This time it was a bit more for real. We are in the wild, not a national park and we would be re-setting the bear trap, for the camera! Paul was taking us and the 3 lads to collect the film and re-bait the enticement. The quadbike was loaded onto the trailer and hitched to the back of the truck because apparently the truck couldn’t get through far enough. We came off the property, down the road, past where Paul and Bruce’s school had been and onto the land previously owned by the former’s family, where he had his bear hide. He had used it in the past to observe bear behaviour for Saskatoon University zoology research projects.
We parked by a lake and unloaded the quad. I thought it a little strange to use the quad for 6 of us. That would be a lot of return journeys, we might as well just walk the rest of the way, but no. Paul got on the quad whilst the rest of us piled into the hitched up trailer, not the comfiest ride! We bounced along the side of a field of ripening oats with the occasional area which had been flattened. I presumed this was where the quad had had to turn around. Eventually, after my bottom could take little more after the horse riding as well, we turned into the wooded area, dipped down into a little vale, past a tree house and stopped by an upturned 50 gallon drum.
It was upturned because the bears had been at it. Michael showed us the inside of the hide where we collected more bait. Whilst the other lads un and re-loaded the camera we watched Paul set the bait again. A bucket full of oats went into the drum first. Bears like oats, the patches in the field had been where they roll around in them! These were covered with dog food and then the lid was smeared with a combination of peanut butter and honey which was then melted and cooked with a blow torch to set off the smell and entice them to the ‘trap’. We wondered if we should have left by now but Paul was hopeful that they would come immediately on detecting their favourite smell! Fortunately they didn’t turn up at that time so we just out some loose sticks on top of the drum to show whether they had been to investigate. We were able to admire them from the photos on the laptop back at the ranch, and a mousse!