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Archery Bear Hunt

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Got up to the camp for the fall bear hunt that opened August 15th. The five brothers have a camp 20 miles north of Kirkland Lake. A log cabin that was built in the fifties. We added a bunkhouse after we bought it and every year have made improvements.


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                             New dock                                                                               original cabin with bunkhouse added                                         inside sleeping area


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              This is the morning view out the cabin door                                                    and the evening view



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                                                                         Some of the fish caught over the years



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        This year we put in a new kitchen and window over sink                        New back deck for storing hunting gear                                           New cover over front deck


Despite the work put in we managed to get out and hunt. The yearly ritual of sorting through the trail camera photos from each of the eight baits to determine (in our own minds) the baits we liked  consisted of going through hundreds of photos which included ravens,  chipmunks, squirrels, lynx, wolf, and of course .....bear. Our philosophy is to have every person a chance at a bear. Accordingly, after seeing the camera photos, we draw for picking order. Any person who did not get a bear the previous year is in the A pool ( first ones to pick). All others are in the B pool. Each pool member draws a card to determine picking order within the pool. Selection depends on how you feel about the bait from previous experience and of course the trail camera photos. I didn't shoot a bear last year because I only saw small bear so I had first pick and then the others drew cards.


The first evening was interesting when a small bear came in to the bait. Chipmunks and squirrels entertained me while I listened to the ducks quacking on the lake. Finally it was too dark to shoot and I decided to turn on my light to look at the barrel...crap...there was a bear between me and the bait ...10 yards from me. All I caught was a black blur as he set a new land speed record in getting out of Dodge. The consolation was that I had been quiet enough for him to come in and he didn't get my scent. Of course I still had to walk out in the dark, get back to camp and change my underwear. Back at camp the others had seen bears but nothing big enough to shoot.


The next night was a repeat of the first with the small bear coming in again. Then with minutes of shooting light I saw a bear coming down the hill to the rear of the bait. I checked the video camera....drat ...not enough light. He came to the bait but didn't present a broadside shot. In fact, he continued towards the tree stand and stopped 10 yards away. The wind had been swirling a bit  and I could see he was a bit cautious. Then he stood up  on his hind legs and stood there sniffing the air....neat stuff.....darn... no camera. I'm worrying that shooting time was near an end when he drops down and returns to the bait only to walk behind it and turn as if to go back up the hill. After a few seconds (seemed like hours) he decided he wanted a donut and came back to the bait. With minutes of legal shooting time left he turned broadside and I shot. He went back behind the bait and within seconds I heard a couple of death moans. After a few minutes to settle down I got out of the stand to look for blood. He broke the arrow and there wasn't much blood but 20 yards later I was standing over a 240 lb. bear.


The next morning was spent processing the bear and getting the packaged meat to the freezer in the trailer park across the lake. And getting the ribs prepared for the feast that night.



Brother Russ and ribs ready for the bbq. We ate bear ribs, fresh caught walleye, home made spaghetti and sauce, home made chili and beer can chicken among our meals that week.



The second night my brother Larry shot a 275 lb. bear with a huge head. Bears are scored with head measurements and it had a green score that suggested it would make the Ontario record book at least. It was an old male with massive front end and relatively small hindquarters. The third day the weather turned on us. Daily rains and winds that hampered the hunting and certainly put a crimp in Larry's and my fishing. Brother John (aka Mooseslayer) took a shot at a bear only to have a clap of thunder startle it as he shot resulting in a shot a bit farther back than he liked. He decided to back out and not spook it. Driving a boat back to camp in a driving rain wasn't fun for him and the other brothers (Russ and Paul) who had been out as well. Of course Larry and I were in front of the woodstove with a glass of Irish feeling lucky we already had our bear. The next morning after a night of rain we had no blood trail but good tracking of crushed vegetation and broken sticks (especially by John) resulted in a found bear. Unfortunately wolves or another bear had eaten about 20 lbs  of meat from the hindquarters (the good stuff) but we took it back to camp and salvaged most of the meat.


Rainy weather and winds made for miserable conditions for Russ and Paul and they didn't get a shot at a decent bear.......A pool next year.


All in all a good trip. Of course it is always good to hunt with brothers. The three bears this year brings the camp total to 58 bears.


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                      My 240 lb bear                                                         Larry's 275 lb bear                                                     The five brothers and Larry's bear










Edited by coyotehunter

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This is the best hunting post I have read here . The story is fit for a magazine ....congrats on a successful hunt (again) .


The brothers 5 have a beautiful spot ...love that old log cabin shot .  Having s(bear) ribs & fish for dinner is awesome !


You guys have a piece of heaven on earth right there ....enjoy it as long as you can .


Every once and a while I go through my moose ( and one bear) pictures to bring back those precious memories !

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Ya great story guys ! Wow 5 brothers eh! Dont see that too much anymore .always someone to share those memories with .im an only child but my daughter is into hunting and fishing so i do have somebody to experience the adventures along side me .happy hunting guys! Cant wait for deer to open freezers empty lol

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Yes , hunting with the brothers is special, but there is always the element of competition in the hunting and fishing. Having a brother netting your fish that is bigger than his always carries the fear of a netting "accident". But it is a tradition we look forward to all year because we make time for it. Down home family, jobs, and other cr@p can make it difficult for all of us to hunt and fish together. As well, some hunt with other gangs, e.g moose. But the bear hunt is always great albeit a lot of work at times. But we are still doing it together. Getting eight 45 gallon drums worth of donuts for the initial baiting trip and an 8 1/2 hour drive and getting it in the barrels and setting up trail cameras for each bait can be a lot of work. Getting the docks in, clearing out paths through the wild rice plug up the shorelines is a pain. Doing the improvements each year to make it easier is a pain. The  youngest is 54 and the oldest (me) is almost 68 so we have to do it while we can.


However, everyone chips in, the work gets done and when you sit on the deck with a beverage or doctored coffee in the morning, look out over the lake with the ducks feeding in the wild rice, and a loon make the call that is so typical of the north........it is worth it.


(Besides we bring lots of Ben Gay and Tylenol)

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Thats funny that u mention the fish netting (accidents) coyotehunter cause foe 15 years i hunted with 2 brothers at moose camp that were from thunderbay and every year we would fish a few times amd the one brother for about 8 of those years had the biggest pickerel and pike and the last year i was there the younger brother who was my buddy had a monster pike on ....about 48 inch and the older bro grabbed the net from my hands and said let me net it so he reached over and hooked the lure in the net and popped the hook outta the fish .and it got away ....they argued all night and next day almost a fist fight when the beers were involved.lol just reminded me of that trip 

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