Feature Articles from BHM

- BEATING THE ODDS -

By - Steve Carpenteri


Don Prescott headed for his annual spring bear hunt in Saskatchewan hoping with the intent to harvest a nice blonde-phase bear to add to his collection of cinnamon, chocolate and black bears. During the 31-hour drive from his home in Michigan, Prescott never imagined that he was going to legally tag one of the most coveted and unusual trophies in the world.

“I had been hunting with Laurie Thorsen and his Thunder Mountain Outfitters for 19 years and this was my 19th bear,” Prescott said. “I decided to drive up for this two week hunt and arrived May 19. There were five hunters in camp the first week and three bears were taken the first day. I passed on a medium-sized black the first day.”

Prescott’s partner, Kevin Noon, returned to the cabin that first night with a story about a very unusual bear they had seen on the way back to camp.

“We thought it was a very large wolf but just before it slipped into the woods we saw that it was an unusually light-colored bear,” Kevin said.

Kevin already had a few nice color-phase bears in his collection and this year was looking for a large black bear, so it was decided that Prescott would hunt the stand near where the white bear was seen. It’s not always the case that a specific bear seen at a stand returns to the same spot the very next day, but Lady Luck was apparently in a very good mood that day.

“The second afternoon, Kevin and I and our guide, Shawn Thorsen, headed back out,” Prescott recalled. “I was dropped off first, at about 2 p.m. We planned to set up some trail cams in hopes of getting some pictures of the white bear. “At this particular stand the hunter has the option of hunting from a tree stand or ground blind. I decided I would hunt from the ground,” Prescott said. “I assumed I would be in for a long afternoon, but as it turned out I barely had enough time to get settled in.

“I fired up my Therma Cell because the afternoon was warm and the bugs were thick,” Prescott recalled. “When I lifted my head to scan the area, there he was!” The white bear was standing in some thin brush on the edge of a trail leading to the bait site.

Follow the rest of the hunt here in Part 2 of Saskatchewan's WHITE BEAR