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Black Bear on Bear Highway

It cant go without saying that this year’s batch of hunters fortitude has been tested over and over.  With weather that seems to be taunting them by cold raining one day and jumping to 80+ degrees and sunny the next, these guys have been putting in the hours and time after time have in most cases been rewarded.

On Saturday, Dave, Tim and Jason made the long drive up from Iowa to try their best to outsmart a couple bruin and get a day or two of fishing in.  Optimism high and clouds beginning to hang low, the stands began to be assembled for the drive to the baits.

Each man had a different weapon but all agreed that failure was not an option.  The first day was a shorter than normal sit of only 4 hours and all were thankful that it was a restful sit as they had a long drive before and had sat long enough 🙂

The men arrived back in camp late after a dark trip through the woods.  Dave was ecstatic to let me know that his bait had proven effective and he had spotted an average sized bear that he had decided to pass on and Tim and Jason both had heard but not spotted activity.

SAM_0016 (640x480)

The next day, the three went out, excitement and weapons in hand.  The weather had cooled down and was determined to hold that mercury low for the day.  The boys had layered and knew it would be a good, long, cool day.  The day wore on for us here at the lodge as we completed one task after another waiting for the telltale early truck arrival signalling a downed bear.  As we waited and watched, the clock ticked on.  The sun had already set and the boys were already 30 minutes passed the expected arrival.  We would give them 30 more minutes before setting out to ‘track’ our hunters.  As the minutes dragged on, I had begun to assemble my gear, ready for the drive out with Terry.

At 11:20 pm, a set of headlights pulled through the trees and the truck slowed to a stop in front of my door.  I emerged to a truck full of smiles, not only had Dave taken his boar of 368lb glory, but Tim had taken his as well!!

IMG_5703 - Copy (640x427) (2)

As we iced the bears down for the night, I had the chance to go over the hunt with both hunters, as a returning hunter to Wawang, Dave was so excited to tell me about all the bears he saw on ‘the bear highway’ today.  He couldn’t help but beam when he told me about the sow and cubs that came for two visits that day as well as the mid sizer that came in between.  He said that with all the action on the bait, it was very simple to decipher the size of his boar.  He was clear that it had trumped everything else that had come for a visit and was so proud to share the pictures.  “There were just bear everywhere I looked!” he repeated.

Smiles all around, Tim spoke up about his hunt and was proud of his harvest, though it wasn’t as big a bear as Dave’s, the tell white half chevron of white on the chest that made a winking emoticon made it very simple for me to dub this boy ‘Winky’ .  Both had prime hides and will make for not only fantastic stories but beautiful mounts to be enjoyed for year after year.

IMG_5726 - Copy (640x427) (2)

Jason was so proud of both of his hunting buddies and is determined to add to the celebration list too!

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Bears Down! The Bear Highway

It cant go without saying that this year’s batch of hunters fortitude has been tested over and over.  With weather that seems to be taunting them by cold raining one day and jumping to 80+ degrees and sunny the next, these guys have been putting in the hours and time after time have in most cases been rewarded.

On Saturday, Dave, Tim and Jason made the long drive up from Iowa to try their best to outsmart a couple bruin and get a day or two of fishing in.  Optimism high and clouds beginning to hang low, the stands began to be assembled for the drive to the baits.

Each man had a different weapon but all agreed that failure was not an option.  The first day was a shorter than normal sit of only 4 hours and all were thankful that it was a restful sit as they had a long drive before and had sat long enough 🙂

The men arrived back in camp late after a dark trip through the woods.  Dave was ecstatic to let me know that his bait had proven effective and he had spotted an average sized bear that he had decided to pass on and Tim and Jason both had heard but not spotted activity.

