« The Great Outdoors

Who's afraid of the big bad ... bear?

by Tom Mitchell

When it comes to hunting, I'm game for just about anything, except bear hunting.  Since I was young I've always had a fear of bears.  Maybe it was that camping trip in 3rd grade to Itasca State Park in northern Minnesota.  Dad and Mom thought it would be neat to go hunting berries in the woods just a few miles from the campground.  The air was hot, the bugs were biting but the berries were everywhere.  I knew we were in bear country and couldn't focus on picking berries without hearing every sound thinking it was a mad momma bear protecting her cubs.  My Dad disappeared for 10 minutes, said he was going back to the car to get lunch.  Turns out he doubled back through the woods and came through the field slowing walking on all fours in the tall grass towards us - growling like a bear.  I didn't take this well, but my Dad thought it was a life lesson!  Really Dad?  That was just plain mean.  I got him back later by having nightmares all night about BEARS!  He was up all night trying to calm me down.  To this day - I still have bad dreams about bears - just don't like them.  

So there's my bear story.  Check out this dash cam shot of a really tough bear (caution - this one might be tough to watch.  Don't chicken out and close your eyes.)