Meet Queen Renee

So let me give you a bit of a background on who I am…I am currently married with three kids & we live & breathe everything outdoors! We love to hunt, fish & just be outside-catching frogs, snakes-anything to get us outdoors while we can!! Growing up my whole family hunted, shortly after I took my Hunter’s safety course my Dad passed away & I kinda stayed away from anything hunting related. I met my husband 12 years ago and within a week, we were at Cabella’s buying a bow! He is very involved in hunting as well as his whole family, so when I shared my interest, it was a no brainier! Usually, I only hunt with a bow, but for the bear hunt my husband talked me into using a gun so I used one of my Dad’s guns-his 30-06. This was my very first gun kill & after you hear the story, you will understand why I believe my Dad was right there with me protecting me!!

This particular hunt was my 2nd time bear hunting in Maine. We fell in love (literally) with the guide service & their family. The first year neither of us got a bear, but the bond we created was far more valuable than succeeding at the bear hunt. We kept in contact through the year with the guys we went to camp with. The guide service had said that was their last year & I was devastated. I literally cried on the way home. I had an amazing experience of what a hunting camp could & did feel like. For once, I was treated like an equal & not some sissy girl that had no idea what she was doing. I was treated just like every other guy at camp & I loved it. I was the only girl at Bear camp that year. After several harassment’s they decided to do one more year…they called me the Bear Mafia! We all agreed that we would go back again & make sure we went during the same week. We were beyond excited! It took us 18 hours to drive to Maine!! It was amazing to see all the guys again! Finally, hunt day had arrived and we did our usual hunt de-scenting prep. I really had no expectations of getting a bear, I was just glad to be back with this amazing group of people who we are proud to call our family now. It is by far the best vacation my husband and I have ever been on, it brought us closer in ways that we could not even imagine! And this is where my story begins…

On opening day, I entered the woods around 1:30 with my guide, he added more bait to the pile, lit some scent sticks & I got situated in my ground blind. Aaron (our guide) asked if I was all set & could see everything and once everything was all good he walked away back to the truck. I was finally back in the woods, all alone waiting on a bear. I was told there were Cubs in the area so I needed to pay close attention & wait a bit before shooting to make sure it was not a bear with cubs. After the adrenaline wore off I began playing solitaire on my phone. I could hear some crunching of leaves to my left, but nothing major-I figured it was a squirrel so I continued to play my game. Moments later I could hear the crunching again, just in case I picked up my gun and set it on my lap-I still couldn’t see anything & continued to play my game. Once again I heard the crunching sound & finally put my phone down & began to look around. It was way to early for a bear (about 5:15 ) so I still assumed it was a squirrel until I could see the ferns slightly moving to the left of the bait-about 40 yards away (still pretty far) I kept my eyes on those ferns & didn’t budge-I was excited I might be able to see some cubs!! Still, I saw nothing and assumed it was that stupid squirrel again. I just barely looked to my left and & to my surprise I saw a patch of black hair just outside my blind window-literally right next to me “Well,that is not a squirrel” I said to myself! I still had no idea the size of this bear only that it in fact was a bear. I slowly & as quietly as I could pushed my safety off, just in case. A sow with Cubs can be very dangerous. Apparently, I was not quiet enough and he heard me. He took one step and I could see that it was not a cub and as he took one more step he slipped on the tree roots just in front of my blind. Before I knew it, the bears head was just about inside my blind and we were face to face. I could feel his breath on my face. It was a good 30 seconds that we stared each other down and my life flashed before my eyes-it felt like an eternity! I did not move,I did not breathe-nothing at all, I was stiff as a board and he just stared right back at me. At this point, my gun is still on my lap & I knew that I couldn’t shoot because he was way to close, if I shot I wouldn’t kill him & he would kill me-my only choice was to pray & hope that he would just walk away. So I kept as still as I could & stared right back into his giant face! Luckily, he did walk away, but did not just walk away-waddled away. After all the hunting video’s my husband & I watched he always said I wanted a bear that waddled away & not just walked away. As I caught my breath & realized that this could be a shooter, I got my gun up & ready for when he turned around. I could hear my heartbeat in my throat. I had never felt anything so intense before. Once he got to the bait (only about 15 yards away) I checked for cubs, then I wondered if he was big enough to shoot. The on going joke at bear camp is everyone says that they shot a huge bear & then they walk up to it & say ‘that is not the bear I shot!’ I did not want to be the girl at camp that shot a small bear! He seemed fairly large by what I had learned, but I also just had this bear in my face-so was he really as big as I thought he was? Finally, after 15 minutes I decided he was big enough to shoot…I think?!?! I calmed myself, lined up my shot & before I knew it I heard the shot go off & the bear took off to the right of the bait pile. I can’t even describe the feeling that was going on, I was shaking, could barely catch my breath & my heart beat sounded like a blow horn! I texted the guides, but they couldn’t come get me until after dark, I was the last one dropped off so if they would have driven down the road it could have ruined my husband’s & one other guys hunt. I picked up my gun & walked to the bait pile & saw no blood. I thought I missed & walked straight back to the blind. I texted the guide again & told him what happened. He said that there was no way I missed & since bears are so fat, sometimes they don’t bleed right away so to take a walk around the bunker & check it out. Well, sure enough off to the right (further than I thought I saw him run) I found first blood. I knew at that point that I got a bear. The big question was-did I over size him because he was in my face & I was so nervous. Once all the guys came (hours later) we began to track. It was about 150 yards out that my husband saw the bear first and yelled (excuse the language)” Holy shit Née” I thought crap, I shot a cub…then the guide gets to the bear and says ‘Oh my god Renee’ and as I approached my bear-I screamed, cried & jumped for joy-sure enough that bear was a very big bear!!! The guide days “now, that’s a big bear-way to go girl!!” The guide called for back up & it took 7 guys to get him out of the woods!!! I couldn’t stop smiling! This bear was a big deal, but it still hadn’t sunk in yet…we put him on the scale and he was 410lbs and almost 8ft. This bear was the 2nd largest bear that this guide service had ever taken. They were positive it was going to make the record books. I was still shocked! We took it the next morning to the taxidermist & used a back ho to get in it the truck-lol. The taxidermist assured us that this was a state record bear and that a full mount was the only justice we could do to this bear-he was my once in a lifetime bear. So we did…we got a life size mount, we didn’t know where it was going to go, but it was one hell of a bear and an even better story. I will be going back in the Spring for the MASTC (Maine, Antler & Skull trophy club) ceremony to be presented a certificate and the Maine state record book, as well as pick up my mount. Last time they checked it was 2nd in the state! Maine’s average size bear is around 140-190lbs! I still randomly smile thinking about that bear & that trip!!! What a trip of a lifetime!! There were 3 other bears taken that week as well- all ranged between 130-150lbs. We can’t wait to go back next year & we’re hoping to pull a Moose tag one year as well!!

May 08, 2016 | Category: Blog, Fan Photos | Comments: none


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