Author Topic: Saskatchewan black bear hunt  (Read 1653 times)

Offline snapper

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2380
Saskatchewan black bear hunt
« on: May 14, 2023, 01:16:51 AM »
Shortly after I retired in 2019 I booked a black bear hunt with Otter Creek Outfitters in Saskatchewan.  They are located about 3 hours North of Saskatoon.

Due to Covid the CN/USA border closed and the hunt was cancelled in 2020 and 2021.   The hunt was also cancelled in 2022 as the result of a late Spring.

This year it finally happened.  It is a 20 hour drive each way for me to the outfitterís location.  I was looking forward to the drive across North Dakota and my first trip to Saskatchewan.  Both were very enjoyable.

I can not say enough good things about the outfitter, great communication, great food, clean and modern accommodations and outstanding guides.  I donít know that I will ever go on another hunt like this again, but if I did I would not hesitate to use this outfitter again.   They also do a whitetail deer hunt in the fall.

Out of the 10 guys in camp I was the only one using a ML.  I was using a percussion .73 cal. original English Sporting rifle that is not marked with the makerís name.  The outfitter told me that I was the first in his camp to use an original ML and he has not yet had anyone use a flintlock.  A lot of these guys use compound bows.
 
After 3 days of hunting, I wanted to dump my load and make sure that I had a fresh load in the rifle.   I felt very comfortable that the rifleís load would go off without an issue, but I wanted to make sure.

One of the guys in camp was from GA and he was excited to see me shoot my rifle.   So, I told him he was going to shoot it, not me.

There was a target board setup about 85 yards away.  He leaned against a tree and touched it off.   As we started down range to check his target you could see the hole that the 580 grain round ball made, and it was just one inch above dead center.  The shooter was ecstatic.   

I reloaded the dirty rifle and prepared to go hunting that afternoon.

Every afternoon I saw bears.   The first night I had 3 bears come in and one of them was larger then the other two.  He was tempting, but I really did not want to shoot a small bear.    Bears are very hard to determine size if you are not careful so I let them pass.

The next 2 nights I had only sows with yearlings so there were no temptation to shoot anything.

The fourth night I was in a new stand and had a sow with two yearling cubs come in right away.  The cubs were not very playful like the ones from the prior two nights.   If you have never hunted in the Spring over bait the yearlings are still with their mothers pre rut and are scared of everything and are also very curious and playful.   The slightest hint of danger finds them climbing the nearest tree at a speed that is unbelievable.

I had cubs climb up my tree several times out of fear and curiosity.  At first it is a little concerning.   When the sow starts climbing your tree that causes a little more apprehension.

On the fourth night around 6:30 pm the sow and cubs went on alert.   The cubs quickly climbed up tree right in front of me and the sow took off like a furry freight train.   I saw two different bears in the bush take off running.  The sow disappeared out of sight for a few minutes and then what I was sure was a boar came in.   The cubs while still in their tree and were clearly agitated at the new bear.   

I was trying to judge the size of the new bear but he was not cooperating.   The sow soon returned and he did not seem to really care.   She attacked the boar and they fought for a little bit, with the sow retreating back to the base of the tree with her cubs perched even higher up.

The boar came to the left of my stand and was at a fairly steep quartering way angle.   He stopped for a split second and I shot him.  He clearly was hit and staggered for 10 yards and fell over dead behind some bushes.  I reloaded as I always do, just in case.

I had to scare the sow and cubs away so that I could get down and make sure the boar was not suffering and access the situation.

The rifle delivered the round ball true to its sights and passed through the boar exiting his front chest.  I was very thankful for a good, quick and clean kill.

This was my third black bear hunt and first confirmed kill.   My first hunt only lasted one afternoon and I did not see any bears.  Second hunt I shot a bear with a .54 ML and never found the animal, and that was the only bear I saw on that trip.

I was surprised at how small the bear actually was.   He is certainly not a huge or even a large bear.  I was trying to make sure I did not shoot a small bear and had been studying pictures of bears of various ages.  The way he was fighting the sow and not backing down had me convinced that he was a mature dominate boar.

I wanted to try the meat even though a lot of people say that Spring bear meat is not any good.   My bear did not stink like the other bears killed this week so I brought home a few pounds of the meat.

After breakfast till 2 pm was free time so I went fishing each day.   There was a lake near by with a boat on it that had a good population of small northerns.   We ended up taking the boys from the South fishing for northerns for their first time and they really enjoyed it.   

Fleener






My taste are simple:  I am easily satisfied with the best.  Winston Churchill

Offline Daniel Coats

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1352
Re: Saskatchewan black bear hunt
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2023, 01:34:10 AM »
Congratulations! You'll be really glad you documented the story when the memory fades a bit. Nice job all around!

