Bear Hunters

Teresa Vaughn's First Bear Hunt

I had always wanted to hunt, but never got the opportunity until I met my new husband.  He had asked me to accompany him and his father on a bear hunt with Overflow River Outfitters in Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan.

It wasn't planned for me to hunt, but the outfitter had given me a discount since I was already in camp and my husband to be, Louis, had already shot his bear. (I was right there beside him at the hunt.)  His father, Floyd, had yet to shoot his.

It was my very first hunting experience.  I was a little nervous about the hunt at first because I had never been hunting before.  I started shooting BB guns when I was in my teens and progressed to shooting offhand at targets with handguns and rifles.

When we got to the site, the guide went to bait the barrel and we set up in a ground blind in lawn chairs.  Louis went over how to get a steady rest on the tree I was behind.  He had already gone over where to shoot the bear the night before.  Louis told me he would say shoot when the bear was in position.

Twenty minutes after the guide left ,we were still trying to get settled in for the wait.  All of a sudden Louis whispers "bear".  I looked over at him with a look that said "yeah right."   He is always joking around with me.  Then he said "big bear".  I then peaked around the tree I was behind.  Louis said later that my eyes got really big. This big bruin came into the bait barrel and acted like he wanted to know who was messing with his bait site.

He checked out the barrel and then started lumbering toward us on the trail.  He did not know we were there. In order to get a good site picture and steady rest, I had to stand up.  Louis assisted me in standing slowly without being seen.   He would watch the bear movements and whisper "go" and then "stop" several times until I was in position.

The bear kept lumbering down the trail toward us and turn slightly without giving me a shot.  Finally the bruin turned broadside at about 50 yards out.  Just as Louis starts to say "shhhh....", I had already let the bullet go.  The bear jumped slightly and ran into the brush.  I looked at Louis and he had a big smile on his face and said "You got him!"

After I shot, I was shaking so badly that I could not chamber another round and Louis had to do it for me.  I kept saying "Are you sure I got him?  Are you sure?"

We waited about 20 minutes, which to me felt like an eternity before going to look for blood.  We only went in a little ways before I got a little nervous.  I figured that as big as this bear was, we should just let the guides find it.

The guides came about an hour later to find the big bruin.  They asked me what color he was and I said "black".  They went only about 50 yards in and asked me "What color did you say your bear was?"  I yelled "black".  The outfitter then said, "Well, this huge brown bear must be someone elses."

Just then I remembered that in the scope, he was actually brown.  I had been so nervous and excited at the time that I shot, I didn't remember.  In the shade, he had looked black and Louis had agreed.

At the time I had this big bruin scored for Safari Club International (SCI), he was ranked #37 and then a week later he was ranked #39.  I do not know currently what his ranking is.

This was really a great hunt!  Since then I have shot several nice mule deer  and whitetail bucks, does, one coyote and several turkeys.  In 2007, I shot a Russian Boar with the same outfitters and it scored #55 in SCI.  In 2008, I shot another bear.

Next month we are going again.  My husband and I switch off hunting.  This year it is his turn.  Can't wait to go and be right beside him at the hunt.

Teresa Vaughn


Deb Luzinski 2004 Black Bear

My husband and I recently purchased a piece of property in Northern Minnesota, which is where I arrowed this adult bruin.  The bear was seduced by the Clausen's Black and Brown Bear Lure... he just couldn't help himself.   After nearly a half of an hour of this bear mulling around the pit and surrounding brush he finally gave me the shot opportunity I had been praying for.  It was a 12 yard shot with a NAP Crossfire, this big boy didn't go 30 yards after impact.  Gods glorious woods and all its creatures. September 24, 2004


Bear Hunter Trophy Photos

Teresa Vaughn

At the time I had this big bruin scored for Safari Club International (SCI), he was ranked #37 and then a week later he was ranked #39.  I do not know currently what his ranking is.

Michele Leqve
Writer/Internation Pro Staff
Saskatchewan Bear! He was green scored at 19 1/16th Pope & Young - 2008
Dr. Michelle Williamson
Anchorage, Alaska

Pope & Young Record Book (18 3/16) black bear taken out of Whittier, Alaska. May 21, 2005. Taken with my Hoyt Ultramag.
Kelli Frazier

bear hunt May 2005 with Jim Shockey Hunting Adventures. Van Couver Island BC, 300 WSM, bear wighed 500 lbs with a 19 3/8 skull. Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book.
Linda Burch

and her Manitoba black bear...
(click link to read article)
Michele Leqve
Writer/Internation Pro Staff

5-21-05 450 lb. Cinnamon/Blond bear 15 yard shot taken at Kamkota Lodge in Saskatchewan CANADA His skull is 20 inches Pope & Young! Very old boar, he had teeth broken off!

