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Back to Traditions with a Gritty Bowmen Recurve Black Bear Hunt


The Gritty Bowmen go on a traditional archery, recurve black bear hunt, in a light-hearted, fun and intense film production. You’ll love this video.

In a good natured, funny, upbeat and at times intense video, Aron Snyder grabs a stick bow and attempts to harvest a British Columbia black bear. And from the looks of the area they need to be Gritty Bowmen just to survive the mosquitos.

The banter between the guys (Brian Call, Aron and their guide, Gary Hilscher) is easy and humorous. But things immediately get intense when they spot a big black bear on a hillside.

Aron attempts to make a stalk, and gets a shot, but the outcome is uncertain for Brian and Gary as they watch the drama unfold from the bottom of the hill.

They glass the bruin for some time, trying to get a handle on what the bear is doing, because the bear sees them as well. Finally, Aron decides to make a stalk.

Gary lays on a dying rabbit call, while Brian films Aron making his stalk. Then, we lose sight of Aron and we see only the bear.

The bear reacts as though it heard the arrow, or felt the arrow. Gary says, in reading signals from Aron, “He says he shot underneath it.”

“Dangit!” replies Brian.

But the signals aren’t entirely clear. When the two hike up and reach Aron’s location, Aron says he hit the bear, but he’s very concerned about his shot placement.  “It is difficult with the old ‘struggle stick'”, says Aron, because he could have shot the beast from a greater distance had he had his compound bow.

They smell the arrow for an intestine shot. The conclusion is indeterminate.

They track the bear, and they find it piled up in tangled brush. Relief! “I’m super excited,” says Aron. “And thank the lord for second arrow. Because the recurve was quiet…I almost got a third arrow off.”

The Gritty Bowmen are all smiles and laughs and retelling the tale of the bear kill. Brian ends with a poignant hunter’s quote from M.R. James:

Despite our ever-changing, ever-indignant world with its growing ignorance of and indifference to the ways of the wild, I remain a predator, pitying those who revel in artificiality and synthetic success while regarding me and my kind as relics of a time and place no longer valued or understood. I stalk a real world of dark wood and tall grass stirred by a restless wind blowing across sunlit water and beneath star-strewn sky. And on those occasions when I choose to kill, to claim some small part of nature’s bounty for my own, I do so by choice, quickly with the learned efficiency of a skilled hunter. Further, in my heart and mind, I know the truth and make no apologies for my actions or my place in time.

Others around me may opt to eat only plants, nuts and fruits. Still others may employ faceless strangers to procure their meats, their leather, their feathers, and all those niceties and necessities of life. Such is their right, of course, and I wish them well. All I ask in return is no one begrudge me – and all of us who may answer the primordial stirrings within our hunter’s souls – my right to do some of these things myself.

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.

NEXT: ‘Untamed’: A Traditional Bowhunting Film Celebrating Life

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Back to Traditions with a Gritty Bowmen Recurve Black Bear Hunt