Fearless in Marquette and Elsewhere

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I will never forget an incident that happened at bear camp several years ago. It involved my “fearless” 9 year old son, and brings a grin to my face everytime I see the scene unfold in the theatre of my mind. This is one of those stories that could of had a very different ending, but thank God it didn’t. You’ll probably think “What a moron!” when I’m done telling you, and my wife would agree. In hindsight it was not to smart on my part, but hopfully I learned from the experience.

Bear camp for us Ansels is at the lovely Baldwin deer cabin situated in the middle of the Marquette hills and the “Big Hole” area. It is a two mile drive,off a dirt road, to get to the camp behind a locked gate. Over the years my family has taken over 40 bear while hunting this area, so it isn’t unusual to have bear right in camp. In fact my younger brother Dean shot one about 60 yards from the front door that weighed over 400 pounds.

Well this particular year was different, as my young son and myself were the only two in camp that year. I don’t remember why it was just us, but I do remember my wife telling me if Micah didn’t do his homework she would not allow him to go with me anymore. We were on the third day of the hunt, and I had taken him with me every evening. The trip was winding down and no homework had been completed yet. That evening I asked him if he would be alright staying at the camp by himself (dumb), and catching up on homework? He said “no problem dad just turn on the propane lamps before you leave.” I figured I would only be a few hundred yards away from the cabin anyway, and instructed him to keep the door closed while I was gone.

During my stay in my stand I had a nice “blackie” circle me until he got downwind, and then like a ghost he vanished. Actually he went over the ridge in the direction of the camp which gave me cause for some concern. At dark I started back to camp, and as I approached I thought I saw something move close to the front door. I couldn’t make out what it was as it lurked back into the shadows underneath the cabin pilings. I was nervous enough to let out a little yell at 20 yards just to put some fear into whatever was waiting to pounce on me as I approached. To my total surprise my little squeaky voiced son said “be quiet dad there’s a bear out here, and I’m going to shoot him!” My jaw dropped as the little toe-head crawled out from under the cabin. He was wearing his Davy Crockett coon skin hat and his camo jacket and sure enough he had his B.B. gun in tow. I said “what in the world are you doing son?” He explained that while he was doing his homework he started hearing noise outside. When he looked out the window and didn’t see anything he decided he should “bait” the area and see if he could shoot a bear. I thought “Look what you’ve created you knucklehead!” He then proceeded to take some donuts and bread and lay them on the woodpile about 10 yards from the front door. Around the steps he made a little blind, loaded his trusty B.B. gun, and patiently waited. That is till I screwed things up for him. I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face, and was getting to the point of whistling in the dark, and here is this little half-pint waiting to “blast” his first black bear with a Daisy B.B. gun. You don’t know how happy I was when we found out it was racoons making all the rucus and not a bear! That’s one heck of a bear story, but a true one none the less.

My son doesn’t hunt much at all, and never has taken a Michigan black bear, but he still is one “fearless” young man. He’s fearless for God and hunts down the devils and demons that prowl about like a roaring lion. His “trophies” far surpass anything I could ever hang on a wall. I’m proud of you son. Keep up the good work for the “KING.”

Mike

One Response to “Fearless in Marquette and Elsewhere”

  1. John Piippo says:

    Hi Mike – thanks for your supportive comments at my blog. Thanks for your blog too. You are a true admirer of God’s creation!

    Did you know that I might, though, actually be the expert on hunting in Monroe County? For example, once when I was in my garage I looked out the window and saw a deer against a tree in the crouch position. I then called another hunting expert who verifed this. I also have spotted various owls in Monroe, su8ch as a great horned owl that stayed perched for days on top of the apartment complex on the river on Roessler street.