Black bear hunt in Canada
Infinite distances meets a magnificent landscape
For many, Canada is the epitome of freedom, a vast country of untouched nature stretching from the US in the south to the Arctic in the north. The ideal place to forget the stress of everyday life and to unwind. The first trip was to take me to the west coast to British Columbia. Via Frankfurt it went via Vancouver to Prince George, a small town in the middle of British Columbia. From here, the trail continued north for several hours, past giant forest strikes and breathtaking rivers and streams winding through valleys, continuing into the wilderness B.C.s. The last stop in front of the camp was at Fort St. James, an Indian Reservation that offers some of the attractions such as a Native American Museum and information on the origins of Fort St. James. Water sports enthusiasts can devote their vocation to the big lake. The last meters to the camp, which was idyllically situated on a lake in the forest, was covered by boat, as there is no road connection to the camp.
The camp itself was very functional and consisted of the main house with kitchen (gas stove) and sleeping facilities for us hunters and 2 smaller huts for the professional hunters and the cook.
For this first spring hunt we were three, father and son the 2: 1 hunting and I as a 1: 1 hunter, target is a black bear for everyone and a grizzly for one of the 2: 1 hunters. In the evening there was a greeting moose roast. Then the plans for the next day were forged. Jens the Outfitter of this 500.000ha area accompanied the 2: 1 hunters.
The first day
I was hunting with Warren, an Indian-born guide from Fort St. James. Early in the morning it started. Each group drove with a pickup in the wide hunting area in search of a black bear. During the game drive (a pure footstep is not possible with the size of the area) we saw some moose pull through the undergrowth and also a bear with a boy but an old bear did not show up this morning.
About lunchtime we rested at an elevated point in the area from which several valleys and waterholes could be monitored with fresh green. These spots are very promising, as the bears were now looking for fresh greens after their hibernation on an empty stomach, and especially the young dandelion looked like a magnet. But here, too, the success was initially lacking.
On the way back we met two prospectors who were using special machines to scour the ground for gold and actually showed us some small nuggets and gold dust. We inquired about bear sightings and they could really tell us about some bears that they had seen in one of the side valleys in the morning. New courage seized us. We decided to drive to the next hill, then walk the two supposed valleys by foot. In glorious sunshine, we stalked slowly through the pine young stands on the assumed spot. Suddenly a crash in the undergrowth, my guide said I should finish the rifle immediately, because you have to count on grizzlys and in case of emergency I should be better prepared if he attacks. Slowly sneaking up to where the sound came from, paired with waiting and listening, dragged on for the next few minutes. Three groups of trees we came to the edge of a small clearing and here we finally saw what had caused the noise. 2 young bears romped across the clearing. Nothing to shoot, but just the sight of how undisturbed these two black bears played with them made them forget the hardships of descent through thick branches.
As it begins to dawn, we decided to slowly return to the car and start a new attempt the next day. In the evening in the hut with hearty food, our fellow hunters also told of some black bear sightings, but no shootable bears had been there as well.
The second day should bring more success for at least one of us. Again it went out early. This time I went with Warren a good bit further north, which was also noticeable in the vegetation, since the snow melt was not too long ago and therefore much less green was visible than the day before in the south. Our first game drives were like the day before without a sighting of a bear.
By noon, however, we saw a shadow scurry through the undergrowth, which Warren immediately recognized as a bear. I’m still not clear how he could make out a bear in the shadow. Immediately the decision was made to tackle this bear. However, as the bear was able to hide very well in the pine thickening, on the one hand we had to try to get close to it, on the other hand we had to be careful not to use it