Spring Bear. Next week, Spring Bear opens up in Quebec. There was still some snow a week ago and getting bait sites established at Lac Suzie presented some challenges but everything is on course for a great season according to Serge Dapra who owns this camp in Northern Quebec.
We know Serge from the NRA Oudoor Show over the last several years and have logged a few meals with Serge at the Capitol Diner in Harrisburg. He is a good friend and we know several Kodabows have made the trip North and have had very successful outcomes at his camp.
Canada bear hunting in this province is generally a baited hunt because the terrain is thick and a spot and stalk hunt would yield little harvest. Far different than a bear hunt on Vancouver Island I had a few years ago which was 100% spot and stalk. Each method has pros and cons.
|This bear was taken at lac Suzie with a Kodabow.|
Hunting bears over bait is fairly simple in principle but that is not accurate. The biggest bears know the game well and can always be counted on to make a cautious approach with their nose taking it all in. There is often the opportunity to study a bear closely prior to making a shooting decision which is a real benefit of bait sites. Then again, if you are ground hunting, being that close can get the juices flowing pretty quick. A tree stand is a nice option but don’t think you are out of harms way up in the air. A black bear can be up 20 feet in 2 seconds – they are fast climbers. Shots can be expected to be close at between 15 to 20 yards in most situations. Bear anatomy is different than a whitetail and whether shooting a firearm or bow, a deer type shot will often be in the wrong anatomical area of a bear. Shooting for the “middle of the middle” as some folks have called it is the way to go to achieve the desirable double lung shot. Bisect the bear using the midpoint between both legs (left and right) and then bisect the up and down in the middle again. Where the lines cross is the textbook aiming point. Maybe cheat a little and move a bit forward for a better margin of error. A good bow hunter is always looking for the double lung shot. Elk and bear can travel significant distances if only one lung has arrow penetration. Your Kodabow with a Killzone mechanical broadhead is a terrific choice for black bear — expect a pass through shot and a very short blood trail if you hit your mark.
Avoid messing up your bait site by walking around the bait before getting into position.
Go in quietly and proceed directly to your stand. Carry a Thermacell for the mosquitoes and bugs so your hands can stay still instead of constantly swatting flies while on stand. The bugs may be the most memorable event of a Quebec bear hunt if the weather is right. The mosquitoes can bite through a single layer of pants and duct tape will be critical to seal up any openings (like your boot to pants interface.) Needless to say, a head net is mandatory even if you head out on the lake to fish. A bug suit and a rain suit are useful items. Your outfitter and the effectiveness of the bait sites established prior to your arrival in camp are the keys to having a terrific hunt. A few years ago I was sadly disappointed on a bear hunt when the outfitter failed to do the proper and timely baiting. Sites and tree stands had been ignored or had been hunted the week before by another hunter without success. Options were limited. This camp was more of an activity designed to keep hunters entertained and misdirected than a serious bear camp. A good rule of thumb is that a hunter should be allotted at least two fresh active baits that have not been hunted previously. Serge said that 17 of 18 hunters took bears last year at his camp which is a solid success rate — 100% had shot opportunities. There were some very nice bears taken in 2015 and the pictures are posted on the Lac Suzie website. Serge invited me up to his camp this year. Who knows — I just might join the other Kodabow hunters and get some time in up at Lac Suzie.
My best — (study your bear anatomy and tell us how you do!)
Chuck @ Kodabow