Jason went black bear hunting this week past and successfully harvested a bear the following Friday. Put this simply it sounds like it was a piece of cake doesn’t it? How hard can it be to shoot a black bear in the spring hunt? The truth is it takes a great deal of effort, knowledge of the game, the terrain, patience and in the end fortune to successfully harvest a bear. Jason knows this and fortune smiled on him this spring. I played a supporting role in his successful bear hunt. I took his dog Nos along with me and my dog Hera for their daily run while he was away. I was very pleased when Jason sent me a photo of the bear he harvested and looked forward to hearing the details of the hunt when he returned.
He left Ottawa Wednesday afternoon, bound for Lindsay, Ontario to meet up with two members of a moose hunting camp, at whose invitation, he took part in the hunt. He arrived in Lindsay that evening and spent the night at the home of a friend, one of the other men, taking part in the hunt. The next morning the three of them set out on their ATVs to the moose camp. The camp is in a remote area accessible only by ATV and, Jason assures me, a very arduous and bumpy ride.
When they arrived at camp and settled in, they got busy constructing a stand at one of the sites set up for the hunt. Each site had a barrel suspended between two trees on a spit. The barrels were filled with corn and had holes drilled so any bear coming to the bait could roll the barrel to get at the corn. Bait was set out earlier and all was ready for the hunt. Jason and his buddies were kept busy preparing supper and washing up afterward before retiring for the night. They were up at 4:30 AM to get to their stands and in position for legal shooting time. Jason was loaded for bear, carrying his Nosler M48 outfitter in 35 Whelan with a Bushnell Elite 6500 1.25-8×32 scope mounted with Leupold QD rings and Nosler Trophy Grade cartridges in 225 grain Accubond.
Jason sat motionless in his stand, enduring the plethora of black flies and mosquitoes swarming in despite his netting and insect repellent. He sat and watched all day and was rewarded for his patience when at 7:50 pm a bear approached the bait. Jason found the mark when the bear reared up to paw at a trail camera set to watch the bait and squeezed off the shot. Jason placed the bullet just behind the front shoulder of the bear. The bullet smashed through both lungs, shattering the shoulder blade on the other side killing the bear cleanly. Jason waited a while before approaching the bear, a sow, approximately two years old, making sure it was down for the count. Once he was sure it was dead, he field dressed it and with the help of his buddies got it back to the home of the friend with whom he stayed in Lindsay. His friend skinned the bear, cut the meat from the bones and ground it up. He kept the pelt and the meat will be shared equally among the three of them. There was very little fat on the bear so his friend added pork fat to the meat in grinding it up. The meat should make for very good eating.
Jason returned to Ottawa Saturday afternoon, tired but satisfied with the outcome of his bear hunt. I am happy for him and pleased with the outcome. It is a great start to our 2016 hunting season. I look forward to getting out this fall and seeing what fortune brings us.
Posted by Geoffrey