Michele Leqve
Writer/Internation Pro Staff

5-21-05 450 lb. Cinnamon/Blond bear 15 yard shot taken at Kamkota Lodge in Saskatchewan CANADA
Michele Leqve
Writer/Internation Pro Staff

Saskatchewan Canada He was a beautiful boar, scoring over 18 inches. He weighed about 300 plus pounds and I shot him on May 24th 2004.

Janice Baer
Writer/VP Public Relations


"Herniated Harvest" BearTaken on Opening Day of 2003 in Lutsen, MN.
Deb Luzinski

September 24, 2004

click here to read story
Maria Randazzo

Cornwall on Hudson, New York 128lb. Black Bear harvested in New Brunswick Canada, May 12, 2002 - First ever harvest
Susan Phenix-Miller

My black Bear  I harvested, the 5th of June 2004. New Brunswick Canada
Elaine King, Casper Wyoming
Alaska - 2002

"Honeymoon Bear"
My husband and I were on a week-long, unguided caribou trip for our honeymoon. This six-foot black bear presented itself, so I took advantage of the opportunity. Taken with a Rugar .300, it was my second large game animal - the first being an antelope taken in Idaho.
Order Elaine's Book about her Adventure called:
Alaskan Honeymoon Adventure click here
Lisa Metheny

April 13, 2004
Vancouver Island
Outfitter:  Pacific Rim Outfitters
Taken with a Ruger 7mm .08
Squared 6.5 ft
Skull measured 18 7/16
Michele Leqve
Writer/Internation Pro Staff

2003 black bear from Saskatchewan at Kamkota Lodge.  His Pope & Young score was 19 inches.

Michele Leqve
Writer/Internation Pro Staff

with her 2002 Saskatchewan Canada bear

with black bear she harvest in Salmon River area of Idaho. The hunt started on Saturday, 5/10/03. I was hunting with Dave Williams and his Plott hounds. I shot the sow with my bow and Dave guessed her to be a 7-8 yr old and weighed around 150-200 lbs.

Deb Luzinski

Bear Kill 2001


This is the results of the... Ladies Only Black Bear Hunt May 19 - 24 2003 Black Bay Outfitters has teamed up with Brenda Valentine to offer a Ladies Only Black Bear Hunt and now... WomenHunters Members are now in on the action... if you missed it this year then from the looks of it maybe there will be room next year... To set up a hunt You can email Dawn or call her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 970-264-9350



When Women Hunt 100 Days To Bear Camp

The neon glow of my pin sites had faded to gray, so I abandoned my bow for the Model 7, .308 that hung within arms reach on a nearby tree step. The rifles light gathering scope would give me that last ten minutes of legal shooting time I needed in this canopied patch of forest with its bear friendly understory. The many shadows of dusk became bears in my mind as I slowly scoured the forest floor for movement. The grasses of the swamp began to move slightly and my hands tightened on my gun for a left handed shot. Poised and ready, I watched that same old old skunk come waddling up to my bear bait pit and drag his rump on the ground to leave his mark.

Almost completely dark now, I called it a day, first lowering my gear by rope and then plodding off to my waiting ATV 100 yards away.

Meanwhile, one quarter mile away and across the Big Swamp, someone was watching the sun go down while praying that a bear would appear and that the sunset inspired mosquito hoards would go away. It had been a hot a butt numbing six hours in the tree stand, situated fifteen yards from the artfully arranged bait offerings. In the zone, and with eyes peering out from a face mask, she watched the donut munching red squirrels at the pit make a sudden exit as the woods become quiet. From the dense forest brush, the black nose of a bear appeared, eating the trail of marshmallows that led to the bait. Not being a gun hunter, the .357 magnum Ruger on her hip suddenly seemed very reassuring. Nose down and in full view now, the bear looked at the bait and then proceeded to walk up the ATV approach trail.

