In Black Bear Hunting, Blog

Dear Bill, Glen and anyone else who contributed to the “bear hunting obsession” book…


Here is my story, and I’m sticking to it.  I am a 57-year-old hunter from Milwaukee.  I mostly hunt deer, by bow, crossbow, rifle and muzzleloader.

However, I have hunted birds in Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska.  I have hunted whitetails and muleys in Nebraska.

In Wisconsin, I hunt on 60 acres in eastern Jackson County, which is part of a cranberry farm.  When I first got access to this area, I wanted to put out a camera to see the deer in that area.  So I put out Craines Kettle Corn (brother’s company) and buck jam.

The bears were happy to pose while eating this kettle corn.  I have a picture hanging in our family room of a large sow with a yearling eating this kettle corn years ago — one of the best pictures I have.

But I wanted them to go away, as I was just a deer hunter.

As I got older, I added killing a black bear to my bucket list.  Figuring I would get one in Ontario, where I have fished 30 years.

Then this June I saw a couple of big bears on my trail cameras.  I know that these bears were big.  I know everyone thinks big, but I was assured by bear hunters around me, whom I know, that these bears were big.  They told me I should be hunting them and said I have a great spot to do so.  I thought … BUCKET LIST.  It is moving home.  I have the chance to do this now.

I read everything the DNR put on the internet about bears, but I don’t do the internet well and I don’t read books.  LOL!

I asked my bear hunting crowd thousands of questions, and they helped me, but they are a secretive bunch.

Well, I saw this book you wrote and ordered it through the Wisconsin Bowhunters Association.  If you ask my dear mother, she’ll say I never read any of those books I was supposed to in my 12 years of schooling.

Your book…I COULD NOT PUT DOWN!  I read it immediately.  Twice.  Ok…I did not read all the recipes, but I learned a lot.  In part of the book, Bill, you said you have the knowledge but might not be able to convey it.  I get that, and Glenn did an awesome job with that.

I think the most important thing I learned was preparation, and what I will do after the kill.  This I have asked of my friends, and they have agreed to help me some day.  I also tell myself I probably will make mistakes, but I think I will make fewer because of you both.  Yes, I will be prepared.

On July 1, I got my first bear point in Wisconsin.  May not seem like a lot to some folks, but you two lit a fire in this old boy’s mind, body and soul.

Also, being a school engineer with the covid crisis and things happening in our great country, I needed something to take me away.  Thank you for that — your book did that.

So, with all that being said, your Obsession has been passed on to me, and I hope to pass it on as well.

I am now a bear hunter!  I haven’t even spent time baiting or chasing them yet.  I cannot wait to feel the whole stand shaking with my first encounter.


John W. Crain, Milwaukee, WI