Skip to main content

New Season and New Gear for Black Bear

I was making preparations for Idaho's spring bear season and had a chance encounter with our "son-in-law" — my wife's daughter's fiancé. His unrestrained excitement about my hunt led to an immediate invitation, despite the fact I knew it would likely mean sacrificing my own hunt. Alex is a hard working fellow with his head screwed on straight (increasingly rare for his generation), and a Staff Sergeant in Connecticut's Army National Guard. He's been to Afghanistan twice and been involved in some very nasty stuff. His hunt would be wedged between training missions in preparation for his September return.

Things started badly, mostly due to a flood of competition -- including a big outfitted camp -- in an area I'd otherwise always had to myself. One of my barrels even went missing, causing me to come uncorked, exchanging colorful invectives with a group of guides. I almost abandoned the site, but my number-one spot hadn't being touched, which is strange because it's normally my best, resulting in two behemoth bears in four seasons.

Ultimately we were limited to the single site. Activity slowed with warming weather, but Alex eventually got his shot. I can't really say what went wrong. Alex appeared calm enough, even after waiting 10 minutes for the bear to turn. He took his time with the shot. But his arrow flew harmlessly high, his only opportunity during a short stay. He seemed to take the defeat better than I did€¦  I really wanted him to get his first bear.


With four days of season remaining I returned to pull my barrels and stands before season's end. I also decided to hunt a couple days; you know, just in case. I'd planned to shoot Easton's Injexion Carbon and New Archery Products Deep Six Big Nasty broadheads, but a handful of test shots revealed poor flight. The .330 deflection was just a tad light for my Hoyt Carbon Matrix's 73-pound, 30-inch draw, aggressive RKT Cam and fixed-blade broadheads. I turned to some .300 Victory VAPs I'd just received (NAP's Quick Fletch got them ready fast), tipped with Sanford Innovation's cut-on-contact BloodShot broadhead. This combination produced field-tip groups.


Wet and wild weather was forecasted but held off while making the long drive up, setting up camp and getting installed on stand at 4 p.m. The first bear arrived at 6:30, a scruffy little fellow I'd no intension of shooting but enjoyed watching for the next couple hours as he came and went. By 8 p.m. dark clouds socked in, turning it gloomy and dim (true darkness arrives at 9:30 p.m. in June this far north). I was ready to call it when a massive black blob appeared below the bait.

The big boar took his time, allowing me to engage in calming breathing exercises to settle redlined nerves. Then I waited some more for an angle, the 250- to 300-pound bear finally turning just enough to allow a shot. I drew, put the bright fiber on the back edge of his shoulder and squeezed the shot.

The bear shot out beneath me in a dozen lounging bounds, crashing into a hollow and piling up.  He traveled twenty-five yards -- and I swear it --  in three seconds. That was all. The arrow had clipped the rear edge of the shoulder, blasted through both lungs and top of the heart and stuck in a tree beyond. Exceptional penetration -- and one of the fastest bow kills I've ever witnessed.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Crossbow Review: TenPoint Havoc RS440 XERO

Crossbow Review: TenPoint Havoc RS440 XERO

The all-new 2021 offering will certainly be one of the most accurate long-range crossbows ever built.

New for 2021: Elite Archery Bows, Slick Trick Broadheads and CBE Sight

New for 2021: Elite Archery Bows, Slick Trick Broadheads and CBE Sight

Learn more about two new Elite Archery bows, the Enkore and Remedy, two new broadhead from Slick Trick and a new site from Custom Bow Equipment (CBE).

New for 2021: Excalibur Crossbow, BowTech Bows, TightSpot Quiver, Ripcord Rests, Black Gold Sights

New for 2021: Excalibur Crossbow, BowTech Bows, TightSpot Quiver, Ripcord Rests, Black Gold Sights

New for 2021 are several hunter-defined products, such as the Excalibur TwinStrike Crossbow, BowTech Solution and Solution SS Bows, TightSpot Pivot 2.5 Quiver, Ripcord Cage and Code Red X arrowrests, and Black Gold Pro FX and Pro Hunter HD sights.

New for 2021: Rage Broadhead, Nockturnal Nock, Carbon Express Arrows

New for 2021: Rage Broadhead, Nockturnal Nock, Carbon Express Arrows

New for 2021, here's a look at the new Rage Trypan NC, Nockturnal Shift Nock, Carbon Express Maxima RED Contour and D-Stroyer PileDRIVER arrows.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Don't give up on that seemingly untunable bow just yet.Untunable Bow? Nock Travel Could Be Your Problem Bows

Untunable Bow? Nock Travel Could Be Your Problem

Bill Winke

Don't give up on that seemingly untunable bow just yet.

The all-new 2021 offering will certainly be one of the most accurate long-range crossbows ever built.First Look: TenPoint Havoc RS440 XERO Crossbows

First Look: TenPoint Havoc RS440 XERO

Christian Berg - January 14, 2021

Sponsored By
TenPoint Crossbows
Have a look at some of the very best compound bows being brought to the market this year.New Bows for 2021 ATA Show

New Bows for 2021

Christian Berg - January 11, 2021

Have a look at some of the very best compound bows being brought to the market this year.

If its purpose is to get downrange, you'll find it here with the latest arrows and broadheads for 2021New Arrows and Broadheads for 2021 ATA Show

New Arrows and Broadheads for 2021

Jace Bauserman - January 08, 2021

If its purpose is to get downrange, you'll find it here with the latest arrows and broadheads...

See More Trending Articles

More Bow Accessories

If you're in the market for some new accessories to add to your bow, here's a look at what's new at the 2020 ATA Show.New Arrow Rests & Bow Accessories for 2020 ATA Show

New Arrow Rests & Bow Accessories for 2020

Lynn Burkhead - January 10, 2020

If you're in the market for some new accessories to add to your bow, here's a look at what's...

As crossbow hunters become more serious about the pursuit, they often upgrade their accessories. 4 Innovative New Crossbow Accessories Bow Accessories

4 Innovative New Crossbow Accessories

Bob Humphrey - October 16, 2019

As crossbow hunters become more serious about the pursuit, they often upgrade their...

A misaligned peep can lead to missed opportunities in the field.How to Fix & Prevent Peep Sight Rotation How-To

How to Fix & Prevent Peep Sight Rotation

Randy Ulmer

A misaligned peep can lead to missed opportunities in the field.

See More Bow Accessories

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Petersen's Bowhunting App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Bowhunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now