Recently I took a 21-hour trip north to New Brunswick, Canada, for an early summer black bear hunt. This particular hunt was set up by my good friend of mine from Massachusetts.
I would also be accompanied by my son/cameraman on this hunt. We all arrived in camp on a Sunday. After a quick meet and greet, sleeping quarters were determined and crossbows were shot and tested for accuracy.
I was pleased that the TenPoint Wicked Ridge Raider had survived the 21-hour drive, customs inspection and general beating from the trip. It was all intact and still fully functional and sighted in. After a restless night of sleep, we headed off Monday morning to secure our licenses and various essentials that we couldn’t bring across the border. After a couple of hours we were finally ready to hit the woods.
It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the 80s and a calm wind. When we returned to camp the outfitter took us to a stand where he had some good trail cam pictures of a big boar working the bait around midday. We drove for 45 minutes on roads that I would consider trails! We finally arrived at our destination at 10:30 am.
We walked up a small brook for several hundred yards and found our stand location. The stands were only 12 feet high and located 18 yards from the bait. We climbed into the stands and settled in for the hunt.
At 1:30 my son whispered; “BEAR COMING FROM THE LEFT.”His next sentence was, “BIG BEAR following the first one!” I slowly leaned out from the tree and looked to the left and saw the large boar. He was big and he was thick!
By this time the first bear had reached the bait. I would’ve been quite pleased to end my hunt with the bear at the bait if I hadn’t seen the larger bear following. The first bear lay down at the bait and started feeding. The large bear wouldn’t come in. It kept half-circling behind the bait, staying in the thick cover. After about five minutes, it finally gave in and walked to the front of the bait.
The large boar let out a growl, turned and raced directly under our tree and piled up 80 yards behind the stand. The boar (pictured above) weighed in at 360 pounds! After the required drying period it was officially measured and is currently ranked number 10 in the world with a crossbow (with Safari Club International).
The industry puts a lot of focus on the whitetail deer, but there are a lot of other species available for crossbow hunters to pursue. If you’re looking for an affordable adventure, I highly recommend giving Canadian black bears a try.
The hunt can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ck2ENFL_lKQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player
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