1,200- foot canyon and the climbing sun bringing on midday heat.
My son Dan gave up his position behind the spotting scope and said, "I’ll go with you!”
Tony and Michael stayed to glass and keep tabs on the bear. Dan and I looked at each other, exchanged a half-grin smirk, as if to ask, "Are we really going to do this?” and then we were off.
For a full account of Chris's adventure, go to page 46 in the December/January 2014 issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.