Outside the window, cold and fluff and spring and May in the heart. This, almost a laud statement, made me put some thoughts of this season on the paper. Of course, much could be said and written about spring, even about how nature wakes up from winter sleep, about animals, where a breath of warm air announces the approaching end of fasting. Soon nature mother will leave her forest pantry. This spring atmosphere, which guests in my heart tuned me to memories of a certain species of animals. In May 2011, 20 years have passed, when for the first time I went to the Canadian forest to face him. From that time on, our paths crossed many times.
Trophies remain the souvenirs of these meetings. This is Ursus Americanus called baribal, or simply a black bear. This species inhabits all of North America to Florida and Mexico. He is an animal with a strong physique. Adult individuals achieve a weight of 400kg and even more. He is also characterized by very black fur. However, depending on the place of living, the color of his hair can take on various shades of brown, ending with a light cinnamon. Baribal is a great runner, he swims brilliantly and even fantastically climbs and moves on trees. As you can see, the chances of escaping from him are rather slim. Undoubtedly, he is a worthy opponent for many hunters. So I thought that the coming spring would be a great moment to celebrate my hunting jubilee. Of course, there would be nothing difficult in it, if not for a fact. Well, the black bear season in Ontario is closed for some reason for some time. There was nothing left but to go hunting in another area of Canada. Having already had a lot of experience in hunting expeditions to other provinces, I started searching. It turned out that there are many proposals. It tempted the trip to British Columbia as well as to Alberta. Soon, however, I became interested in the possibility of going on a trip to New Brunswick. Despite the considerable distance, the place where I had to hunt seemed very attractive to me. The only official requirement was to have a guide during hunting in a foreign province. In my case, this role was to be fulfilled by the hunter I was hunting with. I shared the idea of going to New Brunswick with my clubmates and soon our three-person group started preparing for departure.
During the night from Friday to Saturday, Mirek, Zdzisław and Marek (ie me), set out on a fourteen-hour journey to Campbell. Without special adventures, we arrived at a roadside motel at the planned time. Jason was waiting for us there, the hunter we were supposed to hunt.
After a short welcome, combined with dinner, we went to bed. The next day we went to the destination early in the morning. It was a wooden house located in a forest scenery, surrounded by beautiful large trees. There is not a bit of exaggeration in saying that it is a very charming area. The hilly-mountainous area is overgrown with old trees containing many noble species that do not appear so often in other regions of Canada. This creates excellent living conditions for wild animals. This provence is not just a breeding ground for great specimens of elks or bears. It is also a place of fishing for the largest salmon and other fish that are very common here. We also had the opportunity to go fishing. We managed to catch a whole bucket of smeltów (fish similar to the Polish uklei). After cleaning them, Mirek, who is not only a seasoned hunter but also a great cook, prepared them for supper. I am not exaggerating that it was a real treat for the palate. Another of the curiosities prepared for dinner were "ddleheads". This is a local delicacy that can be found in the vicinity of water reservoirs. These green pods look like twisted asparagus. The season is not quite short. It all depends on the weather, of course. Mostly it is May, when everyone is going to harvest. After such a great dinner we were ready to meet the bear.
We planned our departure for afternoons, which gave some free time in the morning. We tried to use it for a holiday that is never too much. In short, we simply lazed around, usually sitting in front of the house, nestled in the surrounding nature. The sound of the river flowing nearby was like a balm for all ailments. Twitter of various birds, often sitting on nearby trees, as if it was complementing the harmony between man and nature.
Zdzisiek interrupted the idyll. On the second evening he hunted the bear, which ensured that all of us were busy for the shortest two mornings. On the first day, we went to the Ministry to complete formalities related to obtaining a bear. At the end O cer brought long pincers and removed a small tooth from his jaws.
This material was sent to the laboratory for examination. On this basis, the age and state of the animal are determined. The next morning we started with skinning and dissemination of meat. It was not a long job for three hunters. So there is so much time left to eat dinner and prepare for an afternoon snack. This time without Zdziśka. For him, the hunt itself ended.
