The day started a lot like the day before. Cold shower, instant oatmeal, Folgers coffee, Pandora, Facebook, and a trip to the lake in search of carp. Thinking that the carp would be in the same spot I took the same path down to the lake. Within ten minutes I found the carp, in their likely spot, just a few hundred yards away from the road. After five minutes of wading around up to my knees something caught my eye on the path. Company isn’t such a bad thing while being alone but company while fishing isn’t always welcomed.
This company wasn’t people, it was a a sow black bear and two cubs. They came down the path and started heading along the shoreline. They were in no hurry but were heading my way. At this time three cars had stopped high on the road. They watched the bears, I watched the bears, and the bears watched me. The problem became clear, I was trapped in a lake up to my knees while three bears walked towards me. They say to yell and make yourself big in order to scare off black bear. I didn’t want to piss off momma, so I kinda just talked to them in a soft voice. Saying, “hey, these are my fish” and “please, I don’t have any health insurance”. As they progressed forward I started to maneuver a way behind them to the road for an escape, slowly and without turning my back. When they were at their nearest they were no more then a hundred feet. The weirdest thing was that I had no fear, maybe it was the adrenaline masking my emotions, or the fact that I really didn’t think anything would happen. We were just animals out enjoying the lake. Finally momma had enough and made a quick jump forward with a bark before heading up the hillside. At that moment I realized the situation and felt lucky or stupid.
I wanted to catch a carp. The bears were out of sight so I started making a few casts. Then a sound came from the bushes a few hundred feet away. Out popped a sow black bear and her single cub. This sow looked smaller and I realized this about the same time someone from the road yelled, “get the hell outa there, dude!”. I snapped one quick photo and made my slow escape. It turned out that there were now 5 black bear within a few hundred feet of me.
When I got to the road the crowd had grown to 6 cars. They all had this blank look on their faces while I had some big grim smeared all over mine. A Vietnam Vet asked if I needed any toilet paper, I said no, that I really wasn’t that afraid. He relied that he was afraid and showed me the gun he had out just incase things got wild. He said I did the correct thing by keeping it cool and not making any abrupt decisions. If nothing else it was a good test before I head into grizzly bear country and I reminder that things can kill me. Looks like I’ll be carrying the bear spray more often!