SAM_0016 (640x480)

The next day, the three went out, excitement and weapons in hand.  The weather had cooled down and was determined to hold that mercury low for the day.  The boys had layered and knew it would be a good, long, cool day.  The day wore on for us here at the lodge as we completed one task after another waiting for the telltale early truck arrival signalling a downed bear.  As we waited and watched, the clock ticked on.  The sun had already set and the boys were already 30 minutes passed the expected arrival.  We would give them 30 more minutes before setting out to ‘track’ our hunters.  As the minutes dragged on, I had begun to assemble my gear, ready for the drive out with Terry.

At 11:20 pm, a set of headlights pulled through the trees and the truck slowed to a stop in front of my door.  I emerged to a truck full of smiles, not only had Dave taken his boar of 368lb glory, but Tim had taken his as well!!

IMG_5703 - Copy (640x427) (2)

As we iced the bears down for the night, I had the chance to go over the hunt with both hunters, as a returning hunter to Wawang, Dave was so excited to tell me about all the bears he saw on ‘the bear highway’ today.  He couldn’t help but beam when he told me about the sow and cubs that came for two visits that day as well as the mid sizer that came in between.  He said that with all the action on the bait, it was very simple to decipher the size of his boar.  He was clear that it had trumped everything else that had come for a visit and was so proud to share the pictures.  “There were just bear everywhere I looked!” he repeated.

 

Smiles all around, Tim spoke up about his hunt and was proud of his harvest, though it wasn’t as big a bear as Dave’s, the tell white half chevron of white on the chest that made a winking emoticon made it very simple for me to dub this boy ‘Winky’ .  Both had prime hides and will make for not only fantastic stories but beautiful mounts to be enjoyed for year after year.

IMG_5726 - Copy (640x427) (2)

Jason was so proud of both of his hunting buddies and is determined to add to the celebration list too!

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TESTIMONIALS    BROCHURE    HUNT BOOKLET

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Posted by on December 29, 2015 in black bear, hunting, Wawang Lake Resort

 

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Bear Down! The legend of Squeekules.

It often amazes me what people do in their stands while in wait.  Some nap, some eat, some even make shadow puppets….not Jamie, nope not Jamie.

Jamie’s hunt began just like everyone elses, with optimism and excitement.  He knew what he was waiting for and he was prepared for what to do when it got there…..boy did it take its time!!

As he sat scanning the forest around him for any sign of movement, he spotted something from the corner of his eye.  I little red squirrel was climbing down the tree that was just six inches from his left.  Slowly this little red fellow crept while keeping a watchful eye on Jamie.  He made his way slowly onto the branch directly by his face and looked him in the eye.  Jamie gave little notice at first until he realized that this critter wasn’t leaving…he was perfectly happy to size up this human that was hanging around one of ‘his’ trees!

squeek

There they both sat in silence for a minute or two looking eye to eye, sizing each other up.  Finally Squeekules retreated and carried on down his tree to visit the forest floor.  He scurried around the moss and even over to the bait to check out its bounty.  Jamie watched as the little red fellow ran from one log to another and halfway up one tree and down to the next.  It amazed him that his new buddy was always in view.  It was really nice to have a distraction while waiting for his prey.

As the day came to a close and not a bear had been spotted, Jamie retreated down his tree to the sound of Squeekules chattering him a good bye.

squeek2

The next day started much the same with that slow climb and area inspection.  It didn’t take long for his little buddy to return and fill him in on the mornings events.  There the unlikely pair sat, looking at the bait and scanning the horizon.  The clouds started to close over and the winds picked up.  As the cold rain began to fall, with one last look, Squeekules climbed his tree to find some dry cover.  Jamie wasn’t so lucky.  There he sat in the rain as the temperatures dropped faster and faster.  It was cold and dark but he sat vigilant.  By the end of the day, he was cold, wet and it had appeared that the bear had won again.  He climbed down his stand and made his way out thinking about the time that he had spent up in that tree and his optimism was beginning to wane.  Would it be just as cold tomorrow?

