I left Letcher County on Sept. 15 heading toward the Blue Ridge Mountains to bow hunt. I started trying to hunt on the 16th, but it poured rain all day.
The fellows I was hunting with had not moved the tree stands where they wanted them, so waste another day. They have known for months I was hunting with them, and should have had them in place along time ago.
On Saturday, it broke beautiful and was our first real chance to hunt. Unless you’ve sat on top of the world like you think you are in the Blue Ridge Mountains, you’ve never seen a real sunrise or sunset. You can see for miles, and the color is from some dream.
I hadn’t been there long when I caught a movement from the corner of my eye. As I turned to look at what was about to approach, a big black bear came into view. It wasn’t bear season, so I dismissed my visitor. What the hey, there were a thousand trees around me, he wouldn’t pay any attention to my tree. Wrong!!! He came right to the bottom of the tree I was in.
I could feel the tree starting to shake. At first I thought it was the bear shaking the tree, then I realized it was me. Up the tree he came. He was there in a single bound with his nose on my boot. I kicked the bottom of the stand, and he climbed down.
As he turned to walk away, I knew there wasn’t going to be enough Angel Soft to clean up the mess, so I just took a deep breath, and forgot about the smell. He took about 10 steps, and turned around and came right back up my tree. I hollered, shouted, and kicked till he left.
I know where I’ll be on the morning of Oct. 18. Bear season opens. This time I will have a 30.06 instead of two pieces of wood. Check out my picture to get the ending of this hunt.
This week’s column is ending on a sad note with news of the recent death of my buddy Harrison Tyree. I was with his sister, Sandy Johnson, and brother, Clyde Tyree, both dear friends of mine, soon after he answered the final call. My heart goes out to all the family. I am at a loss for words. It is a terrible thing to see friends in pain. I need to try and cheer things up a bit.