Granny gets her bear

GRANNY’S GAME: Janet Hepinstall of Hersey shows the bear she bagged recently in the Upper Peninsula. (Courtesy photo)
GRANNY’S GAME: Janet Hepinstall of Hersey shows the bear she bagged recently in the Upper Peninsula. (Courtesy photo)

HERSEY – Granny did it. Boy did she ever.

Granny is Janet Hepinstall of Hersey, who recently experienced a successful bear hunt while in the center Upper Peninsula near Manistique area on Monday, the opening day of bear season.

It was her first time hunting.

“I have three sons who have all gotten a bear and they have been wanting mom to get a bear,” said Hepinstall, whose older son lives 20 miles from Manistique. “He baited the bear for me. My daughter-in-law bought the donuts and things. He sat in the tree stand for me all day.”

They were in the stand for about eight hours. This was the third bear that passed through. The first one was too small and there was no chance to get a shot at the second.

“My second boy is the one who talked me into getting points a few years back. You have to build up points before you apply for a bear license,” she said.

It was the first time Hepinstall applied for a license. She was hunting on her son’s private property.

“He’s had a field camera and has had three (bears) coming in every day,” she said.

The taxidermists estimated that Hepinstall had shot a two-year-old bear, weighing around 125 pounds.

“I’ve seen it coming and you wait until you get a good shot at it,” said Hepinstall, who was about 50 yards away when she made the shot. She used her daughter’s 30.06.

“Everybody played a part in this.” Hepinstall said. “My daughter loaded me a gun. My son-in-law did target practice with me, My oldest boy baited and went out there with me and cleaned it and brought it back up for me. My second boy really talked me into wanting to do this. My third son helped put the tree stand up.”

Her sons are James in the U.P., Jed in Howard City and Josh in Cedar Springs. James is the oldest and Josh the youngest. Daisy Soper, her daughter, works at the Hersey Post Office.

“I liked sitting out there,”’ Hepinstall said. “We saw coyotes in the morning then the bear came in. I was surprised I didn’t get overly excited like I thought I might. My dad started me hunting when I was young. Deer and bow hunting was my favorite but I haven’t done that in a few years.”

Hepinstall said the best part of her bear hunting venture was having the family involved.

“They were all so excited,” she said. “They were more excited than I was. They were so wound up that I was going to go. When I actually got one, they were really excited. It was fun going and being out there. It was going to be a one-time thing. But I had so much fun I’ll probably go again.”

Hepinstall loves to kayak and trout fish.

“I like to go where other people aren’t,” she said. “I have walleye fished with my son up in the U.P.”

But Hepinstall called her bear hunt “a new and exciting venture that I really liked.”

She has nine grandkids and they all call her Granny.

“It helps them decided which grandma they’re talking about,” she said. “They were all excited.”