My Ontario spring bear
Just returned from the northern Ontario bush after a successful spring hunt at Lake Herridge Lodge in Temagami Ontario. Spring has been very slow to spring up there and that was obvious when we arrived. The trees were just starting to leaf out and the ice just left the lakes the second week in May. The guides said the bear were slowly starting to transition from greens and were inconsistent on the baits.
Our group of seven hunters had 4 from Pennsylvania, 1 from Ohio, 1 from Nebraska, and 1 from Texas. We were all hunting with crossbows. Arrival day was Saturday, and on Sunday morning we had the mandatory meeting with the guides and range time to make sure all of the bows were still shooting x's. After a hearty lunch we all hit the stands for the first sit Sunday evening.
I was sitting a bait that was one of the closer baits, but still several miles into the bush. The bait was 17 yards and I had a good feeling about the site. The wind was in my face and the brush that the guides stack up around the barrel was smashed down. The guide freshened everything up and I settled in for the 6 hour sit. Its an odd feeling sitting by yourself in the wild bush of northern Canada. I saw my first Snowshoe Hare and Canadian Gray Jay.
I looked at my watched at 6 o'clock and looked up to see a bear pop up out of the valley behind the bait. He stood there for a bit looking over the area as I dared not move. Then he started slowly walking in. Much to my surprise he walked right past the bait and stopped at 8 yards to put his nose into the ground on the path I walked in on. He then followed by boot tracks right to the bottom of my ladder stand that was only 8 feet high. He sniffed the ladder then looked right up at me. I kept frozen until he backed away and sniffed around to my left and my right, apparently trying to figure out what the new scent was by his bait. He eventually settled down and worked back to the bait, stopping at 14 yards to give me one last look.
The Ravin was just behind the shoulder and the arrow took him perfectly quartering away. He growled and took off on a death run. After a low death moan, the bush was again silent. I texted the guides and they were there in 30 minutes to meet me at the bottom of the stand. I could see blood from my tree. They had me stay at the original hit as they tracked the bear into the thick bush. At 40 yards, I heard them yelling "hey bear" "hey bear" and soon thereafter one of the guides came back and began pumping his fist and waving me to come. It was a quiet celebration in the bush with lots of hand shakes. We quietly tied him to a pole and slipped out of the area.
He was a beautiful early season boar with a nice thick coat. It is quite surreal to slide your hand through the hair a wild bush bear. What a majestic creature. He was #225-250 live weight. The arrow caught him perfectly behind the near shoulder and exited low on the other shoulder.
I love the north country. A land that is still wild being roamed by some of our creators greatest beasts. A land that I hate leaving for sure.
My rifle is a black rifle