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Harvested my first bear on Friday the 10th. I had drawn a 3rd season tag years ago, but never had any luck. Decided to bank up the points and go for a 1st season tag. Took nine years, and I drew for the Newberry BMU this season.

I spent the last four weeks making the 4.5 hour drive from home to run my bait stations. I had a private land bait at our camp, where I was able to use a barrel and help stretch the bait out. I then ran 2 other baits on public land a few miles from camp. I had the best trail camera pictures on the private land bait, with at least 6-7 different bears coming in the first couple weeks. A lot of daylight activity as well. Unfortunately a lot of the pictures was a sow with cubs, but I also had a few other boars coming in. On public land, one spot was pretty much a dud, I ended up abandoning it after week 3. The second spot on public had 2-3 bears visiting fairly regularly, with some evening daylight activity.

Came up for the hunt over Labor Day weekend and ran my baits all again, to get prepared for the opener Wednesday. I was disappointed to see mostly nocturnal activity at my private land bait. I was hoping maybe it was just the weather. With the wind directions forecasted, I was locked in to hunting that spot Wednesday and Thursday. I hunted the opener from Noon-dark. I ended up having the sow with 2 cubs come in literally the last minute of shooting light. I hunted there again Thursday from about 2:30-dark, and didn't see anything.

Friday, the wind switched to south, and I was able to head in to my public land spot that had activity. I had baited at noon Friday and checked my camera and had a decent bear in there during daylight the evening before. I got settled in about 3:30 that night. Low and behold, the bear made an appearance for me. At 7:00 I caught movement to my side. It did end up trying to come in from the downwind side of the bait, luckily my scent was blowing just off to the west and it came in on my east side so I avoided disaster there. I was set up on the ground in a brush blind, and had basically just one shooting lane into my bait. It took a minute to make it's way into the bait, so I was able to size it up and make sure it had no cubs. It hit my shooting lane behind the bait and I took my shot. About 35 yards from where I was to the bait site. Only went about 20 yards and piled up.

Super excited, and very happy to fill a tag on public land doing a DIY hunt. My wife came out to help with the recovery, which was great because I had it field dressed and out of the woods before it even got dark. It was a sow, that ended up weighing 175# dressed.

Couldn't be happier to fill my first bear tag, and thanks for taking the time to read my story.
 

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Crazed Country Rebel
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Congrats! I also killed my first UP bear from the ground at short range like you did - what a rush!

Tell us about your rifle and the ammo you used if you don't mind...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Congrats! I also killed my first UP bear from the ground at short range like you did - what a rush!

Tell us about your rifle and the ammo you used if you don't mind...

Awesome! It is a rush. I was using my Remington 783 chambered in 30.06. Using the Core-Lokt PSP 180 grain.
 

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Awesome!!! Nice work.
 

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Congrats!
 

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Congrats on putting in the work on a fine DIY hunt. I've taken several Michigan bears over the years and every one has been a DIY public land hunt.
 

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Great job
 

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Congrats, thanks for the story and pics. I've had bears come from behind me like your's did often enough to be annoying.
 
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