Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

Thread: 2019 Stickbow Spring Bear

  1. #1
    Has all the answers

    User Info Menu

    Default 2019 Stickbow Spring Bear

    These writeups always end up getting longer than I plan, so I've added plenty of pics to help break it up.
    Recently returned from our 3rd effort at DIY spring bear. Had a absolutely fantastic week, with perfect cool temperatures, relatively few bugs, and some great times with great friends. I'll say, this was my favourite trip yet.
    We didn't make any "major" changes this year. Same crown land area. Same camper trailer setup with water in the tank and 12v battery for power. We did decide to ramp up the volume of bait this year tho. 10 barrels between 6 sites, for 4 hunters. A long way from 3 years ago when it was 3 barrels on 3 sites. We added a "camp bait". A site with a single barrel about 1.5kms from the camping spot that would be a convenient walk for anybody in the group. (We don't bring ATVs on the hunt trip).

    A big upgrade this year was the addition of several cellular trailcams. Last year we spent a full day re-bait trip, only to find almost all baits still full. Nothing like taking bait on a 1000km round trip drive for nothing.



    3 of us made the initial bait day trip on May 11th with my truck & 14ft trailer loaded with a heaping bed full of popcorn, 6 totes + buckets of whole corn, 10 bags of dogfood, 4 prefilled barrels with popcorn/dogfood, and plenty of stuff for flavour/scent. (Molassis, anise oil spray, peppermint spray, honey, chocolate syrup, fryer oil, beaver castor, jello powder, marshmallows, cake mix).





    Now, I'm personally not a fan of how much technology is in the woods these days. Long range bow technology, electronic gadgets that trick an animal's sense of smell, and now, cameras that tell you right away when game is infront of them.
    That said....boy it sure was pretty darn cool to receive pics of bears hitting our baits 500kms away. And it was handy to know that we wouldn't be wasting our time & money driving up to re-bait unnecessarily.

    First site was hit within 24hrs.


    The second (a new spot I had scouted last year) the following day. This was the only site to have fresh bear scat on it prior to setting baits. So i knew it wouldn't be long.


    With signal strength in the area being 1 to 3 bars, the cameras were NOT reliable. And some stopped communicating altogether shortly after the first few photo transfers. The one at my new bait stopped transmitting, but we could see the battery draining and SD card filling, from the information screen on the spypoint app. At one point, we received a notification that 3610 photos were being transmitted, but they never did. Also, POOR SIGNAL = POOR BATTERY LIFE. 2 weeks later(May 25th), on our re-bait trip, all cell cams needed new batteries! 5 of 6 sites were active, with several barrels completely cleaned out. 10's of thousands of pics on the SD cards. With fresh batteries, we received pics of bears back on baits before we'd made it home.


    Between trips, I'd made myself up a poor-mans bear target with some rigid foam I had lying around. The 'strugglestick' I'd be carrying this year was a 52# Stalker Stickbows Coyote FXT recurve I'd purchased over the winter. Green and grey actionwood, some cocobolo veneers, and bamboo cores in the static tip limbs. I've been a fan of Stalker Stickbows for a while and got a chance to meet the owner/bowyer, South Cox, last summer at the Eastern Traditional Archery Rendezvous in Pennsylvania, and try out a few models. (Side note: This video of his is definitely worth a watch if you haven't seen it! ) https://youtu.be/delpRPw4haI




    My bullets this year were 32" BE Deep Impacts 350spine with 250grain VPA 3 blade heads (1 1/4" wide). I'm a fan of these. Very durable carbon steel heads, easy to sharpen, CNC machined from a single peice of material. Badass heads. They can rust, but not if you take care of them properly.


    A week or so later we head up with camper and all our gear, including a chest freezer & generator, for our 6 day hunt. The biggest bear on our cameras was around the 300lbs mark, cleaned a barrel out in a few days, and left 2 weeks prior to our hunt. A few other decent bears in the 200's appeared on camera intermittently. This area seems to have a decent amount of bears for sure, but we've never really seen anything BIG here yet.
    The challenge this spring was the plague of sow+cubs. 4 of the 6 sites had sow+cubs on camera.


    On multiple occasions, one buddy in the group was stuck in the stand at dark by a sow, popping her jaws and not leaving the bait. Lesson learned for next year...Everyone will be packing slingshots. I'm told, smacking those pissy sows on the rump with a marble will do the trick.


    My first sit was eventful within the first couple hours. A small bear cautiously entered the area and gave me that first bit of excitement for the year. Not long after that bear left, a larger boar circled into the bait. I hummed and hawed. He left. Then came back. Then left again.




    Looking at the photos I'd just taken, I started to think to myself... that's a good bear. Why the heck didn't I shoot that bear? I convince myself that if he comes back a 3rd time, I won't hesitate. And I didn't. The bear started slowly coming in again after circling for a while, stepped infront of the barrels eventually offering a perfect broadside 16 yard shot, and I took it.
    Shot looked good. Pulled up the video on a GoPro I had running. Watched it a few times over and over. Whooops....... That's not the same bear! It was a different bear that I hadn't seen yet that day. Watched in slow-mo it looked like the bear turned quickly at the shot, causing the arrow to hit a little further back than I'd like. Climbed down and found my broadhead and broken arrow shaft barried in the dirt after passing thru the bear. With temps dropping to 6 that night, we decided we would play it safe and come back in the morning.


