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Sometimes the Bear Picks You!

Sometimes the Bear Picks You!

Mike Santos said he wasn't even looking for a bear hunt when he met the Wildman Lake Lodge Crew at the Safari Club International Convention in Las Vegas, last February.  After talking to retired Wildman Pilot, "Wild Bill" Lomax and meeting Master Guide, Gary "Butch" King, Santos decided to book for the upcoming spring hunt.  While discussing the hunt at SCI, Mike remembers Butch King saying, "Sometimes you pick the bear and sometimes the bear picks you!"  This is exactly how it happen.  Mike and his guide, Travis, had made a long stalk on a distant big boar which was chasing a receptive sow back and forth just above snow line of the steep mountain across the valley from their camp.  After spending the better part of his first day, exhausting themselves climbing through the alders, hoping to close the distance for a shot, they arrived just in time to watch the big bear follow the sow over the snow covered ridge, into the next drainage.  It was a long, disappointing hike back to camp for the exhausted hunter and guide.  The following day, the decided to stay on the glassing hill, close to their camp.  Toward mid afternoon, they spotted a single bear across a marshy area, where beavers had backed up a stream, flooding part of the valley floor.  The bear was eating the fresh green growth and appeared to have just come out of hibernation.  Incredibly, the bear began feeding his way across the valley toward the hunter and guide.  During the next few hours, what they determined to be a medium sized boar, just continued a meandering path toward their selected lookout, until he unknowingly walked right to the waiting hunter.  "Sometimes the bear picks you"  said Mike who decided this 8'-2" boar was just the bear he was looking for.

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