Hey guys, check out the letter Karl wrote to his wife after shooting his first bear at Black Bear Adventures. Watch the video of this hunt.
Hope you enjoy it,
Hope things are going well at home. Things are going really well here.
We got to Thunder Bay Friday afternoon without any problems. We spent the night there getting some last minute things together before heading up to Dog Lake Resort. Thunder Bay is a neat little city right on Lake Superior. Under other circumstances it would have been fun to stay here a while, but we had other things in mind.
Saturday morning we got up, packed the truck back up, and headed north for about an hour to Dog Lake Resort. When we got here we met John and Paul from Black Bear Adventures, got our licenses, and settled into our cabin. This is a great place. Our cabin is right on the lake with an amazing view right from our front porch. We grabbed some lunch before heading out to set our stands and hunt the first evening. I'm a little concerned about my waist-line... the camp cook, Millie, is taking good care of us!
We left camp and headed out to our bait site. Dan let me hunt the first night. The plan, from the beginning was to take turns hunting. So, I would hunt and Dan would film on Saturday and then we would switch. We thought the plan would work well, but I guess I messed the plan up a bit that first night. See, on the first night of our bear hunt I shot my first bear!
It was incredible. We had been in the stand for about two and a half hours when a bear just appeared out of the woods. We didn't hear a thing. As soon as I saw it my heart rate shot through the roof and I got a little worked up. We watched this bear for a while at the bait site. It came in, got something to eat, and tried a number of times to tip the barrel over. It was a smaller bear, so we decided to just wait for a while to see what would happen. It stayed at the site for about 45 minutes and then just walked off into the woods.
As I watched it walk into the bush my heart sank. You know how long I've wanted to do this. It was hard to let a bear just walk away, but we decided it was too early to get too excited.
Everything got really quiet around us. We didn't see or hear anything for about 30 minutes. As we were waiting, we started to hear panting coming from below us. We looked down under our treestands and saw that small bear sitting at the base of our tree, about 15 feet below us! It sat there in that spot for a long time just staring at the bait site. It had no idea we were in the tree just above it.
We were keeping an eye on the bear at the base of our tree when another bear snuck into the clearing, coming in to get something to eat. It was a bigger boar. The bear under our tree just sat and watched him as he came in.
Then things got a little crazy. Shortly after the second bear came in a little fight broke out underneath us. Another bear had come in and got mad at the bear under our tree. It woofed and sent the first bear (the one sitting below us) up a tree about 10 feet away from us. I've never seen anything that big move that fast. In a heartbeat that small bear (about 150 pounds) was about 6 feet up a cedar tree, looking down watching the other two bears at the bait site.
Things started to get confusing, so we decided it would be a good idea to name the bears so we could keep track of them. The small bear who was now in the tree to our left had brown patches over it's eyes so we named it Brown Eyes. The boar that had come in had distinctively long legs so we called him, appropriately enough, Long Legs. The last bear to come in was a sow with a nasty disposition. She quickly took over the bait site and made sure everyone knew she was the boss. she was also wider than the 55-gallon drum with the bait in it, so we called her Fat Fatty.
Brown Eyes finally decided to climb out of the tree and came in a little closer to the action. Long Legs had laid down facing us eating a block of food, and Fat Fatty had her head in the barrel packing away food, getting ready for hibernation. We made the decision to shoot Long Legs when he gave us a shot.
Time seemed to stand still. Long Legs worked on his food for what seemed like forever. When he had finished it all up, he walked over to the barrel, trying to get a little more. Fat Fatty would have nothing to do with that. At one point she actually put her front paw up as if to say "You better watch it!"
Long Legs walked around the barrel and then sat down next to Fatty. The shot was there and I waited for the perfect opportunity. He reached his front leg up to try to push the barrel a little bit and I settled the Excalibur's crosshairs on the crease behind the front leg and pulled the trigger. The arrow found it's mark and Long Legs ran about 20 yards before expiring.
The other two bears took off into the bush. I was so excited and caught up in the moment that I didn't see where the other two bears had gone. I looked over at Dan and gave him a high-five and he started pointing down towards the ground. I was so worked up that I couldn't figure out what he was trying to tell me until I looked down.
It seems Brown Eyes had decided to take up camp in it's favorite spot... our tree. Except this time it decided it was safer in our tree than under it! When I looked down, Brown Eyes was about 6 feet below us in our tree! That will get your hear pumping!
It had no idea we were there until we made eye contact. I'm still not sure who was more suprised... me, or the bear! Shortly after we made eye contact it climbed down the tree and scurried off into the woods.
Dan and I quickly switched equipment. I took the camera and he took the Excalibur. We were starting to lose daylight, but Fat Fatty had come back into the site and Brown Eyes was hanging out pretty close to the opening. We were waiting to see if anything else would wander in, but it was getting dark, so we decided we would wait until the next day.
We couldn't go after my bear because of all the activity around us. John came in to pick us up and suggested we wait until morning. I agreed, but I have to admit I was a little disappointed. I wanted to see my first bear as soon as I could. We headed back to camp to get some sleep... easier said than done.
We recovered my bear the next morning and brought it back to camp. We got him in the freezer, grabbed some lunch and headed back out for our second night.
We weren't sure if all the commotion from the night before would affect the site, but we knew there were a number of bears in the area and thought it was worth a try.
After a couple hours Brown Eyes came back in. It kept looking up to where our stand was hung trying to figure out what was going on up in that tree. It was there for about 40 minutes and then wandered off into the bush. Things got quiet again.
About an hour later a sow snuck into the site with a boar following her in. We watched them for a good while. The sow, again, was pretty much dictating how things were going. These two bears fought back and forth. The sow would pop her jaws at the boar and he would back away. A couple of times she actually swatted and snapped at him, keeping him at bay.
Honey, it's so neat to sit and watch these bears interact. We watched them for a long time and got some great footage.
Finally, Dan decided he was going to shoot the boar when it gave him a shot. The boar turned broadside and Dan settled the Excalibur on him and made a great shot. He was down in about 10 seconds.
I can't begin to explain how exciting this has been. I mean come on, two bears in two nights from the same stand! This place is full of bears.
Well, that's how things are going up here in Ontario. Give the kids a kiss for me and I'll be home soon.