Freshman Van Straten Kills Bear on First Attempt


Carly Noble, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

How many people can say that they have been bear hunting in their lifetime, not to mention killing a bear? Not too many.

That is something freshman Sam Van Straten can check off  his bucket list.

Van Straten took up bear hunting in the past year but in an unusual way.

“I really didn’t have any idea I was going to go bear hunting this summer, but I saw something on our kitchen counter that stated there was an essay contest and the winners of the contest could go on an archery bear hunt,” Van Straten said.

As you can guess, he wrote the essay, won and was selected to go on a bear hunt at the end of the summer.

New to the whole hunting thing, he started by practicing climbing tree stands, shooting the bow and baiting sites throughout the summer.

Less than a month ago, on August 19, Van Straten was accompanied by two family friends on his first bear hunt.

His experience started with a rainy, humid day, and after three hours of sitting in the weather, he fell asleep in the tree stand.  

“When I opened my eyes, there was a bear right there presenting me with a perfect shot. It was really all instinct when I shot it because I started to panic and felt like I didn’t know what to do,” Van Straten said.

Thus he accomplished one of his goals by killing the 215-lb bear up north past Boulder Junction.

Van Straten plans to expand his hunting experience this fall by hunting deer.

The fascination of being able to go out in the woods and see a wild bear was a truly amazing experience for Van Straten, but actually killing a bear was icing on the cake.

As a reminder of his accomplishment, he will be getting a three-quarter mount of the bear to hang at his house.

“I feel really amazed to know that I have accomplished what I had been practicing for. I can mostly relate the feeling to when you get an A on a really hard test…you give yourself a pat on the back,” Van Straten said.