As the sun rose the third morning of the hunt, the temperature was still crisp and those mid forty chills were setting in.  As he dressed for his hopefully short day in the stand, Jamie decided that he would change his weapon of choice.  Retired was his bow and up next was his muzzle loader.  He wanted to ensure that he would have a longer range if so much as one black ear made an appearance.

He made his way to his familiar perch and was happy to see that little Squeekules had already arrived.  There they both sat for a couple of minutes scanning the horizon for any sign of interruption.  The bait had not been hit and the area seemed quiet to any noise other than the rattle of the leaves.  Squeekules gave one last look before heading out for his morning routines.  Jamie sat in wait, the day stretching on.  He could see the little critter bouncing from one tree to the next and back again.  He seemed to be circling the bait and climbing the trees only to come back down again.    As Jamie stood to stretch his legs, here came Squeek, right up his tree and right beside him.  He seemed to just be checking in and making sure Jamie wasnt leaving his post and as Jamie sat again, that little squirrel jumped right onto his leg and ran down back to the bark of the tree!  Boy this little buddy was getting bold.

squeek3

The day was dragging on and his friend had decided to take up space all over Jamie’s tree.  He would leave to take care of his tasks and return to keep Jamie company, at times right behind his head and even right behind his back and against the tree.  The company was welcomed and the stand was becoming more bearable.

As his attention began to wane from his bait, Jamie began to search for his camera.  He desperately was hoping to catch a picture of his new friend.  As he shuffled through his bag, Squeek had began to make his way back to his tree and climbed up halfway up only to be interrupted.  Something was there….it was close and the squirrel knew it.  As Jamie’s attention was focused on that camera, Squeekules had run to the east side of the bait.  He made his way halfway up the tree and sat firm on a branch watching the trail.  Suddenly his tail stood firm and Squeek gripped his tree as he let out a loud chattering war cry.  Jamie looked to his direction and there it was….

angry squeek

That bear ambled in slowly but determined directly below Squeek.  That squirrel stayed braced to the branch and looked to Jamie for acknowledgement.  The two friends knew that the time had come.  The bruin was within range of the bait and began to deviate directly toward Jamie’s tree!  With a knowing look to the branches, Jamie’s eyes met those of this boar, its massive head making those beady eyes look even more pointed.  His hands held steady on his gun as the bear slowly turned and began back to the bait.  He had decided that Jamie was not a threat and his need for a snack was much more pressing.

A shot rang out and Squeek made a hasty retreat as that bear took its final breath.  That was it, the hunt was over and Jamie was proud of his 450lb harvest.  As Jamie brought his bear back and spoke of the hunt, it seemed that the hunt itself was a minor detail in the story of his unlikely friendship with a little red warrior that spent his days keeping him company and making that wait BEARable!

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2013 in black bear, hunting, Wawang Lake Resort

 

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Bears down! The bear highway

So as promised, we figured we would share the details of both Dave and Tim’s hunts!

I cant go without saying that this year’s batch of hunters fortitude has been tested over and over.  With weather that seems to be taunting them by cold raining one day and jumping to 80+ degrees and sunny the next, these guys have been putting in the hours and time after time have in most cases been rewarded.

On Saturday, Dave, Tim and Jason made the long drive up from Iowa to try their best to outsmart a couple bruin and get a day or two of fishing in.  Optimism high and clouds beginning to hang low, the stands began to be assembled for the drive to the baits.

Each man had a different weapon but all agreed that failure was not an option.  The first day was a shorter than normal sit of only 4 hours and all were thankful that it was a restful sit as they had a long drive before and had sat long enough 🙂

The men arrived back in camp late after a dark trip through the woods.  Dave was ecstatic to let me know that his bait had proven effective and he had spotted an average sized bear that he had decided to pass on and Tim and Jason both had heard but not spotted activity.

