What Drives a Bear Hunter?

Article by Bear Hunting Network

At the dawn of mankind in North America, bear hunters held down a special place in their community. It took skill and prowess to bring back a deer, but harvesting a bear took that, plus an additional inner strength and courage.

Kim Sutterfield & Robert Hoague with Kim's 1995 Ontario Black Bear.

Kim Sutterfield & Robert Hoague with Kim’s 1995 Ontario Black Bear.

This year thousands of Spring Bear hunters and bowhunters will make the long jaunt to bear country. They will brave the hordes of black flies with bug dope and mosquito head nets–that never quite keep all the bugs out. The weather might be unstable, it can quickly change from cold to hot, clear to rain, calm to windy, and it may even snow on some. At night they will forget about the persistent itch of their bug bites as they watch in silence and wonder as the Northern Lights shift and move across the starry sky (it seems to me it’s worth the trip for them alone).

Not every hunter will see a bear. Nor will everyone that sights a bear harvest one. But a respectable number will see bears. And quite a few will harvest one.

Ask any bear hunter, the one who went once and saw only one, or the veteran who has hunted for thirty years, they remember the first bear they saw when they were hunting bear. Bear hunting isn’t for everyone. When some see a bear they pack their gear – that day – for the trip back home. Others go over and over, because the passion that bear hunting rouses in them forces them to go every year.

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