MARSHALL - Dennis Lozinski and his son Willie had been bear hunting a couple of times before, but never had any luck before they decided to do it right with an experienced guide in September near Keewatin. This time they each bagged a black bear.
"It was an exciting trip," said Dennis Lozinski. "We went up Friday afternoon and were back Sunday around 5 p.m."
Dennis' niece is married to a taxidermist who arranged the hunt, set up the bait stands, and mounted the bears afterward.
Dennis Lozinski and his son Willie each got a black bear in September near Keewatin. Both bears measured about 7 feet long and weighed about 400 pounds, field-dressed.
According to Willie Lozinski, the guide takes about 12 people every year and has a success rate of 100 percent.
The bait for bear was red licorice, circus peanuts, and 600 pounds of chocolate chip cookies.
Friday night the Lozinskis made the five-hour drive with enough time to spare to go out into the woods for a look.
"We didn't see anything, so we went grouse hunting Saturday morning," Dennis Lozinski said. "Saturday evening the guide took us out in a four-wheeler to the bait stations."
Willie Lozinski's tree stand was about a quarter-mile from Dennis'.
"At 6:45 p.m. a bear came into my bait station, but not down the trail bears use, he came down the one I came down," Willie Lozinski said.
The bear looked up and Willie Lozinski and he decided to take a shot before the bear ran off. When the bear was hit it ran off. Willie Lozinski followed the blood trail and started tying marking tape near the blood sign.
"Then I turned and saw him behind me," Willie Lozinski said. "I shot four times and he collapsed. I got back into the tree stand. About 15 minutes after I shot, I hear Dennis shoot. So when Chris (the guide) came back we jumped into the four-wheeler and went back."
Dennis Lozinski had shot his bear and wounded him. Joining up with Willie and the guide they tracked the bear for about 45 minutes, eventually losing the blood trail in the heavy brush, but they could hear the bear ahead of them.
"The brush was so thick we had to crawl through it," Willie Lozinski said. "Then I saw the bear about 35 yards away. I took my handgun, shot it, and it dropped right there. Later the guide came up on the four-wheeler and gave us a lecture about following an injured bear into the woods."
The hunting party took the bears back on a plastic sledge behind the four-wheeler after skinning them out. Both turned out about seven feet long and around 400 pounds field dressed. Dennis and Willie Lozinski had their bears mounted on a three-quarter wall mount. The meat they cut into steaks.
"They're not greasy like people say," Willie Lozinski said.
Dennis Lozinski's bear had a white blaze on the chest, a rare find. His bear now extends its claws menacingly over Dennis' desk at home.
"One of my grandsons said, 'Grandpa, when you die I want that,'" Dennis Lozinski said.