Raising three kids, I’ve had more than enough time to say, “in due time”, “eventually”, “at some point”, “in the future”, “be patient”, “never give up”, “don’t quit”…yet these are words that I’ve had to remind myself to keep in mind on more than one occasion this bear season.
After a banner opening week of bear baiting with bears on two baits, the last thing we expected was for the bears to disappear. I mean they DISAPPEARED! Two plus straight weeks of nothing. We checked and rechecked with no results. We used more scents than I could ever imagine. We sprayed, greased, stocked, and topped off baits…nothing. Mother Nature graced Maine with abundant natural food this year. Berries, choke cherries, mushrooms, apples, beechnuts, acorns…the list goes on… so no matter what we offered, we just couldn’t compete with what Mother Nature was offering up. Then Mother Nature gave us an extra kick in the gut with temperatures in the 90’s.
The actual bear hunting season kicked off and while some hunters were sharing their successes, many were also expressing the same frustration…no bears. That gave me some comfort, but not much. I was feeling totally defeated, and while some hunters were choosing to sit on cold baits, we weren’t and that was making the anxiety even worse…What if’s consumed my mind. What if they came in, what if they came in during shooting time, what if they never come back…We weren’t even sitting, but the clock to the end of bear season was still ticking. No bears and oppressive heat meant our chances of seeing a bear was pretty slim.
Contemplating what the season will hold, John and I enjoyed a backyard campfire and family time with youngest son. Patience again required as it took three times to get the fire to actually burn. Sitting under some of the darkest skies I’d seen all summer, I watched shooting stars; probably leftovers from the meteor showers earlier in the month. Watching for the possibility of another required patience and a good neck to stare at the sky. My patience was rewarded with six shooting stars that night.
And so persistence and patience along with Mother Nature helping has paid off. The temperatures have finally dropped, the berries have gone by and bears are looking for calories. We finally have bears back on the baits, and more than one and none are sows with cubs, so we’re excited. We even had a bear show up in the middle of the day when we were working. We’re hopeful, but we must still remember to be patient and persistent. Meanwhile, please be patient with my postings. Bear hunting is very time consuming, and this full-time working girl gets tired.