Bear Camp was a comfortable and quaint resort named Ash Trail Lodge in Orr, Minnesota. The only issue was absolutely NO cell service….no one had no cell service. You would think that this would make for an awesome time away from home; but for me it brought on an added stress. Clyde was still hooked up to Dale (affectionately coined by Pat) and backed in neatly in front of our cabin so driving up the road 5-10 miles was not an option on Monday. I had not spoken with Richard to let him know I arrived, nor had I checked my emails and texts from the day. Whew!! Talk about feeling lost.
By the time we were scheduled to hunt on Monday afternoon, everyone had arrived and went through an orientation with Gary Tank and Dillon Wilson, our outfitter and guide for the week. We were all pretty excited about heading out to the stands for our first hunt. My stand was the last on the route since Gary was going to sit with me and video tape. Gary dropped each girl off, taking some in on four-wheeler to their stand. At each drop off point we wished each other luck and waved as the 4 wheeler or truck drove out of sight.
Once we arrived at the road into my stand, Gary and I walked in along a trail. Lynn walked in with us so he could carry the bait bucket back to the truck. The bait station had been hit but not torn up much. Gary sweetened the bait station and then headed to the stand with me. While sitting in the stand, we had several birds and critters come into the bait: Blue Jays, Whiskey Jacks (in pairs), chipmunks and baby red squirrels. There where 9 or 10 different type trees visible from that stand. It was very serene in the stand. Nothing ever came in. At dark we headed out to the truck where Lynn was waiting.
We backtracked out and picked up all of the other hunters from their stands. Tammie was the first hunter we picked up and when she got into the truck she was excited to tell the story that she had a bear come into her stand. The bear never offered her a good shot but she was hyped about actually having luck of seeing it come in, if only for a brief minute, and back out. She said that the bear had his nose in the air and was smelling around and it backed out.
We picked up Angie next and was fortunate enough to have two come into her stand. She actually took a shot at the larger bear but had misjudged the yardage, shooting just over its back. But having two bears come into her stand and the opportunity to take a shot was very exciting and we talked about that long into dinner back at the lodge. Meghan and Pat had not seen anything on stand. We all changed our hunting clothes and headed to the lodge for supper.
Tuesday morning at breakfast, Gary mentioned that the weather was not going to be favorable for bear hunting in the afternoon. Since it drizzled and rained most of the day and into the afternoon, we all hung out in the lodge talking, typing and on the internet until it was time to shower, change and head to the stand for our second hunt. Since the rain was sporadic I decided I was not going to take the video camera out….at this point, harvesting a black bear was much more important to me than having it on film; having it on film would just be an added bonus. I sat in the stand on day two by myself and did not see anything. I didn’t have that great feeling about this stand when I laid eyes on it the first day we got there…the karma just wasn’t there. At dinner while discussing the events that would unfold on day three, Angie and I asked if we could ride along to sweeten up the bait stations and Gary said that would be fine.