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PERSEVERANCE

By Rachel Masse for Martine



The hunt begins May 29th for me.  Mario is the one filming. Mario has built a blind with wood, half buried; half out of the ground with a window of 2 feet high by 4 feet wide. The blind is covered with branches and foliage. Hunters, from inside may sit and if necessary shoot from this position. It gives a nice opening for the hunters but no protection at all sidelining their bows and their bottle of cayenne pepper.

The first night, we saw 4 bears of average size. However, I want to try my luck on a bigger one. Because of the way the blind is made, there is a lot of resonance.  The slightest noise indoors is magnified 100 times. Whenever a bear arrived, my heart would pound and the sound of the beat resonated on the walls.

The second evening, Jean-Philippe accompanied us and served as second cameraman. He is in a tree stand. During the evening, he sees what he believes to be an incredibly big bear.  Unfortunately, he is too far away so he can’t assess its weight. Night falls without the bear approaching within a reasonable distance for a shot.

On June 1st and 2nd, Mario and I decided not to from hunt.

On June 3rd, the same 4 bears are there. At dusk, to our surprise, Mario and I in the distance see the mythical bear JP saw.  We confirm he is huge. Night falls without the bear approaching the bait. From then on, I had this big bear on my mind. I spoke of him, and dreamed of him.

When June 4th rolled around, Mario and I headed to our blind then immediately were as quiet as possible. At the darkness, we gather our gear then Mario sticks his head out of the blind. He promptly brings his head back in because the mythical bear is headed in our direction. Excitedly I got ready as the immense bear approached the blind. He headed straight for us. 

Mario is never afraid, he found it captivating.  However, I am excited and frighten by the bears size. Later, Mario told me that he could see my heart pounding against my chest in excitement and fear. Frighten, I step back, step but I hit the back wall of the blind and cannot step back anymore.  The mythical bear pushed his head into the blind; he is 1 foot from the face of Mario and I. Then the bear takes a deep breath and calmly returns as he came. I had just stop breathing.  Will you believe me if I tell you that it took several minutes for me to return to a normal heart beat. And everything is on film.(please check Deep Countree's Facebook page under Russ DeepCountree to see this exciting hunt in video) .

The next five nights are substantially similar. Those 4 bears are still there and our mythical bear swirls around the bait without giving me the chance harvest him. Either he is too far away or at the wrong place to afford me a shot. One time he took a big chunk of bear bait in the barrel and walked away out of shooting range. In a nutshell, he is unattainable for me with my 40 pound recurve.

June 8th, Mario and I go back out hunting. The hope is to catch the bear at his peak.  I was very disappointment because he does not appear that evening.




In addition, I had to stop hunting for a week since we had company from America. This interlude left me in doubt; and I left the blind wondering if it would be better to aim for a smaller but an attainable bear.

On June 14th, I return hunting with my boyfriend and cameraman.  I wish wholeheartedly that I would be able to see this mythical bear. However, the same four bears that we have seen many times before are there. I hunted 6 more days and on the sixth day he appears. He is now in my visual field but lurks Just out of Bow range.  It gives hope to us that we will harvest him, because I was came close to harvesting a smaller bear.

On June 20th, same course of events occurred. Mario and I go to “Martine’s spot”. The evening runs with the company of our 4 usual bears. But at dusk, the mythical bear arrives. He still looks beautiful and proud. He is hungry, especially, he understands it is too long of reach to put his head in the barrel to feed. So he comes up with a faster way. The barrel is firmly attached via big screws in the platform. He takes it in his paws; he shakes it and turns it until everything falls out. Then, he throws out the barrel into the wood before eating his feast on the ground. What an incredible strength! Mario captures it on film. My eyes bulged in excitement seeing this extraordinary show!

On June 21st, our faithful companions are there, of course. Unfortunately, our mythical bear isn’t.

On June 22nd, everyone is following my adventure and wants me to harvest my bear!

The scenario of the evening begins significantly like any other evenings. Guess who's there? Our 4 Bears! Oh! Yes!

Once again, I have doubts about my choice, and what if I am missing a great opportunity for this mythical bear that never gives me a chance? Yes, I see him but he is still unattainable. Do I need to change my game plan and aim for a smaller? In several days I have hunted almost 18 days straight and nothing has happened. The bear doesn’t show himself often and when he is, he is either too far, or he is misplaced. Frustration and doubt set in.  Suddenly he appears out of nowhere.  Its 9 pm, night will fall in an hour. After 18 days of hunt, Lady Luck finally smiled on me. 

The bear goes to the bait and he is finally reachable. I bring the bow back with my arrow notched, at the same time the mythical bear hears another bear not that far and moves away. Oh! No!  It can’t happen now.  But I remain still ready to accomplish my task, which is not an easy with a traditional bow. The bear again gets back in a good position and I releases. My shot is perfect. He runs away by making a huge grunting sound. The euphoria seized me. I am ecstatic, Mario shares my happiness!

It is time to track. Once again I am afraid; so I stay in the pickup during Mario’s tracking. Mario found the bear and excitedly, he returned with the bear. I am busy texting to announce the good news.

My good friends Sylvain and Rachel are hunting not far from here.  They just arrived when Mario shows to me my bear. The atmosphere is about celebration! My nephews are there to celebrate, too! There's the legendary bear! Rachel filmed our celebration. We are all impressed by its size and splendor! Everyone is happy for me, who after days of hunting hard was awarded by this great bear. All bets are off for the weight. I decide to not comment, given my lack of talent in the field.

We head for the scales! Everyone was excited to see what it weighs; the scales reveal that the bear weighs 288 pounds! Wow! Super! Eventually, we'll know whether it is Pope and Young.



 

I took the bear to the taxidermist.  Perhaps, one day you will have the opportunity to see it.