I went on my first black bear hunt in the spring of 1988 in Ontario and went again September of last year with a different outfitter in Ontario. Long story short, a total of 13 days sitting over bait resulted in seeing a grand total of one small bear. I've seen quite a few bears over the years while elk and deer hunting on the Uncompahgre in Colorado and I decided I'd had enough of sitting staring at a bait barrel hour after hour and decided I wanted to do a spot and stalk hunt.
After a bunch of research I booked with an outfitter in central Alberta. I had a great hunt, seeing bears every day except for one. It was a two bear limit and I was determined not to go home empty handed. On the third day of the hunt we spotted a bear up on its hind legs feeding on berries along a power line. We determined it was an adult and alone so we put the sneak on it. At about 75 yards the bear came out of the brush walking straight at us. It saw us and stopped facing us so I figured it was now or never. I put the crosshairs under its chin and squeezed the trigger. At the shot the bear collapsed in a heap. The 200 gr Partition from my 8mm Rem Mag had gone in perfectly, taking out heart and lungs. My first bear turned out to be a 5 foot sow with a beautiful coat. I was on cloud nine!
My friend Kyle was up next and he ended up shooting a nearly 6 foot boar two days later. His shot drifted back to just behind the diaphragm and three hours later the guide found the bear bedded in thick willows. A follow up shot put the bear down for good.
On the last day of the hunt I spotted a bear feeding on a grassy berm. I took a rest and waited for the bear to turn broadside. I could see that the bear was good sized and very fat through the scope. When it turned broadside I held tight to the shoulder at 230 yds and squeezed off the shot. The shot felt good and the bear rolled down the hill and out of sight. I was trembling with excitement at shooting a great bear on the last day of the hunt. We waited a half hour then went up to track the bear. At the site of the shot we found an inch long piece of the rounded edge of the shoulder bone and at the base of the hill where the bear had rolled Kyle found blood. It was bright red but there were no bubbles in it and it petered out quickly to just small smears on the grass. About an hour and a half after the shot we spotted a bear in the brush but weren't sure it was my bear and it soon ran away. We went over to where we'd seen it and from the sign determined it was indeed the bear I had shot. From all indications my shot was 3 or 4 inches from point of aim and had just clipped the front of the shoulder. I was devastated but I can at least take comfort in the fact that the bear was not fatally hit. The front pad tracks were about 4 3/4" wide so the bear was almost a six footer, a good bear for sure. I'm going back in the spring for some payback!