British Columbia Black Bear Hunt, Day 5

This morning prior to breakfast I joined Shannon as she skinned the bear, as I was curious about the bullets’ terminal performance, and wanted to see it firsthand. I must commend her work, as not only was she quick (obviously from extensive experience), but only dabs of sweet-smelling hand lotion beneath her nostrils made the task possible. Remember the rotting moose meat? Well, the bear reeked of it. It was bad!

With the hide removed, I could see the bullet path of both shots. My 200-gr. Core-Lokt PSP entered at the front edge of the bear’s right front shoulder and stopped against the hide in front of the opposite hind quarter. As such, with multiple vital organs disrupted death was imminent; however, I’m glad Leonard delivered an “insurance” shot as bears, and especially wounded ones, are unpredictable. His broadside shot, in which the 300-gr. Nosler Partition first struck the retracted right-side leg, then entered the chest cavity behind the shoulder and exited in approximately the same location on the opposite side. The damage delivered by the 0.375” (pre-expansion diameter) bullet was tremendous. The recovered Core-Lokt exhibited picture-perfect expansion. You cannot ask for better terminal performance from both bullets.

Shortly after breakfast, the decision was made that’d I head home early. Traveling into Tatla Lake with the Schearers, the date and location of exit was changed yet again (the original return flight was mistakenly booked out of Bell Bella, not Bella Coola). Talk about friendly service, Pacific Coastal changed the flight for only the difference in actual ticket cost, which was less than $10. They’ll certainly have more of my business in the future. Air Canada wasn’t so generous—enough said. After the reservations were finalized, and everything packed, I was off to my current location, Williams Lake, where I’ll catch my flight midday tomorrow.

If staying in Williams Lake, I highly recommend the Coast Fraser Inn, which has excellent accommodations, a nice restaurant integral, and quick access to the airport, Walmart (for inexpensive coolers and snacks), and a liquor store next door (for 10-lb. bags of ice to chill the hide overnight). You can forget about putting it in the little refrigerator in the room, and I wouldn’t think about asking to put that smelly hide and head in the restaurant cooler. Besides, the ice does an excellent job keeping it cool.

Tomorrow, I’ll embark on my journey home, and I’m sure it too will prove a challenge. Such an adventure certainly makes you tired, but provides many memories that will last a lifetime. I hope to get to experience something like that again. I love adventures!

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