Vancouver Island Black Bear Hunting Is No Quick Business


Published: July - 2009

Subscriber John Kirkland says that if you want a quick-in, quick-out hunt for black bear, you probably do not want to hunt on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, with Dave Fyfe of North Island Guide Outfitting. However, if you want to shoot a big bear, this may be the outfitter for you. Kirkland hunted with Fyfe this past April and says it is Fyfe's policy not to shoot any bear on the first day that is not an absolute "no-brainer" in terms of size. He says this resulted in hunters passing up on what Kirkland says would be considered very good bears in most places. "They definitely want to keep their reputation for big bears," he says.

According to Kirkland, the big, trophy boars were slower than usual coming out this spring. He says hunters usually see 30 to 40 bears, but he estimates seeing about 20, with few adult boars. On the next-to-the-last day of his hunt he finally took what he describes as a huge bear just before dark. The bruin scores 19 7/16 SCI, surpassing the record book minimum of 18 inches. He says it measures over seven feet and has flawless, thick, black fur. Ironically, he says they saw an even bigger boar, "a real monster," the last morning while packing out his hide and meat. The other hunters also tagged good bears late in the hunt, all around six feet eight inches to six feet 10 inches.

The hunting was conducted by driving the logging roads each day high into the mountains looking for bears in openings along roads, lake edges, clear-cuts and small clearings. Generally, Kirkland says they looked for places with grass where the bears might be feeding. When they'd find a bear they'd glass it to decide whether or not to put on a stalk. Kirkland says the scenery on this hunt was drop-dead gorgeous with tall cedar trees, beautiful mountain valleys, seacoast and ocean. "This is perfect country for black bears and the place was crawling with them," he says.

Despite having to hold out until late........(continued)

 
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