SAM_0016 (640x480)

The next day, the three went out, excitement and weapons in hand.  The weather had cooled down and was determined to hold that mercury low for the day.  The boys had layered and knew it would be a good, long, cool day.  The day wore on for us here at the lodge as we completed one task after another waiting for the telltale early truck arrival signalling a downed bear.  As we waited and watched, the clock ticked on.  The sun had already set and the boys were already 30 minutes passed the expected arrival.  We would give them 30 more minutes before setting out to ‘track’ our hunters.  As the minutes dragged on, I had begun to assemble my gear, ready for the drive out with Terry.

At 11:20 pm, a set of headlights pulled through the trees and the truck slowed to a stop in front of my door.  I emerged to a truck full of smiles, not only had Dave taken his boar of 368lb glory, but Tim had taken his as well!!

IMG_5703 - Copy (640x427) (2)

As we iced the bears down for the night, I had the chance to go over the hunt with both hunters, as a returning hunter to Wawang, Dave was so excited to tell me about all the bears he saw on ‘the bear highway’ today.  He couldn’t help but beam when he told me about the sow and cubs that came for two visits that day as well as the mid sizer that came in between.  He said that with all the action on the bait, it was very simple to decipher the size of his boar.  He was clear that it had trumped everything else that had come for a visit and was so proud to share the pictures.  “There were just bear everywhere I looked!” he repeated.

 

Smiles all around, Tim spoke up about his hunt and was proud of his harvest, though it wasn’t as big a bear as Dave’s, the tell white half chevron of white on the chest that made a winking emoticon made it very simple for me to dub this boy ‘Winky’ .  Both had prime hides and will make for not only fantastic stories but beautiful mounts to be enjoyed for year after year.

IMG_5726 - Copy (640x427) (2)

Jason was so proud of both of his hunting buddies and is determined to add to the celebration list so stay tuned!!!

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2013 in black bear, hunting, Wawang Lake Resort

 

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Bear Down! Just saw him for a Smidge

There once was a man named Randy
who had harvested some bears that were dandy

He came to Wawang to keep up the trend
but Mother Nature had bested him in the end.

Three days in his stand, weapon in hand steady
he knew he was more than ready

He had one day spotted a monster and and waited
The bear sensed him too and hesitated.

As he ambled on, Randy knew that chance had gone
but soon the hunt would be done.

The next day he spotted a wee bear on the road ridge
who Randy himself knew was just a smidge

As he climbed his stand that final day
All reservations had melted away

A bear was now in his site
looked like it put up no fight.

But as the shot rang out from the ridge,
it caused him to twinge
As he soon came to realize he had taken Smidge!

Sense of humour in hand
we all knew you would be his fan
Smidge and Randy smiled for pictures as only they can!

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2013 in black bear, hunting, Wawang Lake Resort

 

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Bear Down! The legend of Squeekules.

It often amazes me what people do in their stands while in wait.  Some nap, some eat, some even make shadow puppets….not Jamie, nope not Jamie.

Jamie’s hunt began just like everyone elses, with optimism and excitement.  He knew what he was waiting for and he was prepared for what to do when it got there…..boy did it take its time!!

As he sat scanning the forest around him for any sign of movement, he spotted something from the corner of his eye.  I little red squirrel was climbing down the tree that was just six inches from his left.  Slowly this little red fellow crept while keeping a watchful eye on Jamie.  He made his way slowly onto the branch directly by his face and looked him in the eye.  Jamie gave little notice at first until he realized that this critter wasn’t leaving…he was perfectly happy to size up this human that was hanging around one of ‘his’ trees!

squeek

There they both sat in silence for a minute or two looking eye to eye, sizing each other up.  Finally Squeekules retreated and carried on down his tree to visit the forest floor.  He scurried around the moss and even over to the bait to check out its bounty.  Jamie watched as the little red fellow ran from one log to another and halfway up one tree and down to the next.  It amazed him that his new buddy was always in view.  It was really nice to have a distraction while waiting for his prey.

