Adventures for Food: Ep 09 - A Record Book Bruin


The pursuit for food has taken us into the wilderness across rivers and atop mountains. These journeys have connected us to the wild. It is this connection that allows us to experience the wild places. This world has to offer in search for both wild game and adventure. This is my adventure for food. My name's tyler. France and i come from a long bloodline of pennsylvania. Big woods they're hunters. We've done our fair share of damage on the bears over the past several decades as my grandfather lemoyne killed are hunting camps. I bear in nineteen fifty seven. My father steed has taken an astounding. Eight bears over his lifetime all of which while stand hunting. My older brother travis has forebears to his name. And i've taken three myself but the one who has the claim to fame with the largest bear the entire france family is myself with the second fair that i took in two thousand nine season. This is the story of out there when we woke up on the second day. The two thousand nine bear season. It was one of those days where the rain was coming down in buckets. You just knew you felt like you could crawl in a little cocoon of a sleeping bag and stay in bed but nevertheless at three thirty in the morning dragged my bought out of the bunk and mosey downstairs in the cabin at breakfast started. The rain was pounding on the old tin roof. We're looking at each other thinking i'll man it's going to be one of those days. What are we gonna do. Where are we going to hunt. We hadn't had any look on the season opener and The crew that was with us decided to hash out our plan over breakfast so we were sitting there talking about our options. The way that we hunt we don't typically drive spread out. We took a good group of guys maybe six to eight and a group and spread out across the mountain covering all the high traffic trails. The benches the ridges any crossings on draws mostly in proximity to cover. We weren't sure how long we're going to stick it out because it was supposed to pour all day but we ultimately decided to spread out in one area that was pretty easy access and meet back at the logging road at noon to figure out a plan for the rest of the day we ultimately decided that myself and a friend of mine. Brad would head east and cut down over a a big shop and spread out. I would watch a little draw that comes in from a band of the cam locks and some laurel and he would stay up on top in the chop. My dad another friend of ours. Jody and another friend. Bobby would head to the west of the logging road and spread out and take their chances. They're headed down over the side with brad. Well before daylight. My god my three determined spot for supplies that my dad had run into bears in the past We've had some success with camp members killing. There's there before but not recently. Nevertheless we got there. And i let you know drop brad off continued Out on my way down over a ridge just that i could kinda see a band of laurels to my left. Little opening a cover down below me a little trickle creek heading down through a draw and emirates victim locks on the opposing hillside again. The trump was behind me. I sat there all morning. Thankful praying thanking god that i had tree umbrella to put above my head and try to keep most of the the damp and coal off me but it was one of those days. Just just kind of hunkered down and prayed for quitting time but it got to be around. You know ten thirty ten forty five on the radio and i said to brad said hey man you see anything he said. I haven't even seen a squirrel and we we talked about it. And i said i think i'm going to pack up soon and i'm gonna zigzag the top of this recent chop here see if we can kick something out to you and that'll take me maybe an hour and then we'll head back to the truck for noon to meet thrust of the guys so i i took my time. I got off the the radio with him and i was sitting. There took the took out my sandwich. Eight sandwich drank a little bit of the water. That i had my pack tapped it and of course you know as i was ready to leave nature calls so i stood up prepared. Take a leak. I took my tree umbrella down. Shook the water off of it. Put it in my pack properly gun against my pack stood up and start taking a whiz gazing down the mountainside and all my manhood exposed to the wilderness. I hope down. And i see what i thought. Was this little bird flittering off of a tree. Limb little hemlock branch moved. If i you know songbird whatever the caught that little glimpse and it made me look a little closer. I'm still there continuing our business. And i see it move again and it was. It was kind of a branch that was obscured by a large oak tree. That was right in between the two of us. You know myself and that branch down in the distance. The bottom of the draw and as i continued to look it just seemed out of place in the gray stillness of the morning. Everything was you know dreary and gray and it was actually a sign of life and all of a sudden. That sign of life really came to fruition because i saw a little sliver of black on the left side of that mature oak tree. I was like no way. I cut it off real quick at that point right then and there and i saw black on the other side of the tree. And i'm like oh my gosh i think this is a bear coming right at me and it truly was it was. It was a bear walking straight up the hillside directly behind that tree and eventually it crossed out to the right side of the tree. And i knew it was a bear and not just the bear but a good bear so i. I quickly knelt down to the ground. Dropped into like minjah mode immediately grabbed. The gun pulled out my way. Look through the scope. As i look through the scope just grain i saw rain and moisture all in my scope. So i'm frantic now. The bear still walking straight towards me up the hill. I'm trying to my scope with you. Know a shirt tail. That's hanging out at the bottom of my coat. I finally get it cleared enough. That i can see through my crosshairs and and get dialed in on this there. And at this point it's about seventy seventy five yards away settled the crosshairs just below. Its neck the top of its chest area. Quarter into shot. Thinking i could just you know. Try to slip one right in the boiler room there as that's walking towards me. I took a deep breath. And i squeezed off the shot at that moment. That are through both front legs up in. The air tumbled backwards. I saw blood fly out of its jugular area. It rolled at left out the death mon. Now if you've never heard of death known from bear before it's a sound you'll