That can be part of hunting though…these are wild animals that are incredibly unpredictable.
Bears are high on the list of unpredictable animals. They are funny creatures that have both a feared and lovable reputation. And there’s a good reason that they have both.
They are large creatures that can reach up to 600 pounds, and the need to consume enough calories to sustain their large bodies makes them very good at finding food. They will eat anything from berries to deer, and everything in between.
They aren’t particularly known to be big hunters, but they certainly do it. While most of their diet consists of foraging, these bears will do what they have too for food. Their size, mixed with their ability to run, climb and claw things, makes them incredibly abled to take on many other creatures.
Black bears generally will run from human interaction, however they can and will approach you for a number of different reasons. They will move in on people out of curiosity, being hungry or protective over their young and/or territory.
Either way, aggressive black bears aren’t the most fun thing to encounter.
This guy at least had a weapon ready when he encountered one.
This hunter was out searching for a large mature black bear, as he was hunting up in Saskatchewan, Canada, in an area with a known black bear population.
He comes across some bears, and one ends up starting to move in on him.
The bear is smaller than he would like, so he opts not to drop the string on it, but it doesn’t shy away and pushes straight at the hunter. After a bluff charge, the hunter is forced to draw his bow as the bear inches closer. When the bear keeps coming in, even after he tries to scare it off, the hunter fires and takes down the bear.
While the bear wasn’t in a dead charge, the fact that he kept getting closer, despite vocal warnings, means this hunter was risking too much not taking the shot. Had the bear charged at that distance, he would’ve been on the bowhunter in a flash.
It wasn’t the bear he wanted, but the one he had to take.
And the full encounter was captured on video:
Big Canadian Black Bear Walks Directly Into Bowhunter’s Arrow
When you’re out hunting, you dream of a the perfect buck, bear, hog, etc… just walking right up to your blind, setting up for the perfect shot.
However, this is a little bit too close for comfort.
In fact, this was too close for comfort that I would’ve seen my life flash before my eyes.
In this wild video, bowhunter Clay Newcomb of the MeatEater crewmade a little trip up to Canada, going for a bear hunt in Northern Saskatchewan.
The folks he was hunting with told him about a massive black bear that had been seen roaming the forest, and once he put his bait out and saw the bear, he would know it was the one.
On the first day of the hunt, he saw the huge black bear and it was well within range, as it had taken the bait Newcomb had laid out.
However, Newcomb took the shot with his bow and barely missed.
But, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because on the next day he saw a huge color phase bear walk up on the bait…
And then it kept walking, directly towards Newcomb’s blind. In fact it got so close, that the bear touched the tip of the arrow, startling both Newcomb and the bear.
The bear then ran off back towards the bait, setting up a perfect 25 yard shot for the bow hunter.
He took the shot, and it landed perfect, and the beauty of a bear was his.
Props to Newcomb for being able to keep his composure with the bear this close, because I don’t know if I would’ve been able to do the same.
You can check out the full hunt below:
And naturally… people got mad about it.
A while back, Clay joined Steve Rinella’s MeatEater podcast to discuss the heart-pounding encounter.
“Up until he touched the end of my arrow, I thought I was in the driver’s seat… when my arrow touched his nose, that’s when I said ‘Oh crap.’ It was scary.”
Clay made a good clean and ethical shot, followed up with another, and was able to put some delicious Canadian black bear meat in his freezer. But of course, whenever a hunting video garners a lot of attention, the haters start crawling out of the woodwork.
Clay confessed that he took a ton of heat, and some of it even came from fellow bowhunters. Some even went as far as to argue that the bear spared Clay’s life, and that Clay returned the favor by taking the bear’s life took his. They also said that it was a poor first shot, something ever hunter should be striving to avoid.
Steve Rinella explained it like this:
“You’re hunting. The objective is to get a bear. You got a bear. Does it remove the objective if the bear touches your arrow?”
I mean, hard to argue with that, right?
I’ve never hunted bear (I’ve eaten it, and it’s pretty damn good) but as long as it’s a legal, ethical kill, and preferably an older, mature bear… what does it matter if the bear is close to you?
Especially, when using a traditional bow like Clay was in this instance. The closer the better, right? If the goal is a quick and painless death for the bear, wouldn’t being closer to the bear be better for everybody involved?
You’re mad because the shot was “easy,” and the bear “spared” him? Give me a break, dude…