Alberta Baited Bear Hunt Report
I was lucky enough to hunt black bears this past May with a great outfitter just west of Edmonton, Alberta. I haven’t hunted black bears with my bow over bait in over a decade, and quickly realized how much I missed doing this hunt.
As the big bruin materialized from the thick forest, my heart picked up it’s pace. My guide had told me that the stand I was hunting held a great bear, and that if I was patient, I might have a chance at him. My first night produced no sightings, and 3 hours into night 2, I still hadn’t seen anything. That all changed in an instant. When the bear stepped into the open, I could see only his head. I’m no expert on field judging black bears, but I knew this was the huge bear they had told me about…..
I was lucky enough to hunt black bears this past May with a great outfitter just west of Edmonton, Alberta. I haven’t hunted black bears with my bow over bait in over a decade, and quickly realized how much I missed doing this hunt. It always amazes me that you can be in a tree stand or on the ground, just 20 yards from the bait site, and not hear them at all until they are right now top of you. You would think an animal of this size would make all kinds of noise, but they are easily one of the stealthiest animals on the planet.
Typically, on these hunts, you hunt in the evenings only. You try and get to your stand around 5 or 6 in the evening, and wait until dark, which can be as late as 10:30 at night. Some bait sites will produce more bears than others. I’ve sat in stands where I’ve seen 6 to 8 bears a night, and have had a few sits where I’ve seen nothing. It’s hunting. But the anticipation is always there that the bear of your dreams can appear at any moment.
I chose this stand because I didn’t need to have a bait site where I would see a lot of bears. I wanted an opportunity at a great, old mature boar. Two good bears were on this stand, and the one was a bear of a lifetime. The first night produced nothing. Not one sighting of a bear. The wind was swirling some, so I’m sure this played into things. Some people might have been discouraged, but I knew that these big smart mature bruins are very cautious. I was confident that if I put in my time, I would have a chance at him.
The next night I got settled into the tree stand and the wind was much more consistent and favorable this time. My anticipation was high. It was around 6:30 pm and I was confident tonight was the night. Each hour that passed, my anticipation was lower and lower. Around 9:30, I had stood up in my tree stand, mainly to stretch my legs and looked slowly over my shoulder. Seeing nothing, I turned back around and that’s when I saw him! He was standing just behind the bait site, staring straight ahead. He looked up slowly, but then put his gaze back on the bait site. As he walked slowly towards the barrel, I turned on the camera and got him framed in. Problem was, he kept moving. Bowhunting and self-filming adds a whole new level of difficulty. As he moved, I moved the camera with him. He stopped a few times, but he was either at a bad angle, or behind a tree for no shot. As he walked towards the back of the barrels, I had him framed up. He stopped and put his nose in the air. At the same time, I felt the wind hit the back of my neck. I knew I had seconds to take the shot. I pulled back, settled my pin, and released. As the bear bolted off, the thick vegetation crunched under him. I heard him run directly away from me for a few seconds, and then, nothing. I sat down, trying to get my breathing under control. I knew I had to give him 30 minutes.
After the allotted time, I climbed down and looked for my arrow. I found it a few yards behind where he was standing at the shot, full of blood. It appeared I made a good shot. After some searching in the thick vegetation behind the bait site, we found this bear piled up. The shot went through both lungs and he went less than 100 yards. After some handshakes and pictures, we took him back to the lodge. He was 7’ and weighed 272#. Easily my largest black bear of my life! That week in camp we had 5 hunters and 7 great bears were taken. THANK YOU OUTDOORS INTERNATIONAL FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY!!!
If a black bear hunt is something you’ve thought about, this is a hunt you want to look at. The hunting, service, food, lodging and fellowship are incredible with this outfitter. The outfitter only has 10 spots each season.
As a side note, we see a lot of moose on these hunts in Alberta, and we have a few archery hunts available every year. Our hunters always rave about them, so if you’d like to go on a fairly inexpensive archery moose hunt, get in touch.
I’ve been on a lot of hunts over the past years, and can honestly say this was one of my best trips to date! With animals in every direction, the hardest decision was figuring out which Goat we were going after. That is a true rarity these days. I can’t wait to go back to hunt with this outfit!
Excellent caribou hunt from start to finish. Life long friends and memories will forever be remembered!
We went from a silent morning on the mountain to an eruption of elk activity in seconds…..this is truly addictive….ready for next year!
I wanted you all to know what an extraordinary trip I felt it was! Thank you all for everything! It was awesome and couldn’t have been better!
Overall it was an awesome experience and we are already planning our return trip! Oh, and did I mention the fishing was great?
Hunting with this outfitter was a wonderful experience. This hunt is great value for the money! My guide, Lyle was an extremely knowledgeable hunter and great all-around guy.
Sheep and tag numbers are on the increase which is good news all around. If you wish to sheep hunt, let us know now and we will in turn provide you with a reminder and information when the drawing time draws near. This is very special hunt and should be considered by anyone who calls himself a hunter, at least once before you retire the boots and rifle.
- I love to hunt elk. Guiding hunts, floats, and fishing are all very special ways for me to earn a living. The difference is that… “I have to Sheep Hunt!” For me, there is no other place that I have found and no other experience that compares. I am sure there are many rams taken each year beside the road, on the trail or next to the river… those have nothing to do with what I am speaking of. In the 80’s and 90’s I guided countless Bighorn and Dall Sheep hunts. We would drop a hunter off at the airstrip (successful or not) sometimes on the proverbial verge of death, only to gather up the next victim and head out again. It never grew tiring, in fact it was just the opposite. “Exhilarating” would be more appropriate. I love every aspect of the sheep hunt. The terrain, camaraderie, the camping, the rocks. I love the rocks. Bighorn Sheep tags became more difficult to acquire through the 90’s and on into the new millennium.
Truly full-service elk hunt with absolutely great food, knowledgeable guide who paced the hunt well. Great accommodations. A great adventure.
Having an industry which is littered with “mediocre” brokers, it is refreshing to have solidified a great working relationship with those at Outdoors International, with special thanks to Russ Meyer … he’s top notch in the business!!