2017 Idaho Spring Black Bear-Bretton Moosman

July 16, 2017

Bear Hunt, Idaho Spring 2017

I had the opportunity to not only harvest my first bear, but to harvest my dream bear. A big solid black boar!!! It started a few months ago when a new neighbor of mine and I were talking about hunting and swapping pictures and he told me he was a big bear hunter to which I replied with “that has always been one of my dreams, to kill a big black coated black bear”. He said the usual, “we will have to get ya out” and I never gave it a second thought. A few months later I received a text from him asking if I would like to help him run bear baits. Heck YES!!!! Even if I wasn’t going to hunt I was always game to get into the woods and see animals. We planned it out and a few weeks later I learned what a grueling beast running baits is from getting the barrels in, to baiting the barrels, to getting tree stands in and hanging them. We hung cameras and the waiting game began.

Almost immediately one of our baits starting getting slammed by multiple bears, one of which was a HUGE black coated boar!!! We struck up a deal that if any bear besides that bear came in it was theirs to shoot but if he came in he was all mine. Then the hours on hours of sitting in the tree stand began. Had some smaller bears come in that we passed up. Then things got really thrown for a loop. A big sow with 4…yes you read that right 4 cubs (we have a few different videos of them all) starting hitting the bait. She must have been the queen of the mountain because the other bears starting only coming in around when they weren’t there and she was there constantly with those cubs. Gave us some very cool experiences sitting there watching her and her cubs but after a while we were ready for some shooter bears to come in.

Then one night a big ole color phase brownish/blondish boar came in like a church mouse from the downwind side. He got within 10 yards of being in an open shooting lane and winded us. He stopped right behind a tree and backed up a bit, right to where I thought I could squeeze a shot in past the tree and dust him. Squeeze the trigger…..thwack….bear takes off. My buddy looks at me and asks if I hit him and I said I wasn’t sure. After a few minutes, we got down to go look and sure enough right in the tree was a nice inch deep bullet pathway. Clean miss. My heart sank…Had I just blown my one opportunity at a bear this season?? Well there was only a few days left in the season so I figured I better just buckle down and sit in the stand as much as I could for the remainder of the season and see what happened. The one good thing about that night is that sow and her cubs seemed to leave after that which meant we could start getting some good boars in.

3 nights later after having a few bears come back in, mostly a few dry sows, we decided to sit that stand again just to see what happened. We got into the stand about 6 pm  and last light to shoot in this canyon was about 9:15, legal shooting was until 9:30 but we found out prior that by 9:15 we couldn’t see through our scopes anymore. Really slow night with nothing moving and lot of b.s.-ing back and forth. Around 8:50 all the sudden my buddy whispers bear…big black boar!!!!

My heart starting thumping out of my throat. I positioned myself for the shot and he was coming down the ridge in front of us fast. He hit the barrel and turned broadside…all he had to do was move that front shoulder just enough……BAM. It was a solid hit and we both knew it right away. The bear started stumbling out of the gates and only made it 60 yards before going down. 30 seconds later there were no sounds coming from him. We decided we were safe to go check him out and sure enough there he was.. all 6’6” of him lying there. Then the work began. 2 hours later in the pitch black we finally had him back to the truck and my first black boar was in the books.!!!

By Bretton Moosman – Prostaff North American Hunting Competition

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