Article & Photos by Clay Newcomb By the 1940s, it was believed that less than 50 bears remained in the entire state and were located near the White River. However, significant bear sign was also reported by trappers in the western Ouachitas around the turn of the century. However, between 1954 and 1964 the AGFC traded bass and wild turkey with Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Canada for 254 black bears, which were relocated into Arkansas. The bears were hauled in pickup trucks with wire cages built in the pickup bed, usually hauling multiple bears at a time. What a sight that would have been to see a pickup full of live bears!
By Timothy Fowler For the life of me, I can't remember if I was cutting black-tipped fur or splitting cartilage between the deer’s ribs and sternum, but I'll never forget the moment I realized there was a Buck Vanguard knife buried up to the hilt, in my thigh.
By Al Raychard For all practical purposes the Canadian border is now open. While it is now possible for fully vaccinated hunters to enter Canada, they should check if they are eligible and meet all requirements.
By Timothy Fowler Bella Twin was a calm, quiet, clear-headed Cree woman with a trap line. May 10, 1957, she killed a massive grizzly bear with her Cooey Ace #1 .22. That was near Slave Lake, Alberta, and the bear Twin killed turned out to be a world record that stood for a good long time.
By John Baugus Early April found me slipping quietly along the top of a hardwood ridge looking and listening for any sign of wild turkeys. At an elevation of 3000 feet, some of the trees had small green buds preparing to burst with color, but many of the larger oaks still looked as dormant as they did in the dead of winter.
By Jake Horton Spring bear hunting has become a prevalent time to chase bruins on public land throughout different parts of the United States. At least nine states offer a variety of spring bear hunts, including Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Arizona, Alaska, and Maine. This time of year can be some of the highest opportunities to harvest a bear in these difficult-to-hunt states comprised of thick mountains and dense timber.
By Brian Strickland | @backcountry_brian Although tough hunting adventures come and go, Montana black bears have certainly been my Achilles heel of late. I’ve climbed the mountains of northwest Montana the past three springs looking for black gold, even making the long trip twice in one season, and have ended up coming home with pocket change and memories. It’s not the bears’ fault or even mine most of the time.
By Chelsea Hansler With the onset of spring, the anticipation was high as we loaded the dog box for the start of another bear season. A familiar routine that we execute the same as most days prior and certainly seasons before on a variety of game. Despite the familiarity with a day that we have seen countless times, this season felt a little different. The kids were alongside us with the schools cancelled once again, six month puppies were loading into the dog box for their first time and there was a sense of contentment in our new found adventure at our cabin.
By John Hayes Clay Newcomb reached out to me with a picture of his bear that he had just gotten back from another artist, having questions about some spots that were on his bear. He sent me some pictures and from there I realized his bear had been severely damaged during the skinning and shaving process, leaving it with bald spots all over its head and body. Clay wanted to turn his trophy bear into a rug, so he asked if there was anything we could do to repair it. He brought us his bear, and once receiving it I saw there was an immense amount of damage done- from there the repair process started.
By Al Raychard Based on my own personal experiences there are a number of reasons why hunting Idaho holds such a dear place in my heart. There’s the memories of successful hunts, of friends made, of riding mules into the backcountry and of camping in those remote places under ebony skies speckled with stars so bright it seems you can reach out and grab them, of the scent of spruce and fir and wood smoke on a chilled night at high elevation, of those remote places where bears grow old and big and have seen few humans. But, from the perspective of a hunter planning a bear hunt there are other reasons why Idaho is, as its nickname states, such a “gem.”