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Hunter finds 2 bears in his tree stand

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Sep. 18, 2005

This bear hunter had no problem finding prey

BY SAM COOK, Duluth News Tribune

When bear hunter Joel Klinke climbed up to his bear-hunting stand near Duluth Monday afternoon, he found it already occupied.

By two bears.

"Here are two bears about 10 inches away from me, looking me directly in my eyes," said Klinke of Cottage Grove. "One opened his mouth and did this spitting noise. That's when I let go."

Klinke, 35, fell about 10 feet from the 16-foot-high stand, catching himself on one of several 2-by-4s that had been nailed to the tree for climbing pur-poses.

Klinke's guide, Rob Parrott of Duluth, was at the bait pile adding more Gummi Bears, candy hearts, sweetbread and potato chips for the evening hunt.

"I hear him yell a deathcurdling yell, like he fell out of the tree," Parrott said.

Klinke hit the ground, scrambling to grab his 7mm Win-chester short magnum rifle.

"I said, 'Look, they're right there. They're in my stand,' " Klinke shouted to Parrott.

"He hit the ground going crazy," Parrott said. "I've never seen a hunter so excited in my life. He said, 'What should I do?' I said, 'Shoot him.' "

Both bears had scurried higher in the twin trees above the permanent stand built on private property. One went up one trunk, another up the other trunk, Klinke said. They both appeared to be 2-year-old bears, said Parrott, who operates Bear Down Guide and Outfitting with Todd Haedrich.

Klinke frantically untangled his rifle from the rope he had planned to use to haul the rifle up to his stand, and then he shot the largest bear, about a 125-pounder, Parrott said. The other bear clambered down the tree and scampered off.

This was the second year Klinke had hunted bear, and he said he plans to have his prey mounted.

"I'm going to have them put it in a tree," Klinke said.

Not that he'll have trouble remembering the experience.

"It was awesome," he said. "I've got it videoed in my brain."

Contacted Tuesday afternoon, Klinke said he was going out to the woods again, but with a video camera instead of a rifle.

"My wife says, 'Maybe you want to look up in your stand tonight,' " Klinke said.

Klinke thought he might

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I know Joe from school. He's always been "excited", for lack of better term.

He always was a character and got himself into some interesting situations.

Glad to hear he got a bear.

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Holy #@*&

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Same thing happened to an uncle of mine last year near pine city, except it was him in the tree and the bear started climbing it. My uncle was taking a nap at the time and he heard something and looked all around. only to see a bear two feet below him. Well, he got his bear and needless to say he'll be a bit more apprehensive to take a nap.

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