Lessons From Hunting Season!

Wow! Summer has officially come to a close and Kicking Bear has been Blessed with an incredible number of FUN and safe events across the nation where we have witnessed countless victories! With the camp season wrapped up, we are heading into hunting season full-speed ahead.

In the La Crosse Area, Kicking Bear will have taken over 50 youth on mentored hunts this year. We’d like to thank the landowners, our partners like Mission by Mathews, Reconyx, LTM Farms, Living Waters, Mayo Clinic Health System, and Wildlife Research Center, just to name a few.

Thank you all!

Read below about some of the Kicking Bear youth and their bear hunting memories!

The Bear Season


By Tom LaLond

October 1st, 2019

It’s been one heck of a start to hunting season for the Kicking Bear crew, and as the bear-hunting season has gone on many people have come together to make some unforgettable moments for mentors and mentees alike. There were three different bears harvested during the baiting season, and each one has led to some very special memories. There were also some very unique baiting techniques used to bring in the bruins.


Hunting can teach a person many things, including the importance of hard work. For months, this pair had been traveling, baiting bears and practicing at the range. On one of the hunts Greg “Sarge” Symons and Isaiah grew in persistence while fighting through a thunderstorm. Heavy rain, strong winds, and lightning, this storm had everything! As they came to the end of the storm they felt like something good was going to happen soon. Quickly, from behind the bait pile Isaiah sees a bear, and whispers: “There’s a bear!!” to Sarge. Surprisingly that bear walked back off into the woods he came from, but Sarge knew he’d be back soon and urged Isaiah to get his gun up. Then, sure enough, the bear comes strolling back in, and without a word the two hunters watch as the bear climbs the bait and flips the lid off his dinner plate. Isaiah takes a clear, broadside shot, but rather than jolting after he’s been shot the bear just walks back into the woods. After not liking how the bear reacted, and rain coming soon, Sarge went to inspect where the bear was shot, but without finding blood it looked like it might be a tough track, until Sarge looked up, through the woods, to see the bear laying 20 yards away. Then the celebrations began and praises rang out! Thank you Mike Fuge for all your help for this bear hunt!
The next Kicking Bear Hunt Crew, of Kaylie, Trinity, Alli, Abbi, and Austin, went up to Big Bear Ranch for a once in a lifetime hunt. Now my family has a long-standing tradition of making a TON of homemade applesauce each year for all to enjoy throughout the rest of the year. But on this hunt some four-legged critters are the ones enjoying this all-American delicacy. The hunt crew went out with Keith Patrick, the guide, to pick the apples from their own trees. Then processed the harvest right at the house, and with a few taste testers satisfied with the batch they loaded up the baits! For the next day’s evening sit the baits got the same delicacies delivered as the night before, and Kaylie, Alli, and Austin settled into the blind to await the arrival of their well respected targets. It wasn’t a very long wait once the tantalizing aromas of smashed apples and cinnamon expanded into the surrounding woods. Next thing they notice, the bear is coming right into the bait, everyone is ready and steady, and the bear decides to plop down facing straight away from the crew. Then he stands up and starts walking towards the woods to the left of the blind, and as he stops right before the woods Kaylie takes her gun off the tripod and free hands it which leads to a KA-BOOM, and a center-punch shot! After a short track-job the team got to celebrate this incredible hunt and gift from God. Thank you Big Bear Ranch for all the adventures!

One lesson all hunters learn, usually throughout a season, is to wait patiently. Well, that lesson doesn’t apply to Aiden and Zac’s bear hunt! Their hunt officially started Wednesday evening when they got into the blind around 3:30pm and waited through some rain showers. Then, while Aiden was grabbing a few Z’s around 5:30pm, Zac looks to the bait to suddenly see a bear on top of it! He quickly wakes Aiden up, who only believes Zac after he does a double take, and after that his jaw drops and body freezes! Lucky Zac was still functioning and he helped get the gun up, and brings Aiden back with us. Suddenly the bear darts off, only to come right back in, and this time he’s perfectly broadside. He makes the mistake of stopping and Aiden puts a perfect shot on him. The bear only ran 30 yards and piled up, and Zac and Aiden both totally lost it! Zac said, “ I remember him, (Aiden), just being speechless during the recovery and tracking. When I asked him what he thought, he just smiled.” God is so good y’all, and sometimes His plans move quicker than we’re ready for. So stay awake, or have a good hunting buddy who will wake you up!

The common denominator for all these hunts is the theme of hard work paying off and how persistence pays. The other common denominator is a heavenly type of generosity. Many folks came together to donate time, money, or tags, whatever excess or gift God blessed them with; they in turn blessed many others. So a big thank you to ALL those involved, in ANY way! Remember, this is not our home, but we should be making this place a good as we can for as many people as we can while we are here. Kicking Bear is always looking for people to join our different teams; our hunt teams, food teams, special events team, or our local outreach team are just a few that we could always use some kind of assistance with. So, please reach out to us with anything in mind as a gift to assist.


By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:3


God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.  
 1 Peter 4:10 NLT 
The past few weeks, I’ve had multiple conversations about the spiritual gifts that the KB team have been given and the heart and future of the Ministry. All I can say is that God is good and the future looks bright!
Each conversation seemed to include two key words. At Kicking Bear, the word opportunity is twofold. First, and most importantly, we are giving youth and families the opportunity to hear the Gospel and to know that they too can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Second, we provide the opportunity for them to engage, interact, and learn new skills together in God’s Great Outdoors.
With that in mind, we are excited to announce our 2019 Giving Tuesday campaign: Give the Gift of Opportunity. This year, Giving Tuesday falls on December 3rd and we have a variety of goals we would like to achieve. Here’s the best part: All of you reading this have your own unique gifts that you can contribute as we continue to Give the Gift of Opportunity to at-risk and underprivileged youth across the nation.
We’ll keep you informed in the coming weeks and we ask that you please take time to reflect on your gifts and how you can use them well to serve one another.
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”  
2 Corinthians 9:7 NLT 

Kicking Bear is now going into its 20th year–there are several new camps starting up in 2019 across the nation, and only God knows the heights to which He will take them.

Kicking Bear Ministry has been taking youth off the streets and changing their lives. God has allowed us to keep His camps and outings completely free-of-charge to all participants due to the great partners He has brought to the ministry. Of the 122 events and 76,000 people throughout the nation who were touched by Kicking Bear last year, below is yet another life-changing story.

We are able to continue to host free events to the public and change the lives of the ones who need us most because of the continued financial support of people like you. Please consider either a one-time, tax deductible, year-end gift or a monthly recurring donation by clicking the “Support Us” button.

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