Bear in the Basement

Bear in the Basement

Outdoors Columnist

The 101 hunting and fishing cabin is a two story building located in Desha County about 25 miles from Elaine, Arkansas. The cabin is built on a concrete slab and the bottom portion is made of cinder blocks for the first ten feet. The upper portion is made of cypress and this includes the living portion and then the attic where the air conditioning and heating units are. There is a set of banistered steps going from the bottom or as we call it, the basement. We have a set of double steel doors on front of the cabin and a single steel door on the back side. The large doors allows us to keep boats and 4-wheelers inside.

The 101 members have a crew of four boys that think the camp is their home. There was my son, Keith, and the Wilson boys, Matt, Bo and Chris. They have an age spread of about four years and therefore get along well and enjoy the camp together. Two of the boys are brothers and the other two fit in well. It is a friendship that started at an early age and has continued to this day. The boys learned to hunt, fish and ride 4-wheelers together. When you saw one kid, the others were not far away. Agood brotherhood.

Quite often when one member goes down to camp, he takes all the boys, whether its hunting, fishing or just enjoying camp life. I had the gang with me and about 10 p.m. I decided to go to bed. The boys all had their 4-wheelers and were out riding through the countryside. They loved to see the wild night life and see how close they could get to it before it bolted.

About 2 a.m. I was awakened by a lot of whoops and hollers and all kind of noise downstairs. I opened the door and looked down into the basement. “What is going on?” I yelled.

One of them yelled back, “He won’t come out.”

“Open the back door.”

Finally one of the boys went around the cabin and opened the back door. After a few more laps Smokey hit the opening and headed for the woods.

The story unfolded. The boys had been riding when they spotted the bear and decided to herd him toward the cabin while he promptly ran into the lighted basement with he boys in close pursuit. It was fun watching him for a while, but he was tearing up equipment and needed to go. About that time, a mad daddy starting giving orders.

After the bear left and things calmed down, it became obvious the bear had left his calling card. He had messed up the entire bottom of the cabin with piles of poop and it did really stink. The boys spent the rest of the night cleaning up the bear mess.

I then issued a new rule. No more bears in the camp. We never saw Smokey again. I guess he learned his lesson about 4-wheelers at night.

By John Criner

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