never forget it's kind of like a roar that echoes like a foghorn through the entire valley i swear it it shipped the water and marine drops off the tree limbs but that moment silence finally came the barrows down. I was totally thrilled. Elated astonished couldn't believe my luck. Got on the radio. I call brad said bear down. Bear down for mill run camp and he said great job buddy. I'm gonna get to an area that i can try to reach the other guys a mental v right down so i agree you know i would meet him here. Go down and check out my bare put my tag on it. And i stood up started walking down over the hillside and man i i just had the shakes. Come over me now. This was my second bear. I had already done this before. But there's something about the thrill of the hunt that just overcame. The i'd honestly sit down. Got halfway down the mountain towards us bear. Sit down collect myself. Try not to throw up from the excitement and the adrenaline pumping through my body. And i finally got my crap together. And i walked down to the bare and realize man. This is this is a pretty nice bear at that point. I was thinking you know. It's definitely over two hundred fifty pounds. I didn't know how much bigger it was beyond that. But i filled out my harvest tag. Got it in its ear. And by this point i could see brad up on the hillside making his way down to me. She came down. And you know. We are celebrating hugging share. You know high five in just pumped up that we were fortunate enough to take a bear for the camp and at that moment she said well. Let's let's flip it over and get some pictures when the two of us tried to grab this bear and move it into position for a photo and it. It barely budged. We realized we had a pretty exceptional baron. The ground here in that time managed to get a propped up a little bit some photos. And i decided that i would take pack my gun my pack and all my gear down to the truck and kind of shed some layers. Because i knew the work was just going to get started. So brad sat there with my bare. That moment hiked down at the truck. Got a big group that we keep big burly cord rope that we had used several times in the past forgetting bears out. Hold that back in with me. The plan was to try to take it out live. Full-size drag it out We obviously we're going to need some help. But i got back to the bear. I feel drastic. Took a good forty five minutes. It was a huge bear. Might five frame was swallowed up. Somebody took a picture of me. Field dressing this bear and unlike dwarfed next size of it but finally got a field draft. The other guys made their way to so at this point. We have my father in his late fifties at that time. Our friend jodi who's also in his fifties and then myself brad and bobby all of which were at that time in our mid twenties so the plan was that jodi would go ahead and carry some guns carry packs clear. You know branches. Forest and brad bobby. My dad myself tied basically a tag into the rope to to the to hind legs and recited. We're gonna take it backwards down the creek bed. We affixed four handles on the rope. And let me tell you. If if one person didn't pull that bear didn't we had all kind of go account of one two three hall and we make a good twenty thirty yard run out and then we'd have to catch our breath take a break and then go again and you know being a young guy with an older dad at the time you know. He's still pretty young considering and in good shape at the time but i didn't want to push him So i i actually said that you know are you okay. Do we need to go get help. And he actually got ticked at me. He grabbed a hold of my coat and he said you know what we're getting. This bear out right now. We don't need help. We got this so you know. He was fired out. But i was. I was happy that you he was willing to dig. Digs toes down. This wasn't his first rodeo so convinced that we had what we needed. We all kind of dug in and we were in knee deep water in late november. It was cold. We hold that thing Six hundred yards proximate down this draw to the truck and took a group effort to get it up on the tailgate in the back of the truck. We took it down to the check station in jersey shore. I had taken the in in clinton county and we got down to jersey shore exit and we went to the fire hall there for the check station and when we pull them and people started gathering around the tailgate we pulled the bear out and there was kind of like a murmur in the crowd. Like oh this is. This is a good dare. They got it on the scale and hoisted it up and when they yelled out the measurement they give the dressed weight and the estimated. Liveweight turned out that my estimated live weight was four hundred thirty one pounds And eventually when i got the skull scored. It made pennsylvania record books. It was an exceptional. They're a big male bore and when they pull the tooth the aged and it turned out that it was an nine year. Old eight month old bear. So that's a dare that made it. through many. Many different seasons escaped countless hunters had a couple of snafus with a bb gun toting birdseed watcher based on when we skimmed it out back home and took took the hide off and started butchering. We're shaving away. The layers of fat on its back and right on its hind quarter. I found to. Bb's that somebody actually shot it in the in the rear end with a begun or a pellet gun but we ended up breaking down that bear deboned we froze it and we ended up doing what we always do. Shoot a bear for the camp We slow braves them in red wine and garlic and we serve it to upwards of three hundred people at our annual bear and deer roast. It's kind of like a celebration of the camp that we have every year where we bring the harvest together. Every guy in camp donates one of his dear hindquarters and fortune it to bear that year we all share it with our friends and families up the annual roast. So i was proud to be the only person that actually killed the bear that year for our cat. Unfortunately it was a really big one and held out to feed that many people everybody at least got a taste of it and in reflection. I'm just super thankful that a grown up in a family that embraces the outdoors. The way they do. I have a hunting camp. That's in their country. We've had a lot of success in the past and i'm hopeful that we can continue to have success as well into the future because at the end of the day in that they're sitting there the bear roasts taking a bite of it. It's a little taste. Pennsylvania big woods victory and that's my adventure for food

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