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  1. I signed up for Phoenix Varmint Callers monthly Club hunt last weekend, as I was going on the general bear hunt. I saw a bear late Saturday, 800 yards away and too late to go after. It looked back at me for a moment when I turned up the caller volume, but still walked away. Then it stood up at a juniper tree, eating berries. Then it climbed the tree and went around the top like a squirrel and ate for 25 minutes! Wish I could have recorded that. I came back to the same spot the next day, before first light and set up my e-caller with Jack rabbit distress sounds. As dawn was breaking, my attention was diverted and I was gassing the hillsides, just looking around. When I put the binos down, I realized the bear was below me in the middle of the meadow. He was stopped, nose in the air, looking around. Then he cautiously walked over to the bush where the caller was, did a u-turn and started heading back to the thickets. I already had my scope on him and I knew he was about to bail out of there. He stopped on the way to the edge of the meadow, so I aimed and fired. He took off like a scalded cat and dove into the thickets at the edge of a deep creek bed. I went down to look for blood, found none. I thought I missed it somehow, but it was less than a 100 yard shot. I was bummed! Anyway, had to check it out more, so into the thickets I went, down to the creek bottom. I quickly found some blood spots, followed some drops about 20 yards, and there he was, piled up! My first bear! He was a real tank, big head, little ears, huge paws and a beautiful chocolate colored hide. I had to drag him to some shade, it was all I could do to drag him a few inches at a time. So after field dressing him, I discovered that I double-lunged him. He still ran 60 yards! I went to find these two other hunters camped near me who offered to help if I got one down. The 3 of us could barely move that bear. It took us over an hour to get it out of that ditch. We doubled up a tarp under him, used the winch from my Ranger, plus a large strap to wrap around the tarp and bears shoulders. Those guys guided the bear up the hill, while I operated the winch. Then we loaded him in my Ranger and drove to camp. They helped get it hung from an oak tree in the shade. I spent the rest of the day and most of the evening skinning and quartering it, then packed into the coolers on ice. Man, talk about exhausted! But very rewarding! Those two guys really helped! Otherwise, I would have had to skinned and quartered it in the creek bed and packed it out. Might have been an all-nighter! Too bad I couldn't have taken this bear on Saturday so I could've made the Club check-in on Sunday, I might have gotten first place!