- We are known as PaWingers or just The Wingers by our Geocaching friends. When we found our first cache we had to come up with a name to log the find. We came up with this name simply because of residing in Pa. and because one of our many passions is cruising this beautiful country on our Honda Goldwing. Aside from geocaching we are passionate about most anything outdoors including hiking, kayaking, snowmobiling and biking. We are blessed beyond words with a wonderful son and daughter in law. We're also blessed with some terriffic family and friends. We consider ourselves very fortunate due to the fact that after being married over 40 years we still enjoy these things together.
Saturday, June 2, 2012
After hearing that the 2011 Bear Season had harvested near record numbers my wife was a bit distraught over the large number of bruins bagged in Penna. Our area alone produced high kill numbers. Unofficially the harvest for 2011 was nearing 4000 bears. The record year was 2005 when 4,164 bears were bagged. That's a lot of bear!
While most people wouldn't be all that concerned about a possible shortage of bears we surely feared the thought of less encounters with these powerful creatures. We find it rather odd when we talk to people that have actually never seen a bear other than in a zoo. We even find it unusual when we talk to those that have maybe only seen one or two in the wild in their lifetime. We find this so amazing because we have so many encounters with them every year. Encounters with bears linger in your memory far longer than other critters and sometimes the memories are quite vivid.
My wife Jeanne recently had a face to face encounter that she won't soon forget. We were traveling rte 555 just below Dents Run enroute to Lyman Lake. As we traveled toward Driftwood, we passed a small opening in the trees with a clear view of Bennetts Branch. I caught a glimpse of something on the edge of the water that sure looked like a bear. We were pulling a camper so we had to wait for a wide spot to pull over. Luckily we found a spot real close to where the bear should have been. I grabbed the Canon and we headed down through the woods and toward the creek. When we approached the water I signaled my wife to head back toward the camper because she wasn't wearing rugged enough shoes to walk the creek banks. I walked upstream but never got a look at the bear so I headed back to the road and down to where she would be. Moments later I spotted her coming out of the woods and she was yapping something about seeing this bear up close and personal.
Whoda' Thunk that while I was trekking up along the stream I apparently kicked the bear and sent him right toward her. As luck would have it she didn't have a camera but she did have a stare down for a few minutes with this black bear when they came face to face to each other. Let's just say that she was a tad bit excited and she gave me a pretty hard time for putting her in the path of this big fella. I felt badly but got over it right away. Geez, I thought she would be thanking me for the close look at this black bear, I guess I was mistaken. So far this year we've had 7 encounters with black bears and some of the encounters were just a bit too close for comfort. Hey, it's just another great day outdoors!
After the face to face encounter he did stick around for a few pics.
Okay, take a few more shots and then I'm outta here!
This is just a bit uncomfortable with all these burrs on my butt!