Sitka Mountain Gear
Ron Henry 2011 Spring Bear Hunt
Pennsylvania
Contributors to this thread:
BLUE FEATHER 27-Jun-11
bill v 27-Jun-11
Metikki 27-Jun-11
Rut Nut 27-Jun-11
BLUE FEATHER 28-Jun-11
BLUE FEATHER 28-Jun-11
BLUE FEATHER 28-Jun-11
horsethief 28-Jun-11
BLUE FEATHER 28-Jun-11
BLUE FEATHER 28-Jun-11
George D. Stout 28-Jun-11
BLUE FEATHER 28-Jun-11
BLUE FEATHER 28-Jun-11
BLUE FEATHER 28-Jun-11
BLUE FEATHER 28-Jun-11
BLUE FEATHER 28-Jun-11
BOWJO 28-Jun-11
bill v 29-Jun-11
BLUE FEATHER 29-Jun-11
BLUE FEATHER 29-Jun-11
BLUE FEATHER 29-Jun-11
BLUE FEATHER 29-Jun-11
BLUE FEATHER 29-Jun-11
JB 29-Jun-11
RC 29-Jun-11
Huntinggal2009 29-Jun-11
BLUE FEATHER 29-Jun-11
bill v 30-Jun-11
Rut Nut 30-Jun-11
Rut Nut 30-Jun-11
horsethief laptop 30-Jun-11
BSKED (mobile) 02-Oct-17
Huntinggal2009 02-Oct-17
BOWJO 02-Oct-17
Stekewood 02-Oct-17
Smoke 03-Oct-17
From: BLUE FEATHER
27-Jun-11

BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
This would be my 20th trip to Ron Henry's bow hunting spring bear camp. This year I would be hunting with long time friend Brian Sked and his brother in law Daryl Duffy. We would be packing the trailer and quads and meeting Daryl somewhere in New York prior to crossing the Canadian border.

Sunday 6/12/2011 was spent packing and re packing the trailer with quads, stands, climbing sticks, gas cans and anything else we could get on to the rig. The plan was to aprk it behind the house until Thursday. Brian arrived on Thursday evening and we packed his truck and hooked the trailer up.

Friday morning we were off by 04:30 AM to Quebec!

To be continued.

From: bill v
27-Jun-11
Hank, Where did you hide the kitchen sink on the trailer ? LOL! Bill v.

From: Metikki
27-Jun-11
Good Luck Hank!

From: Rut Nut
27-Jun-11
Wow- you got that thing packed up good, Hank! Good luck to you guys! I'm guessing you really like Spring Bear hunting?! ;-)

From: BLUE FEATHER
28-Jun-11

BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
Friday morning it was raining. Something we would get use to as the week went on! We had our 24 oz WA WA coffee and two bags of Twizzlers. The trailer I had previously ordered and customized to carry up to 3 quads. Recently upgraded to a special 14 inch tire with a rating of 2250 lbs each with extra sidewall plys. In addition it was rated for high speed.

We were off and made good time and met Darryl south of Alexander Bay. Then crossed the border (no incidents at the border with customs) by 11 AM.

We were in Fort Coulunge by 2 PM. Purchased our extra provisions and gas and were off 110 Kilometers to the Black River camp. We stopped at Ron"s fishing camp at 80 Kilometers to purchase our Bear Lic.

While there Ron informed us that he had two hunters form Va that would be leaving Sat Morning and that a Husband/wife team tagged out and had departed the cabin we would be using. We would be the only hunters in the Black River Camp!!GREAT!! He had aonther Pa group of 6 staying at the fish camp.

The Va hunters said everyone was seeing bears every night. We un-packed the trailer, unloaded the quads and we were good to go first thing Saturday morning.

Saturday's goal was to bait as many stands on our string and have at least 3 stands up to hunt on Sat night. Out of about 75 bait locations we elected the Callahan baits that numbered about 15. We would also be placing 3 cameras (must bring more next time). Our goal by Sunday was to have 2 stands each up & 3 cameras on other baits.

Everyone wants to tag a shooter. Daryl was no different. I told him it was easy-just don't shoot a small bear. 3 years ago I was with two hunters from Croydon they wanted to shoot a big one. The one shot a small bear the first night & the other one shot a small bear 2 days later.

Cameras, even though we had some mechanincal problems, were a great tool as you will see.

More to come

From: BLUE FEATHER
28-Jun-11

BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
Ron is a long time supporter of the United Bow Hunters of Pa. He has donated numerous hunts over the past 20 years to our orginazitiona and charity shoots.

His Black River camp consists of an ice house (they cut the ice from the river, 1 small cabin that is ideal for 4 but could sleep up to 8, 1 larger cabin that can easily handle 10 and a guide cabin that sleeps up to 4.

The units are equipped with a large propane stove, propane refrigerator and bag shower. He provides the bait, bait locations, skinning and meat quatering for returning back home. His black River camp has over 90 baits that radiate out from the camp. You have multiple bait locations on your string to choose from.

