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1st Bear Hunt


Well-Known Member
SH Member
Jan 5, 2020
I was lucky enough to get invited on a Western Ontario Bear hunt by a customer of mine. Our trip was to the Nestor Falls area. Prior to the hunt I had only seen one bear in the wild, and had no idea what to expect. We arrived at the fishing lodge we were basing out of on 8-25, had our pre hunt meeting, a Walleye fish fry (1st time eating Walleye) drank a few beers, and headed to bed with bear on the mind.

The 1st day we got in our stands about noon, it was over cast, and about 56 degrees. We left a 103 heat index in Atlanta so 56 was nice! It’s been months since I hadn’t broken a sweat just walking outside. We were hunting bait barrels like most bear hunts I had ever seen on tv. The hunting area was about a 10 yr old cut over on Provincial land that was so think you couldn’t walk through it. The bait was placed on old logging decks that were surrounded by wild blackberry. Around 5pm one of my clients shot a 350 lber with his crossbow.

I saw a decent Bear the 1st evening I passed on. After showing pics to the guide, I was advised I shouldn’t have passed. My 2nd client saw nothing the 1st day. When leaving that night we stood the barrels back up so we’d know if bears had used the bait the following day. The barrels in both of the sites had been rolled when we got there the next day so we knew Bears were using the area even after we’d been in there.

The 2nd day was a little warmer. It was bumping 70 when we got in the stand. Both of my customers sat together the 2nd evening since one had tagged out. They had a pretty uneventful day until about 10 mins before legal light when a hefty sow came in alone which was mistaken for a boar and shot. The sow weighed 297 at the processor which is a hoss of a sow for those parts from my understanding. He put an arrow right through her lungs, and she ran towards his stand falling 10 ft away.

On my 2nd day I had a bear, which I believed to be the same bear as the night before come up to my stand from behind. I never heard it until it snapped a twig when it was 2 yds behind me. The bear eventually made it in front of me and I was able to make a lethal shot on it at 18 yds. This to was a sow mistaken for a boar. Not having hunted bears before, and relying on what I’ve seen on youtube videos to judge bears makes it very difficult to tell the difference. Anyway, I double lunged her with a 150gr shwacker. I heard her crash through the thick Poplars and give out about 20 yds from the shot. The exit wound was so large her intestines came out the exit hole that was about 6” wide. She came in about 200lbs which I’m guessing is average for a sow in those parts.

The last day was spent relaxing, and doing a little bank fishing which was unsuccessful. All in all we had a great trip! The lodging was excellent, food was great, and the outfitter was far more hospitable then I’ve ever expected. We’ve already booked a Back Country Moose hunt with them for next yr. I’m really looking forward to going back to such a beautiful place!



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Excellent recounting of your adventure. Congrats! Care to share the name of the outfitter? Also, did they ever clue you in on how to tell a male from a female?
We hunted with Tinkers Place. They are known for fishing in that area, but they get 3 bear tags a yr, and will get more if you need them. I was clued in on how to tell the difference, but I need to put my eyes on many more bears to get good at it. Obviously, I’m not at this point.

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Congrats on your first bear! Now that you have been bitten by the bear bug, are you gonna go after a #2?

I have a good friend that hunts them in the North GA mtns. I may tag along with him a time or two. If they were closer to me I’m sure I’d hunt them more. I did find that a county that borders me now has an official season so that means they are getting closer.

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Sounds like an exciting bear hunting adventure in Western Ontario! It's great to hear that you had a successful and enjoyable trip, even if there were a few surprises with bear gender identification. The experience and memories are what truly matter in the end.
Excellent job! Both in the woods, and writing it up. Bear meat is delicious, what is your favorite preparation thus far?