Black bear hunting in Nova Scotia

By Jeff  Wright

For the Courier

Roger Morsey, left, and Jeff Wright pose with a bear killed in 2009.

Roger Morsey, left, and Jeff Wright pose with a bear killed in 2009.

Over the past several years I have taken many groups to Nova Scotia, Canada with two purposes in mind. First, I wanted to introduce men to some of the finest black bear hunting in North America. Usually when a seasoned outdoorsman thinks of black bear hunting other Canadian provinces come to mind. Some with blonde and cinnamon color phases. Others with promises of record book boars. Nova Scotia does not have color phase bear but, there are some monsters roaming in those woods. Not only are their big bear, there are numerous of bear to hunt!

Nova Scotia is one of the largest producers of blueberries in the world. These bear seem to understand the availability of this natural food source. Many of you may say natural? Yes, these low bush berries cannot be planted or transplanted. They can only be enhanced by man. Agricultural practices include clearing to allow expansion of the blueberry barrens and burning to enhance growth. This burning also increases the production of the barrens. This natural food source brings the bear into a centralized areas that facilitates baiting when the berries are gone in late August or early September. They also produce some very large bear.

While we are in Nova Scotia we generate a buzz of conversation with the locals. Everywhere we went, from Tim Horton’s to Wal-Mart, people would ask if we were the bear hunters from the states. Once we confirmed their suspicions a story would always follow. They had seen or heard of a black bear that resembled a Volkswagen beetle feeding in a blueberry barren, crossing a road, or standing in their backyard.

Since 2008, I have taken groups that have totaled 23 men. All of the men with the exception of one has had an opportunity to take a bear. We have harvested 24 bear and four of them have been trophies.

This year we departed on September 6th with eight men for Nova Scotia. Four of the men and myself were returning for a second adventure. Three of the men were in for a great new experience. Roger Morsey and several men from Faith Baptist Church served as our guides. We hunted land that belongs to members of the church or had some relationship with one of the guides.

When we arrived late Saturday evening, Roger had the TV set up to show us the pictures that the trail cameras had taken at the bait sites. As we watched you could see the excitement in the eyes of the hunters. Everyone wondered…What bait site is that bear at? Will be on that site? How many bear have they baited? That is a huge bear!

On Sunday morning we awoke, had a devotion, and departed for church. We enjoyed worshipping with Roger and Faith Baptist. It allowed the men who had come before to catch up with friends they had made the previous years. It also allowed the new men to be introduced to great people! After worship we went back to Roger’s house, where his wife Kathy had cooked a meal “fit for a king”.

When we finished eating we were divided up to go with our guides and feed bait sites. This was our first-hand look at where we would sit for our first night of hunting. The group would go from site to site. The guide would take the each hunter into only the site he would be hunting. He would show him the bear sign and setup, so he would be ready for the next day. The rest of the day was spent killing bear in our minds and talking about how awesome our particular site looked.

On Monday morning, we awoke to a devotion and breakfast. We all loaded up and headed to the Lands and Forest Department to purchase our hunting licenses and bear tags. In Nova Scotia each hunter is allowed to take one bear a year. The cost of a license is $125.00. That afternoon we all headed to the stands. Monday night was a night to remember! By dark there were five bear on the ground and one had been shot that we could not find. Jim Wood started the night with a nice boar. Kyle Landers of Dacusville had killed a monster. This was his second bear in Nova Scotia. Tim Landers had killed a great boar, Sammy Landers had killed a nice boar, and Randy Brown had large sow.

Roger knew that Monday would be a busy night and had recruited some men to help with recovery, gutting and skinning. Brent had come in and was a seasoned trapper with great skinning skills. Roger’s nephew was also a trapper and willing to lend a hand in the skinning. It was a very late night!

The next evening was going to be special for Alfred Burgess. That night he killed what may be the largest bear we have taken in our trips to Nova Scotia. The bear was enormous and sported a six and half inch paw. We are waiting for the score on his trophy bear’s skull. Kyle says that he is going to have his scored as well. Everyone there believed that they both will be 20-inch or larger skulls. So the trophy title is still open to be won! Thursday night I killed the last bear of the year.

At the beginning of this article I told you there were two reasons we went to Canada. The first was to hunt black bear. The second was to be a witness for Jesus Christ. As much as I love to hunt I love the Lord more. When we get to Nova Scotia the men we hunt with are Christians and that fellowship is awesome. We enjoy laughing, talking, and getting serious in our sport but the common thread that joins men from 1600 miles apart is our mutual love for God.

While there we worked with the Men’s Ministry of Faith Baptist. On Friday afternoon we had a Men’s event at the deer camp. The men from the church came and we shared a meal but most of all we shared Christian fellowship. One of the guys from my church said, “I just enjoyed hanging out with those guys talking about hunting, fishing, and our relationship with God.”

Proverbs 27:17 tells us the truth of his statement about hanging out with Christian men. “As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another.” When we go to Nova Scotia we have a chance to experience some of the best bear hunting around. But, what we really enjoyed was the memorable Christian Fellowship we had with these Canadian outdoorsmen.

The cool part of this trip is sharing it with new men. Every September, that God allows, I will be putting together a group of men to go to Nova Scotia. We will go with two purposes as always. If you think you would like to go all you have to do is contact me. (Jeff Wright – 836-8484) I will make you one promise if you decide to go…it will be the most exciting adventure you have ever had in your life in two ways.