You bring your own food, water, stands, sleeping bag and any thing else! 75% of the stands are accessible by a vehicle. The others by quads. We like quads. We like to go to the baits that no one else wants to go to even on quads. The most distant bait was 20 miles from camp. To do the entire string with all of the side roads was about 30 miles one way. You had to be careful on the trails and roads as they could develop sink holes overnight or the road could wash out from a broken beaver dam.

From: BLUE FEATHER
28-Jun-11

BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
This is what the hole looks like with out the tree!

28-Jun-11
Great description Hank, keep it coming.

From: BLUE FEATHER
28-Jun-11

BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
At 2 PM saturday we were back in camp having a late lunch and then a shower prior to the evening hunt. We had baited all 15 baits, set 3 stands and 3 cameras. The plan was to leave for the stands by 4:30 PM.

We had a stand on #5 Brian's run, #13 & #21. The cameras were on Tower #3, #19 & #13.

This string of baits has produced some great bears over the years. 99% of the bears have fantastic coats. Usually if a coat is rubbed it happened in the den, a sow with cubs or a small bear.

#3 the sand pit bait produced a 290LB bear for UBP member George Duffy, #19 produced a 350Lb bear for UBP member Bill Fehon, #19 produced 200 Plus bears for Mike Barnett and UBP member Brian Sked, #21 produced a 250 Lb for UBP member Bob Dudelson. Lots of other bears shot over the past 20 years.

Depending when you go, Spring bear hunting has it problems other than weather. We have found it best to go the last week (as close as possible) of the season. By then the rut has been in for about 2 weeks and the bears are just getting back into their routine.

Saturday I sat #21, Daryl #13 and Brian #5. No one saw a thing that night. The next moring we were out checking baits. 21 was not hit but the majority of other baits were hit including #13 & #5. Tower #2 was hammered with the bear actually rolling the logs up hill. Note at this time Tower #3 was not hit.

Photo is of the trail to the Tower baits.

From: BLUE FEATHER
28-Jun-11

BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
Sunday night I sat the sand pit bait & Brian #5 and Daryl set a stand and sat Tower #2. Bears but no shooters were seen.

However Monday most of the baits were hit and we had some good photos. The 1st & 2nd photo following will be of bait #19 (no one sat it on Sunday. The following photos 3 thru - were of different bears on Tower #3.

I immediately picked a good tree with a lot of cover and decided this is where I would sit for the balance of the week. You will see why in the photos! I knew the problem with a big boar and the rut was he may be out cruising and not show up for 2,3 or 4 days. Daryl decided to concentrate of bait #19. Brian had signs of a big bear on #5 and concentrated on this bait. Sometimes you have to change a evening bear to a day time bear. #5 would be hit and then the sand pit bait hammered 2 nights in a row. Then if you switched from #5 to the sand pit bait it would not be hit. However #5 would be hammered. That is why if you know a shooter is around just be patient and stay with that bait. Hopefully sooner or later he will show up in legal shooting hours.

28-Jun-11
That first photo looks like a redneck suicide car bomb.

From: BLUE FEATHER
28-Jun-11

BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
Photo #19 Bait

From: BLUE FEATHER
28-Jun-11

BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
Tower #3

From: BLUE FEATHER
28-Jun-11

BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
Tower #3

From: BLUE FEATHER
28-Jun-11

BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
Tower #3

From: BLUE FEATHER
28-Jun-11

BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
Tower #3

From: BOWJO
28-Jun-11
Great story and great pics Hank. I too just returned from a Spring bear hunt, but it was with Bryson lake lodge. Great hunt; saw four bears in five days, but held out for a keeper. All were in the 135# to 175# range.

I am thinking about maybe trying to get eight or ten guys together for next year and book the camp for ourselves.

From: bill v
29-Jun-11
Well, how about getting on with this? Hank, how big do you think the tower #3 bear is?

From: BLUE FEATHER
29-Jun-11

BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
Bojo: Don't know where the last post went! Here it is again. For your info we go right by Bryson Lake on the way to Ron's. Whee we are located there is no contact with the outside world. So we had to rely on Daryls watch that now showed a falling barometer. Rain wwas on the way. Tower #2 did not have a camera but the appearances of a large bear. It was decided to pull the camera from #19 as thre was a small bear-see photo and put it on tower #2. A light rain was falling when I arrived at Tower #2 and spent about 45 minutes trying to set the camera to capture shots-It would just not set. I decided to hustle to Tower #3 as if any bears were out they would most likely come in early.

I parked 150 yards from the bait and quietly got into the stand and set up for the evening. This was a great stand. Closer than I like but a ton of cover. It was located on a hillside, in a large birch with multiple fir trees in front. Brian and I had cleared out shooting lanes and one small hole to shoot thru. See folowing photos.

