A Father-and-Son Hunt for British Columbia Black Bears


Published: March - 2013

My son, JC, and I flew to Campbell River, BC, where we were met by Irene Fyfe who, with her husband Dave and sons Josh and Chris (who was to be our guide), runs North Island Guide Outfitters. This was my fifth trip with NIGO, and I was looking for my fifth fair-chase bear. Two and a half hours later we were at Woss Lodge 110 miles north of Campbell River. There we met fellow hunters Andy and Sonia from Ohio and enjoyed a good and much-appreciated dinner.

The next morning, after breakfast, we sighted in our rifles and were in the bush by 9 am. These black bears are free spirits  they often sleep late, even after their long hibernation. Our plan was to troll the logging roads in the area looking for bear sign (the broken saplings and bark scrapes on larger trees that feeding bears use to mark their territory) or, better yet, bears. Chris, our guide, has "the knack" for spotting bears before they spot you  a useful and rare skill.

We eventually ended up at snowline, 6,000 feet up, where we parked and started methodically glassing. Patience is key. Some time later, Chris invited JC to look through his spotting scope. "Dad, you've gotta see this." With the scope at 60x we were up close and personal with a sow flirting with a very large boar in a clearcut a long way away. In fact, it would take us an hour to get there . . . and we had just enough daylight left. The trip down the mountain was a tad fast for comfort, but we eventually reached the valley and the road onto the opposite hills. Three dips in the road marked "the spot." We parked the truck, JC loaded his rifle, and we tip-toed along. At the top of the road, Chris said, "Can't see the sow, but there's the boar." He was hiding behind a slash pile, but eventually slipped out and presented a quartering away shot. JC put one in his chest; he went........(continued)

 
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