SaskAdrenaline Bear Hunt

13 06 2012

This post was originally posted in the “Ladies in Camo Field Journal”

My Saskatchewan Black Bear. It was all I could do to lift his head for the picture! Photo: Diane Hassinger

My Saskatchewan Black Bear. It was all I could do to lift his head for the picture!
Photo: Diane Hassinger

Wow!  What a week!  I have spent the last week hunting black bear in Saskatchewan, Canada with SaskAdrenaline Outfitters.  I was joined by my husband Dale, brother-in-law Lonnie, and LIC Pat Hendrixon, as well as 3 other guys from Pennsylvania. I would be hunting with my Ten Point Crossbow, equipped with Swhacker Broadheads on Beman bolts.

The first night ten bear were seen, but none were considered shooters.  The next night, Mike Grundmann (the owner) and I spooked off a bear when he was dropping me off at my stand.  Mike said to watch, he felt certain the bear would come right back in.  I quickly settled myself into my stand, and set up the camcorder to film the area.  It did not take long before I was seeing black in the distance.  I turned on the camcorder and tried to keep my heart from bursting out of my chest!  The bear slowly circled the area, before coming in to the can.  I was trying to take in everything about this bear to determine if it was a sow or a boar.  A massive head, small ears, huge body, fairly long neck but small feet.  Mike had told me there was a big sow and boar at this stand, and I was fairly certain that this was the sow.  Then the bear stood up (and up)  Holy Cow was she tall!  I was as close to a heart attack as I have ever been!  She made the barrel look small.  My head was telling me this was a sow, but I still clicked off the safety and thought about shooting with my crossbow.

She looked off to the side and took off at a run.  At that point I looked around to see what could chase off a bear this big,a bigger bear of course!  This one was taller and had a deep crease in his forehead, his neck looked almost nonexistent and he had HUGE feet.  This was the male I was waiting for!  I waited only a few moments before releasing my bolt. I had a pass through but the shot looked a little low to me.  My bolt could be seen laying in front of the barrel, and showed good blood.  I spent the next half hour packing up and reviewing the video to check my shot.  I was slightly panicked because I never heard any death moans out of him.  I tried to call Mike to come pick me up, but he was out of range of the radio.  After lowering my equipment to the ground, I checked the arrow, and saw a good blood trail.

I soon was able to contact Mike, and he and Tim brought the quads in.  They only had to track for a very short distance before they could see my boar laid out in the swamp.  There was no ground shrinkage on this bear!  He was huge.  It took a lot of maneuvering to get the bear into the trailer, since he was to big to put onto the quad.

19 14/16" skull Photo: Diane Hassinger

19 14/16″ skull
Photo: Diane Hassinger

There was no scale, since it had broke during the previous hunts, but everyone felt it weighed between 350 and 400 pounds.  He measured 6’7″ and his skull measured a whopping 19 14/16″.

Each day before hunting, we would go fishing for pike.  We caught lots!  Some days we caught dozens in an hour or so.  None were of any great size, they were still a blast to catch!

The same night I shot my bear, Lonnie shot a 6’bear.  Next up to connect was Dale with a 6′ bear with a skull of 18 7/16″.  This is big enough to qualify for Pope and Young, and was shot with his Bowtech Compound Bow.  Pat took a 6’2″ bear with my Savage Lady Hunter rifle in 30-06.  This was a great bear, and she thought the rifle was “sweet”.

Eddy and Larry both shot nice bears to finish out the week.  We embark tomorrow on a 4 1/2 hour drive to Saskatoon, followed by flights to Denver and then on to Pittsburgh.  While I am sad that my hunt is over for this year, I am thrilled that we have already booked for next year.  Maybe a color phase bear can still be in my future!

Dale’s “Pope and Young” Bear
Skull measured 18 7/16″

Little Runts are kicking butt!

29 04 2012

This post was originally posted on Ladies in Camo Field Journal.

I am absolutely thrilled to tell you that my granddaughter took a fantastic long beard turkey this morning.  She was hunting with her mother (my daughter Shannon).  As they made their way to their hunting spot, they had turkeys gobbling on the roosts.  Since Sarah was using a crossbow, they set up quickly, putting the decoy only 10 yards from their position.  Shannon yelped a couple of times shortly after daylight, and was rewarded with gobbling from 2 toms.  They could just glimpse the tom to the east in the morning light of the pink and purple sunrise.  As these 2 fine birds made their way to the girl’s position, a hen started talking, and lead them both away.

Both Shannon and Sarah maintained their positions, and listened and waited.  Calling occasionally.  Soon they were rewarded with another Tom heading their way, this time with 8 hens in tow.

Sarah’s gobbler with 10″ beard

Three jakes were bringing up the rear, just coming off of the ridge.  These birds all worked their way over 400 yards to come into Shannon’s call.  At 30 yards Shannon quietly told Sarah the birds were in range.  Sarah replied “wait for it, wait for it”.  When the tom pecked the head of her Little Runt decoy, Sarah released her bolt, and the turkey fell to the ground with out even a twitch!  The rest of the birds never understood what had happened, and continued to peck around on the ground.  She quickly told her mother to re-cock the crossbow, there were more birds coming their way, and Shannon still had her tag.  Unfortunately they were only the jakes, and they were left to grow for next year.

Sarah’s long beard had a 10″ beard, 1″ spurs, weighed 23 pounds, and was shot with a Ten-Point Crossbow!!  Sarah had been practicing hard for this day.  She started shooting the crossbow, and has become an excellent shot with it.  Just 2 nights ago, her and I went over different scenarios on birds coming into the decoy, and where to shoot with the crossbow.  She follows instruction wonderfully!

Her turkey was almost as big as she is!