“The massive bear strained to see through the dust and make out where the noise came from, lifting his noise in an attempt to pick up my scent…”

IH blackbear

One nice hot sunny day in August found me in the Upper Squamish valley, four wheeling and fishing along the river.

Nothing out of the ordinary happened until a fish and wildlife officer pulled up next to my truck, walked over to the river bank to ask me how the fishing was going. I showed him one Dolly Varden trout that was about 12 lbs and told him I hadn’t had a bite for the past hour. He smiled, wished me good luck and warned me to be careful, as there has been bears in the area including a grizzly. I smiled and said thanks.

Two minutes after he left, I was looking over my shoulder every thirty seconds. I decided to pack up and try somewhere else. I climbed back into my truck and proceeded down the road. The conditions were very dusty and the narrow logging road was covered in a heavy coating of dust. A short way up the road I felt a sneeze coming on. I pulled over and proceeded to sneeze. The vehicle windows were down and it was loud enough to echo through the dust covered tall grass to the left of me.

To my surprise, a black bear stood up in the tall grass. He must have been two metres tall judging from the height of my truck. The massive bear strained to see through the dust and make out where the noise came from, lifting his noise in an attempt to pick up my scent. I watched him for about a minute although it seemed like an hour had past. As quickly as he popped up, he was down again and out of sight.

I wanted to make sure he was gone before I moved on, so I gave a toot on my horn. Up goes the massive bear again looking around. He was a lot closer this time, so I laid into the horn and revved up my engine.

At first he continued to stand tall but soon realized it wasn’t worth the effort to continue. He darted off and I watched him head back towards the river. I continued on the road for another 10 minutes and around a tight corner, still thinking about the bear when all of a sudden I see a big patch of black sprinting in front of my truck. I eased up on the throttle and watched another bear running down the road. He was quite scared so I gave him lots of room. He jumped off the road and down a steep hill taking out several small trees on the way down. I felt a little sorry for him having to do that. I couldn’t see him anymore but I was sure he was ok.

The idea of fishing was suddenly less appealing. After all two bears in one day were enough. I usually do not see any. The two-hour drive back produced another four bears in different positions along the road.

The moral of this story four-wheeling is fun but be careful out there, especially in bear country… which is virtually everywhere in B.C.

Contact: ian [dot] harwood [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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