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An Unexpected Visitor

Yesterday I went up and broke through to the bear country above the house. Grizzly bears are plentiful in the country around my place, but it’s not yet legal to hunt grizzlies in Wyoming. Even so, I know of at least one huge black bear boar that has also been hanging around up there, and I’d love a chance to hunt him.

No one had been through yet this spring. I got stuck a couple times, but with two four-wheelers, we managed. I should see a black bear or two during the next few weeks; I plan to check on the country every evening for the next month.

Last spring above the house I spotted that big old black bear boar working his way up the creek. You know he has to be big and tough to live in that neighborhood with all those grizzlies. From his nose to his tail, the old bruin has to be at least seven feet, or even larger. My wife, Bertie, was with me and she commented about how much country he could cover at just a normal walk. That’s a good indication of a big bear.

This spring has been late; it’s the middle of May and I still have three-foot snow banks on the north side of my log house. Up high, the runoff is just starting. The grizzlies are hanging low, waiting for the snow to melt and open the high country up. As you can see, I have had at least one or two grizzlies wander through my place. Three nights ago just as the sun went down, a seven-plus foot grizzly boar walked right up to the house. Bertie was impressed by his size, especially considering the long, hard winter we’ve had.

Last week a cow elk got tangled in a barbwire fence and died. It wasn’t six hours later and a sow and two cubs were feeding on the carcass – right next to the road. This time of year we don’t have too much traffic, so within 24 hours the bears pretty much will clean the cow up.

The grizzlies came out early this spring; the first one we spotted was out on the 15th of March. We still had winter at that time, with four feet of snow. I guess some of those old boys want to get an early start on the season. It seems as if they’re moving up and down the creek, looking for winter kills. My neighbor had a $1,500 grill – one of those stainless steel ones – an old grizzly just stomped it into the ground a month ago. His homeowner insurance wouldn’t pay for grizzly damage!

Bertie packs bear spray whenever she takes her daily walks. Last August I was working in the corral at about 9 a.m. one morning and three-year-old bear walked right past me as it headed up the creek. You have to be on the lookout in that country, for sure.

The last few days we have had 70 degree weather; the snow is rolling down the creeks. I will keep you posted and let you know if I find that huge old black bear boar – the season runs for almost a month.

About Mike Eastman

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