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Mother-Daughter Ontario Bear Hunt

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Mother-Daughter Ontario Bear Hunt

“The fog comes on big bear feet!” • Credit: Babe Winkelman

Kris Winkelman and daughter Karlee Hunt Big Ontario Black Bear Together



Ontario encourages everyone to travel safe during this time and to follow public health guidelines. It is important to practice physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and the wearing of a non-medical face covering where required or where physical distancing is a challenge.

In his poem FOG, the great poet Carl Sandburg wrote “The fog comes on little cat feet.” It speaks to the tiptoed silence of approaching mist. If Carl Sandburg ever hunted black bears on a calm Ontario afternoon, he might have written “The fog comes on big bear feet!”

The silent stealth of a heavy bruin walking through the forest has always amazed me. One second there can be no bears on the bait beneath your hunting stand, then, as if by magic, a bear can suddenly materialize. Sometimes they just seem to float through the woods.

This past year, I was thrilled when my youngest daughter Karlee got to experience the magic for herself. She went to Ontario with her mom Kris. Any time my wife and daughter get to hunt together, it makes me so proud and happy. Better yet, they were pursuing those magnificent black bears with their bows!

The gals returned from Ontario triumphant! Both arrowed beautiful animals with perfect shots as the bears crept into the bait “on little cat feet.” Also, both bears were unique color-phase specimens (one a calico) which makes the adventure even more special. When they told me their tales from the hunt, I just sat back in my chair and grinned from ear-to-ear.

They told me how they both shot their bears at precisely the same time (4:30 PM) from their respective stands. They shared every detail, from how the stand sites were set up to how delicious the lodge dinners were after a long hunt. Finally Karlee remarked “Dad, I can’t believe how quiet those bears are…they’re like shadows!” I smiled and replied “I know exactly what you mean.”

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