WI Bear!!!


Dec 2, 2010
Well after months of baiting and dreaming about getting in the woods, opening day arrived on the 7th. I got out of school and was in my blind by 4pm. The past 12 days the bait had been hit by one of the two shooters I had in mind. Of those 12 nights, 7 were during day light. The wind was calm and the temps were great for the night. My thoughts were a bear named Gizmo would hit the bait between 7:40 and 8:00, right at last light. I sat quiet in the ground blind and watched 2 coons hit the bait at 23 yards away. At 7:40, I put the muzzleloader up on my shooting sticks and got ready for the next 20 minutes. To be honest, I was pumped up. At 7:46, I saw a bear at 30 yards walking right at me. He was as tall as the waist high grass on the trail and I knew he was a shooter. As he walked closer I eased the hammer back on the rifle and he heard the "click" of the old side lock. At that point, he could turn to the bait or turn away. He decided to turn away and as he did I pulled up the rifle my parents bought me years ago and aimed. He stopped broadside and looked at me. I touched the trigger and all I saw was flash and smoke. I was able to hear him run and within seconds heard the quiet death moans about 40 yards away. I grabbed my gear and quietly got out of the area and went to the truck. I called my buddy and said I hit Gizmo. He met me and my wife an hour later and we went looking for the bear we figured would be about 300-350 pounds.

As we started to track there was no blood but snapped trees and branches. After about 5 minutes, my buddy said, "here he is and it is not Gizmo".

I ran up and was amazed by the size of the bear. There was no ground shrinkage. He was a beast. It was a different bear that had only been in during daylight a few times all summer. After a call for back up and pictures, I packed him on ice in a big sled. The following morning, I went to a factory and they put him on a scale with a forklift. The scale read 420!!!!

To say I was in shock is an understatement. I am still on cloud nine. He is a dream bear. Big body, big skull and no rubs on his coat. The meat is in the freezer and the hide is at the taxidermist.

I don't think I will be buying a new rifle for a while, I have another bill to pay for.

I was blessed with a great hunt, a great animal and the opportunity to hunt very close to my house. I am also blessed with a wife that puts up with me baiting every morning and talking about bears all summer long. Now the wait until the next tag, it is going to be a long 6 years.

I looked at the muzzleloader record books and he needs to measure 18" to qualify. I can't wait to see if he does.
What unit was your tag for? An old high school buddy has a cabin up near Eagle River. He has been getting more wolf pictures on his game camera the last few years and fewer deer and bear.
OUTSTANDING! He is a big ol' bear. I'd venture a guess, just from the photos, that he'll be easily over 18"

Good job!

Great account of the rewards of thorough preparation and perseverance. Congratulations on a true trophy.
I talked to the taxidermist today. Now the hard part, 1/2 mount or full body. The cost for the full is an extra $1000-1200. I know it is a lot of extra money but for a bear of a life time, what do you do??

The extra money could be used for a new barrel for my Ruger M77 and towards a trip out west.

My wife says do what you want. Man I hate making these decisions in life. lol
I'd look at where you wanna put it in your house and make the decision.

Very nice. Not a bad decision to be made there.
It will be interesting to see your decision and the rationale applied to arrive at that particular destination. Great wife to grant you that option.