Editor's Note: Author Brad Fenson recently had the opportunity to test all of the following gear on an Alberta black bear hunt. You can read that story here.
Guns & Ammo
Mossberg introduced the Patriot rifle in 2015, and it didn’t take long for the Hunting model to become popular. When you consider the standard Patriot features include a detachable box magazine, recessed crowns, fluted barrels, spiral fluted bolt, streamlined bolt handle, Weaver scope bases and Lightning Bolt Action (LBA) user-adjustable trigger system, you have the bases covered. The walnut stock on my gun blends naturally into the forest and has that classic look a gun buff appreciates. I shot my bear three times in a matter of seconds and found the bolt-action easy and natural to work while staying on target. Making sure the bruin stayed where he dropped meant an easier retrieve and no tracking.
My rifle was chambered in .30-06 and I used Federal Premium 165-grain Trophy Bonded bullets. They performed flawlessly, putting my monster black bear on the ground with the first shot. The bullets held together and delivered all their energy where needed, inside the bear. We did recover two bullets and they were perfectly mushroomed showing no signs of deformation. For more information click here.
It is challenging to find the right clothes for a spring bear hunt. It can be snowing or raining one minute and 70 degrees Fahrenheit the next. Finding the right layers to keep you warm, dry and comfortable means sitting in your stand longer without moving. I was decked out in Nomad clothing from my wool base layers to my insulated jacket and waterproof outer garments, and they worked. My Nomad vest was like a furnace on my torso, which was greatly appreciated in the pouring rain and freezing temperatures. Nomad has produced several generations of clothing and continues to modify and improve all its product lines whenever it sees an advantage. Its products help you beat the heat, cold, rain or wind, and are worth a serious look. Check them out here.
Essential Gun Care
Firearms can take a beating in bad weather, and between the rain and the mud our firearms needed special attention at the end of every day. Birchwood Casey Barricade was used to dispel moisture from all parts of our guns, including the metal you can’t see. It not only cleans and removes moisture, but it creates a barricade to prevent corrosion. Along with the Birchwood Casey Universal Gun Cleaning Kit, we maintained our rifles in tip-top shape even under challenging weather conditions. For more information click here.
Grandslam Hunting Adventures offers spring and fall black bear hunts. Find out more here.