Bill Kissner - Saskatchewan Black Bear - 2013


My wife and I left on May 23rd for a bear hunt with Rockridge Outfitters in Carrot River,Saskatchewan. We were to meet friends Joe and Janice Furlong, Larry and Mala Jones, and Joe and Judy Atherton there on Sunday the 26th for the hunt that would start on Monday the 27th. This was to be not only a hunt but a small vacation for us and the ladies. The camp is situated on the north side of the Carrot River. There is no bridge but there is a low water crossing. Well the water was too high for the pickups so they were left on the south bank and the outfitter came and got us in an old Ford that was jacked up and had big tires.

Camp was nice and very remote. It consisted of two log cabins that were furnished with all the amenities and two bedrooms each.

On the morning of the 27th, equipment was checked and arrows were shot to loosen muscles that had been cramped up in the truck for 3 days and 1650 miles of driving.

I have hunted bears several times but never taken a color phase and was looking for a cinnamon/brown, or even hopefully a blonde. There was a nice blonde taken the week before we arrived.

Monday afternoon, my guide Leo, and I left at 4:00PM and rode separate 4 wheelers with me leaving mine about a quarter mile from the bait because he said the bears would damage it if left too close. After freshening the bait and telling me shooting hours ended at 9:20, he left to freshen other baits. I was to stay until then and walk out to the 4 wheeler which would be after dark. Let me say I wasn't too happy to do that but hoped I was brave enough.

Leo left at 4:30 and the first bear showed up at 4:50. It was a female weighingkissner bear 2013 1 about 150 pounds. I turned on the video camera and filmed her for a half hour. It was hard to keep from laughing out loud at the contortions she got her body into trying to get at the beaver carcass tied inside the barrel. After close to an hour of frustration, she left. Another slightly smaller female came and wrestled with the barrel for a few minutes. She suddenly came to attention and then ran to my left and disappeared. The first female came back and was followed by a very nice boar. She went to the bait but kept chasing the boar away. I turned the video back on and the battery was dead. This was a new camera and I had fully charged it before leaving home. I suppose it was depleted during the trip. Anyway, there would be no video of the boar.

He came over to the tree my stand was in and came around to the side the climbing sticks were on. I thought at first he was coming up as he stood on his hind feet and stretched as high as possible. The stand was only about 8 feet high and his nose was way too close to my feet! About now I decided if given a shot at him, I would definitely take it. He was not a color phase but too good to pass up.

The sow kept him away from the bait and that was the only direction I could shoot. He would get in my only opening and have either his butt or head facing me offering no shot. After more than 30 minutes of circling my stand and getting chased by the sow, he walked between her and the stand. He stopped offering a broadside shot at about 14 yards. As I drew he sensed something and started to run. Already at full draw, I swung to the right as he ran and released. The arrow caught him behind the right shoulder angling slightly forward.

The arrow was exactly where it should be and as he ran, I could see equal amounts sticking out both sides. He quickly disappeared in the thick brush but I heard him stop and then heard two distinct moans.

I prepared to climb down, loosening the harness, putting the fanny pack back on and so forth but when I looked at the bait, there was another bear on it. I clapped my hands and yelled but it just stood and looked. After climbing down it was still looking at me so I clapped and yelled again. It only ran a few yards and stood upright looking back. Finally after it moving a few yards and looking back several times, I was able to run it off.
kissner 2013 bear 2
My guide was still out freshening baits but had his cell so he was called and came to camp to help find and retrieve the bear. My wife Jeanne accompanied us to the site to take some pics and the bear was quickly found. This is what it looked like.

We cleaned him up somewhat the next morning and took a few more pics. I was shooting my Black Widow PCHX Osage and Carbon Express shafts tipped with Joe Furlongs Tuffhead broadheads.

My quest for a color phase will have to wait for another time. I remember reading what writer Judd Cooney wrote many years ago...."I am a trophy hunter 'till any legal animal comes along". I suppose that fits me as I ended my hunt on the first day. No regrets though as he is a fine bear with the thickest, most beautiful coat I have seen. The outfitter green scored him at 18 and 4/16ths inches which might qualify him for Comptons or Pope and Young if he doesn't shrink too much.

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