Bear Hunting Magazine
Priorities Image Credit: Bear Hunting Magazine
Priorities Image Credit: Bear Hunting Magazine

Priorities

Raising the next generation of hunters takes a “boots-on-theground” approach. But what’s more important is the values we’re teaching them.

Shawn Wagner

As I walked back to the truck filled with a sense of pride, my hands were vibrating and my cheeks were hurting from the smile stretched across my face. I couldn’t make out what each of them was saying specifically as all three of them had erupted with excitement, hollering and congratulating me for shooting the bear. The one thing that was loud and clear--I had made the right choice.

The story of this hunt really starts back with my 2015 spring bear season. With confidence and maybe ego on a high, I headed out trying to harvest a bear solo with a stick and string. I was still riding the thrill of arrowing my first bear from the spring prior. That had been a dream hunt, with only my second stalk I’d arrowed a solid Northern BC Pope and Young black bear. But the confidence I had gained was quickly put in check as I learnt my ability to field judge a black bear wasn’t as good as I had thought. I’d stalked and arrowed a bear at 40 yards. Thinking I made a marginal shot, I left it overnight after not finding a blood trail. After a sleepless night and searching for hours the next day I found my shot was fine, but not only did I arrow a smaller bear, another predator had beat me to finding it.

As the 2016 season rolled around and memories of 2015 were lurking behind me, a black cloud seemed to hang over me. Each time I went out there was a sense of urgency as well as nervousness and insecurity. The confidence


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