With the 2011 British Columbia Limited Entry draws finally complete, I figure I should document what should turn out to be an incredible season for the Dana clan. The last few years I've shared my family's success' here on MM and many of you already know the passion I have when it comes to raising my kids in the outdoor heritage. While I am a trophy muley addict, that addiction takes the backseat to hunting with my family. I've been fortunate to have killed some smoker bucks over the years and I cherish the memories of those hunts, but....those are nothing compared to the memories I have from the countless trips I have had with my family as we share a passion for the outdoors. This is what it is all about for me.
Our 2011 season is already well under way. Last spring, my 15 year old son, Cody, had to sit on his hands as we spent the vast majority of the season trying to get his younger sister her first bear. So with no bears for Cody last year, this spring he just wanted to get out hunting and shoot any respectable bear for his first 2011 bear. British Columbia has a 2 black bear yearly baglimit, so Cody could hold out for a big bear with his second tag. The spring melt was long overdue this year, with winter dragging on and on. Bears came out of the dens late and had very little green to eat. While the season starts on April 1st, we didn't start seeing bears in any numbers until mid- May. After passing on several smaller bears, Cody decided to take this bear. With one shot from his Model 99 300 Savage at about 75 yards, the bear didnít go more than 20 yards. We call these bald faced bears 'Monkey Bears'. I don't know what causes them to have no hair on their face, maybe from rubbing in the den, but they are pretty cool looking. Turns out this is Cody's second monkey bear, as he shot one in '08 that was 7 foot ol' Warrior.
Here Cody is packing the deboned bear out.
The next weekend both the kids were away, so I decided to go out bear hunting by myself. It felt really strange hunting bears on my own as I've been so focused on my kids for the last several years. Things were starting to green up and after passing on several bears, I decided to stalk this bear to have a closer look. When I first spotted the bear, it was feeding at about 300 yards. I slowly closed the gap to under 40 yards, moving only when it had its head down feeding. I could tell the bear had a limp but I never would have guessed it was missing a front foot. The injury was old and well healed over, even had hair on the underside. There was a stump instead of a foot. Figure the name 'Stumpy' suits this bear. I love spot and stalk bear hunting because it is so much fun closing the distance and seeing how close you can get.
Here's a close up of the stump.
The following weekend it was my 13 year old daughter, Jesse's turn. She too just wanted to shoot a respectable bear for her first bear of 2011 and was willing to hold out for a bigger bear for her second. Throughout the weekend she passed on several smaller bears. On the Sunday afternoon we found this bear chowing down on a nice green landing and decided put the stalk on. We crawled to within 20 yards with the bear feeding contentedly unaware of our presence. One shot from her Model 99 300 Savage and the bear dropped.
Jesse has no problem getting to work and helping with the skinning.
With spring bear season winding down, I have seen well over 150 different bears and a bunch of other spring critters as well. Here are some pictures I was able to capture of this spring's adventures.