The bait isn’t far, maybe 15 yards, but twilight time is much longer than what is experienced in the southeast. The Bushnell Trophy 3-9x40 mm scope provided the perfect about of clarity and light gathering capability to comfortably hunt those wee-hours of the day.
The Savage Model 16 Weather Warrior chambered for .338 Federal is a great combination for this hunt. The all copper 200-grain bullet from Federal provides 3071 ft. lbs. of muzzle energy which is perfect for large predatory animals, like the black bear.
Bushnell has ramped it up with the Trophy Xtreme line of rangefinders. Through technological tweaks, these new rangefinders are compact, lightweight, lightening fast, provide shot angle adjustments and are more effective when ranging dark, color-absorbing colors like the black bear; a problem of the past. You can see here we had the setting adjusted for an archery shot and can be quickly changed to provide for rifle adjustments.
“Dancing Bear,” or the tattletale as I like to call him, gave plenty of clues that a larger boar was hiding in the bush. Frequently he would nose the air and stop eating to analyze the scent trail floating downwind.
This big boar gave me a show two nights prior to finally giving me a chance to harvest him. Having had a close encounter late in the sit, I knew he would be back another day. The little bear came to bait like clockwork. Bears seem to put off a lot of body language and by carefully watching I knew the mature bear was near. Sure enough, the mature one came in at twilight. He seemed to know something was off and didn’t appear comfortable inside of 60 yards. Eventually, though, he did provide me with a shot. Practice prevailed.
This bear I named “Baldy.” He entered the scene huffing and growling while snapping his jaw. He was constantly curious of me and my presence. Bears are incredibly fast so, not taking chances, I kept the rifle at hand whenever he came close.
Lake Agassiz covered much of south-central Canada and parts of the north-central United States. Believed to have encompassed more than 170,000 square miles, this prehistoric glacial lake does not exist today, but its footprint does. Within this basin sits Lake Manitoba and, more specifically, The Narrows—a pinch point in the lake which provides for incredible walleye fishing. It's also the home of Narrows Outfitters. Surrounding the lake is what seems like never-ending farmland with woodlots filled with wildlife—like black bears. The spring hunting season for bear begins in late April so we teamed up with Savage, Bushnell and Primos to get a taste of what Canadian spring bear hunting is all about.
Southern Manitoba sees about 45 to 50 inches of snowfall each winter and temperatures that drop to -40°F. Because of these harsh conditions, bears go into hibernation until the weather breaks. This allows for hunting over bait and since these bears are awake and hungry, the action is quite incredible.