To say that we had an amazing time with Brad at Amyot Lake Outfitters is an understatement. With 7 of us in camp and all shooting at and seeing bears daily just shows how good it really is up there. We had several fans and friends in camp and with John coming up to camp for the first time I knew this hunt would be one we would all talk about for years to come.
John had never been hunting in Saskatchewan nor had he harvested a bear. So my mind was on getting him and his good friend Dave their bears. John and Dave teamed up for day 1 and with hopes high, and lots of bears on camera I knew it was only a matter of time before I had good news. Their hunt started off as expected with bears showing up right away. I could only imagine what was going threw their heads when the first one hit the bait. Dave was up first and with them learning the ropes on judging and behavior patterns, they were getting a quick education. After the 6th or 7th bear to come in, Dave saw the one he wanted to take. With adrenaline running and the shakes beginning, Dave waited for his opportunity. I told the guys that a bears stomach will over rule his mind and to be patient, the bear will give you the shot you need. With a patient hand Dave waited for a perfect broadside shot. As the arrow was ready and his bow in hand the shot was finally there. Steading his nerves like a champ, the arrow was released. As it hit its mark, Dave and John had a bear on the ground.
Next day it was Johns turn. John knowing what he had seen from the day before, told me to be ready to pack a bear out because he knew it was going to happen. I told them good luck and I’m ready to hear the details of the hunt. Same situation as the day before. Bears were all over the bait. With several close encounters and numerous bears, John was holding out for the bear he wanted. Finally, near the end of the days hunt, a beautiful bear walks out. To both their surprise, the bear coming to the bait had a white “w” shape on his chest. With John’s last name starting with a “w”, he knew it had to be fait. As John steadied his Hoyt, and his mind trying to control the nerves, John finally had his shot. Not realizing the blind was in his way, John released his arrow. With the loud slap sound and the arrow flying off kilter, John realized what just happened. With a quick reload and the bear still standing there not knowing what just happened, the arrow was sent down range. As it hit the bear in the perfect heart placement, John and Dave both stood silent for a second to try and figure out what just happened. With a hole in the blind and two men with sheepish looks, they new that this bear was meant for John. As John got out of the blind to find the blood trail on the second arrow, his knees were still shaking. Knowing he had harvested his first bear and to do it with his new Hoyt, John was overtaken with emotion. High fives and laughter was in the air as John walked up to his trophy.
While all this was going on, I was still in the hunt for a giant bear. 3 days later, with John with me as my good luck charm, I was sitting in my stand. After rearranging stand and cutting down branches, I figured we would be their for the long haul. As I’m talking to the camera and John, I look up the hill and in mid sentence, I see movement and the world bear comes out. I couldn’t have been more the 20 minutes and here he comes, right down the trail we had just walked in. The bear actually came right to the base of the tree we were sitting in. Our ScentBlocker cloths did its work as the bear didn’t wind us at all. He finally went around and headed toward the bait. The bear was on bait for probably 10 minutes not giving me much of a quality shot. I decided to wait for a better one. John and I both agree that you have to take a perfect shot on bears because they are tough animals and the last thing we want is to wound one. To both our surprise, the bear grabs on of the beavers and takes off running. We both stood there speechless and realized our chance at this bear was probably over. My mind was running wild and doubt had set in. I told John I needed a moment to myself and that I didn’t want to talk. As I sat there thinking of all the no shot opportunities, I look up to say something to John. As I rose my head I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Here he comes, the bear is coming back to the bait. I looked at John and said bear, and without a word the camera was on and the hunt began for the second time. After about 15 more minutes the bear finally gave me the perfect shot. A quick prayer and the arrow was off. The shot was perfect and the bear went 20 yards and expired right in front of us. Finally, I had my bear down.
To this day, thinking back on the 3 of us and our experiences, I can not describe what it all meant. To see my friends harvest their first bears and then to have John with me on mine, was amazing. There were 2 other bears harvest in camp that week. Jeff a fan of the show harvested his first bear and Mike got a great bear himself. All in all the trip was a huge success and one we all will remember. We are all talking about next season already.
Special thanks to Brad and all the guides at Amyot Lake Outfitters. You truly have become friends of mine and I look forward to many years of bear camp together.