Monster Black Bears 3 stars

Last weekend at the cabin I plugged in one of Jim Shockey’s bear hunting DVD’s filmed in his Vancouver Island territory-

Pacific Rim Guide Outfitters.  The DVD featured good sized bruins being harvested on Vancouver Island (only a ferry ride away from my home) Island bears are genetically larger than mainland bears and as Jim Shockey explains in the DVD " Monster Black Bears" that Van Isle bears are called cave bears and have been isolated from the mainland bears for thousands of years. The DVD features 11 hunts and there are mostly rifle hunts but there was one bow hunt. The bears seen on this video are truley big bears but the thing that bothered me is that no specific measurements of nose to tail length or skull size. A few times Jim arbitrarily throws out a number saying this bear squares 7’2" with no measuring tape. All in all a good entertaining film but it would be more valuable in my opinion if there were even some time spent on hunting tactics, gear choices, calibers, equipment, and specific size measurements especially since the DVD boast "Monster Bears". That is why I give this film 3/5 stars. Dont get me wrong I am a Jim Shockey fan and I like his relaxed layed back approach. He talks very natural to the camera and is intertaining with a dry sense of humour. Why does’nt he wear camo? I guess he has done well hunting in tight 80’s rocker jeans so why change what works.

If you would like a bear hunting DVD that has more specific information on hunting bears, tactics, field care,  and equipment check out:

The Black Bear Hunting Encyclopedia

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Sighted in For Grizzly Hunt

Today we went to the range to sight in our rifles with our grizzly medicine. 200 grain Barnes TSX bullets loaded with 65 grains of IMR 7828 SSC in a .300 WInchester Magnum cartridge.

At 100 yards I am 1" high and at 220 yards I am 5" low. This is not the most flat shooting load but I will be shooting at 150 yards or less. The enrgy and bone crushing penetration of the 200 grain bullet is more important than finding the flattest possible trajectories out to 600 yards.

I like to keep the targets I last shot when I go on hunts just to look at and have the confidence that I am sighted in and ready to go.

Spring Black Bear Sighting 2010

Today I was driving home from a weekend get away trip in the BC interior. As we drove through Manning Park towards Hope, B.C. we spotted this nice sized black bear so we pulled over and took some pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This boar actually had a decent sized melon on him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He looks well fed, I guess living in a park makes life a little bit easier.

Grizzly Bears Showing Up

I just talked to my sources out where I will be going grizzly hunting soon and appearantly the grizzly bears are coming out. One guy said the skunk cabbage is out and you can see bear scat and trails all around. Another guy I know was telling me he sent a few friends out to scout an area and a 9′ grizzly bear came out right where they were instructed to sit. It looks like the timing is correct and coming together perfectly. I hope to see that 9′ grizzly myself when I go up there. I am getting pretty excited.

CO Recognized

‘It is truly an honour’

By: Jason Hewlett
Kamloops Daily News
April 14, 2010
http://www.kamloopsnews.ca/article/20100414/KAMLOOPS0101/304149950/-8216-it-is-truly-an-honour-8217

The environment is among Canada’s most important resources, which is why it’s important to honour those who put their lives on the line to protect it, the province’s lieutenant-governor said Tuesday.

“Today we get the opportunity to recognize your contribution to Canada,” Steven Point said to the more than 50 conservation officers who attended an awards ceremony in their honour.

Point, along with chief conservation officer Ed Illi, presented the Peace Officers Exemplary Service Medal to the COs at the JR Vicars Armoury Tuesday afternoon.

The medal was created in 2004 to recognize peace officers who served in an exemplary manner and characterized good conduct, industry and efficiency.

Point said the conservation service stands alongside the RCMP and Canadian Armed Forces as an integral service to the country. He has travelled extensively abroad and believes the work the men and women do is an important part of Canada’s identity.

“We stand on your shoulders,” he said to the uniformed men standing at attention before him. “Protection of our natural resources is fundamental to Canada.”

He said Canada’s forests and wildlife are envied by visitors to our country, but are at times taken for granted by Canadians. The conservation service works hard to protect the environment.

“You, at times, put yourselves at risk, put your lives in jeopardy,” he said, adding the officers’ families, and Canadians in general, appreciate the risk.

“It is truly an honour to be here with you.”

Point then went from officer to officer and delivered the medals.

Kelly Dahl is one of the men who shook Point’s hand. Dahl has been a CO for 23 years, the last 13 spent in the Kamloops area. He is pleased that he received a medal, he said.

“It’s nice to be recognized as a peace officer and for the work we do in the province,” said Dahl.

He worked as a general duty officer in Chilliwack and Smithers before coming to Kamloops. Dahl currently serves as a detective sergeant with a special investigations unit.

