Freeman Works "Not all who wander are lost; Not all that glitters is Gold"

July 31, 2014

Hillarie Putnam and The Bear

Filed under: Twitter Feed — Gary Freeman @ 8:54 pm

 

As far as I know , I have never been hunting in my life. I chased folks as required by my various jobs in law enforcement and investigation but have never gone out purposefully to shoot something. Nevertheless, I have gotten hooked on a program entitled “The Hunt” on The History Channel.
Let me explain the rules of engagement. There is an island south of Alaska named Kodiak. No word as to whether the Kodiak Brown bear is named after the island or the island is named after the bear. There are approximelt 3500 bears on Kodiak.
The state of Alaska has ruled that each year there are 500 tags given to hunters to go to the island and “harvest” a Kodiak Brown bear. A Kodiak can go upwards of 10 feet tall and can weigh up to 1500 lbs. Probably has a T-shirt that says “Grizzlies are wussys”. Actually Kodiak Brown bears are a subspecies of Grizzlies. Somehow “harvest” doesn’t seem to cut it.as a verb to describe moving VW size animal that is running at approximately 30 miles per hour. Each year 5000 hunters apply for tags and only 500 get tags to go hunt. If you are from Alaska you are exempt from having to utilize a guide. No idea whether this is to cut down the Alaskan population or to make money for the Alaskan guides. (Just kidding).
Maybe I have a misconception of the island but it appears that there are only two maybe three trees on the whole island. Bears on the other hand are practically everywhere (or so it seems).
Non Alaskans are practically everywhere , talking about how the hunt is a rite of passage , lifetime experience,etc. I’m sure that the Alaskans have a name for us down below. I have no idea.
We first see Hillarie Putnam charging into the Alaskan Fish and Game with her dad, David to get her tags and instructions. The History Channel says she is “Headstrong and Confident.” Im not sure about the headstrong part. She has been hunting for 9 years with her papa and its not her first rodeo. She has a muzzle loading rifle which means she gets one shot every 30 seconds (If her powder is dry) If your powder is not dry than how fast can you run?
Hillarie and David slugged up and down the hills and dales of Kodiak for a week and amazingly enough did not see a bear. Then David Left. I mean really? As a father of a 26 year old blonde daughter, I might not leave her with the bears but really. Maybe she is a tad headstrong. When I wrote this I was thinking which was worst leaving her with the bears or letting her go to Los Angeles by herself. I think I would leave her with the bears.
The first night out after David left, snug in her tent, she has a visit from a bear. She backs up the hill, yelling at the bear. Somehow the bear retreats but I’m sure it wasn’t sound sleeping night. The next day, when I and most of the men folk I know would be heading for a beach and a getaway plane, Hillarie goes to tracking the bear that the night before tried to get into her tent.
After a commercial break, Hillarie appears with the high ground overlooking a river that the big bear is walking a long side of. Evidently it is what every hunter dreams of because none of the other hunters that I watched had any where close to the kind of shot Hillarie had. Hillarie lined up and shot the sucker. (Im sorry, she “harvested the bear”) her joy lasted exactly a nano second because the bear overcame a 50 caliber shot and wondered off. Hillarie started the 30 second countdown and I believe she cut down the loading time to about 15 seconds before she started out after the wounded bear. She tracked down the bear and dispatched it According to the law, they have to skin the bear and then take the bears head. This was evidently accomplished and the next we see the “head strong, confident young woman” she was flying away.
Hillarie’s bear was by far the smoothest hunt of all the bunch of episodes I saw. Hillarie is an accomplished actress and one of those people I would bet on to be a huge success. She is also totally fearless and a damn find shot.
You can follow her future exploits on twitter a @hillariputnam1 .
As to the Hunt, it is well worth looking up on Youtube or any of the other channels that show.The Hunt..
In the interim, go to The History Channel o Facebook and tell them we need the second season of The Hunt with Hillarie Putnam.

P.S. I can’t finish this without talking about my second favs , Hal and Michelle Barber. Michelle had never been hunting IN HER LIFE. ( I would have started with hunting my car keys) So you guessed it Michelle got the tag. Because the Barbers were from Fairbanks, They didn’t have to have a guide so it was just Hal and Michelle. Did I mention Hal is a diabetic? I couldn’t write this stuff. Michelle said that she had done a lot of exercising. Evidently bear hunting on Kodiak is an exhausting experience. Think Stair-master for 8 street hours with a 100 pound pack) She and Hal worked as a well oiled machine. I was impressed. Anyway, Hal cannot shoot at the bear until Michelle was in “dire danger”. This happened about an hour into their show when a large momma bear charged at Michelle. She did great things considered. She put two down range into the bear’s vicinity. Hal on the other hand was wonderful. He put one round into the air to try and scare off the bear and then put the rest of his ammo into the bear. At some point during all of this the bear succumbed to lead poisoning. Hal was great, calm and reassuing. He told Michelle that she had done great and asked her if she had any more ammo. She had three left. (By this time, I would have fired all mine and called in a Predator air strike). Getting out with the skin and head was a bit of a challenge on Hal but he and Michelle made it after drinking some brackish water. How much weight would a bottle of water purification pills added to the load? They finally made it out. Hopefully to live ever after.
Go and watch the show. The Hunt on history.Com.

 

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