When Jim Henderson and his son Hunter took to the woods last week, they knew it was a split season for bear and deer on their Jones County property, but they couldn’t have dreamed they would each take one animal apiece, but that’s exactly what happened.
“I let my son carry my Browning .300 short mag, and I had a 45/70 in my truck. I wasn’t sure where I was going to sit with the 45/70, so I put Hunter in his tree stand and I sat on a ditch bank at an intersection of trails where I knew some bear had been crossing,” said Henderson.
It didn’t take long for Henderson to drop the first part of their double play. About thirty minutes after daylight, a bear came out of the ditch and I had a clean shot at it. I shot and hit it, and it ran. I shot it again, then I could hear the bear thrashing all around in the brush about 30-yards away. I eased in after him, then he got up and ran,” Henderson said.
Returning to his truck and getting ready to call for someone to bring the tracking dogs, Henderson heard a shot from the direction of his son’s stand, which was straight down the trail Henderson’s truck was parked on. With his binoculars, he peered down the trail and saw his son getting out of his stand.
“He was running, and grinning from ear to ear. I drove my truck down there and saw the deer immediately. It was a nice buck. We put it in the back of the truck and drove to where I had shot the bear. My friend Bruce Johnson was there by then with one dog, and we waited a few minutes for another friend to show up with another dog,” he said.
After a 600-yard chase, the dogs bayed the bear in some thick weeds, and Henderson could tell the bear was badly injured. “I finished him off with my handgun, and then the chore of loading it up began,” he said.
This wasn’t Henderson’s first encounter with a single-day bear/deer harvest. A number of years ago, he completed the double-play singlehandedly, but said this time around, it was much more meaningful. “It’s just a joy and a blessing to share this with my son. It’s something we will never forget, and even on a bad hunting day, this will always help us remember that some days are better than others,” he said.