Ontario's Biggest Bear Of 2006!

Gary Gustafson, Bear Hunting Magazine
Richard Good and his monster bear
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Richard Good owns and operates French River Outfitters near Guelph, Ontario. Richard took the biggest bear that he or his taxidermist has ever seen in 2006. If we had known about this bear sooner, we would've included it in our Biggest Bears of 2006 roundup! Trevor Spooner of Spooner's Taxidermy in Alben, Ontario says that he is using a Kodiak Brown bear form to do a full-body mount on the bear.

We'll let Richard tell the story of his hunt:

"1 hour before dark I heard what appeared to be a big dead tree falling down about 200 yards away across a beaver dam, but it was dead still and there was no breeze large enough to blow one down. It might just have been its time and down it came. 20 minutes later another loud crack and crash could be heard about 100 yards away only this time on this side of the beaver flood.

Definitely a bear was slowly moving closer, and from my experience and all the sign I had accumulated over the last few days pointed towards a large aggressive black bear. The biggest clue that this was the same shadow stalking predatory bear we had been scouting was the fact he was announcing his arrival to scar off any rivals before he got to the bait, A large dominant bear would be extremely fast and strong (to put it mildly) but only for a short distance and time. They really would rather scare and push off any rivals than confront them and have to expend and waste vital energy, possibly sustaining injury.

Another 15 minutes passed and I heard a small twig snap behind the bait, "ah there he is" I thought as I stood and readied myself. Then I spied movement in the deep shadows about 40 yards away. "Here he comes," I thought, and then I saw the white flash of a skunk. I let out a soft chuckle and sat back down to be amused by that big ole coon who was still hanging around. "Hang on, there are no skunks up here"! As I turned my attention back on the deep shadows I glimpsed a shadow ghost from tree to rock to tree. This shadow grew and grew until morphing into a bear the size of a house. Well maybe not as big as house but it was still one gigantic bear. As he came through the trees and stepped out from behind the bait I almost fell out of the tree, he was as big as a house! I had never seen a bear this large in over 31 years of hunting. The adrenaline was building; rushing though my blood, I was starting to hyperventilate.

This bear was definitely the Alpha male of the area. He had no fear, he was in his prime, his pelt glistened, the dominance he exuded just dripped off him like the drool he was spewing everywhere. He slowly started to calm down, his movement slowed, my perception of time slowed, my breathing slowed. Everything seemed to be in slow mode. I was at a heightened sense of awareness, every breath, site, and smell so poignantly in time with my surroundings. He was turned broadside on all four feet directly in front of the bait barrel in the process of letting out a spine tingling roar.

Everything was perfect and surreal. Everything just felt right! I calmly raised my sons crossbow, took site (not an easy thing to do with black sights, black bears and the contrast of evenings black shadows). Still in slow mode I watch as the fletching disappeared directly behind his shoulder. This all happened with-in the eternity of but a few seconds.

That big ole house or I should say bear exploded with a leap and a roar back towards the beaver dam from where he came. He was crashing and bellowing through the dense brush and then with a large crash everything went quiet and still, then with another roar he was off again but not for long. With a series of blood gurgling moans and roars he went down again. Then came the death moan and last roar of a King.

Having heard the death moan I decided to track the bear. There was very little blood for the first 15 yards. At that point I found the location he went down for the first time with a very good blood tail leading from that point. 15 yards further brought me to a small clearing where he must have spun around spraying blood in a 20' diameter circle as he was going down again. I found him on the outer edge of this circle of death facing his back trail laying in the deepest of shadows as if...waiting.

French River Bear Outfitters guides in Ontario for bow hunters only and can be reached at (519) 831-3989.

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