    The following morning it was blood trailing on our hands and knees, literally. A couple hours of following specks here and there, and we found my bear. A few quick photos, field dressed, then skinned & quartered back at camp, and into the freezer.




    It would be our only bear for the trip. Everyone had opportunities. Everyone passed on bears. One buddy, new to shooting a compound, shot under a dandy bear and missed an opportunity on another good one. A truly BIG bear was spotted on the last day by one of the guys, but he'd swung downwind and must've decided that the sow that was on the bait with her cubs, wasn't worth it for him just yet. He turned and left.

    Lessons learned this year:
    - measure the bait.
    We eye-balled the volume of bait on the initial trip and ended up bringing home A LOT of it. Dumb move on our part. Need to be better organized in the future.
    - we decided to go trailer-less on the re-bait trip and just loaded my buddy's pick up box up with a heaping pile of bait, and didn't have room for our hand cart. Big mistake. It rained all day. The dog food bags didn't hold up. And the bait didn't get any lighter on our backs for 11kms that day.
    - slingshots, as explained earlier
    - wingnuts for barrel clamp ring bolts. We wasted a lot of time walking back to the truck with the wrong tools to open barrels this year.
    - add a standard trail cam to each site. The cell cams reliability can't be trusted when signal strength is low, which kills the batteries.
    - and always bring a tire plug kit. Turns out those green slime things don't work on a full-size truck tire. My buddy managed 2 punctures this week on his Ram. We were smart enough to bring 12v air compressors(x2), but not smart enough to remember a single plug kit.

    So, it's time to start looking forward to 2019 deer season. And in the distance, a 2020 bear adventure with more successes and more good times.

    Cheers, and happy hunting
    Last edited by LowbanksArcher; June 14th, 2019 at 05:21 PM.
    A trophy is in the eye of the bow holder

  2. # ADS
    Advertisement
    ADVERTISEMENT
     

  3. #2
    Needs a new keyboard

    User Info Menu

    Default

    Great story and congrats on the bear! I know exactly what you mean about the write up turning out longer than you intended, I always do the same.

    One of these seasons I'll have to put together a spring bear hunt. Looks like a lot of fun.

    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

  4. #3
    Member for Life

    User Info Menu

    Default

    It sounded like a great trip, awesome report, thanks for sharing, love reading stuff like this
    "Everything is easy when you know how"
    "Meat is not grown in stores"

  5. #4
    Has all the answers

    User Info Menu

    Default

    hey thanks for posting all those pictures and the details. baiting bears can be alot of fun. i've never shot one but had a heck of a fun time baiting and having them elude me. great you connected!

  6. #5
    Needs a new keyboard

    User Info Menu

    Default

    Great report. Loved it. Congrats on a great hunt.

    One of the best posts in a dogs age. Beats the crap out the pissing matches that seem to be the status quo lately.
    They say a man turns old when sorrow and regret take the place of hope and dreams

  7. #6
    Has all the answers

    User Info Menu

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Species8472 View Post
    Great report. Loved it. Congrats on a great hunt.

    One of the best posts in a dogs age. Beats the crap out the pissing matches that seem to be the status quo lately.
    Much appreciated. It's actually the thorough threads you've put together, detailing your diy bear hunts, that got the gears turning in our heads years ago about doing something similar like this. I only wish we'd started sooner. Such a great time
    A trophy is in the eye of the bow holder

  8. #7
    Apprentice

    User Info Menu

    Default

    Great story and bear. Congrats

  9. #8
    Post-a-holic

    User Info Menu

    Default

    Great write up and story. Tks for sharing. Seems like we never stop learning from our adventures. I'm curious if anyone had any regrets passing up on some shots or will there be a fall hunt as well?

    Cheers
    Smitty

    Straight shooter

  10. #9
    Has all the answers

    User Info Menu

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by smitty55 View Post
    Great write up and story. Tks for sharing. Seems like we never stop learning from our adventures. I'm curious if anyone had any regrets passing up on some shots or will there be a fall hunt as well?

    Cheers
    Thanks smitty. I don't think there are any regrets on bears passed. Last year, we had additional tags (wmu47), so that would have been a different story. This year, no additionals in the area, and yes, a couple of the guys are planning to head back up in the fall.
    Now, there was a chipshot opportunity on a bear who's back was above the top of a standing barrel, that was missed because the hunter was busy setting up his phone on video mode. That...might be a regret. . But hopefully he'll get another crack at him in September.
    A trophy is in the eye of the bow holder

  11. #10
    Member for Life

    User Info Menu

    Default

    Thanks for posting,LBA. That sure looked like a hoot.
    Socialism has an entrance and an exit. Vote your way in and shoot your way out.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •