Archer Completes Grand Slam of All Four Color Phase Black Bears

Hunter Completes Color Phase Black Bear Grand Slam

A Brainerd, Minnesota outdoor writer and bow hunter has made history by bagging all four of the major color phases of black bears with archery equipment. On June 12, 2018 Bernie Barringer harvested a blonde color phase bear in far northern Saskatchewan to complete his eight-year quest for the Grand Slam.

Black bears are unique to North America and are one of our most popular big game animals. While more than 85% of black bears are black, there are geographic variations where they occur in other colors in addition to black. These are known as color phases and include cinnamon (reddish brown), chocolate (dark brown), and blonde. Only 2-3% of bears occur in blonde and cinnamon, while about 10% of bears occur in chocolate. All of these colors only occur in the western half of North America.

“Eight years ago I was having a discussion with the owner of Bear Hunting Magazine about how we could promote bear hunting across North America and he pointed out that a few people have bagged all four colors with a firearm, but he didn’t know of anyone who had done it with bow and arrow,” Barringer remembers. “At the moment he said it, I knew I had to be the one to do it. I’d already shot a chocolate and several black bears with a bow, so I had a head start.”

This started a quest where Barringer traveled North America hunting bears from British Columbia and Idaho to Maine and a lot of places in between; about 30 hunts in all. “I came very close to getting a blonde twice in four years in the Duck Mountains of western Manitoba. Then I ended up getting the cinnamon bear near LaRonge, Saskatchewan in 2014, so all I had left to get was the blonde.” Barringer focused on the Duck Mountains, travelling there 2-3 times per year. He worked with an outfitter there who had trail camera photos of blondes. “I had three close calls, seeing blonde bears in person, but could never close the deal with the handicap of shooting them with a bow rather than a gun.”

Barringer’s quest gained national attention through Bear Hunting Magazine, social media and online blogs. Barringer tried to get all the hunts on video. “Especially after I shot the cinnamon, and was only one bear away from completing the Grand Slam, this thing took on a life of its own. My YouTube channel went nuts with bear hunters following my hunts.”

An outfitter in Northern Saskatchewan, Big Spruce Outfitting, appealed to Barringer by sending him scouting camera photos of blonde bears. After two in-person meetings, several phone calls and texts, Barringer agreed to travel to the bear camp on an island in Unknown Lake, about 100 miles east of Lake Athabasca and try for a blonde bear there. The move paid off and he collected the blonde bear on the very first day of the hunt. A 15-yard broadside shot, and the bear was piled up dead within five seconds. “The feeling of having completed this Grand Slam was overwhelming,” Barringer said. “I was just in shock that it happened the way it did.”

An award-winning taxidermist has offered to mount the bear into a full body, life-size mount and take it to taxidermy competitions.

“I have heard from many other avid bear hunters who are interested in trying to complete the Grand Slam, and that was one of my goals, to help grow the sport of bear hunting. I would like to see an organization set up that will recognize hunters who collect various the color phases.”

So where does Barringer go from here? “I’m not going to give up bow hunting for bears,” he says. “But it feels good to have the pressure dialed down a little, so I can relax and enjoy the experience more. I love having a freezer full of bear sausage and smoked bear meat, but I’ll probably cut back to one or two bear hunts per year.”

HAWK® OFFERS NEW LINE OF BLIND CHAIRS

The Hawk® Stealth Series of Hunting Chairs has a seat for you!  All chairs are made with the extremely strong and silent MeshComfort™ fabric that is used on Hawk® Tree Stands with durable, proven extended outdoor use.

STEALTH™ TRI-STOOL    MSRP: $39.99
Get into the game with this comfortable, carry-friendly Tri-Stool from Hawk®. It’s light enough to take on short hikes and sturdy enough for consistent outdoor use. The Hawk Stealth Tri-Stool is your perfect lightweight companion for all outdoor activities – camping, fishing, hunting, sporting event or simply for backyard comfort.  Folded size – 32” x 8”

STEALTH™ PAK-LITE™ CHAIR    MSRP: $44.99
ULTRA LIGHT NEVER CARRY A HEAVY HUNTING CHAIR AGAIN!  Heavy-Duty quality made, yet light weight carry that can be used for any outdoor event.  Ultra-Compact design weights less than 2.5-LBS and folds up into carrying bag that is size of a large loaf of bread!  Take the STEALTH PAK-LITE anywhere; keep one in your pack or hunting tote so you’ll never be without seating!

STEALTH™ SPIN CHAIR    MSRP: $109.99
Bone Collector® trusted, the Stealth Spin® lets you be stealthily in perfect position when it’s time to take a shot. Spinning a full 360-degrees, you can effortlessly turn to shoot out any side of your blind. Contoured MeshComfort™ backrest provides all-day support and cool breathability. Quickly folds down for easy transport with included sling.

STEALTH™ BIG DENALI™ CHAIR    MSRP: $149.99
Extra-wide & Extra-comfortable – This is the chair for those looking for some extra space. An XXL MeshComfort™ Lounger chair with a contoured, high backrest provides un-matched comfort and is even paired with molded foam armrests. Swivel silently 360-degrees for any angle shooting. Adjust each leg independently to level out on uneven terrain and adjust overall height from 18” to 20.5”. Swiveling, large “duck” feet on each leg provide added stability and keep the chair from sinking into soft ground. Steel tubing & powder coat finish provides long lasting use.

Hawk® also offers several other models of seats, both for ground blind hunting and for attaching to the tree.  Visit www.hawkhunting.com to see more.

