Last summer, NAHC Life Member Sherry Brown won the black bear hunt of a lifetime with Spruce Mountain Guide Service by entering a giveaway on the NAHC Facebook page. You can read about the hunt in a previous blog post, but make sure to catch the full story in the April/May 2012 issue of North American Hunter magazine. However, there's a unique twist to the story that you'll only find right here.
I accompanied Sherry on the hunt, along with her fiance, Jody Meyer. Jody, or "Joe" for short, is a retired conservation officer and a military veteran. He's one of the most outgoing, optimistic guys I've ever met; it was a blast sharing bear camp with him. Unfortunately, he didn't even see a bear during our 4-day hunt due to unusual weather conditions preceding the hunt, courtesy of Hurricane Irene.
Shortly after returning to their home in Wisconsin, Joe and Sherry found themselves in a goose blind, reflecting on their whirlwind adventure in Maine, hoping to pluck some Canada geese from the sky. Suddenly, Joe heard a noise in the elderberry bushes behind him. There stood a giant black bear, curiously staring at him. After the brief, frightening encounter, Joe laughed it off. Four days spent on a Maine bear stand without a single encounter, yet Joe comes across a bruin while casually relaxing in a Wisconsin goose blind. Unbelievable.
Scott's operation is topnotch. He has a greatly respected track record of putting folks on high-quality bears (when the weather isn't haywire), so Sherry and Joe decided to come back 2 months after our first baited hunt to see if Joe could get a bear with hounds. No cigar. Scott led a number of clients to bears with his well-trained hounds throughout the season, but clearly there was a curse hanging over Joe's head. It gets better. ...
Back home in Wisconsin yet again, Joe and Sherry slowed to a halt one evening as the vehicle in front of them slammed into something. It was a black bear—a large boar, actually—the type of bear folks go to Maine to kill. The drivers didn't want to claim the bear, so with permission from the local warden, Joe paid $40 to tag it for himself. Finally, he had his bear.