New Brunswick Bear
We arrived in Plaster Rock New Brunswick Canada on Sunday to check in at the lodge at Lawrence Dyer and Son’s Outfitting Service with Danny Dyer as our host. After the usual exchange of greeting to the host as well as the other guests it was time to prepare for the upcoming hunt which starts on Monday. We all spent our share of time on the range getting everything right after the trip to camp.www.dyeroutfitters.com
At the range the discussion was about the GrizzlyStik arrows and the Ashby 315. I referred to the article “Speed Kills” on the GrizzlyStik website. The other hunters were amazed at the performance and un-noticeable difference in speed of the arrow. We in fact did an experiment. We set my Nikon D80 ISO Sensitivity up to 1600 to attempt to capture the arrow at release. We could not get it done. Shooting the Mathews Drenalin set @ 70# we could not capture the arrow at release. I also stager my Fusion vanes on the white wrap to create the illusion of length without weight and it aids in fighting the wind because they are still just 2” long.
Monday, first day of the hunt. I spent my first day on stand and was pleasantly surprised to have an almost constant steam of bears coming to the bait. Though they were the same three yearling bears it was constant. I did not see any shooter bears this first evening but I was satisfied with the evenings hunt. Dusk turned to darkness and Todd Daye my guide was there to pick me up promptly at 1010 PM UDT. Tuesdays hunt was similar to Mondays with a few exceptions. The bears were bigger and they stayed on the bait longer. From about 6 PM until 945 PM it was constant again with bears being bears. At approximately 940-950 PM by my watch a very large bear entered the bait area. The following is the account of what happened next. I shot the bear on Tuesday evening at dusk with my Mathews Drenalin Bow, Alaska Bowhunters Supply GrizzlyStiks Safari arrows and the Ashby 315 SS Broad Heads. I waited as long as I could for the bear to turn broadside. The Bear was facing me quartering slightly to the right. I had to make a decision as the light was fading fast. Since I practice this shot at home on my range I did not find this one bit troubling. I let the 700 + gr arrow and broadhead fly with confidence and hit my mark.
Upon being shot the bear launched himself straight up in the air flat out twisting in the air and landing on his back. He laid there for a few seconds moaning and growling. I thought the hunt was over and he died on the spot. I was wrong.
The bear got up and as best he could make into the brush. The thrashing around went on for about three minutes and stopped except for the growling. At approximately 10:15 PM UDT Todd arrived and I instructed him to stop at my stand and not to proceed towards the bait area. I reattached my release to the string of my bow and handed it down to Todd. We found the bear’s blood trail and back out deciding it was too risky to pursue this further since we did not hear a death moan and we had only a flashlight and a head light. The next morning Todd and I headed back out at dawn to close this deal. We arrived on site at 0630 and started the hunt. We found the blood from the night before easily and from there it just got better so we thought. We found massive amounts of blood on the trail and into the woods. Then we found where the arrow had been pushed out by the bear. This is when the blood trail almost stopped and we had to shift tracking strategies.We started following drag marks left by the bear and spotty blood. I would mark the blood and Todd would move forward to find the next along with the drag marks. Finally after an hour of this Todd caught up with the bear. Todd called to me a with the news and I asked the usual hunter question, “is it big” he replied it was and HE IS STILL ALIVE! The bear was a little pissy at this point and what we realized was the reason the blood trail was so good was because we were bumping this bear up the trail. When the bear discovered we were there he sunk his claws into the bark of a tree to pull him past and peeled the bark off 10 feet up the tree. I unsheathed my knife and handed it to Todd to go finish the deal and he looked at me like I had a fish stapled to my forehead. I put the knife away.
With the amount of sign we found the night before I left my bow in the truck thinking this was “just” a recovery, TIP, don’t ever do that. So, as Todd went back to the truck to get the bow I stood watch over what I thought was the bear. In actuality the bear had dragged himself away and was not where I last saw him. During my time being fooled by the bear I did hear cracking branches off to my left which turn out to be a relevant clue later. Todd returns with my bow and as I a preparing to dispatch the bear I realize my Tru Ball Boss X release is not hanging on my string where I always leave it. It had fallen from the string after Todd laid my bow down when I handed it to him the evening before. Lucky for me I carry a back up in my pack and was now prepared for the kill. As I walked to my right to get a better look at my quarry I quickly realize he has left me behind with my "bow" in my hand.
Todd and I re-group and start the search again. I told him about the noise I heard and he headed that way and quickly picked up the trail again. This time the bear went to even greater lengths to prolong his life. He dragged himself over deadfall, thru mush and mud. To top it off the bear crossed a rapidly flowing deep creek. Todd my expert guide and tracker soon hunted him down and I arrive on the scene to close the deal again. At approximately 15 Feet, I release my next Grizzly Stik, this is a total pass thru from the back of the ribcage and out his shoulder. This really angered him and he started too turned on me and settle this man to beast. As he turned I drew back the second/third Grizzly Stik and double lunged him. Still not good enough for this bear, though dying this most noble creature fought to his 7th death moan to survive. I have the greatest respect for that bear and his will to live.
After all that we had the pleasure of dragging the 400#+- bear back to where this started. We physically dragged him approximately 70 yards. Todd went back to the truck again and brought down the 4 wheeler, making new paths through previously uncharted territory to get as close as possible. After an another hour of tugging and finally loading the bear we headed back to camp, Drenched with sweat and the water from the stream we had to cross twice we got the bear back to the lodge for some good old fashioned bragging time. Mark Hoover