From: BLUE FEATHER
29-Jun-11

BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
Tower #3 view of bait from stand

From: BLUE FEATHER
29-Jun-11

BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
As I settled in for the evening my mind went back over the last 5 days. Hunting with long time friend Brian Sked, His brother in law Daryl and at Ron's. Couldn"t get any better-so I thought. Daryl is a Catholic Priest, bow hunter and a great camp companion. We even had mass in camp on Sunday afternoon.

My view of the bait was limited as you can see from the photo--but great cover. Knowing how bears are sometimes they don't spend a lot of time at the bait. The boars this time of year sometimes walk right thru looking for a sow! My shot would be 19 yards if it happened.

Even with the increase of showers I heard the snap of limbs and brush moving from an approaching bear about 6:30 PM. Now I could see a dark form moving leisurely thru the understory toward the bait. The bear was coming from my right. I could see it was not a big bear and assumed that it was probably a sow. Big boars don't tolerate smaller males especially when the rut is on. This bear casually strolled up to the bait removed a log reached in a took a small (we cut it small) portion of bait and casually retreated back in to the understory. From the actions I was pretty sure it was a sow. Not big enough to be a shooter. Also you don"t want to shoot her if you are looking for a bigger bear.

About 3 minutes later she was coming back to the bait for another snack. I thought this should keep me entertained for the evening. The next part played out within 90 seconds.

As she came into view on my right side of the bait I was already standing. I always stand when any bear is coming in! As she reached the bait a MUCH larger bear came strolling down the hill and into view from directly behind the bait. He swung to his right (my left)and was briefly out of view. At the same time the sow came from my right side of the bait and confronted the boar. He was making advances but she was somewhat aggressive and was playing hard to get.

The boar backed up out of sight then came back into view at the top of the bait on my left side. He approached the bait broadside at the extreme top.

I was shooting a Parker EZ draw set at 65LBS, carbon arrow and a Steel Force Venom fixed 3 blade broadhead. When he stretched out is right arm I put the arrow right in the crease of the arm pit. Later I would find it came out the the other shoulder. Like a flash he was gone and the sow was gone. However she came back to the bait a total of 9 times until it started to rain .

I heard the bear going thru the bush, crash and then moan twice. I took a compass bearing and then sat down for about 45 minutes to give the old heart a rest. When it started raining real hard I decided to get down and check things out. 10 Feet from the bait I found enough of the carbon arrow to hold the fletching and blood. 15 feet I found the other end with the broadhead. The bear went about 35 yards. I stepped it off real quick. HMM a 5 footer, nice head beautiful hide.

Getting the bear out and off Tower #3 is another story. 3 of us couldn't lift him on a pole, We removed the entrails and still had a problem getting him more than a few inches off the ground. We arrived back to camp all drowned rats including the bear. I packed him inside and out with river ice form the ice house. Don't know what it weighed. Took some pictures the next day when he was still wet. Then we loaded him on the quad and took him 17 miles to Ron's fish camp for skinning and quartering. He looked a lot better when we arrived as the fur was drying out.

Enjoy the following photos. Hank

From: BLUE FEATHER
29-Jun-11

BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
On the way to the Fich camp

From: BLUE FEATHER
29-Jun-11

BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
BLUE FEATHER's embedded Photo
Hanging on the skinning pole at the fish camp.

Daryland Brian are secheduled for a return trip in 3 years.

I will be there again from 06/23/2012 thru 06/30/2012 looking to meet the Tower #2 bear. The bear that roles logs up hill from the bait.

Hank

From: JB
29-Jun-11
Congrats Hank, enjoyed your hunt.

From: RC
29-Jun-11
Very fine thread, congrats on your Bear.

29-Jun-11
Very nice Hank! Care to write this up for the UBP newsletter?

From: BLUE FEATHER
29-Jun-11
I have a better idea! How long have I harassed you to do an all bow woman bear hunt?

The cabin I usually stay in can take up to 8. However 4 is ideal. I will even be the guide and not hunt!

How about it in 2012? Then you can write the story.

And I promise to shave every day!

From: bill v
30-Jun-11
Congrats Hank! Nice shot! but,

You need to change your handle from "BLUE FEATHER" to "YELLOW FLETCH" Bill V.

From: Rut Nut
30-Jun-11
Sounds like a great time, Hank! Congrats on your bears!

Hey, maybe Jen can convince Roy to go up there with them next year and wear his pink skirt?! ;-)

From: Rut Nut
30-Jun-11
From: bill v ........ ....... Date: 30-Jun-11

Congrats Hank! Nice shot! but,

You need to change your handle from "BLUE FEATHER" to "YELLOW FLETCH" Bill V.

Uh, Bill..........wouldn't that be "YELLOW VANE"?!

30-Jun-11
Great read Hank.

02-Oct-17
In memory of Hank, thought I'd bring this thread back. His last successful bear hunt at Rons.

02-Oct-17
Nice!!

From: BOWJO
02-Oct-17
A wonderful tribute to Hank, thanks for sharing Brian

From: Stekewood
02-Oct-17
Thanks Brian.

From: Smoke
03-Oct-17
Thanks Brian, this is good stuff!

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