“How do I get started bear calling?” I have been asked numerous times by people looking to get into calling. It is quite simple really, go online or to a store and purchase yourself a predator call (rabbit distress, fawn bleat, that type of thing). You must first decide, however, what type of call you want to use.

Nov 05 2020

Bringing Them Close | Calling Western Bears

Calling western bears isn’t easy, but it’s sweet when it comes together!

After blowing a predator call for nearly 15 minutes, I was beginning to question my sanity. Not that I have anything against predator calls, but producing some tunes from one of them usually means you’re looking for trouble. When I caught movement out of the corner of my eye a few minutes later, I knew I had found it; or better yet, it had found me, and in an instant I knew what it was! I strained my eyes to the side to confirm my suspicions—it was a bear. His coal-black hide glistened in the pool of September light, as he stood motionless trying to find the easy meal; I just hoped he wouldn’t mistake me for one.

Oct 29 2020

Going All Trad

The text message was short, simple and to the point “I’m going full traditional this hunting season”. This text went out to my closest friends (some trad guys and some compound), and I wasn’t sure what response I’d get back from them. The trad guys, of course, were supportive and encouraging, while the compound guys were…baffled I guess? They weren’t negative about the switch, but definitely curious why anyone would go from shooting a compound to a trad bow for no actual reason that made much sense. I could understand their point and figured I’d have said the same if the roles had been reversed.
"How will we ever stalk that far without being seen?", my friend Will Eason said as we watched a big Alaskan brown bear through binoculars. The bear was at least a mile away, on the other side of the bay, and as an added challenge the animal was eating grass in the middle of a large open area with no cover nearby.

Oct 01 2020

Idaho DIY

A very smart man once told me, “You can’t kill anything if you’re not out there,” and through the years I’ve found that to be as true of a statement as you can get.

It was late April when my best friend Ryan dropped me off at the gated logging road in Idaho, I wasn’t sure what I was hiking into. We had been camped out for some time bear hunting. He told me that he’s seen multiple bears on this road over the years, and that I had as good of chance here as any. From where I was standing at the time, it looked like a jungle with a maximum shot distance of about five feet.
“We’re too close to try to skirt him. He’s gonna see us one way or another. He’ll either charge us, or take off running.” As soon I quit speaking the bear spotted us. Reno and I stepped out into the open, stood side-by-side, waved our arms in the air, and started hollering.

The massive boar lumbered fearlessly toward us...
One of the most enjoyable parts of hunting is sharing it with my kids, being able to take them out and show them things most kids don't get to see. Too often kids are raised by TVs and video games and have no clue about the adventure that lies beyond the tree line. As for my family, we’ve spent countless hours exploring, hunting together and getting away from the noise and distractions of the city.

If I don't get to take my kids along, they mob me as I walk in the door, waiting to hear about how the hunt went. They sit on the floor, eyes wide open, clinging to every word that rolls from my tongue as if they were there experiencing every moment with me. They are never discouraged with an unsuccessful hunt, but rather are filled with awe and wonder as I unravel the details of the adventure that was had. I live for those moments and often think I enjoy coming home and sharing stories with them more than the adventure itself.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect on my first bear spot & stalk bear hunt in British Columbia a few years ago. The first action of the first day with the outfitter was a walk up a hill. Let’s just say we don’t have much for hills like this in the Midwest. My young, long-legged guide and I headed up a steep skidder trail for the better part of a mile to an area where we could look over some clear-cuts.
After over 20 years I can still remember the first time I headed out west to bowhunt. The 60-plus pound pack seemed to get heavier with each step I took deeper into the wilderness area, and after nearly 4 miles of steady climbing I finally reached the particular bowl I felt held promise. After setting up camp I stood in awe as I took in the vastness of the Creator’s awesome handiwork and dreamed of what I hoped would transpire in the coming days.
I’ve had some great Western hunting coaches that have tutored me in bear hunting. They’re locals, living in the areas that I’m traveling 1,500 miles to hunt. Their advice was to not get so far back into the wilderness and lock myself into one area...