As the day came to a close and not a bear had been spotted, Jamie retreated down his tree to the sound of Squeekules chattering him a good bye.

squeek2

The next day started much the same with that slow climb and area inspection.  It didn’t take long for his little buddy to return and fill him in on the mornings events.  There the unlikely pair sat, looking at the bait and scanning the horizon.  The clouds started to close over and the winds picked up.  As the cold rain began to fall, with one last look, Squeekules climbed his tree to find some dry cover.  Jamie wasn’t so lucky.  There he sat in the rain as the temperatures dropped faster and faster.  It was cold and dark but he sat vigilant.  By the end of the day, he was cold, wet and it had appeared that the bear had won again.  He climbed down his stand and made his way out thinking about the time that he had spent up in that tree and his optimism was beginning to wane.  Would it be just as cold tomorrow?

As the sun rose the third morning of the hunt, the temperature was still crisp and those mid forty chills were setting in.  As he dressed for his hopefully short day in the stand, Jamie decided that he would change his weapon of choice.  Retired was his bow and up next was his muzzle loader.  He wanted to ensure that he would have a longer range if so much as one black ear made an appearance.

He made his way to his familiar perch and was happy to see that little Squeekules had already arrived.  There they both sat for a couple of minutes scanning the horizon for any sign of interruption.  The bait had not been hit and the area seemed quiet to any noise other than the rattle of the leaves.  Squeekules gave one last look before heading out for his morning routines.  Jamie sat in wait, the day stretching on.  He could see the little critter bouncing from one tree to the next and back again.  He seemed to be circling the bait and climbing the trees only to come back down again.    As Jamie stood to stretch his legs, here came Squeek, right up his tree and right beside him.  He seemed to just be checking in and making sure Jamie wasnt leaving his post and as Jamie sat again, that little squirrel jumped right onto his leg and ran down back to the bark of the tree!  Boy this little buddy was getting bold.

squeek3

The day was dragging on and his friend had decided to take up space all over Jamie’s tree.  He would leave to take care of his tasks and return to keep Jamie company, at times right behind his head and even right behind his back and against the tree.  The company was welcomed and the stand was becoming more bearable.

As his attention began to wane from his bait, Jamie began to search for his camera.  He desperately was hoping to catch a picture of his new friend.  As he shuffled through his bag, Squeek had began to make his way back to his tree and climbed up halfway up only to be interrupted.  Something was there….it was close and the squirrel knew it.  As Jamie’s attention was focused on that camera, Squeekules had run to the east side of the bait.  He made his way halfway up the tree and sat firm on a branch watching the trail.  Suddenly his tail stood firm and Squeek gripped his tree as he let out a loud chattering war cry.  Jamie looked to his direction and there it was….

angry squeek

That bear ambled in slowly but determined directly below Squeek.  That squirrel stayed braced to the branch and looked to Jamie for acknowledgement.  The two friends knew that the time had come.  The bruin was within range of the bait and began to deviate directly toward Jamie’s tree!  With a knowing look to the branches, Jamie’s eyes met those of this boar, its massive head making those beady eyes look even more pointed.  His hands held steady on his gun as the bear slowly turned and began back to the bait.  He had decided that Jamie was not a threat and his need for a snack was much more pressing.

A shot rang out and Squeek made a hasty retreat as that bear took its final breath.  That was it, the hunt was over and Jamie was proud of his 450lb harvest.  As Jamie brought his bear back and spoke of the hunt, it seemed that the hunt itself was a minor detail in the story of his unlikely friendship with a little red warrior that spent his days keeping him company and making that wait BEARable!

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2013 in black bear, hunting, Wawang Lake Resort

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

BEAR DOWN!!! Quinn and Lucas Had a Long Night!

In the sweltering heat both men knew that they might be in for a long, uncomfortable sit. Both resigned to the fact that being scent locked and camouflaged entailed long sleeves, pants and boot that would be working double time!

A typical view from a stand

Luke settled in confident that at some point during his stay, he would be bringing home what he had come all this way for.

