British Columbia Black Bear Hunt, Day 1

Today, I set off on of what will serve as both my first springtime black bear hunt, as well as my first trip to British Columbia, Canada. Because of the destination, getting to camp, which is near Tatla Lake, involves multiple travel days; hence the reason today’s journey ends in Vancouver. The initial leg is from Washington Dulles International Airport (Northern Virginia) to Dallas/Ft. Worth (Texas), where I transferred to my connecting flight bound for Vancouver International Airport. After landing in Vancouver, I cleared Canadian Customs and attained my luggage and firearm, a CVA Scout in .35 Whelen, and proceeded to register the firearm (i.e. have the appropriate forms filled in, signed and stamped, after paying the required fee, of course), then headed to the hotel, where I’m going to be overnight.

Having read multiple e-mails from guide Leonard Ellis outlining the tactics—spot-and-stalk using vehicles and boats, as well as walking, to cover large areas in search of bruins foraging on young, tender grass—and the recent high encounter rate with 6-ft.-plus bears, as well as the odd grizzly, my anticipation is building—actually it’s through the roof. Did I mention, too, that we would be trolling lakes for rainbow trout and other species? Can't ask for much more on this adventure.

To be honest, with the exception my family, my mind has been totally preoccupied with visions of B&C bears, with few things other things diverting my attention—except the avid air-drummer/guitarist and silent soloist sitting in my row on the flight from Dallas/Ft. Worth to Vancouver. I must say, though, I’ve never seen that level of dedication and intensity to the practice. Who knows if he was crazy or just plain bored, but no matter, it all adds to the adventure.

As the saying goes, “half of the adventure is getting there.” Very true! Tomorrow morning I’ll take the final flights necessary to reach camp, and yet another step closer to my springtime bear.

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