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Spring Black Bear 2022

Winter felt like it did not want to leave, or spring decided not to make an appearance this year, either way it contributed to some tough hunting. I’d went into the season confident, it felt like this was finally my year to cut a tag on a spring black bear. Opening day, April 1st came and went with me at work, as soon as I could, the first clear day off and fifteen minutes in I was watching a decent bear four hundred yards away through my binos. Too far for the muzzleloader I was carrying and on the other side of a river, he had chosen a safe spot. The next day a large bruin ran across the highway in front of the Xterra as I was driving home from another hunt. Hope was sky rocketing considering it was the first week of the season. I hadn’t expected much action until at least the end of the month.

A young bear posing in a spot where the only shooting you can do is with a camera.

A last minute trip back east, then a road trip with my wife out to Alberta kept me out of the woods for over a month. Not that it mattered much, the weather went to hell. The coast was hammered with more rain than I’d seen in my twenty-one springs here. Along with the rain were chilly nights, even when it cleared the winds were shifty and inconsistent. What I was seeing and hearing from others, this spring was giving us some tough bear hunting.

My father's 30-30 that I'd brought back from Ontario and a large pile of bear sign.

Finally in the dying days of the season the action started to pick up. Swirling winds put a bear up a tree, the canopy too thick to find him, though he was within seventy-five yards. The last days in Region 2 had a sow with two cubs entertaining me for almost an hour, then there was a single bear crossing a long cut block, six hundred yards out, wandering into the trees before I could close into comfortable shooting range. As a last resort I decided to burn the fuel, driving an hour north to get in a couple last days, taking advantage of the later closing date in Region 3. The trips north proved worthwhile with beta for the coming fall’s blacktail season and an exciting stalk on two bears that went south, a combination of bad wind switches and aggressively pushing forward when I should have held back.

Checking out new spots and looking for Mr Black Bear.

Not getting a black bear for the third straight spring season left the freezer in a wanting state, the grouse are eaten and venison from last fall's deer is low. On the other hand I learned a lot, it’s always good to be loading the mind with more information, learning is one of the things that keeps me going out there. Hopefully luck will be on my side and I will get a chance at a black bear this fall, not to mention a couple new spots for deer hunting that I probably wouldn’t have found if it wasn’t for getting out in the spring. All in all it was another great season in the books and now I am ready for summer to begin, that’s if this rain ever stops.

See you on the water or the mountains.

-Matthew Mallory

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