As the mid day and early evening came on, Terry (the guide) had come in from a long day on the baits. It seemed much longer than usual and I asked him how it went.

“Well, we have a bear down.” Right away, the smile was over me, a ‘bear down’ is an outcome we as outfitters strive for and work painstakingly at before the hunter even arrives. Terry too was pleased.

“I was just on my way back up from the northern end baits when I saw a white truck in my rearview. I recognized it and pulled on over. Lucas was all in a mess, hot and concerned because he knew he had a bear down and he had no idea where it was.” Apparently in this 90 degree plus heat, Luke had taken his bear early (11 am) and had spent the last two hours tracking to no avail.

“Just by luck, I happened to be coming back just as he was coming to get me. He needed that bear tracked and that’s what we did.  We went back to where the shot was landed and to where she bedded down for a few moments.”  Luke was so happy that he had made contact and saw her ‘down’ that he let out a shout of excitement and that “YES!!!” quickly turned into a NO!  as that girl got up with all of her might and ran.

“We found the trail and it tapered off as we went on.  We cleared the direct line and went back to the bait to regroup.  I decided to check the small ravine to the right and Luke, the upper ridgeline to the left.  It didnt take long before I zoned in on one very small drop of blood.”  Terry’s eyes narrowed as he relived the moment.

“I was able to flag Luke over and we were hot on the trail!”

Hot was right!  Tracking in the mid day sun at 90+ degree temperatures was painstaking and uncomfortable.

“We were both amazed that there was so little blood.  He swore he heard a distinctive death moan and a final grunt….he KNEW she was down.  We walked for about ten minutes and FINALLY!!!  there she was, completely laid out under a small covering of brush.”

He smiled and you could see he was content that not only she was found but they could both get out of that blistering hot sun…..after she was field dressed.  Luke took no time in getting to work and analyzing his shot and finalizing the autopsy and arrow path.  He had deduced that he had run high but had hit both lungs.  A good, clean shot that had dropped her quickly.  Both men had a good laugh when they noted she had only gotten about 65 yards from the bait but was cunning in her route to be elusive.

“He did a good job.  He was an efficient hunter and he reaped his reward. He stayed behind to wait for Quinn to come off of his stand.  They should be in soon.”  And with that, Terry was off preparing for tommorrows bait run.

I watched the road anxiously for some time, measuring tape and camera ready for whatever was to come……The clock seemed to drag as I waited.  20 minutes turned into 2 hours and I was slightly concerned.  That sow needed to be processed asap, where were they?

Within minutes the white truck ambled up the road.  As they slowed I greeted Luke with all the congratulations.  He sprung from the truck and pointed…..”We brought you two for the price of one!!”

They SURE did!!  Quinn had downed a massive boar!  The truck bed was hanging lower with all the excess weight.

“RIGHT ON!”  I couldn’t hold back my excitement for the two of them.

Now came the real work!  Pictures, measurements and processing!  Quinn had shared that the hunt was relatively quick and uneventful.

“There was a snap of a twig and here he came.  You know he owned this house.  I barely let him reach the bait and I drew back and…….that was it!  20 yards and he was down.”  He made a point of looking to Lucas with a devious grin.

“I have to say, I was a bit worried.  I shot a bear before and he made the distinctive moan but we tracked and tracked and never found it, I was worried that this may be a repeat but there he was, down and done!”

It was a great night of stories including Shawn’s face to face encounter with his boar (that will be a story best saved for later), laughs and WORK!  As it was the very first time any of them caped a bear, all hands were on deck and they were all quick studies as I laid out the technique.  We made short time of Luke’s 225lb sow and Quinn and the rest of the crew were able to tidy up his 410lb boomer and hit the hay by 4 am.

Stay tuned for the next chapter of the Westpfahl’s Canadian wilderness adventure…….be assured there WILL be one!!

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2013 in black bear, Wawang Lake Resort

 

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