Junkyard Bear-Tails of the Hunt

10 10 2013

This post was published originally at Ladies in Camo’s website at http://ladiesincamo.com/lictoth/2013/09/09/diane-hassinger-junkyard-bear/

Every hunter has their favorite type of hunting; for me it is Black Bear hunting with my crossbow.  I have taken several trophy bear with my Tenpoint, and each hold their place of honor in my memories.  This years bear was no different, well maybe just a little.

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Junkyard and his girlfriend. You can see how bad the rope had cut through the hide. Photo: Diane Hassinger

Dale and I arrived in Deschambault Lake to tales of a huge black bear that had been spotted on cameras,with what appeared to be a rope tangled tightly around his neck.  Our Outfitter Mike Grundmann asked if one of us would be able to target that bear, since his health was declining due to the ever tightening rope.  Dale and I both agreed one of use would focus our attention on him.  Dale started out his hunt looking for him, and for 3 days Junkyard was not seen, even though his big blond girlfriend would come by every evening.  On the 4th day, Dale moved to a new stand, and I moved into the stand to wait on Junkyard.

The weather turned horrible as soon as we left the lodge that evening.  Rain was pelting us, and the trees were swaying.  Not a nice evening to be outside, and definitely not a good night for bear hunting.  Erin was filming me that night, so we got settled into the stand and tried to stay dry.  It wasn’t long before I spotted black circling the area.  I nudged Erin and asked if she could see any better.  See quickly responded “It’s him, it’s the Junkyard Bear”.  As he came closer, I could see the rope swaying as he walked, but as he turned sideways I could also see white flesh where the rope had cut through the hide.  He glanced at the bait barrel, but decided to just move on.  As he walked under my stand, I let loose my bolt, and watched as it hit it’s mark perfectly.   I got a complete pass through with my Swhacker Broadheads.  Junkyard only went 15 yards before he expired.

It didn’t take us long to determine;

1.  We couldn’t move him ourselves and

2.  We were getting soaking wet just standing there.

So we headed back to camp, and to enlist some help moving him.  Dale and Mike returned just minutes after us.  They also had taken a huge bear that night; a 7’6″ behemoth.  So with the 4 of us working together, it took no time to get Junkyard back to the camp, and get dry.

I really feel I was in that stand that night to help Junkyard out of his pain.  I regret that infection made it impossible for us to use any of the meat, but Junkyard will live on in lots of memories and stories.  And because of his big blond girlfriend, his genes will be around for generations to come!

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Junkyard with his embedded rope. I will remember this hunt always!
Photo: Diane Hassinger



Big Bear Scents

28 02 2013

Original Post was published on Ladiesincamo.com  2013

It comes as no surprise to anyone, I love to bear hunt.  Therefore when I had the opportunity to review Big Bear Scents products I couldn’t wait to try them out.  Our hunting lease has some bear on it, so I thought I would try it out there.

big bear scents

I received the Gel Formula in the Star Anise flavor, and the trigger spray in both the Cinnamon Roll and the Star Anise flavors.  The Gel is used to start up a bait site; it can be squeezed onto trees, brush or anywhere else for a long lasting scent source.  Plus it holds up to the weather!  The Gel comes in 4 flavors; Star Anise, Blueberry, Caramel and Cookie Dough.  The spray can be used at the start or to refresh the site when you are hunting.  It comes in 14 delicious sounding scents, such as:  Star Anise, Bacon, Blueberry Muffin, Butterscotch, Caramel, Cinnamon Roll, Cookie Dough, Fruity Loop, Honey, Maple Syrup, Peanut Butter Cup, Raspberry, Toasted Marshmallow, and Wild Cherry Bomb, and 1 scent that only a bear could love, and I am pretty sure they do; Beaver Castor.

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The day that I started using the gel, there were several bears and many hogs that came into the site.  When I was able to hunt the lease, I sprayed the Cinnamon Roll spray on the tree trunks, low brush and even a few rocks.  The last was to determine if the bears were truly attracted to the spray or if there was something else in the tree attracting them to that place.  I was pleasantly surprised to have the game camera getting pictures of the bear and hogs licking and otherwise working over the rock!!