“We work all over the province,” he said.

Mayor Peter Milobar and Kamloops RCMP Supt. Jim Begley attended the ceremony.

Paddle for Wild Salmon

When & Where

On Wed. April 28,  a core group of us committed to the survival of wild salmon, will put our canoes in the waters of Hope, B.C., and paddle down river for 9-10 days until reaching the mouth of the Fraser.  

How you can help;

In the time between now and our date of departure, we are asking communities all along the Fraser River to sign petitions asking for the end of fish farms that are contributing to the demise of Wild Salmon through poor practice and the resulting spread of sea lice.

The Plan;

As we paddle down river, we will be stopping at every community along the Fraser River that offers safe welcome and a place to pull off, and will ask members of the community to join us and bring with the them the petition that has been signed by their people. Eventually, we will bring all petitions collected along the river across the Georgia Straight to Sidney, where we will meet up with Alexandra Morton on May 7 and join her on the final stretch of her walk to Victoria where we will stand together as many before Parliament on May 8 and demand that Wild Salmon come before industrial fish farms.

Participation;

We welcome those who wish to join us on stretches of the paddle down the Fraser River. An itinerary will be available on the salmonaresacred.org website and facebook page soon. Those who want to paddle with us on the departure from Hope, please contact me at oceananele@hotmail.com. We encourage banners, flags and signs for wild salmon! We would love a great send off! If you can’t paddle but support the cause, come send us off with a great “Hoorah!”

* All paddlers will have to show they have a river worthy vessel before joining us and must have paddling experience, as well as be self sufficient with all personal needs and requirements.

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Turns Up Heat on Pro-Wolf Groups

from:http://www.theoutdoorwire.com/story/127079690100nj9pevtzp
MISSOULA, Montana-Pro-wolf groups were admittedly "surprised and disappointed" when the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation publicly challenged their mischaracterizations of the real impacts of wolves in the northern Rockies and are feeling even more heat today. Their recent call for a truce has been met with a scathing letter from RMEF President and CEO David Allen, who says Defenders of Wildlife, Western Wildlife Conservancy and others are party to what may become "one of the worst wildlife management disasters since the destruction of bison herds in the 19th Century."

Allen said, "These animal rights groups seem to think that every individual wolf is worth filing another lawsuit to protect, but the decimation of local elk herds is unimportant. What is truly ironic is these folks claim protection of the Canadian gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act. However these wolves are not endangered. There are thousands of them throughout North America. The ESA is being manipulated far beyond its intended purpose." One can find the text of the entire letter on RMEF’s website www.RMEF.org.

Factual examples cited in Allen’s recent letter:

• The Northern Yellowstone elk herd trend count has dropped from some 19,000 elk in 1995 before the introduction of the Canadian Gray wolf to just over 6,000 elk in 2008. At the same time the wolf numbers in this same area are on a steady increase.

• Yellowstone’s Madison Firehole elk herd trend count has fallen from 700 to 108.

• The Gallatin Canyon elk herd trend count between Bozeman and Big Sky, Mont., has declined from 1,048 to 338.

• Wolf numbers in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming have far exceeded the original goals of 30 breeding pairs and 300 total wolves. Population estimates now exceed 1,700 wolves. And yet and others want to push the total up to 2,000 to 5,000 wolves.

• Studies show that wolves kill up to 23 elk per wolf from November through April alone or up to 40,000 elk in just six months. A smaller but still significant number are killed from May through October; with total annual elk kills by wolves just for food potentially greater than 50,000 at the present level of wolf population. This accounts for only the elk needed for food, not surplus killing, which are elk killed by wolves and not eaten, which also occurs. The majority of all these kills are not elk that are sick or old.

• Elk calf survival rates where wolves (and bears) are present are extremely low in specific herds, resulting in a survival rate of 10 percent or less-too low to sustain the herd over the long-term. RMEF points out this is a major issue as elk numbers going into the future, where wolves are concentrated, will suffer even greater losses and replacement becomes out of balance.

"Pro-wolf groups like to cite statewide elk numbers because it glosses over the ongoing annihilation of local elk herds," said Allen. "They like to say that elk and wolves evolved together and would coexist now if man would just leave them alone, which completely ignores the fact that this is no longer the Old West and millions of us live here now. Habitat is shrinking at a rapid pace and the wildlife that lives here must be carefully managed. Man must manage wildlife and we have done so very successfully for over a century. We’re long past the day when wolf populations can be left unchecked. Right now this is simply a wolf amnesty program and the results are becoming alarming."

"Managing wildlife in the courts, as opposed to science and the proven expertise of state conservation agencies, is a recipe for continued disaster," stated Allen "These groups do not want states to manage the wolves as they manage other wildlife including predators. Why? It is curious that Defenders of Wildlife and others now boast about the statewide elk management numbers, which are managed by the states; but they do not trust those same states to manage wolves. Again, one should ask why?"

