14 Year Old's Spring Black Bear Hunt

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On a Saturday Morning at my first SCI Convention, I found myself as one of maybe the first 50 to 75 people rolling in after a long night in Reno.  One of the first donation hunts up for auction was a Spring Spot and Stalk Black Bear Hunt in British Columbia.  I was not there for this hunt, but it was such an incredible deal that I had to grab it.  It seemed like a perfect opportunity to spend time with my 14 year old son in the middle of nowhere and get him a shot at a Big Game Animal after years of being at my side on Deer Hunts.

After I bought the hunt, I realized I needed a rifle.  Being from Western New York, I grew up with Shotguns, Muzzleloaders and a Bow.  Having just transplanted to Arizona and purchasing land in New Mexico, it might not be a bad idea to buy a new gun.  I went from the Auction Tent to the Remington booth and bought a 300 Ultra Mag.  They sent me around the corner and I bought a Leupold Scope and rings.  We borrowed my business partner's 30-.06 for my son and we were all set.

When we arrived at Whiteswan Lake Outfittters base camp, we went to sight in the guns.  My son fired one shot and a piece that helps grab and eject the shell broke off the bolt.  The kid shot the 300 Ultra Mag with a 200 Grain Nosler Partition fine so we left well enough alone and went to hunt.

On four different occasions we encountered Sows with Cubs and walked into 3 different Grizzly Bears.  Our guide Jordon utilized the opportunities to the fullest to teach the kid how animals behave and utilize the wind to his advantage.  We did full stalks on them as if we were really hunting them with no bullets in the gun.  You will see Jordon and Jamie in the photos I took from a distance behind them.  Yes, I had a loaded gun "just in case."

My son learned to use the natural surrounding as much as possible in lieu of depending on camo.  He watched the bone and muscle movement of the animal through his scope several times dry firing and staying still through the shot.

This spring hunt had us stumble upon or glass every animal the Kootenays have to offer.  The enjoyment and hospitality helped make the decision easy to bring my family and friends to book the entire camp on a mixed bag hunt and I am heading back there a third time this year to hunt Mountain Goat and Mule Deer.

When it came time to hunt and harvest his Boar, the kid was ready to roll.  I was videotaping and he basically did the entire thinking process on his own with Jordon at his side.  You can see some of the video footage on my regionalaz youtube page.  Search British Columbia Black Bear Whiteswan Lake.  Enjoy the pictures.


Deer Slayer's picture

Firrst of all congratulations

Firrst of all congratulations to your son on a fine looking black bear. I enjoyed your story and the nice pictures. I've been hunting since I was 13 and I can probably count the number of times I've been out hunting without my dad on one hand. It really sounds like you enjoy your time together. I know we really enjoy ours alot. Thanks for sharing your story.

ManOfTheFall's picture

Sounds like you had a great

Sounds like you had a great hunt. I almost always hunt with my son and he is 22. We are definitely lifetime hunting partners. Very nice looking black bear and great pictures.

arrowflipper's picture

great bear

What a great bear Jamie!!  But an even better hunt.  There's nothing like spending time with Dad in the outdoors.  And to add such a nice trophy is just frosting on the cake.  I hope it's just the first of many outings with your Dad.  The old saying is so true..... If you hunt "with" your son, you won't have to hunt "for" him.  Congratulations Jamie!!

Ca_Vermonster's picture

That's a doozy of a bear, a

That's a doozy of a bear, a great story, and that's a great set of photographs to go along with it!

A big congrats to your son, and to a proud Dad!!! Wink

groovy mike's picture


Fantastic photographs! Wow, I am officially jealous. 

That's a great bear! That's going to be hard to beat.

well done on all fronts, thanks for sharing.

numbnutz's picture

Congrats to your son, Thats a

Congrats to your son, Thats a great looking bear. Looks like you guys had a blast. I would love to make up to BC and do a spring bear hunt.  Good for you on getting your kids involved woith the great past time of hunting. we as parents need to get our kids out there and keep the traditions alive. again congrats great story and great bear.

Topgun 30-06's picture

Sounds like an absolutely

Sounds like an absolutely great trip and being with your boy is where it's at!  Congratulations!!!

jaybe's picture

Nice Bear!

That looks like a really nice bear. Did you have it weighed, or measured? I'd be interested to know how big it was.

 I was going to comment on Jamie's need to smile (first picture), but I see that he's smiling real good in the last one!

 I'm sure that by now you've found out that the piece that broke on the .30-06 was the extractor. I had the same thing happen on a rifle I bought for my wife the very first time she shot at a deer. She nicked him - I think she hit high - and knocked him off his feet, but couldn't get the spent shell out for a follow-up shot. We never found that one.

I'm also pleasantly surprised that Jamie did so well with the 300 UM - I would have thought that it might have been a bit too much recoil for him to handle comfortably. Glad that it all worked out OK.

Thanks for the story, and the great pictures. Gotta love it when the kids are successful, and get to spend time in the woods with their dad!