I was able to hunt the lease for 6 days during the season.  Unfortunately the temperature was in the 80’s and 90’s and I was also dealing with a full moon.  The animals were all nocturnal.  While the Gel and Spray did not bring the bear into my stand during legal hunting hours, I did have nightly pictures of several nice bear.  The Big Bear Scents can bring them in, but it cannot make them come out during the day.

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One word of warning though:  DO NOT use these scents when you might be hungry.  The cinnamon roll scent is so authentic, that my stomach growled with hunger the whole time I was in the tree.  I kept having images of the local doughnut shop and a hot cup of coffee going thru my mind!  Yes, I stopped on my way back to the hotel for a cinnamon roll!  I just couldn’t help myself!

An added bonus to bringing in the bear was the amount of feral hogs that were attracted to the scents.  In one area that I had drizzled the Gel, the hogs worked the area over so much, that it truly looked rototilled.  Of course, this will only work in places that already have hogs in the area.

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I have many days of bear hunting to look forward to this season, and I will definitely be using the Big Bear Scents.  They have created an easy and effective method of drawing in bears.  I also will be trying the scents out on more feral hog hunts in the future.  Even though they are not designed for that, I am not against using anything that works!  Check your local hunting regulations for the legality of using these scents.

Big Bear Scents can be purchased online at http://bigbearscents.com/.

32 ounce Trigger Spray $17.99 comes in the 15 flavors;  Star Anise, Bacon, Beaver Castor, Blueberry Muffin, Butterscotch, Caramel, Cinnamon Roll, Cookie Dough, Fruity Loop, Honey, Maple Syrup, Peanut Butter Cup, Raspberry, Toasted Marshmallow, and Wild Cherry Bomb.

Super Concentrate  $29.99 comes in the 15 flavors;  Star Anise, Bacon, Beaver Castor, Blueberry Muffin, Butterscotch, Caramel, Cinnamon Roll, Cookie Dough, Fruity Loop, Honey, Maple Syrup, Peanut Butter Cup, Raspberry, Toasted Marshmallow, and Wild Cherry Bomb.

18 ounce Gel Formula  $12.95  comes in 4 flavors;  Star Anise, Blueberry, Caramel and Cookie Dough

While you are at their website, they have an excellent section on bear facts.  Any bear hunter; novice or seasoned, will be able to find some information that is bound to be helpful.

I was so impressed with the Big Bear Scent’s products that I have decided to join their Pro Staff team!  Look for lots of good things to come!

Photo Credit:  Diane Hassinger, Floyd Gasser

SaskAdrenaline Bear Hunt

13 06 2012

This post was originally posted in the “Ladies in Camo Field Journal”

My Saskatchewan Black Bear. It was all I could do to lift his head for the picture! Photo: Diane Hassinger

My Saskatchewan Black Bear. It was all I could do to lift his head for the picture!
Photo: Diane Hassinger

Wow!  What a week!  I have spent the last week hunting black bear in Saskatchewan, Canada with SaskAdrenaline Outfitters.  I was joined by my husband Dale, brother-in-law Lonnie, and LIC Pat Hendrixon, as well as 3 other guys from Pennsylvania. I would be hunting with my Ten Point Crossbow, equipped with Swhacker Broadheads on Beman bolts.

The first night ten bear were seen, but none were considered shooters.  The next night, Mike Grundmann (the owner) and I spooked off a bear when he was dropping me off at my stand.  Mike said to watch, he felt certain the bear would come right back in.  I quickly settled myself into my stand, and set up the camcorder to film the area.  It did not take long before I was seeing black in the distance.  I turned on the camcorder and tried to keep my heart from bursting out of my chest!  The bear slowly circled the area, before coming in to the can.  I was trying to take in everything about this bear to determine if it was a sow or a boar.  A massive head, small ears, huge body, fairly long neck but small feet.  Mike had told me there was a big sow and boar at this stand, and I was fairly certain that this was the sow.  Then the bear stood up (and up)  Holy Cow was she tall!  I was as close to a heart attack as I have ever been!  She made the barrel look small.  My head was telling me this was a sow, but I still clicked off the safety and thought about shooting with my crossbow.

