LUKE HAGNESS shows off the 456 pound bear he shot while hunting with Bear Buster Outfitters, Karlstad, Minn.
By Linda Andersen
It’s that time of year when new hunting memories are being made. Killing a 456-pound bear with one shot using a bow and arrow during the 2017 bear hunting season is just one more story in Luke Hagness’ collection of hunting tales. That bear is actually the second he has shot with a bow and arrow and he said he has shot “numerous deer” with the same method. He said hunting has given him many memories.
Though Hagness resides in Casselton, N.D. (where he works as a journey lineman for Cass County Electric), he shot the bear east of Lake Bronson and has family ties to the area. His wife is the former Rhonda Anderson who grew up in Drayton. She is the daughter of Roland and Laurel (Homstad) Anderson who currently reside in Lake Bronson.
Contacted by email, Hagness responded with a description of this latest hunting experience. “There are a lot of acorns this year so the bear weren’t coming by in the daylight very much so it was some long days of not seeing much. But the guys kept me positive by showing some good size bears on camera. So on the fourth night of a five-day hunt I was sitting in the stand for at least five hours already thinking it was going to be another night of nothing. But then, all of a sudden, the ghost of the woods was walking thirty yards from me. As fast as he appeared I really didn’t have a lot of time to think about it, but I knew he was a big bear. He gave me a good shot and I took it. The rest is history, I guess.”
Hagness said the bear was about twenty-five yards away when he took it down. He said hunting with a bow and arrow is his “personal preference.”
Asked about memorable hunting experiences, he said his many memories include “getting my first deer with a muzzleloader my dad made to bringing my wife Rhonda out hunting for the first time and watching her make a great shot on a deer to having a bear climb up in the tree with me and try to take my backpack and I had to hit him in the nose so he would climb back down. I could go on and on.”
Bear Busters Outfitters of Karlstad guided him in this recent hunt. “I chose Bear Busters because they will work their butts off for you and it’s such a fun group of people. They will cater to your needs as much as they can and they will get you on some bears,” Hagness commented.
Will he eat the meat from the bear? “Absolutely,” he responded. He said he’s had bologna and jerky made from bear meat and he likes to slow cook roasts with his favorite seasonings on top. “It all goes good with spuds,” he said.
He plans to make a rug or half body mount out of other remains of the bear.
Hagness concluded that he’d like to thank Bear Busters for “all the hard work,” the people of the area for their friendliness, and his wife, Rhonda, for “putting up with my hunting.”