When special people get together great things happen.
At age 11 Shelby Foreman was diagnosed with leukemia. She was not going to let it get the best of her, that’s for sure. She was asked what wish she wanted to come true and she replied she wanted to shoot a bear.
After two years of chemotherapy, she was ready. That got the ball rolling. For two years people worked out plans and sorted out the details to make her dream come true. Shelby’s dad had met and become good friends with Jay Lindmeyer on a hunting website. When Jay heard about Shelby’s wish he was going to make sure he did everything in his power to get her a bear and an experience she would never forget. So many people helped with the hunt and it took all of them to make it happen. From around the Backus area they were set up with a cabin to use for their stay, processing of the bear, hunter safety training, meals and on and on.
Bear hunting opened on Sunday and the Foreman family had to make the 1,000 mile trip from Oklahoma to Minnesota. The trip took a little longer than planned but after taking her hunter safety class and sighting in her gun Shelby was ready. Jay had been baiting since the season opened and had three bears coming in. Hopes were high in bear camp. Jay went out to check the trail cameras around lunch time and discovered that a bear was there when he got to the bait, so they got right back out there to see if he would come back and finish eating. Next came six hours of waiting and wondering if it would come back. It did. At 7 p.m. the bear snuck back in to finish dinner, then for 20 minutes the bear played hide and seek behind a tree so she could not get a shot. Finally she had a clear shot and her 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser hit its target. Her first day hunting and she had a 152-pound black bear. Camp wasn’t far away and everyone heard the shot so all the people were waiting to hear the news. Finally they got the message — Shelby got a bear. Those four words is what it was all about.
Or was it? After coming to Minnesota for a bear hunt for a very special girl, they left with new friends and bonds that can never be broken. I think we can all learn something from Shelby and her family, Never give up, fight for what you want and dreams do come true.
JAMIE DIETMAN, Hookset Media, may be reached at 218-820-7757.