Spear Hunting – Dreams & Demons

Spear Hunting For Bear – My Hair Brained Idea

Five-years ago I got a hair-brained idea that I wanted to go spear hunting for a bear. Recently home from a reality show experience (that was anything but reality), I was searching for something different and challenging to try. Unlike the challenges on the show. While I didn’t tell my husband, Adam, I wanted to spear a bear, I did tell him I wanted a spear. At the time with 16- years of marriage to me under his belt, Adam did not even bat an eyelash. He kept his mouth shut and built me a spear the very next day.

spear huntingI threw thousands of times and found out I was pretty darn good at this spear chucking thing. I knew I was ready to hunt and so it was time to spill the beans. Once again my hubby never even spooked, which I’ll say is a little annoying because I kind of enjoy scaring the bajeebies out of people with the crazy things I do. Not him though, he just showed up in the yard with a loader tractor the next day to make sure I could hit the target from a tree stand (aka John Deere loader tractor) because he didn’t think I’d be spear hunting from the ground. With that test passed with flying colors, it was time to find an outfitter who would let me go after a bear.

My First Animal With a Spear Was a Whitetail Deer

I’d hunted with High North Outfitting in Quebec for caribou the year before and knew the owner Kevin Mattice fairly well, and I also knew he offered bear hunts. He was my first and last phone call. He said he didn’t see why not, but would like me to get an animal under my belt before going after a bear. So that fall I went spear hunting and took my first animal, a whitetail deer.

Here is also where a little demon crawled on my shoulder and into my head, and told me I couldn’t. For multiple hunts, I fought that rotten, little bugger telling me I couldn’t hit a deer with a spear. And that voice even had me passing up throws I should have been taking. I had never fought my head before, nerves yes, head no. I literally had to tell myself in my mind, stop this nonsense! You’ve thrown probably a million times already, you know you can make this throw count. Throw the damn spear already! Oh, how a mind can take control of a person if it wants to and if that person lets it. Thankfully, I figured out how to “clear the mechanism,” and learned how to not let my mind control me.

Spear Hunting Banned in Ontario

Only a couple months out from the bear hunt in Ontario, I found out that spear hunting had just been banned in that province. I was heartbroken but not ready to give up. I wanted this so bad I could barely stand it. So I messaged Tim Wells, who I knew spear-hunted, and asked him what my options were. He replied with Alberta. I booked the hunt immediately for the following spring of 2018. And I kept throwing and dreaming. Until March rolled around.

I had emailed the outfitter with some questions and he wasn’t responding like he usually did. After several days and even a couple of ignored phone calls, I emailed him again and got a response that ripped my guts out. It said, “Don’t book a flight, it looks like Alberta is going to get spear-hunting banned before this year’s spring hunt.” I wanted to puke and punch some anti-hunter in the face (because that will do a lot of good, you know). You see, as hunters, we are losing our rights, daily, to anti-hunters who have bigger, squeakier wheels than we do.

Uneducated Voices Seem To Be Louder

They can get a form of hunting banned because they see it as unethical when in reality they don’t know their head from their hind-side about it. Much like anything they squawk about. They are uneducated about hunting period. But they have big voices and every inch they take may as well be a mile. They are never going to stop unless we stand up and stop them.

Regardless of how I felt, and still feel, about anti-hunters they had won that battle. I was once again banned from going after a dream I was very passionate about. A dream I had literally put blood, sweat, and tears into. I messaged Tim again and this time got the answer of Alaska. He said to book it ASAP before they get banned, too. And so I did, and then started lining up every extra job I could get my hands on to help pay for the extra money it was going to cost because I wanted to spear a bear, and bear hunting in Alaska is about twice as expensive as anywhere else.

So, with the hunt booked and beginning to creep up on me, less than 30-days now, that old familiar demon crawled back onto my shoulder last week and began to give me doubts.  First, he planted, what if you don’t see any bears?  And then, what if you miss the only shot you get? Which is a huge concern I will take into account because spear shots are not a dime a dozen.

Second Guessing Everything

Everything has to be so perfect it is like bow-hunting on crack! These doubts are like cancer and were spreading like it, too. So much so, when I was practicing, my throws weren’t perfect and I was second-guessing everything.  I posted about my anxiety with this on Facebook and a very wise woman, Karen Butler, said the words I needed to hear. “GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD!”

Yes, she could not be more right! I don’t know how to tell you to get out of your head, and I honestly believe everyone’s way of doing it is different. But, I went back in my memory to 2016 in the tree stand when I “cleared the mechanism,” and did it again.  My body became the machine I have trained it to be and simply did its job.

spear huntingI have always shot my bow instinctively, never using my pins when hunting, and my spear throwing has become the same. I just know where it is going to go if I choose to release it from my grasp. That isn’t to say I don’t practice throwing a lot, I do. Practically everyday, in fact, because that is part of training my body and my mind. That way when the opportunity for a shot arrives I will do just like I did with the first whitetail I speared. My body will just react like it’s been taught and release the spear without ever really even thinking about it.

Get Control Of Your Mind & Mental Attitude

A mind issue can be hard to overcome and again I can’t really tell you how to do it. You better believe professional sportsman and greats have it figured out though. Skill and talents can only take you so far. If you can’t get control of your mind and mental attitude, you won’t have the success you could have if you did. I promise you, if I get an opportunity to throw at a bear, my mechanism will be clear.

Like what you see here? If so, click here to read more great hunting, outdoor, and shooting articles by Angie Kokes.  Also, check her out on Twitter and Instagram.

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