I've done a few trips like yours in Saskatchewan and had a great time. Picking the right bear is key like you said. They all look pretty big when they're full of air and their hair standing up
Dan

"Ain't no nipples on a man's rifle"

Offline dadybear1

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 143
Re: Saskatchewan black bear hunt
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2023, 02:38:28 AM »
CONGRATS---IVE ALWAYS HEARD THEY WERE TOP OF LINE OUTFITTERS---ALWAYS WANTED TO GO---THANKS FOR THE STORY/AND SHARING YOUR MEMORIES--JEFF

Offline Austin

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 467
  • Austin Paul
Re: Saskatchewan black bear hunt
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2023, 04:29:09 AM »
Thatís pretty cool!
Eat Beef

Offline Jeff Murray

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 602
Re: Saskatchewan black bear hunt
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2023, 07:19:39 AM »
Sounds like a great hunt.  The cub neighbors were an added treat.

Offline alacran

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2192
Re: Saskatchewan black bear hunt
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2023, 01:09:03 PM »
Congratulations. Nice bear and gun.
A man's rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.  Frederick Douglass

Offline Daryl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15380
Re: Saskatchewan black bear hunt
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2023, 06:32:11 PM »
I agree. if a bear will be good eating, it will likely be a young one like that. Looks like a
typical 4 year old bear to me.
Good stuff. - good shot, VERY nice rifle.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline flatsguide

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 775
Re: Saskatchewan black bear hunt
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2023, 12:12:04 AM »
Congratulations Art! Nice story. Nice that your rifle still has life in her. Iíll bet the guy that shot it was pretty surprised at the accuracy.
Cheers Richard

Offline bob in the woods

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4548
Re: Saskatchewan black bear hunt
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2023, 02:08:50 AM »
I have found Spring bears to be delicious. They haven't had time to feed on much more than fresh greens, unlike the Fall, when they'll feed on just about anything .Here in the hard woods, we get them fattened on acorns etc so they are usually nice and fat and tasty then too

Online okawbow

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 865
Re: Saskatchewan black bear hunt
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2023, 02:35:50 AM »
The tales about spring bear meat not being any good, are just put out by outfitters and hunters too lazy to properly do the butchering and packaging the meat. Bear meat is delicious. Iíve taken spring bears with a longbow, and rate the meat at the top of my list.
As in life; itís the journey, not the destination. How you get there matters most.

Offline Osprey

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1343
  • Roaming Delmarva...
Re: Saskatchewan black bear hunt
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2023, 03:04:29 AM »
Congrats, looks like a great hunt and fun time!!
"Any gun built is incomplete until it takes game!"

Offline Brokennock

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 659
Re: Saskatchewan black bear hunt
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2023, 04:36:50 AM »
Excellent, congratulations.
Thank you for sharing, and it was wonderfully written too.

Offline old george

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 698
Re: Saskatchewan black bear hunt
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2023, 11:38:41 PM »
WTG Snapper, great story to accompany the pictures. Cherish the memory.

george
I cannot go to Hades: Satan has a restraining order against me. :)

Offline BOB HILL

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2250
Re: Saskatchewan black bear hunt
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2023, 02:24:32 AM »
Art, thanks for sharing your hunt with us.
Bob
South Carolina Lowcountry

Offline smylee grouch

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7786
Re: Saskatchewan black bear hunt
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2023, 04:39:51 AM »
Nice writeup Snapper. I have eaten several bears both spring and fall, all were good. Bears are notorious for being hard to judge. In the spring with extra long winter hair just makes it that much harder

Online Keith Zimmerman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 698
Re: Saskatchewan black bear hunt
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2023, 10:45:59 AM »
Congrats.  Very cool story and pics.  How much did it weigh?

Offline greatnyben

  • Starting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Saskatchewan black bear hunt
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2023, 11:39:22 AM »
Thank you for sharing your hunt with us. How much did it weigh?

Offline snapper

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2380
Re: Saskatchewan black bear hunt
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2023, 03:31:06 PM »
Less then 200 lbs

Fleener
My taste are simple:  I am easily satisfied with the best.  Winston Churchill

Offline flatsguide

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 775
Re: Saskatchewan black bear hunt
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2023, 07:19:46 AM »
Nicely done Art! Good shot and a clean kill with a nice rifle.
CheersRichard

Offline Pukka Bundook

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3391
Re: Saskatchewan black bear hunt
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2023, 04:39:20 PM »
Nicely done all the way around Art!
The rifle would be made for large thin skinned game most likely, and worked a treat for you!

Congrats!