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May 8: Gregg Day & Rick Malik

Alberta Bound

Spring has arrived!! After a successful PA turkey hunt, we were ready to head north to one of my favorite places in all of North America to hunt-Alberta! It was time for Gregg and I to head north for Bow Madness spring Bear hunt. Troy and Lisa Foster of North Alberta Outfitters (www.northalberta.com) were the hosts for our hunt. Our plan was for a mid to late May hunt, but I had to change the dates. My wife Karen and I were expecting a new addition to the family in early June, and I had to be home during the late May timeframe. We planned to roll into camp on May 8th and start hunting the next day. Troy ensured us that they always have great hunts during this time of May and typically kill some monster bears on that hunt. We quickly found out that Mother Nature was in charge of this hunt. To our surprise we rolled up to Troy's house and found Slave Lake completely frozen! Just two weeks prior this part of Alberta faced the biggest snow fall in over 100 years! Troy quickly explained that it was a very late spring and the bears were still denned up. That said, Troy and his guides had been working very hard. They had over 70 baits out and were working on setting another 20. We knew we had our work cut out for us, but we were excited and couldn't wait to get started hunting. Once we met up with Troy, we were off to the lodge.

We met up with good Drury friend, Cory Jarvis of Three River's Adventures (www.3riversadventures.com), who would be our guide for the week. We could not believe the accommodations. Troy has an absolutely beautiful lodge for his hunters. After unpacking and shooting the X-Forces, we turned in for the night. The plan for the week was to run baits through the early part of the day and if we had a good hit, we would set up either the Ameristep ground blind or a tree stand. After checking several baits, we found a good hit on day #1. We quickly set up a ground blind and settled in for the first nights hunt. Gregg had never bear hunted, so he was up first. Not long after settling in, Gregg saw a bear heading our way! After more than an hour of circling us, the bear finally committed. He worked into 19 yards and Gregg made a great shot. Day #1 and Gregg had his first ever black bear with a bow! The next couple of days found us checking baits and hunting promising areas with no bears seen.

On day #4, our luck changed. Troy and Cory found a great spot beside a lake that was just hammered. We headed in early and hung a new set. As we were getting dressed on the cut line, a good bear crossed not a 100 yards away! We made a mad dash to the stand with high hopes we would see him soon. After about an hour, we saw a bear heading right for us. This was a decent bear, but I decided to hold off. After about 20 minutes, he looked up and took off. We knew we had a better bear close by. A few minutes later a huge bear walked off the cut line slowly making his way to our stand. For almost an hour this bear came in and faced us the entire time, then would turn quickly and leave. I was at full draw twice and just couldn't get a good shot. It was about that time that Gregg saw an even bigger bear on the cut line. This bear just laid down and took a nap for 20 minutes! After the second close call with the bear on our bait, the big boy decided it was his turn. Bear #2 quickly left as the big boar circled out of sight. A few minutes later, Gregg caught the big bear walking along the lake heading right in. He stepped out at 12 yards and I smoked him with the Rage 2-blade. What a night. We were partying in the stand! We could not believe the size of this bear when we walked up on him. He squared 7"4" and his skull green scored right at 20" P&Y!

The best news was that we had another monster bear on the same bait. The next night found us right back in the same tree. Just like clockwork, the big bear showed up on the same trail. Once again he came and went several times, never giving Gregg a good shot. The next day, Cory and Gregg made a plan to crib the bait and force the big bear to give Gregg the shot he needed. That afternoon, we got to the stand early and used some big logs to crib the bait. We had only been in the stand about 45 minutes, when here came Mr. Big. The first trip in he once again snuck in behind the bait and avoided a shot. The next time in was his last. As the bear turned to leave a second time, Gregg put a Carbon Force arrow right behind the big bears shoulder. He only went 50 yards and was down! We immediately called Cory to be with us when we recovered the bear. Gregg's bear squared 7' and had a 19" P&Y skull!! We were pumped, two P&Y bears out of the same stand. The next day, mother nature was back in charge. The wind was blowing 50 mph. We decided on our last night to sit a new spot. We set up the Ameristep ground blind and settled in. After only an hour, we had a beautiful bear working in. At 17 yards, he gave me the shot and we had our fourth bear of the trip. What a hunt. We felt extremely blessed to be able to take four great trophies on a very challenging hunt. A very big thanks goes out to Troy and Lisa Foster of North Alberta Outfitters and Cory Jarvis. They worked extremely hard to get all of their clients on good bears. If you're looking for an outstanding black bear, world-class whitetail, or moose hunt, don't hesitate to give Troy a call. We can't wait to go back!!!