“The Boy That Bagged a Bear”

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Dominic and his family arrived in the evening at Safari Whitetail Resort in northwestern Wisconsin. Tommy Thompson showed them to their cabin and discussed details for the hunt scheduled for the following morning. He arrived at 6:30 a.m. to pick up the excited young hunter and his family. They drove out and parked on the roadside by the main trail leading into their bear baits.

Meanwhile, the FFCS Bear Hunters were checking other baits, and in time, the group found a good fresh track as the rig dogs winded it and started barking. As the track warmed up, they released the other pack dogs, who hurried to catch up with the other lead trailing dogs. The dogs ran the bear in circles, approximately 4.5 miles, and treed it 500 yards from where they first struck the bear.

Dominic’s mother, Erin, said, “We listened to the radio communication between the guys running the hounds telling us what was happening. At one point, one of the guys on the radio asked, “Is the boy ready? It sounds like the bear is treeing!” Tommy handed the radio to Dominic, who shouted in excitement, “I’m ready!” They drove as far as they could on a logging trail, then continued on foot.

Dominic said, “When we got into the woods, I could hear the dogs barking, and they were communicating with all the other dogs.” When they met with the rest of the hunters, the bear was 20′ up in a 30-foot pine tree.

Tommy found a branch in the woods and propped it up before Dominic. Ron Johnson placed the Remington 700 .243 youth rifle in the fork of the branch and helped him balance it. Then, Dominic looked at the crosshairs, pulled the trigger, and made a perfect shot, and the bear fell out of the tree. Tommy yelled, “You did it, you did it! It’s coming down!” Everyone shouted excitedly; they were so happy for their special hunter.

Erin said, “Once the bear was confirmed down and safe, Tommy said, “Dominic, come over here,” he kissed him on the forehead, gave him a high five, and told him he did a good job.”

Dominic was ecstatic about getting his bear and high-fived everyone as they congratulated him. Ron then marked Dominic’s cheeks with the bear’s blood, making him an official bear hunter. Then, his dad and brother Juan worked together to carry the bear out of the woods.

Erin added, “Dominic was the talk of the town. Everywhere we went, people asked if he was the boy that bagged a bear.”

“Dominic discovered a sport he had a natural talent for regardless of his health issues.”

We thank the person who generously donated his bear license, Tommy Thompson, Jay Link, Ron and Shawn Johnson, and the FFCS Bear Hunters for guiding the hunt. Congratulations to Dominic on his trophy bear and the unforgettable memories he will cherish forever with his family and new hunting buddies. God bless!

If you are interested in getting involved, want to donate your 2024 bear license, or know of a deserving youth or veteran, don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected].