CANADA: Saskatchewan Black Bear Hunt May 2024

I have found when it comes to bear meat and eating it depends on what bear has been feeding on. Our mnt bears taste good after a summer of wild blueberries, Forbes and grasses. The ones that live down in the river valleys not so much with their diet of half rotten salmon. The back loins from my grizzlies was also OK. I like wild game meat rare so eating bear is normally not what I do. Many people take willingly. I do use the lard/fat rendered down to make winter wild bird food suet cakes. Also 100% correct on the worms, I once shot a mnt bear, got skinned and home hanging in garage. I was in total shock the next morning when there was a pile of slow squirming worms on concrete below. My buddy still came and picked up, months later when he handed me a bag of peperoni I did eat but those worms were in forefront of my mind every bite.

MB
 
Ok, ok...so we are into day 4 of the hunt and the weather has detoriated into cold rain and mud everywhere. Some of the 6 wheel ATVs have gotten stuck and the Gore-Tex and muck boots are regular companions. By the way, you should always take something like crocs or indoor shoes to bear camp. You won't be wearing mud boots into the living areas.

We've also watched as 4 of the 10 hunters have wounded and lost their bears. 3 of the 4 have bought back in at $900 penalty each. There are also 4 bears recovered but nothing large. Every day we are reviewing game cameras and finding mature bears at every bait we are using. Some are seeing 10-15 bears a day but mostly sows or young bears in the daylight. The jumbos are basically nocturnal but are showing up on camera.

One thing that needs mentioned is I have been practicing a repeatable cheek weld all week in the stand with my iron sights. I might have to take a shot in very poor lighting. So I practice that cheek weld with my eyes closed and then open to see if the sights are lined up. I practice that from different positions until I'm repeating consistently with the sights lined up correctly, more by feel than anything.

I go for my 4th evening sit and I'm thinking about how bad the weather is going to be on the last day (tomorrow). I'm really hopeful that tonight the chocolate will give me a chance. By now, the ladder stand is an old friend and I have my routine sorted out. I can get situated quickly and sit quietly for many hours. One thing that helps is knowing that we are getting a little later sunset each day. It's now around 9pm and we have an extra 30 min of legal time after that.

Nothing is moving and it's quiet as the storm clouds gather to dump a good rain that night and the next day. It's 9pm and the sun sets but I'm still watching for the ninja in fur pajamas. Whoa...he starts slipping down the hill at 9:20 and it's dark under the trees. He comes and lays down behind the bait barrel and I can see his ears sticking up through the binos. Come on man...he leaves and circles back...time is running out. Now he stands in front of the bait barrel and I confirm 2x which way he is facing in the dark that is increasing. I raise the rifle and get back into that cheek weld that I've been practicing. I aim at the white bucket on the ground just in front of his nose. I come back to the left past his head and then think, just a little more to the left to get past the neck and into the shoulders. He is standing still and I squeeze the trigger shooting a big flame in the dark. He quickly swaps ends and goes back to my left. I reload and listen to him breaking through the brush. He makes a loud blowing sound and everything stops. I look at my watch and it's 9:30...end of legal time.

At this point, my legs start to shake and I play it back in my mind...it's not ideal but it's the best shot I can make under the circumstances. Did I come back far enough into the body? I know that I didn't go too far but did I cover the shoulders? I call the head guide and tell him to come quickly. He says I know you want to track it but just wait and we will do it together. The next 30 min was difficult but honest to God, I stayed in the stand and waited. I did NOT want to be pushing a wounded bear and losing him like the others in camp.

Blair arrives and we both go to the bait. There is a big splash of blood on the offside where the bait barrel is...so I got an exit wound. We turn the headlamps on and slowly walk to the left...lots of blood...and Blair shouts there he is!!! Dead 20 yards from the bait. Relief washes over me and we slap each other on the back...then we just stand there looking at him for a few minutes. We turn him over and see that I have centered the shoulders and gotten the exit. It looks like the exact shot placement I would have taken in the daylight but I know I'm a little lucky this time. I think about that as we load him into the ATV and make the long drive back to camp.

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Green Chile, great memories. Thank you for taking us on your hunt! It was very enjoyable.
 
For those who are curious about bringing home bear trophies from Canada, it's quite simple. Put theclocking tag on the bear hide and fold it up tight to reduce the size...freeze it in a trash bag...put that in a cooler and you check it as excess baggage. You have your paper tag that corresponds with the locking tag if requested but this time, no one asked me to show that tag. Oddly, this time US CBP did NOT ask for our 4457's on the re-entry. You should however always have that info ready to show.
 

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Buffalo encounter this morning!

here with available dates for 2024/25

1-13 September 2024
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1-7 November 2024
18-24 November 2024

March 2025 is wide open!
12-17 April 2025
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October and November 2025 is wide open!
Bill J H wrote on gearguywb's profile.
Do you still have this rifle? I'm in the KC area on business and I'm very interested.
Safari Dave wrote on CoElkHunter's profile.
I didn't get drawn for Wyoming this year.




Are you planning to hunt Unit 4 this fall?



(Thinking about coming out)
 
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