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May 10, 2008

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Alberta Bear Hunt: Coda

Lastbear My hunt ended as they sometimes do, with an unfilled tag in my pocket. It is always a risk to pass over good animals early in a hunt hoping for a better one to come along and in this case the hunting gods didn’t reward me.

Last night the woods were cold, silent and seemingly empty with the exception of a single raven that spent a couple minutes running through its repertoire of calls before moving on, leaving me alone. This stand was a new one for me, the most remote stand in camp, one the guides call the “bitch bait” owing to the difficulty of getting there.

But the bears are there, as this trail cam photo shows. I was hoping this guy would stroll into sight to feast on the rotting beaver carcass we had strung up and as I’m writing these words in camp there’s an excellent chance he’s doing that right now.

It has been an amazing week up here and I can’t wait to get back to hunt with Wally Mack and his crew at W&L Guide Services. They run a top-notch operation. They have excellent accommodations, the guides all worked very hard and the food was incredible. They guarantee that their hunters will gain weight during the trip and that was certainly the case with our group. Plus, with bears like this, how could I stay away?

—John Snow