In 2013 I was all set to head up to Adrenaline Outfitters for my first bear hunt with a fellow Posse member.  Due to a family emergency that Posse member had to pull out of the hunt and therefore I headed up to Adrenaline alone.  I made the 10+ hour drive and met up with Russ, Shelley and Luke.  After hanging out a bit, I followed Russ up to camp.  Little did I know that Russ, one of the owners of Adrenaline Outfitters, was planning to sacrifice time with his family and work days to be my camera-man.  Knowing Russ now, it doesn’t surprise me that he would “TCB - take care of business” and make sure everything went well for this hunt. 

Russ and I went out to the stand every day and saw a lot of bear.  Needless to say, I went from knowing very little about bears to knowing a ton.  When you ride to your stand in one of the coolest trucks and then sit in Ameristep tree stands with an owner of Adrenaline, you learn a ton about bears and their behaviors.  Russ knows his stuff!  On one of our final sits we had a huge boar sending a message to all the other bears in the area.  This guy was yanking bark off trees and just putting on a display.  After waiting several minutes he finally decided to walk in our direction and stopped 20 yards from the stand right behind a tree.  I drew my Hoyt Vicxen in preparation for the shot, but he decided to make a quick turn and never provided me another ethical opportunity.

The experiences of this hunting trip could never be replaced.  I learned so much about bears and had so many great laughs with a great friend and fellow ACM Posse member.

It was planned that I would return to Adrenaline for another opportunity for my first bear in the spring of 2015 and this time my hunting partner would be Vicki. 

We arrived into Winnipeg Saturday afternoon and met Russ, Shel and Luke.  After a short trip to Cabelas and a wonderful dinner together, Russ took us out to camp.  The next morning we awoke to warm weather and after checking the most up-to-date forecast, learned that a good part of the week was going to be warm.  Thinking positively we spent the first morning organizing everything we needed for our hunts.  Being as I had never harvested a bear, Vic insisted that I hunt the first night.  We traded off hunting the first couple of days and had some good bear movement but no quality boars. 

On Tuesday night we had a gorgeous, black bear cruise through in front of our Ameristep ground blind.  I again was able to draw my Hoyt Vicxen, but he never stopped long enough to provide a shot.  The next day Vic attempted to talk me into being the hunter again so that I could go after this brute. However, I explained that if we didn’t trade off and I hunted again, I wouldn’t be behind the bow the rest of the week.  So on Wednesday night we switched up from the ground blind to a tree stand with Vic taking her bow.  (I wonder if Ralph gets his way that easily.) That boar did decide to show himself again and Vic placed the Beman right where it needed to be.  I was able to share the excitement of this hunt with her from behind the camera.  Needless to say, the stand wasn’t only shaking because of Vic’s excitement.  Russ arrived to assist in the recovery and I know he would agree that he couldn’t have lifted the 400+ bear without the help of two women. 

Now after two weeks at Adrenaline I had two final sits left to get my first bear.  On Thursday night we took a 45 minute quad ride in to the stand and hung out in our ground blind again.  We had some friendly visitors all night who decided to come within one to three yards of us.  Yikes….that’s a little nerve-racking!   Even though we had a lot of bear movement, we didn’t see the quality boar we were after.  Russ confirmed that the area had been visited by several big boars recently by showing us a bunch of SpyPoint Trailcam photos from the previous night.  Therefore, the next day we set up in the same area but this time we were up in a tree stand.  Around 7:30 a bruiser of a boar walked right under our stand and eventually provided me a broadside shot.  I lined up my Truglo sight and made, what I felt, was a good shot.  He ran off and we lost sight of him.  Once Russ arrived we found good blood and looked for him up until dusk.  We were not successful and it was determined that we would return early the next morning. Tom, Russ, Vic and I awoke hopeful the next morning and spent two hours looking for any sign of him.  I was feeling a little defeated yet I could tell from Russ and Tom’s demeanors that they were not giving up.  After refocusing our efforts to a smaller area I came upon my bear myself lying in a good amount of water. The celebration and recovery began.  I was so excited and relieved to have found him. My first bear definitely provided me with some ups and downs, but we stayed positive and were able to celebrate a successful hunt together.  Since Vic and I had to be at the airport within three hours, we had to take photos quickly, get back to camp and make the two hour trip to the airport. 

These experiences at Adrenaline Outfitters will be difficult to top.  Thanks to everyone at the Wood’n Bell in Manigotagan for making delicious, home-cooked meals and providing excellent lodging.  Thanks to Tom of Adrenaline for all his support and for being an excellent fishing guide.   Vic, I can’t thank you and Ralph enough for providing these opportunities to me.  I am so blessed that I was able to share our successful hunts along with you. My husband and son survived without mom and I thank them for all their support and love.  Finally, thanks to Russ of Adrenaline Outfitters for making my first bear hunts amazing adventures filled with laughs, learning and a ton of excellent bear encounters.  Thank you especially for providing me with my first beautiful, black bear.  After my experiences with Adrenaline Outfitters I have set some high standards of what a hunting camp should provide.  Thanks for fulfilling my expectations and giving me memories that will last a lifetime.

Hunter: Jennifer Johnson

Cameraman: Vicki Cianciarulo