To say the past few week of bear hunting have been some I won’t forget in a very long time. Being passionate about what I do for a living and allowing other to experience what I do led me to really strive to seek those with dreams out. I had the opportunity to hunt with a young cancer survivor and my father on an Alberta bear hunt that honestly I will never forget. Lets start first with Dalton.
Dalton at the young age of 11 was diagnosed with a form of bone cancer. His will to beat his disease and survive cancer at a young age truly inspired me. Now with a prosthetic leg, he was wanting to go on a hunt. I was contacted by his family on how he would love to meet me and someday do a hunt with me. It took me all of 2 seconds to put in place a time and date to do this hunt. With some help from some amazing sponsors like ScentBlocker and Tenzing, the call to the family was made. I had it worked out to do an all expense paid hunt in Northern Alberta to hunt bears with True North Outfitters. Dalton not having a clue on what was about to happen I made my way to Fernie British Columbia. With help from the family, the surprise was sprung and Dalton was in a state of shock.
Now where does my Dad come into play. Well my father had never harvested a bear and at the young age of 60, I figured it was his time. In telling Dad what I was doing, he wanted to be a part of it. I know my fathers love for helping I knew this would be a hunt he wouldn’t forget. He didn’t realize he would be able to hunt until my Mom and I told him he was hunting too. Like a kid in a candy store, he was off shooting the Carbon Express Crossbow every night getting ready for his first bear hunt with me.
After a long drive, Dalton, Dad, Mark , Scott and I made it to bear camp. We were greeted by Jeff Downing and also a father/son duo from Ohio. Bill Macek and his son Nathan were in camp. I had hunted with Bill in Ohio and when the heard of the story, he wanted to be a part too. After getting our gear ready we were all off to hunt. Bill, Nathan, Dalton and Dad had never harvested bears, so there were about to be a lot of firsts for these guys. Dalton was saying how he would love to see a blonde phased black bear. I explained to him that they are really rare and hard to find, but if all the stars aligned, he might get to see one.
Dalton’s hunt started with him, Mark and Scott getting to the site. Expectations were high to see bears, but what they found was only what I and Dalton had dreamed about for him. They weren’t in the stand 3 minutes and out from the brush comes a beautiful blonde phased bear. Yes you read this right, a blonde bear. Dalton was so excited he almost jumped out of the blind. Within seconds the bear was at the bait and his 7mm o8 ring in the Alberta forest. Bear down and what a bear he had. I don’t know who was more excited out of the three, but all I know is there were a lot of hugs and tears flowing from all.
Dad and I were about 5 miles down from them not knowing all this had gone on. As Dad and I sat in the stand our excitement level was over the top. Knowing how bad Dad wanted to see and harvest a bear, we were both on pins and needles. About 2 hours into it, I hear a noise coming toward us. As I looked back, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was a giant! I looked at Dad and said don’t move. Dad in his calm self said “is it a big one?” Without hesitation I said “Dad its a giant, please don’t move.” The bear was literally under the stand smelling the ladder. Dad this whole time couldn’t see the bear. As he went to the bait, I looked over and the shacks began. We were both shaking like leave in the wind. After what seemed like hours, the bear was in position for Dad to make the shot. With a steady aim, the bolt was shot and Dad made the perfect shot. We both screamed like little kids and then the tears flew. My father had harvested the largest bear he had ever seen. A 7 foot plus monarch. Words can not express the level of excitement and pride I had in my father.
With two bears on the ground and both not knowing what had happened, we all finally made it back to camp. To know that both tagged their first bears, and both wanting the types bears harvest, obviously someone from above was blessing this hunt.
I am so proud of both for putting the hammer down on 2 amazing bears. The week of hunting went as good as you could have imagined. I was able to harvest a 6′6 bear with my Dad in stand with me, Bill harvested his first bear, and Nathan harvested his first two. What an unbelievable week with friends and family. This is why I do this show, is to let others experience the great outdoors and live dreams. I can guarantee you this, none of us will forget this week ever.
Special thanks to True North Outfitter, Scent Blocker, Tenzing, Trophy Taker and Carbon Express for making everyones dreams become reality. You are amazing companies, and even more amazing friends!