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July/August 2008 Issue

Feature Sections

  • Book Review
  • Q & A - Tips
  • Spotlight On: California
  • Bruin in the Kitchen - Recipes
  • News & Notes
  • Outfitters & Guides
  • Bear Essentials - Gadgets & Gear
  • Hunter Photo Gallery
  • Crazy Tales from Uncle Geddy & The Bear Mountain Gang


  • Archery Talk with Jeff Murray

    Make Your Broadheads Fly Like Field Points
  • Hunting Vehicles with Howard Elmer

    How To Cross A River On An ATV
  • Guns & Optics with George Dvorchak

    How To Be A Crack Shot With A Handgun
  • The Bear Whisperer with Dick Scorzafava

    Increasing Your Odds For Trophy Bears
  • Bear Calling with Judd Cooney

    Double Teaming Bears
  • In Hot Pursuit with James Keldsen

    First Aid In The Field
  • Muzzleloading with Al Raychard

    Tree Stand Tips For Muzzleloader Hunters
  • Bear Biology 101 with Wade Nolan

    Wilderness Black Bears
  • Scent Free Tactics with Bob Robb

    Smell No Evil


Dogging Blackpowder Bruins

By Al Raychard

While bear hunting in Idaho a few years ago one of the hunters in camp was a Marine who had just returned from Afghanistan. He was young, in good physical condition and full of that “can do” Marine attitude. Just looking at the guy made me feel old, tired, out of shape and envious.
     Of the hunters in camp that week, this young Marine was the only one hunting bears with hounds. I do not know if many of you have hunted the Panhandle of northern Idaho, but I have several times. Perhaps I am in worse shape than I think and older than I like to admit, but to say the least the country is rugged and where I hunt just getting to some of the bait stations has a way of making me realize I no longer have the lungs or legs I had when I was in my twenties.

Bears on Air

By Joe Blake

The dense Manitoba bush surrounding my tree stand looked for all the world like a monsoon had just passed through, and that was not too far from reality! Nearly every day during the week the cold, rainy weather had persisted, and so much rain had fallen that the countryside had been transformed into a dripping, running, cascading mess. Water stood everywhere and even tiny streams were now rushing across the landscape like miniature raging torrents. Now, on the last morning of my Hobbs Lake adventure, the sun shone for the first time all week, turning the drab, dreary wilderness into a myriad of shining diamonds. Every spruce, every poplar, every rock and every blade of grass seemed to come alive with a million sparkling rain droplets. It was against this impossibly beautiful backdrop that I was about to see the bear of a lifetime.

Tree Stand Sites: The Top Tactics

By Michael D. Faw

I heard faint rustling in the rusty brown leaves behind me and turned my head ever so slightly to seek the source of the sound. As I peered down, a large black bear stood there and glanced back up at me. And when I slightly shifted my body to take a more comfortable look, the bear instantly leapt onto the tree where my stand was hanging and started up. This was not good!
      As the bear closed the distance, I stood up on the stand’s platform and prepared for the worse. My larger size now, however, made the once determined bear pause and reconsider its options. I had grown bigger, or so the bear thought. Soon it was sliding back down the tree trunk, and my heart settled back to a nearly acceptable rate. I was glad to be in a tree stand, and have my safety harness on.

Tree Stand Roundup

By Paul E. Moore

Hunting black bears over bait is similar in some regards to deer hunting, but completely different in many other ways. One of the primary differences is what bear hunters demand of and need from their tree stands.
     The typical bear hunter will spend much longer in the tree stand than will a deer hunter. Often a bear hunt will begin in early afternoon and the hunter will remain in the stand until shooting light is over. This may mean a six to eight hour sit without getting down. Other hunters will also hunt morning hours and some dedicated few will sit from early morning until dark.

The Journey Back

By Denny Cambell

There was a cool mist in the air over lake Ile-A-La-Crosse. As our four boats filled with provisions for a week sped toward the base camp, my mind was filled with anticipation as to what our week would have in store for us at Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan.
     We would be bow hunting black bears with Judd Cooney and the Physically Challenged Bowhunters of America (PCBA). PCBA offers support to those individuals who have endured catastrophic events in their lives, accidents and illnesses that have severely hampered their ability to bow hunt in the wild.