During my stay in the first two days I saw some dark spots moving in the bushes. They were certainly bears, but I did not want to shoot the female who could lead the cubs. The first two hours of the third day of hunting did not bring anything interesting. The wind was spinning and it stopped as if he wanted to overhear what is also happening in the forest backwoods, then he spun again and hummed. In the end, he stabilized and took a specific direction. The forest life was slowly starting to blush. First, two little birds sat on the branch and teased. Later, the lacet tied up near the pulpit, again the squirrels made noise. Not more than 30 meters on the right, a path of elk passed through the path trodden by the animals. The majestic step passed the rise, disappearing in the thick forest. Soon a crow came flying over the nectar. He sat up high and watched a piece of bread lying close to the barrel. Smiling to myself, I thought that this tasty morsel there on the ground was causing a drooling in its beak.
Nevertheless, he could not decide to take it. He watched it for a moment, then flew away only in a known direction.
I thought it was a good sign. Whenever I meet him at a boast, he always heralds the coming of shedding of blood. So there was nothing else to do but wait. My patience was soon rewarded. In the thick bushes above the barrel appeared a black stain, the same as I saw in previous days. This time, however, it was different. Niedźwiedź passed indifferently, then stopped in the bushes as if he was waiting for something. After some time, however, he suddenly appeared silently. He came out of the thicket and probably would not have noticed him if I did not observe the area carefully. This time he was heading towards the barrel. Covering the head behind the tree, he forgot about his great rump that protruded from behind the tree. He stood there for some time, then he moved out of the tree. He raised his head high in my direction, nostrils trying to catch the upper wind. Fate, however, favored the hunter. The wind was blowing straight in my direction. A confident beast turned toward the barrel. I was sure that this bear was being heralded by a raven. Falling after the shot, he bounced off the ground simultaneously turning 180 degrees exactly in the direction from which he came. He fell to the ground, made a goat, and stretched out like a long one, trying to grab everything that was within reach. Suddenly it occurred to me that the shot that hit him in the rays of the setting sun also closed the next stage of my hunting adventure.
I waited a few minutes and called Jason, informing him of the gains. From him I learned that Mirek also shot a bear and they just have their hands full out pulling an animal from the forest. Without wasting time, I left the pulpit and went towards the prey. I approached him from the back and poked him several times with a rifle. I went to the head, knocked on it, and leaning forward, I lifted the eyelid of his eye to make sure he was alive. Then, by a hunting habit, I gave him the last bite, putting spruce scrap in his mouth.
I took the block from the backpack, which I fixed to the thick branch of a nearby tree. I used the rope I used to pull the rifle to the pulpit, on one side I pulled through the pulley wheels, while the other end was tied behind the bear's hind legs. I pulled it up to such a height that I could comfortably operate with a knife. After dealing with the bear, I set off towards ATV. Here a surprise met me. I could not start the vehicle in any way. The malice of dead objects forced me to throw my arms over my shoulder and set off on my own feet.
Night, which in the meantime fell, did not help me in my journey. A small flashlight, which I used previously for hearing with a bear, now with my little light saved me from falling when going down the slope. In the end, however, luckily I got to the clearing where I was supposed to wait for my guide. Soon Jason appeared. The two of us, using his ATV, set off towards my bear. After arriving at the place slowly, we left the animal on the trunk and went to the path leading down. Here we stopped for a moment to fasten the bear with stripes. During this time, Jason finished smoking a cigarette. And then something happened that none of us expected. The vehicle suddenly went out and it did not start. Having no choice, we went back on our own feet. After some time we arrived at the clearing where his pick-up track stood. Without wasting time, we went for help. Fortunately, his cousin lives in a nearby area. Despite the late hour, he welcomed us kindly, offering his help and two ATVs. So armed in a short time, we again found ourselves on a well-known clearing. Whether it was due to tiredness or a hunting premonition told me to stay with cars this time. Both gentlemen, on the other hand, mounted steel steeds and moved up. The waiting time for them lengthened. I looked at my watch - midnight a few hours ago.
Finally I saw the light of the approaching ATV. It amazed me when I saw a driver, passenger and bear on one vehicle. Soon everything cleared up. The story can not be believed. This time also one of the vehicles failed.
When we arrived at our headquarters it was already dawning. At this time, only the forest elves finished their story of a recent meeting of a hunter with a bear.
We returned to Jason after a year to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our club. This time in a squad kissed about club friend Andrzej and two guests from Chicago: Sylwek I Robert. But these adventures are on another occasion.