Saturday, July 4, 2009

Bear Necessities

Basin Black Bear Outfitters guide Matt Cheney with 2009 spring bear

Here it is Fourth of July weekend and rather than grilling outside, I'm sitting at the computer watching a rainy 4th and trying to put my thoughts together after an exciting spring black bear hunt in New Brunswick at Basin Black Bear Outfitters- formerly Kelly's Sporting Lodge.

Basin Black Bear Outfitters-B3O as I affectionately now call them has an excellent facility and has done major renovations to all of the cabins and main lodge which will make your bear hunt even more enjoyable. All of the modern conveniences are available, excellent food, comfortable tree stands and some of the best bear hunting for large boars in all of Canada.

Just in case regular clientele of Kelly's Sporting Lodge is wondering, the 'Bear God' Uncle Carman Kelly is still guiding. At 76 years young, I wish I had half of his knowledge hunting bears.He might even put you in one of 'Denny's stands'.....something we all get a laugh out of because my buddy Bob Walker mentioned one time- "Which one isn't Denny's stand?"........

Now I am back- away from the solitude of my Canadian tree stand next to a babbling brook to the main-stream media morbidity hysteria over Michael Jackson, Farah Fawcett, Ed McMahon, Carl Malden and who can forget late-night infomercial guru Billy Mays. All I know is that I really could have used one of his signature ShamWows to wipe off the camera equipment from the first three days of Water World we experienced during this hunt......

If you want to have an 'enjoyable' spring bear hunt in the wilds of New Brunswick, there are a few necessities that I HIGHLY recommend including in your day pack:

#1- Thermacell. This is essential. There are mosquitoes and biting 'no see-ums'that can carry away small children and have no qualms about taking a piece of you with them. Available at Cabela's, Bass Pro Shops and most sporting goods major retailers.

#2 100% DEET. I recommend REPEL or Deep Woods Off. Don't worry about the odor- you'll never fool the nose of a bear- it is sound and movement that will alert them to your presence and send them running. If you can't sit still because of the flies, you are much more likely to spook a bear by moving swatting at the biting invaders.

#3 Camo/rain gear washed in UV killer. Because the woods are so 'dark', good camo like Mossy Oak tree stand, Cabela's 3D Seclusion, or Realtree HD are top choices as well as a new camo I just discovered- Ultimate Camo which virtually blends you in to the forest canopy. If you ever get the opportunity, look at night vision video of camo not washed in UV killer - it actually has a 'glow' which definitely tips off any game as they can see in mostly light/dark spectrum.

#4 Cushion. Most bear hunts involve long sits waiting for bears to show up at the bait and if you are not comfortable, you will NOT be able to remain motionless which is necessary to stay quiet and undetected.

#5 Patience. The same three rules that apply to turkey hunters applies to bear hunters- Don't move, don't move and don't move. No matter how much gear and equipment you pack in to the woods, if you can't sit still and remain quiet, you'll never see a bear.

#6 Practice. If you want to take a large boar, chances are you WILL get the opportunity at one shot- I repeat - ONE shot. Why spend all that money, time and effort if you can't make the shot. If you will be using a head net when you hunt, by all means practice with it on. Know where the vitals are and envision your arrow or your shot passing through those vitals. Just like throwing a baseball or shooting a basket, follow-through is crucial to a successful hunt. As Uncle Carman puts it, the two best shots are a killing shot or a clean miss.

If you want a fantastic bear hunt, follow the above 'Bear Necessities' and you too will have an outstanding bear hunt. For more information on Basin Black Bear Outfitters, check them out on the web at or give them a call at 506- 654-1860.

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