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Thread: 2021 DIY Spring Bear - my personal best

  1. #1
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    Default 2021 DIY Spring Bear - my personal best

    This was my year. Last spring I helped a couple friends get some awesome bears down and passed on 9 different bears myself while just enjoying the camp and recovery of their animals. But this year, I really wanted to get one down myself.

    Planning and preparation started over the winter. With an 18 month old son at home, and a 4 1/2 yr old daughter, leaving home for the bait trips 5 hours north and the hunt trip was starting to push it a bit. I decided to go all-in on my favourite bait location and put together a bait setup that would last for weeks. Cut my efforts down to only the initial bait trip and have the bait last until the hunt weeks later.
    The past 2 years, the biggest bears have been cleaning out 1 or 2 full roller barrels in a few days, then leaving and never coming back. I wanted to make them work harder for it this year.

    Baited my spot on May 23rd. 3 barrels and the setup is explained in the video below. I soaked some tampons in anise oil and hung them up 20ft in the air. Generous amounts of sweets, syrups, and a little fryer oil.


    https://youtu.be/IwulRUGlkY4

    First bear was on the bait that same day. Hadn't even gotten home yet and the cellcam sent pics of a bear checking out the new setup.



    I kept the pictures to a minimum. 30 mins delay and only taking pictures during daylight (at first). I'm not paying for a plan so just using the free 100 pics the spypoint gives you per month. I just wanted to see that the roller barrels were moving, and food was still there.









    Nearly 2 weeks later, we head up for a 3 day hunt. First sit Thursday June 3rd. No sightings. Overall, bear activity had been slower this year than previous springs. I heard a bear come in, then stop, and sniff the air. And that's it. He stayed there til dark. Periodically I'd hear a stick break but that's all.
    At dark, I walk to the bait and transfer bait from one barrel to another that's easier for the bears to get bait out of. Left a shirt and my harness in the tree. Along with thermocell. I wanted to leave all the scents that I bring in up there for bears to get used to.



    Friday's sit I hear some action earlier on. Sticks breaking and a black mass approaches the bait. As it finally steps out into the open I miss my opportunity for a broadside shot by wasting time judging whether the bear is big enough. It most certainly is, but I miss my opportunity. It spends a minute laying behind a barrel eating and then walks off without ever giving me a shot.



    I assume I've just blown my opportunity for the year. It's about an hour later before another big bear appears on the trail that I walked in on. He approaches a bit, stops, pops his jaws, and moans and wines like a hungry dog. He backs out and begins to swing downwind behind me, as they do.



    I'm expecting him to swing into the bait as the first beer did, but instead he comes closer to my stand. I'm only about 8ft off the ground, and he starts to walk towards me to about 8 yards. I duck to get my 60" Bob Lee recurve under a branch and put tension on the string. He looks up at me and begins to turn, and I know he's planning to bolt out of there. I wasn't going to let him. Come to full draw, anchor, and a release as he's quartering away. I wasn't 100% sure of where the arrow hit do to the close range. I felt it was a tad back. I didn't even look for the arrow. Tip toed out of there for the night.

    Returned the following morning as a light rain is starting. 4 of us on a poor blood trail. Finding a spec of blood here and there before the blood trail finally opens up 75 yards away. It wasn't looking promising until there he was. 113m from the stand location as the crow flies. I would not have found this bear alone with this bloodtrail. 4 sets of eyes made the difference. The arrow had entered behind the ribs and exited out the arm pit. Pass thru. 52lbs @ 28" recurve. 760gr arrow. 1 1/4" 250gr heads that I'd starpened with a home made jig to a 41° bevel. Polished edge.



    Some surface rust had started on the carbon steel head overnight, but was still able to shave with it.

    Not a very heavy bear, but very good for this area, and a great size skull on him. Definitely my personal best.

    Best of luck to anyone still hunting this spring.

    Cheers,
    Mike





    Last edited by LowbanksArcher; June 7th, 2021 at 08:10 PM.
    A trophy is in the eye of the bow holder

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  3. #2
    Getting the hang of it

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    Awesome set up! The hard work paid off.

    Beauty of a bear. Congrats.
    "The special mark of the modern world is not that it is skeptical, but that it is dogmatic without knowing it" -G.K. Chesterton


  4. #3
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    More pics









    A trophy is in the eye of the bow holder

  5. #4
    Needs a new keyboard

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    Outstanding! I really enjoyed the read and the flow of the post.

    I'm sure it was an immensely rewarding hunt between the time constraints at home and the efforts you had to put into it. Recurve to boot! Way to go!

    Sent from my SM-A520W using Tapatalk
    "where a man feels at home, outside of where he's born, is where he's meant to go"
    ​- Ernest Hemingway

  6. #5
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    Great read and videos thanks for sharing. I'm going to change atleast one of my barrel setups for next year. Hopefully prolonging some of my bait.
    Congrats on your bear looks like a dandy.
    Go where you feel most alive

  7. #6
    Borderline Spammer

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    Excellent report, outstanding hunt. Thanks for sharing, and Congrats!
    “Think safety first and then have a good hunt.”
    - Tom Knapp -

  8. #7
    Apprentice

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    Congrats on the bear. Great positive attitude for the whole hunt, start to finish. Makes all the difference.

  9. #8
    Has all the answers

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    Wow that was awesome congrats. Great photo
    You're only as good as your first shot of the day. Know your limitations and make it count.
    ...FC 2012

  10. #9
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    Awesome hunt, videos, stories, hints & tips. Beats watching CITR . Your hard work paid off . This year is really cutting it close to end of spring bear season. Congratulations on that beauty !!

  11. #10
    Has too much time on their hands

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    You the boss MK. Congrats and great write up. I'm still out there chasing. My set up is halfazzed this year and only have one bait set up. Bears on it but only one shooter.
    They say a man turns old when sorrow and regret take the place of hope and dreams

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