06/04/06 — Trio bags bears in Canada

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Trio bags bears in Canada

By Gene Price
Published in Sports on June 4, 2006 2:19 AM

Veteran bow hunters Dr. Joe Democko, Dr. Greg Bauer and attorney Robert Smith all scored on a recent black bear trip to Alberta, Canada.

Smith "filled his ticket" by taking two bears. But perhaps Dr. Bauer had the most memorable experience. He was up a tree waiting for a big bear when two cubs joined him!

While the cubs cried for help, an enraged mama bear threatened menacingly from the ground.

Smith contacted the guide who advised that he sit tight until the big bear wandered off. When it finally did, Dr. Bauer climbed down and headed for an open field where he was joined by the guide. They returned to the tree later, confident the mama bear would have retrieved the cubs.

They were wrong. So Smith and the guide opted to find another tree stand!

All three hunters bagged their bears with Mathews Switchback bows and ACC arrows with fixed-blade broadheads.

The bear hunt in Canada was the first big game venture out of the U.S. for Bauer and Smith. But Democko has just about covered the continent with his hunting trips.

Until last year, Dr. Democko held the New Mexico record for the largest bull elk taken with a bow. That was for a bull that scored a net 404 points when he dropped it with an arrow in 2002. He also has taken just about every big game animal in the country with his bow -- from wild turkeys on up.

The three hunters now have scheduled a safari in the African plains for later this year.

The bear hunt in Alberta was with guide Dale McKinnon.

Democko said they slept in tents with wood stoves for heat and enjoyed comfortable weather conditions with 60 degree temperatures during the day and upper 30s at night. Those wanting information on arranging similar trips may call Dr. Democko at 735-2205.


hunting survey

Some 2,500 hunters across the state have been sent a survey that will be used in compiling a Wildlife Resources Commission report on the issue of Sunday hunting. In addition, around 1,250 citizens from the general population are being contacted by telephone for their views on the issue.

These contacts are important in the Wildlife Commission's preparation of a comprehensive report to the governor and the General Assembly later this year on whether Sunday hunting should be allowed in North Carolina.

The written survey is long -- 12 pages. But those receiving it are urged to complete it and return it in the envelopes that are provided.

While it would be impossible to cope with responses from every hunter and every general population citizen in the state, the mail and telephone surveys are scientifically provided to a cross section of the state's general population and its licensed hunters.

There have been other activities as well. Focus group meetings have been held in three geographic areas of the state. Participants invited from carefully selected "stake-holders" groups -- people with specific but differing interests in the issue -- have met to exchange their ideas.

The findings are being compiled by an out of state team of experts and will then be reviewed for preparation of the commission's final report to the governor and the Legislature.

The issue of Sunday hunting will have to be decided in the end by the General Assembly and the governor.

Boating accident fatal

Memorial Day is generally regarded as the beginning of the boating season and authorities use that weekend to urge boaters to use caution in their operations.

Sadly, on that occasion, a 13-year-old operating an 18-foot boat in a Key West waterway ran over a 6-year-old swimmer, crashed into the victim's father's 22-footboat, paused briefly and then left the scene.

The young swimmer was killed.

Fish and Wildlife officers later found the 18-foot boat tied to a dock at a home and arrested the 13-year-old operator. Officers said he might not have seen the young swimmer but should not have left the scene. He could be charged with vessel homicide.