I’ve been a hunter for about a decade now, and the only thing of any size I’ve shot have been deer. My friend Trevor and I decided though to expand our horizons and take a try at a bear. After trying to figure the best way to go about it ourselves, we decided that if we really wanted to do it right, we might as well get some professionals on our side. And that’s how we arrived at Sumanik’s Sanctuary through Bear Hunts BC.
Neither of us had ever been on an outfitted hunt before. We both sort of muddled through every year in our own vehicles and gear, often forgetting this or that along the way, so going in we were concerned about what we needed to bring. Pete, our guide, assured us though that aside from a rifle, tags and clothes, they had everything else we needed. However, being a bit skeptical, we brought a bit of this and a bit of that, just in case.
Then came the day we drove up to Sumanik’s Sanctuary, which is about an hour south of Vanderhoof, BC. Not having hunted for bear before, the closer we got to camp, the more the excited we got. After meeting Pete in Vanderhoof, he led us out to the camp where we could finally stretch our legs and look around at what they had. So we over packed (of course), because they really did have everything we needed right at the camp!
The next day, we set out in Pete’s truck, which is a proper work truck 4×4, armor plated like a tank. After crawling over countless fall down and road deactivations, we could see why the armour was paramount. A little bouncing over rocks never hurt any truck right? Throughout the day, we saw a few smaller bears, and a couple bigger bears, either too far off or spooked too easily though. Then on the way back to one of the main roads, Pete looked over and saw a “road” leading off to the left, across a creek.
As we arrived at the bridge to cross, there was a sign there, scrawled by someone with first grade penmanship reading “ConDEmnED BRidGe”. After examining the bridge, we saw that although the decking was worse for wear in parts, the timbers underneath were still very sound, so we drove across it. At the top of the hill a little further down that road, there was a beautiful black bear, just grazing. Trevor slid out the door and took aim. Bam! The bear jumped into the air, went about twenty feet and fell down dead. Perfect shot, right through the heart.
After loading in Trevor’s bear into the back of the truck, we continued hunting on the way back to camp, as the sun was beginning to set. Nearly back at camp, I had a feeling about a road that we were down once before that day where we had seen lots of sign. About midway down that road, I saw another black bear, grazing right in the middle of our path. This time I slid out, took aim, and Bam! Once again, the bear jumped, went just off the road, and fell dead. Two nice bears, two heart shots and two friends on an amazing hunt.
It was an astounding day of hunting and one we both will never forget. On the way back to camp, the truck cab was very crowded because we were both beside ourselves with excitement. It was my first bear, and though certainly not my last, it’s one that I’ll for sure remember forever. A special thanks to Don, Pete and everyone else who were so great to us while we were at Sumanik’s Sanctuary. We both highly recommend Bear Hunts BC to anyone looking to have a great experience in BC.