Wild and Wooly
Four years ago I walked up on a bear on stream in Crawford County. The bear took off running like its tail was on fire. It was a stressful encounter for me. I guess the bear at 300 pounds. I went home and told the story to my wife with wide eyes. She was so taken aback by the story I ordered Bear Spray the same day. I have carried bear spray since then. I have seen 5 more bears in Richland and Crawford County. That makes the total 6 bears seen in the last 4 years.
I have talked to other anglers from other states and many have been running in to bears where there none in prior years. Some of the anglers out west scoffed at bear spray. They called it seasoning for the bear's next meal. Most guides in Alaska carry magnum hand guns to thwart bear attacks. The most dangerous bear in Wisconsin could be a female bear separated from her cubs.
Last Spring I was fishing near Bloom City in Richland County and walked up to within 20 yards of a wolf bedding in the tall grass. It stood up and assessed me and then slithered away. Needless to say my heart was in my throat. All of the big bad wolf stories from my youth flooded my thoughts. I immediately had my LARGE pepper spray canister out and ready. This encounter happened so quickly and I still had the where with all to have my spray out. I was rattled after this and decided to go directly back to my vehicle. I didn't want to turn my back to the wolf as I left to my vehicle, so I backed up a ways through the talk grass and then walked out diagonally. As I turned sideways to walked out I realized the wind was in my face when I encountered the wolf. If I had sprayed the pepper spray, the wind would have pushed it right back in my face and blinded me not the wolf. I decided to NOT share this story with my wife.
The 2012 trout fishing season was a wild and wooly one. I had three long distant encounters with bears and two cougars were sighted in Richland County. One month ago I was driving from Boaz to Rolling Ground and I saw a large black wolf stalking calves just 30 yards from the road. I honked the horn excessively and spooked the wolf. I drove to the farmer's house and he told me that the wolf had already killed some of his calves.
I have been relaying my story with many hunters and other anglers from the area. I am not the only one to see wolves and bears. One guy told me he has seen two cougars and one had a tracking collar on in Vernon County. Anglers in Wisconsin should consider purchasing pepper spray for fishing or maybe even stepping up to carrying a hand gun while trout fishing.
I was in Law Enforcement for 25 years and my wife has a degree in Social Work. It took lots of thought and weighing the options before I purchased my handgun.
Last edited by spinner1; 12-02-2012 at 10:01 AM.
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