She looked off to the side and took off at a run.  At that point I looked around to see what could chase off a bear this big,a bigger bear of course!  This one was taller and had a deep crease in his forehead, his neck looked almost nonexistent and he had HUGE feet.  This was the male I was waiting for!  I waited only a few moments before releasing my bolt. I had a pass through but the shot looked a little low to me.  My bolt could be seen laying in front of the barrel, and showed good blood.  I spent the next half hour packing up and reviewing the video to check my shot.  I was slightly panicked because I never heard any death moans out of him.  I tried to call Mike to come pick me up, but he was out of range of the radio.  After lowering my equipment to the ground, I checked the arrow, and saw a good blood trail.

I soon was able to contact Mike, and he and Tim brought the quads in.  They only had to track for a very short distance before they could see my boar laid out in the swamp.  There was no ground shrinkage on this bear!  He was huge.  It took a lot of maneuvering to get the bear into the trailer, since he was to big to put onto the quad.

19 14/16" skull Photo: Diane Hassinger

19 14/16″ skull
Photo: Diane Hassinger

There was no scale, since it had broke during the previous hunts, but everyone felt it weighed between 350 and 400 pounds.  He measured 6’7″ and his skull measured a whopping 19 14/16″.

Each day before hunting, we would go fishing for pike.  We caught lots!  Some days we caught dozens in an hour or so.  None were of any great size, they were still a blast to catch!

The same night I shot my bear, Lonnie shot a 6’bear.  Next up to connect was Dale with a 6′ bear with a skull of 18 7/16″.  This is big enough to qualify for Pope and Young, and was shot with his Bowtech Compound Bow.  Pat took a 6’2″ bear with my Savage Lady Hunter rifle in 30-06.  This was a great bear, and she thought the rifle was “sweet”.

Eddy and Larry both shot nice bears to finish out the week.  We embark tomorrow on a 4 1/2 hour drive to Saskatoon, followed by flights to Denver and then on to Pittsburgh.  While I am sad that my hunt is over for this year, I am thrilled that we have already booked for next year.  Maybe a color phase bear can still be in my future!

Dale’s “Pope and Young” Bear
Skull measured 18 7/16″

Tomah Mountain Outfitters Spring Bear Hunt

21 04 2012

This post was originally posted in Project; Pink. http://andreamain.com/diane-hassinger-pennsylvania/

Diane's Maine Black Bear

June of 2008 was a turning point for me hunting. We went bear hunting for the first time with Joe Bowen of Tomah Mountain Outfitters. While I had hunted whitetail deer and small game for years, I had never ventured into bear hunts. At the time of the hunt, I was shooting my Mathew’s Black Max 2 compound bow daily, several hundred shots a day. I wanted to take my first bear with that bow something terrible. Joe makes you qualify your shooting before he takes you out, so off to the range we went. First up was qualifying rifles. I volunteered to go first so I would not stress out. My 2 shots were both bulls-eyes. Next up was the bow, while I did not robin hood my arrows, I came close.

We hunted the Passamaquoddy Indian Reservation; they have an immense area that allowed the hunters amble space to spread out. Every night we were seeing bear, but I was still hoping for something bigger. Finally the last night we were hunting, Joe put me in a stand that a larger bear was coming in right at dark. I opted to use my Savage 30-06 rifle, simply because it would allow me to hunt later into the dusk. I had moose and fishers and rabbits all evening. Then right at the last few minutes of shooting light my bear came in. He was crashing and cracking everything in his way. He circled the bait before settling into to enjoy what would be his last meal. After watching him for what seemed like an eternity, I settled the crosshairs on him and squeezed the trigger. He only went a few yards from the clearing.

Once again my gun did not let me down. You see the gun I use was owned by my son Mathew. He died trying to rescue a friend from drowning 15 years ago. Every hunt I go on with this gun, I feel that Matt is accompanying me. We have shot a lot of nice trophies together that way over the years.

Hunting bears has become a passion, starting right here.