We were hunting for 4 days with Elaine Lake Outfitters in northern Saskatchewan where we try to hunt every year. I took a bear with my bow, and Angie took a bear with her CVA Accura .50 caliber blackpowder rifle. On all our whitetail hunts, we load with 150 grains of powder and a 250-grain PowerBelt Aerolite bullet. On our bear hunts, we know we probably won’t have more than a 50-yard shot. So, we only use 100 grains of powder and the 250-grain Aerolite bullet. In all the years we’ve been hunting bears with muzzleloaders, we’ve never had a bear go more than 40 yards after we’ve shot him with this powder charge and bullet.
When hunting bear in Saskatchewan, especially if you plan to hunt in the provincial forest, you must hunt over bait, or you never will see a bear. Many people don’t understand that the growth there is so thick, that you can’t use the spot-and-stalk technique to find and take a bear. Many hunters also have the misguided notion that bears aren’t very smart. However, the bear has a very-sensitive nose. If you can’t control your human odor, the bear never will come in to your bait and present the shot. Some of these bears may be 20-years old, and may have had many encounters with humans.
I don’t believe any one system of odor control can completely eliminate human odor, so Angie and I wear ScentBlocker suits and use Nose Jammer spray to elimate as much odor as possible. If you plan to hunt twice a day, you have to shower before each hunt, keep your clean clothes in an airtight container and spray down with an odor-neutralizing spray every time you go afield. I don’t believe you ever completely fool an animal’s nose, but you often can buy yourself the extra 10 or 15 seconds you need to get your shot off, before the bear smells you.
This bear hunt was Angie’s first, so when this 325-pound bear came strolling into the bait site, Angie was breathing hard. Her eyes were about the size of saucers. She was only 15-yards from the bear when she squeezed the trigger. All our bear hunts on “The American Way” TV show are done from ground blinds. We like to hunt and photograph from the ground blind and usually set-up 15 to 25 yards from the bear bait. When you’re on the ground that close to a big bear, there’s a real adrenaline rush for the hunter, the cameraman and the audience at home.
By: Tony Walker who with his wife Angie hosts the “The American Way” TV show on the Pursuit Channel. Starting July 1 and running through December, you can watch their show on Monday nights at 9:30 pm and on Sunday mornings at 9 am.