When Steve West from Steve’s Outdoor Adventures invited me to British Columbia to hunt Black Bears for his television show and my future Pursue the Wild television show with outfitter Sean Beswick, I immediately started packing my bags anxious to get into the backcountry.
Crossing over the Canadian border was like turning on a wildlife switch. There were elk seemingly everywhere. Cows preparing to calf and bulls growing antlers for the year were heartily grazing on the tender spring grasses that decorated the roadside.
After 12 long hours on the road, traveling through Oregon, Washington and Idaho, I finally arrived in Cranbrook BC to get a night’s rest before beginning my pursuit of British Columbian bruins.
With spring late in her arrival, the mountains were once again dusted with a blanket of snow during the night. Bound for the Royal Kootenay Mountain range, my Excursion tore up the 90 minutes of muddy bumpy roads up the spectacular Palliser River Valley.
|Height of the Rockies Lodge|
Finding the whole place intoxicating and I could hardly wait to get out and get hunting. Steve having two bear tags and me having one to fill, we started the first evening with a trip to the range to making sure that our weapons were spot on.
|This Grizzly Bear was digging up and feeding on roots.|
The Black bears made their appearance midway up the mountain at snow line and in the low laying valleys and river bottoms feeding on fresh green grass shoots and patrolling the avalanches in hopes of finding the carcass of a fallen animal caught in the wrath of Mother Nature.
|Glassing clear cuts, logging roads & snow slides.|
|Cow Elk were virtually everywhere feeding in the clear cuts.|
We were quick to spot a bear in the road grazing on the bright green grasses. I set up on the shooting sticks, ready to take my shot when another bear suddenly appeared out of the dark timber. Wanting to make sure that this was not a sow and cub, I let down and proceeded to close the distance on the two bears.
Slowly creeping up the old road, hugging the side of the mountain, we were sure to stay out of sight of the two bears. With the wind in our favor, we were finally able to determine that this was a boar excitedly chasing a sow.
Once again, I set up to take my shot on the large boar. As luck would have it, one of the legs on my shooting sticks had come loose and collapsed underneath me, just as the bears became aware of our presence.
While trying to get my shooting sticks stabilized, the sow stood on her hind legs curiously with the attempt at getting a better look at us. Following the lead of the boar they both headed down the mountainside into deep timber and out of sight.
It had all happened so quickly, my chance had come and gone. Every hunter has felt the frustration that I was experiencing, where you are so close to getting it right and then Murphy’s Law kicks in.
Knowing we were in prime time for spotting more bears, we continued to hike down the old road towards another clear cut with the hopes of spotting another bear. After glassing the cut without spotting a bruin, we started our hike back to the truck.
Suddenly, we spotted a bear in the timber. I readied my gun and prepared to take a shot just as the bear took off deeper into the timber and out of sight, unknowing that there was a second bear less than 30 yards from me locked in and staring. The bear was just out of sight due to the steep decline of the mountain. Simultaneously the bear and I inched towards each other; there we met eye to eye.
|This mature boar had massive paws.|
After celebrating the success of a thrilling hunt with handshakes and hugs, I reflected back on the hunt with fondness. On the steep face of the royal Kootenay Mountains, one of the most beautiful places on earth, with the help of knowledgeable guides and great friends at my side, I was able to harvest a beautiful trophy and take home fresh meat for my freezer. It just doesn’t get any better than that.
|A special thanks goes out to Under Armour, Swarovski Optik, Nosler, and Eberlestock.|
To book a hunt contact Steve West at http://www.steveshunts.com/
Under Armour Clothing for KristyEvo Cold Gear Pants
Base 2.0 Top
Camo Evo Cold Gear Hoody
Camo Full Zip Hoody
Quest Jacket & Pant
Women’s Camo Glove
Camo Active Beanie
Speed Freek Boots
Hitch Lite Cushion Boot Sock
Z3 Rifle Scope
EL 42 Swarovision Binoculars
65mm HD Spotting Scope with 20-60x Eyepiece
8x30 Laser Guide
Eberlestock X1 Backpack
Wilderness Athlete Performance Bars, Energy Gel, Energy & Focus Drink Formula, Protein Plus
Nosler Custom Trophy Grade 180 Grain Accubond Ammunition