Hounding Green Mountain Bruins

By Ed Hall

Word had drifted to Joe McCray that a “small” bear was seen a few times near a small orchard just outside of Bennington, Vermont. We dismissed it because it was now shooting season rather than training season, and we were looking for a shootable bear. For the first few weekends we did not even drive by the small orchard, instead driving a few miles north to Arlington and Kelly Stand or an hour to get to other bear country.
    These areas provided several starts, quite a few races, one small male and one female with three cubs, and, of course, the typical starts ending with scattered dogs or other maladies of running bear hounds.

New York - Home to Big Bears

By Richard P. Smith

Add New York to the list of states in the eastern United States where black bear hunting opportunities are on the increase. Chautauqua County, which borders Pennsylvania, was opened to bear hunting recently. Years of protection prior to that not only allowed bears to increase, it provided the opportunity for some males to attain trophy proportions.
    Thanks to the opening of that county to bear hunting, Dan Beres from Blasdell bagged the state’s third highest scoring bruin with bow and arrow while hunting his property on November 3, 2005. Bowhunting for bears was just legalized in the county that year. Bear hunting with firearms became legal in the county the year before.
    And the trophy bear was not the only one taken on his land during 2005. Two smaller bruins were also tagged and an additional five bears were seen. That is great bear hunting anywhere.

Finding your Public Privacy

By Tyler E. Lauber

I did not understand. For the second time, Trevor, my 15 year-old brother passed up the most beautiful blonde bear I had ever seen. It was a young bear but; my how its coat glistened as the beautiful orange ball of sun disappeared behind an Idaho mountaintop. Although the bruin was of the black bear species it was a gorgeous yellow with dark chocolate boots and a most distinct cream-colored “V” on its chest. My father, brother and I had been bowhunting for ten days on public land. That was the first bear I had seen and my brother was passing it up for the second time!
     On that warm spring evening, “Pass ‘em up Trev” sat in the shooter’s stand and I in the viewer stand. I was beginning to wonder if the heat and extended period of time in a backcountry national forest had caused my brother to fly the coop, go screwy or lose his marbles. Actually, come to think of it he must have not seen the bear. Afterwards, I asked my brother, “Trev, why didn’t you shoot the bear?” Being a calm and cool, no worries kind of guy, he replied, “It’s just too small.”

Reloading the Whelen for Bear

By Ed Hall

As good as the .35 Whelen is as a bear cartridge, and it is a dandy, it suffers a slight shortcoming in many hunters’ eyes: A very limited selection of ammo. Never gaining the sales volume of the mainstay big-game cartridges, loaded ammunition is only available from Remington, and with two bullets, their 200-grain Core-Lokt and a 250-grain Soft Point. If you want a Nosler Partition, Speer’s Grand Slam, Trophy Bonded or a Barnes X, you must handload.
     I would not dare to venture any statement that Remington’s 250-grain Soft Point is inadequate for even larger black bear, but we hunters have come to enjoy the added insurance of the perfect performance we expect with premium bullets. Any why not? All of the efforts in the hunt are tied to one bullet doing its job perfectly. A few extra dollars for “the best” bullet seems easily justifiable.

5 Tips For Your Next Chase

By Percy Williamson

You should always expect the unexpected when bear hunting with hounds. Indeed, once the race is on, any control you might have had over the outcome vanishes like an early morning fog on a sunny day. But all is not lost. Here are five tips to help you anticipate some of the problems houndsmen are likely to encounter in the bear woods, and make your next run a safe and successful hunt.
Collar That Hound
     Your first concern should be the safety of the dog, and that starts with proper collar application. The collar should be on fairly secure but, not too tight to stop the dog getting pulled free of the collar should it get hooked up on a root in the thick bush or the claws of an enraged bear. Too tight under these latter circumstances and a bear might just take off the collar, and the hapless dog’s head!


Persistence Pays Off

By Jamie Zelm

We figured bowhunting for black bears would be a gas, so last spring my dad and I decided to give it a try, and booked a trip with Trophy Bear Hunt. They are located in North-Central Saskatchewan, in the Pine House Lake region, a four or five hour drive north of Saskatoon. This is a remote area that was just opened up for the 2007 season, so the opportunities to harvest a big bear were definitely good.
     Trophy Bear Hunt, owned and operated by Stan and Linda Schneider, offers a spring hunt which takes place from mid-May to mid-June. Several color phase bears were seen in the area before our hunt and a very nice 300 pound cinnamon bear was harvested at the end of May.