I grew up hunting deer and other small game and always dreamed of getting a chance at a bear. When the one-day bear season in middle Georgia started last year, I knew I had my chance. I’ve hunted with my brother-in-law Chad Proctor in Twiggs for the past five or six years and have collected a ton of bear pictures. I was unable to make the trip down last year for the hunt, but Chad was lucky enough to get a great bear with a tag in its ear. On top of that, he was chosen to be in the GON article about the first bear hunt in this area. I have had this bear hunt on my mind ever since he came home with his trophy, and I told him there was no way I would miss out on this hunt again this year.
We got to the property on Friday and were able to take two good hogs that afternoon to start the weekend off. When it was time to go to sleep, I was like a little kid on Christmas Eve. All I could think about was how lucky I would be to get a chance at one of these bears. Knowing I had the odds stacked against me since it’s just a one-day season and baiting is illegal, I could only lay back, pray for a chance and try to get some sleep.
When the alarms started buzzing, I was on my feet and dressed in no time. It was a fairly cool morning, and it was time for me to get a chance at my first black bear.
Before the sun could rise, I was hearing movment all around but never once thought it was actually a bear. I just knew I’d soon see some hogs passing through.
As the morning went on, I turned back to my right. I had a monster sow standing about 90 yards away working her way to the woodline. As she moved in closer, my heart began to pound out of my chest as I knew this was my extremely lucky chance at my dream. She skirted the woodline and closed the distance to about 70 yards or so. I noticed that it was a bear that we had had on camera. I could see the large tracking collar around her neck and a tag in her left ear. She stopped and lifted her nose straight up, and I knew I better go ahead and take her before she caught my scent. She was quartering toward me, and I let the 220-grain .30-06 bullet eat through her vitals. She folded up and made her way back into the woods. I was waiting for the moan but never did hear it. I stayed in the stand and could continue to hear her moving around. There was no way I was going to go in after her at that point because it was so thick I’d be on top of her before I knew it.
I made my way back to camp for some breakfast and to give her time to expire. We waited a couple hours and went back at around 10 a.m. to begin the search. I had guessed she was in the woods around 50 yards and was very surprised she had only made it about 30 to 35 yards in. When I got up to her, I was beside myself. I noticed she actually had a tag in each ear along with the tracking collar.
When we got to the check-in station, I could not wait to see what kind of information they had collected on this massive sow. As I dropped the tailgate, they thought it was a boar at first because of its size. After reading the tags and the collar, we were able to find out some interesting information. This sow was actually trapped and tagged in Houston County back in July. When they tagged her, she only weighed 175 pounds. Because of the low river, she was able to work her way across to our land, which is located in Twiggs County. We were amazed at her when we put her on the scale because in only four months, she was able to gain a massive 55 pounds, which topped her off at 230 pounds.
With this being such a huge dream of mine, I am getting a full-body mount done on the bear.
I could not be any happier with this harvest. The fact that it is so hard with the season being only one day and no baiting allowed, she is a great trophy, and the tags and collar just add that much more to this great experience.