CANADA: Black Bear With BC Trophy Mountain Outfitters

Red Leg

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Sunday, I returned from a week of hunting black bear approximately an hour and a bit out of Lillooet, British Columbia. This was my third hunting experience with Kevin Bracewell and his guides at BC Trophy Mountain Outfitters. My first trip, four years ago, was a highly successful hunt for mule deer during the November rut. Last year, I went in the spring for black bear, and had a great experience and took a wonderful cinnamon phase example of Ursus Americanus. This trip exceeded every expectation.

Upon arrival, the bears were just starting to appear after hibernation. For the first forty-eight hours we were encountering as many grizzlies as blacks - guaranteed to spice up a spot and stalk hunt. Approximately a third of the bears in this region sport color phases ranging from blond, through brown, to orangutan cinnamon. Late on day two, my guide and I spotted one of the latter, across a lake feeding on new grass. Not a huge animal, the color was compelling, and after a half-hour drive and kilometer stalk, we were positioned eighty meters above the bear. At the shot, he ran as if solidly hit. Upon reaching the shoreline, we saw him standing facing somewhat away at 185 yards. Assuming he was already hit, I wasted no time taking a shot off hand which dropped him instantly. I was surprised to find that the second shot - through the neck - was the only wound. Sometimes it is ok to be lucky. If you will just hit them, a 9.3x64 with a Swift A-Frame is a decisive load.



Two mornings later, we spotted a truly big black boar across the reservoir. This bear was in an area unreachable by roads and any hike would have been around ten miles on a down wind approach from the trail head. Not entirely practical. So, we decided upon an amphibious assault.

The reservoir was largely dry except for the Bridge river roaring through the middle of it (ready to deal with spring run-off). We hurried back to the ranch and dug out an old 12 foot skiff, a paddle, and an oar. We threw it all in the back of the truck and headed back down the lake for an evening look. Sure enough, at 5 pm the big black was back out feeding along the shoreline.

Thinking we might be able to pull off a stalk, shot, and recovery before dark, we threw caution to the winds and started carrying the boat 400 meters to the edge of the river. A mad battle against the current deposited us approximately 500 meters below and downwind from the boar. A careful stalk closed the distance to approximately 200 yards where I found a stump for a solid rest. the shot rolled him down the bank, but in a moment he was up and running. The second shot dropped him.

I know there are bigger black bears near agricultural areas, but this is the largest wilderness animal I have ever seen much less shot. We had to skin him on the shoreline. But head and cape with claws weighed 145 pounds back at the ranch. He is an honest seven-foot long black which I am confident weighed at least 375 pounds in spite of just emerging from hibernation. He is one of the finest animals that I have ever taken.



My partner, Rick, also took an excellent boar.

I cannot recommend more strongly Kevin Bracewell's operation in British Columbia. As noted, this was my third hunt with them, and I am contracted for a mountain goat hunt in the fall of 2019. Just terrific folks in spectacular country. http://www.bctrophymountainoutfitters.com/conservation-trips/hunting-trips/
 
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stug

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I don't know much about bears, but the second one certainly looks pretty big! Sounds like a great trip.
 

375 Ruger Fan

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Two bears in the bag...............nice!!!
 

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WOW two nice bears @Red Leg. Congrats on a fine hunt. Now to get the trophies home. Will you share with everyone that process and where you plan to have the taxidermy work done.
 

Red Leg

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For Canadian bear, I use a taxidermist in the Vancouver area by the name of Ray Wiens. I don't have the space for full-body bear mounts, so I do rugs. Ray does a nice job, and handles all the import export drill for a very small fee. When he has a shipment ready for the States, he physically walks it through customs and ships from the US side. As a result, that whole drill is a minimum cost addition to the taxidermy work. A refreshing business attitude after being so often taken to the cleaners on both sides of the Atlantic.
 

gillettehunter

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Beautiful bears and a GREAT tip on the taxidermist. Thanks Bruce
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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Well done @Red Leg! For the "amphibious assault", did you consider bringing in some SEALS for help? :) ;)
 

BRICKBURN

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That is one hell of a nice bear.
Congrats on surviving the boating adventure and the luck in getting it done on both counts.
 

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Congrats! Both bears look fantastic
 

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Dont´t know much about bears, but sounds like you had a great hunt, congrats !
 

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BnC 04

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Good looking bears! Congrats
 

sierraone

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For Canadian bear, I use a taxidermist in the Vancouver area by the name of Ray Wiens. I don't have the space for full-body bear mounts, so I do rugs. Ray does a nice job, and handles all the import export drill for a very small fee. When he has a shipment ready for the States, he physically walks it through customs and ships from the US side. As a result, that whole drill is a minimum cost addition to the taxidermy work. A refreshing business attitude after being so often taken to the cleaners on both sides of the Atlantic.
If only it were that easy to get them here from Africa! Gorgeous bears, especially the Cinnamon! Congratulations!
 

Royal27

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Congrats!

Great story as always and I've got to get a bear myself...

My cousin was in Canada at the same time as you and also booked through Jack. Thought y'all might have shared a camp for a second, but he was in Alberta.
 

Red Leg

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Congrats!

Great story as always and I've got to get a bear myself...

My cousin was in Canada at the same time as you and also booked through Jack. Thought y'all might have shared a camp for a second, but he was in Alberta.
Found Kevin's outfit through an auction six years ago. Have kept going back. Great folks and same guide every trip. Hope your cousin did well.
 

Royal27

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Found Kevin's outfit through an auction six years ago. Have kept going back. Great folks and same guide every trip. Hope your cousin did well.

He did. Two bears and the larger black one had a big white spot on his chest. Pretty cool.
 

rinehart0050

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Congrats on your majestic bears! Well done.
 

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A wonderful journey you had .
A strong black bear rug in good hair like yours is a great memory to the trip.
My outfitter from Canada sent me years before this pic and swored me, that this bear is still alive and waiting for me.
But my wife is hoping ,that I dont shoot bears .
She has absolutly no problem with other game,exeptional bears and cats ,they are protected in our household o_O
Foxi
Schwarzbär bei Wally.jpg
 

Red Leg

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Ich volles Verstandnis habe! Though, in my house it is not what I shoot, but where it hangs. The library, my bedroom, and of course, the game room/ guest house are places for hunting trophies. In our great room, we have a large fireplace which would look perfect with a large red stag above it - instead we have an impressionist's painting. We all make compromises for domestic tranquility.

That is a lovely bear. Good outfitters are like good salesman everywhere. They know just how to push the right buttons
 

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Congratulations on a wonderful trip and two great trophies R.L.

Your offhand shooting at 185 yards is admirable and what we expect from our Airborne Ranger's.;)(y)
 

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