More than a Bear Hunt

When you work in Corporate America as I do, in the Information Technology field, it is hard to find time to really relax and let your hair down, but that is exactly what I did on this trip to Bear Camp at South Peace Outfitters in Alberta, Canada. Working in the IT field and going to school to get my Master’s degree is hard enough, but dealing with the death of one of my closest friends due to Domestic Violence has been very overwhelming.

If there was ever a time I needed to get away and relax it was now and I could not have went to a better Outfitter.  Not only did I relax and enjoy time with my friends Ralph and Vicki, but I met new friends and had an amazing time. I did take an awesome bear during this trip, but that part was the icing on the cake, the best part was being away to enjoy the company of friends and being engulfed in the beauty of the outdoors that God created.

Our Camp consisted of our awesome guides, Don, Darcy, and Tyler Lund along with 3 hunters, Vicki C., Corey LaCosta, and me.  We had two awesome videographers Kenneth Chesson and Dan Thorstad and we cannot forget about Jackie Lund and Cookie who took awesome care of us while we were there. The meals were amazing.   I also met a friend of Darcy’s who shot her first bear this year, way to go Stephanie.  Last but not least, we cannot forget RALPH C., who had just recently had total knee replacement, had cabin fever, and needed to come on this trip with us… He listened to the doctor’s orders and did not over exert his knee in ANY WAY…

Corey won the Rocky Sweepstakes and was able to come to bear camp with us.  He is an awesome person and we were blessed to be able to meet him, hunt with him and just get to know him.  He took two Color Phased Bears (Big Red and Frenchy the blonde bear).  I don’t know of anyone taking two awesome bears like this within one week.

Don, from South Peace asked me if I had rubber boots.  “Nope”, I said, they were too heavy for my suitcase so I just brought hikers…. Hmmmm, BAD IDEA… I have never been through so many mud bogs or that deep into the bush before… WOW what a blast.  Even though I am high maintenance, I do have a little redneck in me and I found it so much fun going through all the mud, getting stuck and having to use a winch to pull us out.  It was a new adventure every day.

The evening I took my bear started out challenging.  No lie, we had to go through several mud bogs and between Vicki’s and my side by side, we got stuck a zillion times.  I did not get to my stand until 7:30 pm but that was ok because we were able to hunt and have enough cameral light until 11:00 pm. I was told that there was a nice black bear with a brown muzzle and white V on his chest.  Well the bear I took had these traits but it was a different bear than what was being viewed on the Trail Cameras.   That’s ok, because I am very happy with the trophy I got and the next week after we left, Darcy was able to take the bear that was on the trail camera which had a skull of 19”…. Way to go Darcy but yes I am a little jealous, ahaaa!

Kenneth and I had not been in the stand but a few minutes and here came 4 bears.  One of the bears was most dominant and took control of the buffet of food waiting there for them.  One bear ripped a beaver tail off the tree and ran into the bush to chomp on it.  It was really crunchy and he seemed to enjoy it very much. The others mulled around and ate what the dominant bear didn’t want. Kenneth, my awesome cameraman and I agreed this dominant bear would be a nice bear to take.  In Alberta, you have the opportunity to take two bears so I was happy with harvesting this bear for my first tag.  The only problem was that this bear kept on standing up and then laying down.  So that meant I would get ready to draw my HOYT Vicxen and at the last second, have to change my mind.  This happened for what seemed like hours. I remember at one time, my upper body being perfectly calm while my lower body was totally shaking and quivering.  I had to sit down a few times in order for my legs to stop shaking.  Finally, the bear stood up, gave me a perfect shot at 25 yards and I let my Hellrazor go. The Beman and Tracer went through my trophy like butter and was able to get a pass through.  My bear piled up about 30 yards from where I shot.
My guide Darcy was happy for me and him because the bear piled up right by the trail so we didn’t have to do much to get it into the side by side. The next night, Vicki took a nice P&Y bear, so all three hunters were successful.  All of us came away with trophies and memories to last a lifetime.  Thanks Ralph and Vicki and Archers Choice Media for inviting me on this trip. Thanks to South Peace Outfitters for having us and running a top notch place.  Kenneth thanks for putting up with me for an entire week and helping me determine that I sound like MUTTLEY trying to hold back the laughter from our goofy stories while hanging out in the tree.  And finally Corey, I am so glad you won that Sweepstakes, it couldn’t have been won by anyone better!!! Blessings!

Hunter: Meegan Turnbeaugh

Cameraman: Kenneth Chesson