By Sarah Cottrell

When you live in a state as beautiful and rural as Maine it doesn’t take long before you hear a good ol’ hunting tale. And while many stories are full of moose as tall as buildings and that one fish big enough to feed an army that got away, there is always that one tale that stands out and becomes legendary because you just cannot stop laughing at it. Luckily for our readers, we got one helluva hunting story from China, Maine resident Tom Beaudet.

Beaudet tells us he put his hunting gun down more than 50 years ago. These days, you can find him hunting with his camera where he captures curious woodland creatures who venture into his rural backyard.

“There was a mother deer and her twins coming to visit my yard for a little while there,” Beaudet says. He posts his images to Facebook regularly where friends and family can enjoy the sights of wild turkeys and deer set against blooming flowers and green grass.  

And although these nature shots are lovely, nothing can top the hilarious hunting story he shared with us about his family’s prized bearskin rug that they acquired back in the 1950s.

“My uncle Frank was an avid hunter and woodsman and he spent a majority of his life in the woods,” Beaudet says. “He had hemophilia and one time he was accidentally shot by another hunter. But Frank was so well-liked by the town that everyone volunteered to give blood to save his life.”

Hemophilia is a blood clotting disorder. When a person with hemophilia is injured and starts bleeding, they will often need medical intervention to get the bleeding to stop.

“When I was a kid, I would go to his house and in his living room, there was this big, black bearskin rug on the floor. Us kids used to lay on it and play around with it. It had the head with teeth and everything.”

Beaudet’s uncle Frank had gone hunting with his brother, Tom’s other uncle, as they had many times before. As any hunter knows, things can go a little slow on a hunting trip. There are plenty of hours to pass while remaining relatively still and quiet in the woods. And inevitably, there will come a time when nature calls.

“So, my uncle realized that he needed a latrine. He’s looking around the woods and he finds an old log with a hollow and he figured that would work just fine. He set the safety on his gun and he set the gun down next to him before he took a seat on the log to do his business.”

And it was just about this time when Frank’s brother, who was a little ways away to give him some privacy, spotted a big black bear walking straight toward Frank.

“He quietly said, Frank, Frank you better look up, that bear is heading right for you! And so, my uncle, still sitting on the log, picked up his gun and unset the safety, aimed and shot the bear.”

After that, Frank set his gun back down and finished his business on the log. The two brothers brought the bear out of the woods where they had the furry skin turned into a beloved family rug.

“We used to have so much fun playing on that old bearskin rug,” Beaudet says with a chuckle.

We have a feeling this story will never get old.

Have your own funny or amazing hunting story to tell? Email us at aallen@bangordailynews.com and we might just feature it in an upcoming issue of Maine Outdoors & Adventure!

See this Section as it appeared in print here