Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Yes we have had a few nice days of spring since we last visited here in this column even if it always seems like I end up doing all the talking!

Yes I have been bear hunting every chance I get but no I haven't had any luck yet. I did go to Fish & Game and get my bear baiting permit and even put out some bait. I have about $100 worth of Molasses' honey and dog food out in a secret spot that only a couple hunting buddies and I know about. It is in such a secret spot that the bears don't even know about it yet! If they don't show up pretty quick it will be a long ways to take our dogs just to feed them!

The grass is now getting green in spots and it certainly feels more like spring out there. I spent quite a bit of time stomping the brush nd observing the bushes and tree's starting to bud, and looking for bear tracks. I hope that before it gets too warm I can find some bear tracks that still have the bear standing above them.

I spent a day on that little pond south of Soldotna that is well known for being such a nice little bear hunting spot, Tustemena Lake. I went there with Steve Dambacher and Steve's famous adventure boat that has provided us with many hours of entertainment the past few years. I think he calls it "On the Internet with you." Never did understand that name but perhaps you can ask him about it sometime.

We left the boat launch at the Kasilof River and only went a few hundred yards when we heard a strange thump, followed by some grinding sounds. We stopped the boat and observed the death of a brand new prop that had been brutally attacked by a rock hiding just below the surface of the very low Kasilof River. These rocks are very aggressive this time of the year and seem to prey on bear hunters a lot in early spring.

The lake was smooth and the sun was shining as we motored out from the river and headed for the far end of the lake. We glassed every inch of the shoreline and even looked several times at every stump, log, or any other object that had any blackness or other bear looking type of qualities. We even looked at shadows that had been cast from brush piles, rocks or trees. But could not spot any bears, only objects that looked like bears. We did a little fishing and even sat in a quiet little bay and dreamed about the lunch that we forgot to bring! But we were unable to catch any fish either so we continued on looking for bear.

We walked into a small lake and observed two swans land there by us who never knew we were there. What a beautiful sight it was and one of those special outdoor moments. The lake was getting green and looked to be an ideal spot for our bears to be. But we never found any bear nor were there any bear tracks. The mountains still had lot of snow at tree line and it looked like it would be while before it melted.

We walked in along the Glacier River towards the mountains where we observed patches of green on several spots. Even though it looked like a short hike we walked in about three miles and were not there yet when the wind began to pick up. After hearing the many horror stories about the windy conditions on Tustemena Lake we decided to head back.

We found some rough water on the way back and some nice cold rain and oh yeah, one of those other things too! You know the same thing we found earlier in the Kasilof River? Yes you guessed it another rock! Even though it was many miles from the first one I'm sure it was the same rock that had been following us most of the day! In any event the score stood Tustemena Lake 2, Dambacher & Perkovich O!

We arrived home wet, cold and tired and a little frustrated at our lack of success but yet thankful to be back home safe and not broke down or stranded on that big lake.

I think I just figured out why our bear baiting station hasn't been worked yet. Whenever you go get your permit the Fish & Game gal always ask you where you are going to put it. So you tell her, but then she runs out and tells the bears to stay away from it! You just can't trust anyone these days!

See you next week!

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