My name is Graham Inglis, I have been hunting bears for 3 years and I thought I would share a story about my hunt last June at Bush Country Camp (BCC) in Kipawa, Quebec. I had been lucky enough to hunt moose before at the same camp and my friend Norm, who is the owner and main guide at BCC. Norm was always telling me how good his spring bear hunt is so I decided to take him up on his offer.
We arrived on a Saturday afternoon; I was going to start hunting on Monday so I thought I would get a little background on these bears in the area. First thing Norm said was that the bait was getting hit every day and I wouldn’t have to wait long to get a bear. At the time I just shrugged him off thinking that was just the outfitter speaking and I would decide myself. Then I spoke to the guide baiting my barrel and he said that there was a really big bear hitting my bait, once again I didn’t really take him seriously, thinking it was all hype.
Well I am glad to say they were right on BOTH things!
All travel at BCC is done by boat so they dropped me off at 4pm on Monday afternoon. Originally Norm said he would pick me up at 5pm, that’s how confident he was I was going to get a bear right away. I told him to only come back at sundown, I didn’t want to have a trophy bear in my sights only to hear a boat motor and miss my chance for a monster bear. So I settle in my stand which is about 12 feet off the ground looking straight down at the clearing where there is a small stream running in front of the bait barrel covered with rocks and some donuts (the best bait ever) are scattered on the path leading to the bait.
I don’t even have time to start my ThermaCell! Maybe 15 minutes in, out from straight behind the barrel comes a nice looking sow. So I start to get ready and pull up my Excalibur Vortex when I notice that the bear is not coming towards the bait, but cutting a trail near the top of the clearing. It’s headed across my line of sight to the other side and disappears into the bush. I’m thinking to myself what just happened here? Why didn’t she take the bait? I know she didn’t wind me or see me but I can’t think of any reason for her to leave without eating some donuts at least.
Then it dawns on me the BIG bear must be around somewhere! No more than 5 minutes pass when a big boar comes in quiet as a mouse, not making a sound. My heart starts to pump because I realize this is no 2 year old young and dumb bear, this is probably a 10 to 15 year old king of the forest; The biggest bear I’ve seen in my hunting adventures by far!
He takes his time working his way down the path towards the bait eating donuts one at a time and he either knows I’m there or just doesn’t care because he is not bothered at all. I realize that it is going to take a perfect shot to drop this guy because he is big and tough and old so I wait about 10 minutes for a broad side shot. Well thankfully he turned to eat his last donut and I smoked him perfect with a double lung shot! He jumped straight up and ran back about 20 yards from the bait, hit a tree, and roared about three times. I could see him and ranged him with my Leupold 650 and he was down about 50 yards from me and I realized that I had my spring trophy bear of a lifetime!
Well now for the funny part of the story
So I’m thinking to myself I can’t believe how fast these bears come out in northern Quebec! I look at my watch and I realize its only 445 pm; what the heck am I going to do until 9pm when they are coming back to get me? There is no radio contact here so I’m basically on my own ‘till then. I have decided to wait for the outfitter to get back before I can look at my bear so I’m stuck in my stand with the bugs.
The only thing I’m worried about is having my bear down for five hours putting that smell in the woods; other bears and wolves might find tempting and come in to take a look. A lot of people would want to sit quiet and watch some more bears, but not me! At this point the only thing on my mind is getting my trophy out of the woods as fast and safely as possible. So I turn on my iphone and start singing and yelling hoping to let everything else in the woods know that I’m here and that’s MY bear on the ground. It’s not for them eat!
I’m thinking that with the entire racket I’m making there is no way anything is going to come within 100 yards of me and my bear. Well, my theory was proved wrong! Around 8pm it’s starting to get dark in the clearing. I always find that it starts to get spooky in a bear stand at night once the sun starts to go down. Even with all the racket, I hear something coming through the brush making straight toward the bait. I guess the lure of the bait and the promise of a free meal now that the big bear is gone, was stronger than the fear of the noise I was making, because I had to scare off another bear making straight for the bait and MY bear!
It took three loud yells and some harsh language to finally get rid of that determined and hungry bear! Well now it’s time for full alert because I realize that these animals up here are not easy to scare off. I start banging my feet and smashing a log in the stand and that seems to be working fine, no more bears for a half an hour.
Around 8:40 I’m counting down the minutes ‘till the boys are coming and I hear something again coming through the woods, but quieter this time, so I start yelling at the noise again. This time a wolf pops his head up and looks right at me! I call him some rude names and he runs off back into the woods. Needless to say I decided right then and there I was coming down out of the stand with my bear spray in my hand, and my bow cocked and ready for battle for the last 20 minutes to protect my bear.
I’m glad to say that nothing else out of the ordinary happened other than having to carry a 400 pound bear 100 yards to the boat and I couldn’t be happier with my new trophy for my living room.
Thanks to everyone at BCC and I hope you enjoy my story and pics of the bear.