Alberta Bear Hunt: The Good, The Bad and The Beautiful

I passed a quiet evening on stand without seeing a single bear. Not so my hunting partners. All of them had filled their tags before I even climbed into my tree.

Heraldsboar The Good: Tim Herald who arrowed a great bear the other day struck gold again. He had a large boar right underneath him from the moment he got dropped off. Instead of shooting it from the stand he decided to climb down and stalk it on foot. He got within 16 yards and made a perfect double-lung shot. If he knew what our friend Mark Nelson was going through at the same time he might not have been so quick to take on the bear on foot.

Angrysow The Bad: Mark learned an important lesson on this hunt. Most of the time you choose the bear you’re going to shoot but sometimes the bear chooses you. Right after getting to his stand this large, aggressive sow came in. The moment she saw Mark she was wolfing at him and stamping on her front legs. She charged his stand twice, running from the bait to the base of the tree. To make matters more interesting, the stand Mark was in is not very high off the ground.

The bear’s behavior was a bit unnerving but Mark thought everything was going to be okay when the bear moved away, climbing up a low hill. At the crest of the hill she suddenly wheeled around and charged. She covered the distance to Mark’s tree in a flash.

“At that point I had had enough,” Mark said. “I wasn’t about to cope with this bear for the next four hours.”

When she got to the base of the stand, Mark shot, hitting her in the neck. She ran off and fell. Mark thought it was over when she started to get back up. He reloaded his single shot H&R Ultra Slug Hunter and hit her again. Again, she fell. And again she got up. He shot her twice more before she finally died.

Cinnamon The Beautiful: Linda Powell is closing in on her goal to take one each of the different color phase bears. Some years back, she shot a chocolate-colored black bear and last night she took this gorgeous cinnamon. As happy as she is about this bear, don’t bring up the blonde color phase she shot at, and missed, last year. It’s a bit of a sore subject.

—John Snow