Hunting Black Bear In Alberta Canada

hunting black bear alberta canada

Monster Bears Come Out At Night

Fatigue filled my body as the sun slowly sank behind the horizon on my black bear hunt in Alberta Canada. I’d been in that uncomfortable tree stand literally all day: from an hour before sunrise to sunset with no breaks, 14 hours straight. I’d seen nothing other than a few birds during the course of a long and boring day.

Then, I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye. I slowly turned my head and focused on a black shape moving deliberately through the woods. A bear. He acted like he owned the place, moving confidently and with a purpose. I distinctly remember the crunch of leaves under the bear’s feet as he strolled through the woods. All of a sudden, I didn’t feel so tired. Ever so carefully, I readied my rifle and prepared to shoot.

He closed the distance steadily while the light slowly faded as if someone were turning down the dimmer on a light switch. My heartfelt like it was about to beat out of my chest. I could feel the rush of blood through my ears as the bear got closer and closer. Then, he paused just 30 yards away.

I looked through my scope and could clearly see the bear. To my horror, the black crosshairs of my rifle disappeared against the dark fur of the massive creature. I fought the urge to shoot him without precisely aiming. I took a few deep breaths to calm my racing thoughts and a plan formed in my brain.

Fortunately, it was still light enough for me to see the edges of the reticle not covering the bear. But not for long. Using those portions of the reticle as a reference, I adjusted my aim slightly and squeezed the trigger.

The 258gr projectile from my 9.3x62mm Mauser hit exactly where I was aiming at the dead center of his vital zone. The bear dropped at the shot, growled, kicked for a few seconds, and then fell silent just before the woods faded completely to complete blackness. Then I started to shake.

I’ve hunted tahr up in the mountains of New Zealand and cape buffalo in the bushveld of Africa (both of which were great), but that bear hunting memory remains one of my favorites. In fact, that same bear (which really was as big as he looked at first) is now a rug on the floor behind me as I type this email.

Have you always wanted to hunt black bears yourself? A spot has unexpectedly opened up for a spring bear hunt in Alberta 14-21 May 2022. These hunts are the perfect opportunity to take a really nice bear: you’ll be hunting over bait in an area with a large bear population in Alberta (about 2 hours from Edmonton). In fact, 2022 is shaping up to potentially be a banner year for bear hunting up there.

We did not hunt the bear in this area at all in 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID shutdown, but we did continue to run our bait sites. So, the bears have gotten a chance to grow big and get comfortable in that area with very little hunting pressure over the past couple of years. The hunters we have coming over in May of 2022 will be the first people to seriously hunt this area since the spring of 2019.

The hunt is $4,250 and includes your hunting license and bear tag. Airport picks up and drops off in Edmonton are also included. Same with lodging, food, and transportation during the hunt.

You can shoot the 2nd bear if you’d like for an additional $1,250 (due after you shoot it).

This is not your typical high-volume black bear hunting operation. Instead, we take a small number of hunters each year, only hunt during the absolute BEST times of the spring for harvesting bear, and only hunt over carefully scouted and strategically located bait sites. So, you won’t be hunting in close proximity to other hunters or having to worry about hunting the same bears as the guy in the next bait site. Be sure to use a better scope than I used on the hunt in this story!

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Like what you see? You can read more great articles by John McAdams on the Big Game Hunting Blog.

Happy Hunting,

John McAdams

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