This story was first published in the 2017 edition of the Algoma Travel Guide. The story and photos were submitted to us by Keith Beasley, Co-host of “Canada in the Rough”.
As the bald eagle soared low over my head, just above the tree line, and the meandering brook narrowed into a small waterfall behind me with the soothing sound of bubbling water, I knew I had found my spot.
I have found many spots like this before in the stunning Algoma Country of Ontario Canada. As a hunter, I seek out pristine, untouched pieces of wilderness. While I sat 14 feet above the ground in my tree stand overlooking black bear country I knew I had once again found my escape.
My excitement was building long before I arrived in Algoma, as I had fallen in love with this area years ago. I knew that everything would meet my expectations with amazing meals, a great lodge and the ultimate hosts. Suffice it to say, our host even allowed me to accompany them to multiple stand locations to see the spots available for me to hunt, tweak the stands to my liking, see the bear sign and ask questions about the history of the bears in the area. After hours of work and endless bear hunting locations chatting continued over a fine meal. I was now just waiting for the next day to see what the wind delivered.
As the eagle passed over and the warm breeze flowed through my location I felt very confident. No hunter had been in my spot for over a year. When I had scouted my location, I saw that the bear trails looked like cattle paths through the timber. The brook behind me and ridge to my left would act as a funnel and bears likely would not approach behind me. I rested my crossbow on the rail of the tree stand and settled in for a wonderful evening sit.
It’s not dark until close to 10 pm during the spring hunt and at 7:09 pm as I sat watching the timber intently, a massive black head emerged from the trees, followed by a blocky frame. A giant black bear was now standing 32 yards from my stand. He was looking the scene over. I knew immediately he was a huge mature bear. His ears were off to the sides of his head, his frame was tall and long, and as he took his next few steps exposing himself broadside I saw a true tell-tale sign of a big boar with his roman nose. He paused then entered my shooting lane, he threw a log off the food cache and grabbed a bite and sauntered back into the timber. I only had a rushed shot and never even lifted my bow to think about it. I knew he was a dominate bear and not scared, so I waited patiently and 15 minutes later he slowly walked back in. This time he walked towards me, then turned to his left giving me a perfect broadside shot at only 13 yards. I settled the crosshair behind his right shoulder and squeezed, my lit nock left no doubt as the arrow passed clean through his vitals. The bear turned and ran and expired 20 yards away.
That quiet May night, got even quieter as I was a humbled hunter climbing down to see the amazing bear I had just harvested. With hours of daylight still left, I approached the massive black bear and sat quietly enjoying the incredible moment in the Canadian wilderness that I felt so fortunate to have had.
We ate that delicious bear with our walleye we had caught and the thick spring coat made a stunning rug. I can’t wait to return to Algoma!
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