Shake, Rattle, & the Roly Poly Bear

By-Shannon Rasmussen


Last week my husband Shane, our oldest son Tyler, and I set out once again for another evening of spring bear hunting. Tyler was lucky and had drawn one of the Idaho controlled hunt bear tags, and we had been hunting for bears since mid-April. We met up with our good friend Brian to hunt an area that we had been seeing a lot of bears over the past few weeks. We felt like there was something special about this evening and we couldn’t shake the feeling that we were going to find the shooter bear we had been looking for.

We parked our ATV’s, gathered our packs, and started hiking up the yellow flower covered hillside. Tyler was ahead of us a ways when we noticed that he had stopped and was standing on a rock. When we reached him we asked him what he was doing. He said that he thought he had heard a rattlesnake. Shane took one more step and the rattlesnake started buzzing, three feet in front of us. If Tyler hadn’t heard it and stopped, one of us would have stepped on it. We were very grateful for Tyler’s attention to his surroundings.

We continued on our way and got set up with our binos, and spotting scope to start scanning for bears on the hillsides all around us. After about 45 minutes I spotted a bear walking down an old dirt road about a mile from us. We watched him through the spotting scope as he stood on his hind legs and scratched his back against a tree. He was a roly poly bear and a beautiful chocolate color so we decided to try and make a stock on him. 

Shane hiked back to the ATV, and Tyler and I started hiking down the hill in the direction of the bear. We eventually came to a road where Shane picked us up. We drove over and parked the ATV at the bottom of the road that we had seen the bear walking down. We quickly and cautiously started walking up the road knowing that we could meet the bear around any corner at any moment. The trees and brush were very thick making it difficult to see very far.  As we were walking there was a small clearing on our left and I was scanning it to see if there was any sign of the bear, when I glanced back to my right the bear was standing right there about 12 yards from us!!! We had almost walked by him!! Luckily the wind was in our favor and he was standing facing away from us next to a creek that was very loud so he had no idea we were there.  I grabbed Shane and pointed.  Shane grabbed Tyler and pointed, Tyler stopped, raised his gun and shot. The bear jumped up and ran into the thick brush about 10 yards before piling up in a bush. Tyler had made an excellent shot!!! We waited a little while to make sure the bear was dead before we went in to the brush after him. Once we went in to get him we saw what a gorgeous big bear he was!! We were so proud of Tyler and he couldn’t have been more pleased with himself over this, his first ever bear kill. Brian drove down to meet us after hearing the gunshot. The four of us worked together to get the bear loaded in our truck. We headed back to town to weigh the bear, measure it, and take pictures. The bear weighed exactly 400 lbs and measured 6ft.  This was definitely a hunt to remember!!!


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