March 22 ē 05:04 PM
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Save the fake apology--itís a joke!

Dear Woods-N-Water News:

I have been hunting bear for the past 12 years, all in Ontario. I put in for a tag this year for the Newberry area and received a tag for the third hunt. All was going as planned. I scouted for some good baiting sites then started baiting. I had bears at two of my three sites within days.

After about a week of baiting I then set my stands and continued to bait until the start of my hunt. On opening day I set up on my most promising site. After about a week of hunting with no bear sightings I moved to my other site that was getting hit regularly.

When I got to my hunting spot I noticed a truck that was parked within about three hundred yards of my stand. I had noticed this truck with another truck over the past few days working bear dogs about four miles from where my stand was.

As I started to walk closer to my stand I began to hear the dogs barking. Figuring the dogs had run off any bears that were nearby I walked back to my truck to go back to the spot I had been hunting the previous days.

Upon returning to my truck, the other truck I had seen driving with the parked truck came down the two track I had been walking on. The driver exited his jeep and began to apologize for driving in my hunting area, stating he had no control of where his dogs would go when chasing bears. I let the man know that it was alright, that we were both hunting public land, and that I would just head to my other spot.

I went to my other spot and again had no bears come in to the bait during shooting light. The next day I then went to check my baits. When I got to my site where I ran into the bear dog hunters, guess who I saw?

That's right, the bear dog hunters. The hunter the day before apologized for two minutes about being near my hunting site. At that time it was not his fault he was near my bait - how was he to know? Then why was he right back at my site the next day? This is unsportsmanlike behavior, knowing I had a bait site in the area meant there were bears around, and he knew it.

I get sick and tired of the guys that run dogs for bears complaining that they get picked on, and they have a lot of time and money wrapped up in their dogs and equipment.

Well, I baited for weeks before the season, I scouted for my bears before setting baits and went through I don't know how much gas driving around baiting. I also have time and costs involved trying to do the same thing they are doing - tag a bear.

I'll just continue to hunt bear in Canada and leave the unsportsmanlike bear hunters in Michigan. Trust me a guy like this ruined many of hunters this past season and I'm sure seasons to come. He should have saved his fake apology; it was a joke, just like his intentions.

Mark Wilkes

Former Michigan

bear hunter

Mark Wilkes
November 25, 2009

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