We were standing in low willow just inside the lip of a shallow creek. Forty-knot winds were blowing in our faces off the Bering Sea; the acrid sweet smell of alder combined with the moist salt sea air was invigorating. The wind and intermittent rain squalls had been the predominate weather pattern for the last four days, hardly optimum weather for a bow hunter, particularly one in pursuit of an Alaskan Brown Bear. Aaron momentarily raised his head over the rim of the creek ranging the feeding bear. “Sixty two yards, that direction, quartering away,” he reported. “That’s too far for me to take a shot, what do we do now, do you want to shoot this bear?” I peeked over the rim and checked on the bear, it was still feeding in the tundra. “Well the bear has been feeding around in that swale for about an hour and there is no reason to believe it will not continue to do the same. We can wait until the bear feeds back to this side and you will have your shot,” I replied. Phil, our guide, was videotaping the stalk and now joined us for an update. He then raised his head above the rim of the creek bank looking for the bear. After a few moments, “Oh Shit!” Not the words one most wants to hear from your bear guide. “It spotted me,” said Phil as he pulled his head down. Aaron stood “30 yards and coming” he announced.
In Nevada everything begins with drawing a tag. When I applied for tags this spring all I could do is hope for the best. Any tag is a prize. 12 June I received an email from Nevada Department of Wildlife informing me that I was unsuccessful for all my applications except for an Antelope tag. The tag would be mailed separately. When I received the tag it indicated I would be able to hunt area 33 late season. Area 33 is the Sheldon Reserve located in the north west corner of the state. Late season is 29 August through 7 September. This is a highly sought after tag as the Sheldon is noted for it’s large healthy Antelope population. Most years there are one or two Boone & Crockett quality animals are taken.
The hunt was booked at the Safari Club convention February of 2015. I was actually searching for a father/son spring black bear hunt for Trevor and me, a gift for Trevor’s 30th birthday. Talking with Brent Chapman of B.C. Outfitters Consultant , I happen to notice he had posted a Woodland Caribou hunt available. There are only a few Woodland Caribou permits available in any given year and most of those are much more expensive than this one. There was an option to add an Eastern Canadian Moose at a very reasonable fee. Knowing nothing of the outfitter involved, I asked of there were any references with whom I could speak. It happened there was an SCI member at the show who had taken this same hunt in 2014. Brent arranged for us to meet. The hunter was very enthusiastic about the hunt and he had his smart phone with lots of pictures from his experience there. He harvested both the Woodland Caribou and a Moose on that trip. He advised me to ask for the same guide (Dean) that he had during his hunt.
It all began at the S.C.I. International Exposition in Las Vegas this last February. When asked, my son Trevor, had responded that he would like to go on a bear hunt for his 30th birthday. I met with booking agent Brent Chapman, B.C. Outfitters Consultants. He advised he had an outfitter in British Columbia that had a good record with large coastal mountain bears. The outfitter would be visiting S.C.I. later that week so I arranged to meet him. The Outfitter, Jamie Reynolds, was a pleasant young enthusiastic man with many photos of great looking bears in his smart phone. Jamie recommended hunting in June as he was typically snowed out until early May. Further the rut would be on in full force and this was the first time British Columbia had extended the spring bear season past June 15. Despite being concerned with the late dates I booked the hut.