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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just returned from the northern Ontario bush after a successful spring hunt at Lake Herridge Lodge in Temagami Ontario. Spring has been very slow to spring up there and that was obvious when we arrived. The trees were just starting to leaf out and the ice just left the lakes the second week in May. The guides said the bear were slowly starting to transition from greens and were inconsistent on the baits.

Our group of seven hunters had 4 from Pennsylvania, 1 from Ohio, 1 from Nebraska, and 1 from Texas. We were all hunting with crossbows. Arrival day was Saturday, and on Sunday morning we had the mandatory meeting with the guides and range time to make sure all of the bows were still shooting x's. After a hearty lunch we all hit the stands for the first sit Sunday evening.

I was sitting a bait that was one of the closer baits, but still several miles into the bush. The bait was 17 yards and I had a good feeling about the site. The wind was in my face and the brush that the guides stack up around the barrel was smashed down. The guide freshened everything up and I settled in for the 6 hour sit. Its an odd feeling sitting by yourself in the wild bush of northern Canada. I saw my first Snowshoe Hare and Canadian Gray Jay.

I looked at my watched at 6 o'clock and looked up to see a bear pop up out of the valley behind the bait. He stood there for a bit looking over the area as I dared not move. Then he started slowly walking in. Much to my surprise he walked right past the bait and stopped at 8 yards to put his nose into the ground on the path I walked in on. He then followed by boot tracks right to the bottom of my ladder stand that was only 8 feet high. He sniffed the ladder then looked right up at me. I kept frozen until he backed away and sniffed around to my left and my right, apparently trying to figure out what the new scent was by his bait. He eventually settled down and worked back to the bait, stopping at 14 yards to give me one last look.

The Ravin was just behind the shoulder and the arrow took him perfectly quartering away. He growled and took off on a death run. After a low death moan, the bush was again silent. I texted the guides and they were there in 30 minutes to meet me at the bottom of the stand. I could see blood from my tree. They had me stay at the original hit as they tracked the bear into the thick bush. At 40 yards, I heard them yelling "hey bear" "hey bear" and soon thereafter one of the guides came back and began pumping his fist and waving me to come. It was a quiet celebration in the bush with lots of hand shakes. We quietly tied him to a pole and slipped out of the area.

He was a beautiful early season boar with a nice thick coat. It is quite surreal to slide your hand through the hair a wild bush bear. What a majestic creature. He was #225-250 live weight. The arrow caught him perfectly behind the near shoulder and exited low on the other shoulder.

I love the north country. A land that is still wild being roamed by some of our creators greatest beasts. A land that I hate leaving for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
On the way hone, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources was running a game and fish check station before we crossed the border. They were a great group of officers. Very pleasant and cordial. They checked my license, tag, and export permit, then inspected the bear meat and head. After that, their service dog did a walk around all of our gear. Afterwards, the officers said they were targeting fisherman that were harvesting and transporting bass which are not in season yet. After some hand shakes and congratulation, they sent us on our way to the border crossing.
 

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That's a great looking bear. For spring the hide looks great.
I always wanted to do a houseboat rental trip out of Temagami Ontario.
 

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Awesome read and congrats man ! Do you have any other protection on you when you’re out in the Bush ? Bear mace or a firearm ?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Awesome read and congrats man ! Do you have any other protection on you when you’re out in the Bush ? Bear mace or a firearm ?
Thanks. Nope! The guide, owner, and locals up there think we are crazy for hunting them with only bows and knives on us. It is certainly a cool experience when they are 3 feet from your boots looking at you deep in the bush.
 

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congrats dpms ! your story mirrored mine in 1998. the very first sit i had one walk in slowly towards my ladderstand and actually had his front paws on the second rung of the ladder looking up at me. after a few minutes he slowly walked away. i got to full draw when he was behind a tree. in under an hour the hunt was over.that was before cell phone convenience. they dropped us off by boat on the french river. i got the bear down to the edge of the water by myself since they werent going to pick me up til dark.the funny part was that i was exhausted from driving most of the night , so i fell asleep using it for a pillow. lol .
 

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Congrats dpms! I've been anxiously awaiting your return and story. Great bear... that's the way to do it, first night!

BTW, my buddy Pete stayed on with Bob the week after I left and killed a nice 150lb boar with his crossbow. The camp had two big groups in and went 14 for 18 that week.
 

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1st night success, can't beat that! Congrats on a great trip/trophy. Nice pics and story. Thanks for sharing!!

How did the rest of the gang do?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It was a slow week with the late spring. Bear movement was very inconsistent and mostly nocturnal. Surrounding outfitters experienced the same thing.

We had 7 hunters. 2 kills. One miss and one encounter with a giant that never offered a shot. 3 hunters did not see a bear. Last year we went 7/7 there.

Fishing is not great on the main lake where the lodge is. The lake is very deep with little structure. There are 3 other lakes that can be portaged into for better fishing. I ventured back into one and managed several pike and bass in a few hours. I did not venture back there much as one of the baits that the giant bear bear was on was near the portage so I didn't want to mess that hunter up with his hunt.
 

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Nice reveiw, thanks for sharing, and congrats on your bear!

Personally, I'd rather get one on the last day instead of the first. Just think of all the fun you missed by not being in the stand all week.
 

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Congratulations! That is a nice bear, you can really see it has a nice coat on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Personally, I'd rather get one on the last day instead of the first. Just think of all the fun you missed by not being in the stand all week.
Certainly more down time when you shoot one the first night but it was a bear I couldn't pass up. I ended up having lots of fun the rest of the week, though. It was just a different kind of fun, which was certainly welcome. Sitting around with the guides while the hunters are out. Fishing. Having some cocktails. It was all good.
 
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