In late February, Allen sent letters to legislators and newspapers across the West calling out Defenders of Wildlife, Western Wildlife Conservancy and others for misleading the public through disingenuous use of current data on wolves and elk. In late March, group representatives accused RMEF of polarizing sportsmen on the wolf issue, and, ironically, to ask for collaboration rather than conflict.

In his letter Allen challenged Defenders of Wildlife and the others to meet face to face. " I invite you to come to my office and let’s personally resolve this issue for the sake of those responsible hunters and those responsible non-hunters. Enough of the legal maneuvering and posturing, let’s resolve this now," Allen said in his letter.

"We will collaborate with those who believe in sound wildlife management, not promoting one species over others for what we believe are hidden agendas. There is no one proposing annihilation of the wolves, yet Defenders and others like to act as if such a threat exists. It helps their fundraising efforts but does little to solve the issue. Constantly moving the goal line and ignoring the future consequences are just two reasons we do not collaborate with such groups," Allen added.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Snowy peaks, dark timber basins and grassy meadows. RMEF is leading an elk country initiative that has conserved or enhanced habitat on over 5.7 million acres-a land area equivalent to a swath three miles wide and stretching along the entire Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. RMEF also works to open, secure and improve public access for hunting, fishing and other recreation. Get involved at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.

Contact:
Steve Wagner, Blue Heron Communications, 800-654-3766 or steve@blueheroncomm.com

Testing Grizzly Loads

I went to the range to test some hand loads out the other day. I was using Barnes TSX 200 grain .308 cal bullets for my .300 WM Weatherby Vanguard. I loaded some bullets with Reloader 22 and some with IMR 7828SSC.

Loading Block

Here is a picture of some brass in a loading block and a box of Barnes TSX 200 grain .308 Cal bullets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So off to the range to do some shooting. In my particular rifle the Reloader 22 powder is not that accurate, here is a picture of a 3 shot group at 100 yards.

3 shot group on target

You can see that the group is approximately 1.5", not that great for handloads at 100 yards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following target is some groupings with IMR 7828SSC powder.

shot groupings on paper target

You can see that my 2 shot group of 65 grains of powder was touching and then my 3 shot group of 66 grains of powder was -1MOA. I started having signs of excess pressure at this amount with a sticky bolt. So I decided to load 65 grains of powder for further testing at the range.

Racks and Rugs

I got a few items back from my taxidermist recently. I use Ray Wiens in Abbotsford. He is a good taxidermist has very reasonable rates. You can check him out here:

Ray Wiens Taxidermy
25319 24th ave.
Aldergrove, BC
778-241-0208
ray_wiens@hotmail.com

Any ways here are some pics of the work he did, this is the mule deer rack from my Rock Creek Archery Mule Deer.

mule deer european

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is one from my Kootenay Rifle Hunt.

mule deer antler mount

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a picture of a throw rug I got tanned of my Harrison Spring Bear.

bear throw rug

Teaching Conservation and Hunting

Yesterday a good friend of mine invited me to speak to his grade 11 and 12 outdoor education class about hunting and conservation. His class usually is centered around rock climbing, kayaking, hiking, survival skills etc. As of late he has started to teach them about game animals in British Columbia, Canada.

I jumped at the opportunity to speak to a group of youngsters about hunting. In this day in age especially around these parts our youth get very little exposure to hunting and a lot of exposure to David Suzuki and other left wing anti hunting media.

I started out asking the class what they thought the benefits of hunting were. Surprisingly some of the kids had some insightful answers. I outlined what I believe some key benefits are: healthy organic food, recreation, money for our economy and conservation, and tradition. Then I got into the difference of preservation vs. conservation and why both are important. I talked a bit about the balance of nature and how wildlife can be effectively managed to have healthy herds over the long term.

Then for some fun, I showed the class a bear rug from a

bear I harvested in Harrison

last year. I also showed the kids my Bowtech Tribute bow and broad heads, and how an arrow kills opposed to a bullet. A bullet kills by shock and hemorrhaging while a broad head kills by cutting, and hemorrhaging.

Lastly, I showed the class some clips from my

Bear Hunting DVD

. I showed clips about hunting bears, shot placement, and field care. The kids were really excited.

I left the kids with some literature about bows and some contact information to get involved with the

Abbotsford Fish and Game Club

. The class was interested in coming out to the archery night and the .22 shoots to see if hunting and shooting would be of interest to them.  All in all I think some good seeds were planted and I hope some of them will really take an interest in hunting and conservation. Thanks again to the teacher who let me come and share about my hunting passion.