Canada Alberta – hunting in bear paradise
Spring hunting with almost guaranteed success
Canada is well known for its spring hunt on black bear. This widespread bear can be hunted throughout Canada. After chasing Blackbeard in British Columbia in the mountains, our group went to the prairie of Alberta in western Canada for this hunt. The landscape is characterized by mountains, prairie, barren impact and water surfaces and extensive coniferous forests. The province has over 600 lakes and is rich in raw materials, especially gas and oil extracted from oil sands, making Alberta the richest province in Canada. Our journey took us via Toronto to Fort McMurray, a city that has grown strongly, especially due to the oil sands boom and is still influenced by gas and oil production today.
Originally we planned to spend the first night in Fort McMurray, but due to various storms our flights were so late that we landed only one day later in the morning and therefore were picked up right at the airport by our outfitter and drove with him north to the camp. Thanks to the well-developed roads of the oil companies, it only takes about 2 hours to the turning point, where two more guides with quads were waiting for us, with whom we spent another hour in the wilderness to the base camp. There are four Yamaha quads including a trailer ready to transport all the luggage and food to the camp. On the way to the camp we could already see the first signs of wolf and bear, which caused our anticipation to rise even further. Everyone in the group wanted to kill two bears and, if possible, weasel on Wolf. In the winter months, this area is known for many wolves in particular, the various roads scouring for edible. In May, however, the likelihood is much lower as the wolves retreat to other parts of the area during the rearing of the young. Arrived at the camp, we moved into the newly built two man tents which are each equipped with wooden floor, wooden bed with thick mattress and a private wood stove. Afterwards, during a rich dinner from the cooking tent, the hunting process was discussed for the next days at the campfire. The plan is to sit in the morning and in the evening at the various Baitstellen and wait for the bears. Now in the spring after hibernation, the bears are particularly active and looking for food, so in principle they go to the churns all day.
The next morning we started early after a short breakfast, we each lead a hunter with a guide to the previously agreed baits. Arrived at the Baits, we moved to the prepared high stands or ground levels depending on the place and wait for the bears. During the first sitting, there was no activity on my bait except for a few birds using the bear feed mix. Around noon we drove back to the camp and saw from a distance the first bear lying on one of the quad trailers. The first hunter, Torsten, from the group was able to stretch his first bear in the morning and we pulled him off directly and salted the fur to prepare it optimally for later transport. The first success at the first seat also increased the confidence in both of us, the two of us had yet seen nothing. After a lunch and a short nap, we started again “on the piste” as we called our trips to the Baits. My guide and I decided to try again in the same place as in the morning, this place has two baits consisting of once two tons of special bear / dog food mix, as well as one stuffed with meat, also a bit further away a special bait for wolf, there here in winter one of the main hiking trails of the wolves lies. When driving to the Bait we could already discover something black on the Bait from a distance. A quick look through the binoculars confirmed it is a black bear. Since it is impossible to get to the high seat, we decided to park the quads and to stalk the bear against the wind. Approximately We stalked 600m before the Kirrung, in the shelter of the trees we reached the bear at about 300m, but then he noticed something, so that he slowly pulled away. We thought we had lost the bear, but when we arrived at the Bait, where the bear had fled, we saw him in about 130m slowly pulling in the undergrowth. Quickly the weapon was at the ready and when he moved out from behind a tree and the sheet was free, I could stand him freehand to 100m. After the shot he walked 5 meters before collapsing in the undergrowth. After the fastest bear hunt of my life, we first made extensive photos and then hit a swath for the quad in the undergrowth to get the bear out of the dense vegetation and bring back to the camp.
Arrived at the camp, the bear was supplied by us and we waited comfortably until my two hunting colleagues arrived for dinner. This time, neither could kill a bear. When we were sitting by the fire in the evening we could then experience a special event, over our tents we could watch northern lights in the sky for almost an hour. After the show was over, we went to sleep content, because we could kill two bears after the first day. The next morning I was again in my standard place and was able to record four different bears, one of them a strong older bear, with the camera. Since I had four days left and one of our hunting colleague Oliver still had none, I had decided not to kill the bear and pick it up for Oliver if he did not get one this morning. After returning to the camp, we again saw a bear hanging on the Abbotting Square and it was again Torsten, as on the first day, which could already kill his second bear. Oliver was out of luck again, so we agreed to sit at my place in the evening and wait for the older bear. At my new place in the evening I saw again two bears, however, smaller, so that I just snapped them with the camera. But this time it was finally time and Oliver, who had previously returned as a tailor, was able to kill the old bear at my original place and was overjoyed to have finally received his first bear on the second day. Now that everyone had at least one bear, it was time to fall asleep for the next day.
The next day, after a good lunch, we started again and this time Diana should be very happy with our Oliver, in a new place he tried the biggest bear we saw during the 5 days. This was very careful and had turned the bait first, but when he then stood on the hind feet to get one last wind before disappearing, the Oliver took the gun courageously and shot him directly in front of the trick and The bear ran down a small slope after the shot, where he remained lying in the forest and could be salvaged from there. This crowned the hunting king for the week. Beaming with joy, he returned to the camp with his guide and the biggest of our bears. That night, we celebrated the slaying of his bear until late at night. During the next two days I was able to kill a smaller black bear and all of us were still looking for signs of wolves, but apart from a semi-fresh track we saw no signs of wolf, but we saw several other bears driving the quads and the stalking in the territory. In the end we were able to count about 15-20 different bears in five days, which we had seen during our stops and rides. After five eventful days, we left the camp for Fort McMurray, where we spent one last night at the hotel in Canada and took a look at the city before heading back to Germany from Fort McMurray via Toronto the next day. We were in this trip already in the first hunting week on the spot, here are already many bears from hibernation back, however, the larger bears are usually a little later from their cave, so that the chance of larger bears a little later, especially during mating time increases. In addition to black bear and wolf, the area also offers very good elk hunting in autumn and in another part hunting for bison in winter. This is a great option for another group trip to the prairie of Alberta.