Jun 02 2014
I just arrived back in the States from the best week of bear hunting that I’ve ever been a part of. My eyes appear tired from the last nine days of travel and hunting, but I’m energized and still reveling in my true northern bear hunting experience. It was a full emersion into the northern Alberta wilderness, a week long Bear-apalooza. Three of us from Arkansas killed six Pope and Young bears in 7 days. Four of the six bears were over 19 inches. You’ll get to watch all of the hunts in the coming episodes of Bear Horizon, our new semi-live web show starting on June 6th, 2014.
Having several opportunities for a spring hunt this year, I chose to hunt with Cody Sutley of Bighorn Meadows Outfitting in Northern Alberta. The outfit has a long history of good bear hunting, but Cody just took over operations and the camp hasn’t been hunted in three years because of a devastating fire in 2011. Cody was certain that the region was holding some big bears. He was right.
The camp is located north of Fort McMurray, Alberta on the mighty Athabasca River. It’s a fly-in camp that’s fifty miles from the nearest place you can drive a four-wheel-drive truck. We flew onto a dirt landing strip and the plane taxied right up to our camp. We stayed in wall tents with wood stoves and ate like kings every day. We were expecting good bear hunting; we weren’t expecting the excellent meals. We didn’t come there to be comfortable, but we were. We came to hunt big bears and this we did.
I was able to harvest two bears with my Timberghost hybrid longbow. Traditional bowhunting for bears is an experience that will change your paradigms about hunting. The efficiency of a heavyweight arrow tipped with a razor sharp head is a tremendous weapon. My 560-grain arrow passed completely through my first bear. I was shooting a 125-grain Vipertrick broadhead by Slick Trick. My bow is 51 pounds at 28 inches. My second shot penetrated to the opposite shoulder of the 350-pound boar. A trad bow isn’t a toy. Ask Fred Eichler about that, he’s harvested all 29 big game species in North America with one. Traditional bowhunting will cause you step up to the peak of your game, or you go home empty handed.
You’ll be reading a couple of articles and seeing all the footage from our hunt with Cody and Bighorn Meadows Outfitting in the coming months. Be sure to check out the inaugural Bear Horizon webisode this Friday morning. We start off the first show with a bear hunt from Heath Martin in Arkansas and then we crawl in a den with some bears on a study with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
I hope you’ve been able to spring bear hunt in 2014. One of our guys watched a boar breed a sow on May 28th and we saw a lot of cruising activity on the baits. The bear rut is an exciting time to be in the woods. What a tremendous opportunity we have in bear hunting. Bear numbers are on the rise across most of North America. Step up to the plate and bear hunt in 2014.
Publisher, Bear Hunting Magazine