She reminded herself to be patient because the bear had no idea she was there. He might come back. After walking up the trail, the bruin returned, pawed the bacon burn, circled the pit and ate donuts pieces abandoned by the squirrels. She readied her release and bow for a seated shot as the bear began pawing and tossing aside the heavy logs covering the pit. At times the bear seemed half in the pit as he feasted on its contents. The moment was right, and she drew as she had done hundreds of times in practice for this moment. The arrow leaped off the string and connected with a perfect heart lung shot. The bear jumped and whirled, trying to nip at the stinging intruder, then ran full bore into the thick woods.

Within seconds, she heard the death moan, hung her bow and rushed back to camp to get the gear needed for tracking the animal.

As I drove back to camp in the dark from my own bait site, I watched my hunting buddy and friend Deb come bounding out of the hunting shack with her arms gesturing wildly and a huge smile on her face.

"I shot one!" she exclaimed.

"Where, when, how big?" I replied excitedly.

"Decent size, he came in at 8:20pm ... I heard the death moan .... I heard it ... and he ran and dropped pretty close to my stand!".

I was so excited I could not think. After over three months of trail blazing, scouting and baiting, our hard work had paid off with the taking of a black bear the second day of the season. I congratulated Deb and we dashed about to get tracking and field dressing gear together.

This was Debs first bear season, and her first bear. While I had not seen a bear yet this year, I felt as proud as if my son had or I had taken the animal. We hitched up the Otter Sled and gear, and sped off to the kill site.

Reaching her bait site in the dark, we found frothy blood everywhere. Deb remembered the bear spinning around, running down the ATV trail and then crashing helter skelter into the thick cover. It took a few minutes with flashlights, but we found the blood trail and followed it as it wound through the tall tangled brush. I had my .357 loaded and ready in the off chance that the animal was still alive and needed to be finished.

We found the fletching half of Debs arrow, then the broadhead half, both bright crimson with blood. Deb forged ahead of me, with her spotlight, practically leaping upon each new spray of blood. She kept reminding me that if we stumbled upon the beast and it was still alive, she would drop to the ground and I would shoot it. The blood trail went in a circle and seemed to end.

Suddenly, there was her bear collapsed against a log and looking quite lifeless. We both gave him a nudge. Rolling him on his back, the air intake created a growl effect through his vocal cords, and we both jumped back. Thinking the beast was still alive, Deb yipped and ducked, and I snapped to a quick Dirty Hairy stance with legs apart, arms straight out with both hands clenching my aimed revolver. Realizing the beast was done, and we relaxed and laughed with relief.

Neither of us had ever field dressed a bear or even watched another person do it, but Deb dove in and got the job done like a surgeon. She finished up in 25 minutes, and we both laughed when she commented that bear innards didn't smell as bad as deer innards, but that the bear did have "dirty man smell".

We also discovered that we had not only failed to tape our trail in but had forgotten compasses in the excitement. I stayed by the bear in the dark while Deb took the spotlight and searched for the blood trail, or any trail. I knew this woods pretty well, and I felt we were near my big pine tree stand. Deb spotted our FireTape trail markers in the distance through the thick brush on the main ATV trail 50 yards away, so we were home free. Fortunately, the bear dropped just a few yards from the pine tree approach trail, so the drag out was not as bad as it could have been.

We were both so pumped with adrenalin that we almost flew back to camp.

What a day!! After cleaning up we took many photos.

The temperatures for early bear season had been in the 80s and 90s, so staying scent free had been a challenge. After making a commercial for ScentBlocker, Debs uniform for bear hunting was her 3D Leafy Lite suit donned after a solar shower at camp.

Baiting had been a sweaty, messy and grueling chore, but seeing the bears on my Buckshot35 infrared camera spurred us on though the costly and physically challenging process of baiting. We were using the typical fare in our pits... pastries, meat scrap, sweet corn, scent lures and whatever else might have been getting old in our refrigerators and freezers. We had a friendly competition going, each using this or that secret ingredient at our bait pits. It was a long process that paid off in the end. Preparing for bear season took three months of preparation, obtaining various baits from around the state, storing them, and spending many weeks cutting ATV trails to the bait sites come rain or shine. The shared work and planning, as well as having to compete with many other hunters for bait and bears, made our success that much more sweet.

After several more bear hunting days together, Deb went on to Wisconsin deer hunting with her husband, while I continued my quest for the elusive black bear. In between, I arrowed a buck and a doe the week of Minnesota archery opener. Never being one to admit defeat, I continued to bear hunt in the evenings however, each time trying a new tactic to bring those wily nocturnal bruins out before legal shooting time. I do not admit defeat easily.