A Fisherman’s Bear-Faced Truth About His Catch
By Ian Harwood, Truckstyle
Spring is in the air and it is time to exit the house from a long hibernation period we call “stuck inside.”
Time to start thinking about going into the backwoods and outdoor activities and, no, I don’t mean telling your wife/partner, “honey the mountains are calling and I must go” followed by “hang up, you’re not going.”
I mean checking your vehicle and making sure it's ready for a season of four-wheeling. Before I run through the check list, remember you’re not the only one coming out of hibernation. Bears will start to wake up and they have been sleeping for a long time, without food.
A few years ago, I was going out for a spring trip in B.C.’s Squamish valley, hoping to catch a fish from the spring run. I travelled down a well-driven logging road for about an hour and then decided to take a not so well travelled cart trail along the riverbank. Five minutes in, around a corner, and I was upon an adult black bear. He seemed a little annoyed judging by the glare he cast in my direction, not to mention the verbal abuse he tossed my way. He moved on quite quickly, rather than tangle with a Raptor. Get it, Ford Raptor? - Ok, forget it. Old joke. Prehistoric, actually.
A few minutes later another bear appeared, then another. I thought it weird, because it’s rare to see so many so close together. I got to what looked like a clearing close to the river with a lot of tall grass. I figured this would be a good spot to cast a line. So out of the truck I got and grabbed my fishing gear.
I walked in front of the truck for a few metres and up popped a giant Black bear from the tall grass. It must have towered seven-feet. Maybe that’s two metres in metric. As I was in the fishing mood maybe I was already in the traditional fish-catch exaggeration mode but who cares? - It looked darned big to me.
Bruno looked around with his nose up, doubtless picking up my scent. Knew I shouldn’t have showered that morning. I threw my hands up with my bag in the air and calmly (ha! you laugh) yelled “Hey, Bear” and slowly backed up until I hit the front of the truck. The force of me hitting the truck set off the alarm and the bear wanted no part of it and ran off into the woods. Just as I intended, of course.
I got back into the truck and told myself finding a different spot to dangle my line might be a good idea. No, I didn’t get a pic of our conversation. Use your imagination.
Ok, let’s get to the sound advice, now I’ve got my blood pressure down.
After a long winter tire pressures are frequently overlooked. The cold causes the valve stems to leak a little bit, so make sure to check the tires. Top them up with the correct amount of air in each tire, including your spare. In fact, remove the spare and make sure the rim is not damaged and no unusual lumps on the side wall.
Its also a good time to get the oil changed a lube up the chassis along with checking all fluid levels.
Make sure you pack the essentials:
Did I mention bear spray?
- Tire pressure gauge
- Portable air compressor
- Tire plugs and sealant
- Bear spray
- Bear spray
- Hand tools
- Bear spray
- Cell phone and charger
If you get stuck on the trail, take a big breath and assess the problem. Frequently, it’s a high centre situation. Clear the debris and try to back up. If you are on something that can’t be removed jack up the tire and place some branches or logs to drive over the obstacle.
Never climb under your vehicle while it is jacked up. Take your time and if the road looks impassible then move on and look for a different road. When you get back to a well-travelled road check all around your truck and make sure nothing is leaking or damaged.
Whether it's your first time four wheeling or a seasoned veteran, you’re always learning something new every time you’re out, so enjoy and happy four wheeling!
By the way, you won’t believe the size of the fish I hauled in. I said, you won’t believe, so I’m not telling.
6.2L Ford engine with cold air intake, custom exhaust, and performance tuner
Ian’s 2013 Ford F-150 Raptor
Front, 2” lift, longer control arms with Fox reservoir shocks, rear custom springs, Fox bump stops on frame support bar. Air bag suspension with Fox reservoir shocks
Custom light bar with 4 LED KC off-road lights
12,000 lb. Warn winch hidden behind factory bumper
Removable 9,000 lb. Warn winch on rear trailer hitch
Rigid Fog lights and Driving lights in bumper
Ridged curved 53” light bar
36” Toyo tires
22” Dub flat black wheels
Foldable matte black tonneau cover