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.
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
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.
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.
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.
I am thinking about maybe trying to get eight or ten guys together for next year and book the camp for ourselves.
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.
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
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.
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!
You need to change your handle from "BLUE FEATHER" to "YELLOW FLETCH" Bill V.
Hey, maybe Jen can convince Roy to go up there with them next year and wear his pink skirt?! ;-)
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"?!