MANITOWOC, Wis. (WFRV) — 75-year-old Dan Stecker of Manitowoc has been an avid hunter for most of his life.
“I like to go pheasant hunting, but that isn’t what it used to be,” he told Local 5 of his hobby, “deer hunting, I’ve been hunting that since I was about 14-years-old.”
One hunt Dan hasn’t been on is a bear hunt.
He entered the lottery for a bear license this year, but didn’t think he’d win.
Then something came in the mail.
“What is this?” Dan said, remembering the day he found the unexpected card in his mailbox. “I already have my turkey permit. I looked at it, oh my gosh, it’s a bear permit.”
Against the odds, Dan won the lottery and was able to obtain a bear permit.
But at 75, he says he’s going to need some help making the expedition a reality.
“When you get a little older, your balance isn’t as good, you trip over things,” he explained. “So I’ve got to have the right place to hunt.”
He drove up to Wausaukee and posted a handwritten ad on a few bulletin boards asking for help.
“I often wondered,” Dan said, “Who really looks at that, or who picks it up?”
It turns out James Miller does.
“I went into town at Sal’s Market, food market there,” James told Local 5, “and I saw that ad, and I thought, ‘Gee golly, somebody oughta help that old man out.'”
He took a picture and posted it to facebook.
“Within three hours, I had a thousand, at least a thousand shares on it,” James said. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Dan couldn’t either.
“The phone was ringing, ringing off the hook,” he said. “I’m on the fourth page of a legal pad of people that have called.”
It turns out, there are plenty of people from across the state happy to take Dan bear hunting.
“I’m really grateful for everybody that has offered to help,” he said.
Dan is planning on checking out some of the properties in person before making a decision.
Now the question is: will he get a bear?
“This’ll complete my hunting days if I get, if I should be so lucky,” Dan told Local 5.
Luck’s been on his side so far, but some of that luck has been of Dan’s own making.
“I put up that posting that asked for help,” he said, “and I’m getting it.”
Help making a dream come true.
“Who doesn’t want to go bear hunting?” Dan asked.
Wisconsin’s 2021 Bear Hunting season will run from September 8th to October 12th.