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Oklahoma Black Bear is in the Books #archery

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This hunt started several months ago when I secured permission to hunt a small tract in SE Oklahoma. Fast forward to labor day weekend and I started my bait with 300 lbs of corn and 5 gallons of molasses. I hung a camera and left. The next weekend I cleared a circle around the barrel and cut shooting lanes from two different trees situated for a North and a South wind. The northern tree was 12 yards and the southern tree was 14 yards. Then every Saturday I would drive 3 1/2 hours and refill the barrel and check the camera. I always got bear pictures and the occasional yotte.

Two weeks into it I began to mix dog food, and each week I increased the ratio until I had them on a diet of molasses covered Old Roy. I noticed they were eating the dog food and leaving the corn. Then last Friday I filled the barrel and checked the camera. Still bears, infact I had seven different bears. One of the two biggest was ear tagged and coincidentally he was the first to give me a picture. He along with other both stood taller than the 55 gallon bait barel. They were the target bears.

Season opener was Tuesday so I arrived Monday Afternoon with a 50# bag of dog food and two more gallons of syrup. I pulled the card and topped off the bait and stood the bait barel upright. Hung my climber in the south wind tree and left.

On Tuesday October 1st, I made my way into the bait sight at the first hint of light and quietly made my climb up the tree. Once I was settled in I checked my phone and it was 6:44 am. About an half hour or so later I heard something to my left. I knew it was not a squirrel, to slow of movement. I first thought it sounded like a coon. As I watched that direction I saw a large black object…BEAR!

He was about 25-30 yards out and still in the thick stuff so I quietly stood up and readied my bow by taking it from the bowholder and hooking up my release. About then the bear passed through a small opening leading to the bait. I saw ear tags. No doubt it was it was one of the two target bears.

He made his way to the opening and stepped into the opening I had cut around the bait site. He was quartering towards me so I had to let him turn. He was between me and the barrel and as he started to slowly lumber around, I carefully came to full draw. He stopped with his leg back and I hesitated to shoot. About then he started to take a step and as soon as his leg moved forward I took the shot.

He growled at the impact, done a 180, snapped at the arrow, and ran back the direction he came. I could hear him running through the dry leaves and I heard a crash followed by heavy gasp and gurgling sounds. Then more leaves thrashing and silence. After a moment of disbelief I composed myself and returned my bow to the holder and checked the time. 7:19 am. My bear hunt had lasted thirty five minutes. I waited until 7:40, clumb down, took my climber from the tree and got it ready to go. I then followed a great blood trail straight to the bear.

Where he fell was in a bad place but a few hours later I was checking him in. He weighs 500 lbs and was exactly seven foot long. I’m having to wait for the taxidermist to get the skull cleaned before I can get any grasp on the score.

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