 

2018 ATA BOOTH #2725

HAWK® – HUNT FROM ABOVE®

For more product information, visit www.HawkHunting.com

 

Hawk Group, LLC
Scott Lee
810-201-8275
scott@hawkhunting.com

HAWK® UPGRADES LADDER STANDS WITH HERCULES™

Hawk® introduces the HERCULES™ Cross-Grip Safety System.  Patent Pending Hercules Tension applies over 200-LBS of Gripping Force against the tree to securely lock the top of the stand in place from ground level, providing unbelievable stability and eliminates tipping and shifting!

This unique system can be described as ‘HERCULES CABLE JAWZ’ for the top of your stand and ultimately provides extreme locking stability.  After raising your stand, the Hercules™ Braided-Steel Cable System applies the extreme gripping force onto the tree that is over 6X greater force than most standard securing strap systems!  The Hercules™ Cross Grip Safety System provides an incredibly solid, safe and secure climbing experience.

The best part??  The Hercules™ Cross-Grip Safety System now comes standard on all Hawk® BIG DENALI™, SASQUATCH™ and several other Hawk Ladder Stands.  The system is easier to use stronger and more effective than any other lock down system available today.  Use Hercules™ to DRIVE SALES in 2018 and improve SAFETY for everyone!

 

 

2018 ATA BOOTH #2725

HAWK® – HUNT FROM ABOVE®

 

Hawk Group, LLC
Scott Lee
810-201-8275
scott@hawkhunting.com

HAWK® OFFERS NEW INNOVATIVE GAME CAMERA ACCESSORIES FOR 2018

CAMERA STAKEOUT™    MSRP: $27.99
Hunt Smarter™ by having the freedom to put your camera in the perfect position without the need of a tree – film field edges, food plots, grassy transition areas or anywhere!  With an XTENDIBLE tube that adjusts any height 22”-51”, capturing that perfect footage won’t be an issue. The Hawk® Camera Stakeout is ultra-stable with the unique 6-inch Deep Earth Auger that features a unique Anti-Tip Ground Plate. Lightweight design is compact & easy to carry so no matter where you go, your camera can now capture it with the CAMERA STAKEOUT™. Utilizes universal ¼”-20 Post and works with any type of small camera.  Also include GoPro® Ready Mount for ground blind, third-angle or decoy filming.

DEFENDER™ CABLE SECURITY    MSRP: $19.99
Strong, Quick & Convenient Security for your Game Camera and other equipment! Protect your gear with the HAWK® Defender™ Adjustable Locking Cable. This 7-foot long cable uses a Patent Pending adjustable locking mechanism to hold the cable securely at any position, meaning you can conveniently wrap and ‘cinch’ the cable around large or small items as needed. 5/16” Cut-Resistant Braided Steel Cable is coated with a protective vinyl that protects against scratches and the weather.  Features all-new Hawk® CHAOS™ Camo for ultimate concealment.

SHAG™ GAME CAMERA CONCEALMENT    MSRP: $12.99
Go undetected and blend your trail camera into its natural surroundings with SHAG™ by HAWK®. This is the ultimate camera ‘ghillie suit’, making your game camera practically undetectable from a distance to unsuspecting game, thieves and hunters!  The SHAG features an elastic brand that universally wraps around the body of any game camera in seconds.

GAME CAMERA SPEEDMOUNT™    MSRP: $14.99
Take the hassle out of setting up your game cameras with the HAWK® Game Camera SpeedMount™.   The Quick Socket Adapter attaches to your camera ¼”-20 insert for a fast connection that allows the user to easily take the camera on-and-off the mount throughout the season when checking photos, replacing batteries, etc.  This rock-solid arm features sharp tree screw threads or universal T-Post adapter to work in all situations.

2018 ATA BOOTH #2725

HAWK® – HUNT FROM ABOVE®

Hawk Group, LLC
Scott Lee
810-201-8275
scott@hawkhunting.com

HAWK® LAUNCHES GHOST™ GAME CAMERAS

The all-new Ghost™ Cam lineup by Hawk® takes ultra-small, Intelligence Surveillance™ to the next level.  The smallest high-performance game cameras ever offered, the Hawk® Ghost Cam micro-size blends into nature and helps stay unnoticed to game and thieves alike.  Pull out of your pocket and capture detail-packed photos and HD video clips with blazing .25s trigger speeds!  Ghost Cam’s are built with an ultra-fast, reliable image processor and HD image sensor with built-in autofocus and Xfinity™ LED illumination to ensure sharp, detailed high resolution photos up to 20 Megapixels.

Hawk Ghost Cam’s take all of the guesswork out of complicated on-camera settings and are controlled using the innovative Hawk® Sync™ APP.  With Hawk Sync control, the date and time on your Ghost Cam is automatically set, leaving only simplified camera or video settings options to the user. Connect with Bluetooth® to capture a test view photo and check overall camera status, giving you peace of mind your camera operating to expectations.

Buy with confidence as the Hawk Sync App also allows users to register their Ghost Camera within the APP, securing the 2-Year Warranty and helps provide superior customer service.  Enjoy the reliability and outstanding capturing performance, quality and simplicity of Ghost Cam by Hawk® – this is Intelligence Surveillance™.

GHOST™ HD 16                          MSRP: $109.99
GHOST™ HD 16 BLACK             MSRP: $119.99
GHOST™ HD 20                          MSRP: $159.99

2018 ATA BOOTH #2725

HAWK® – HUNT FROM ABOVE®

Hawk Group, LLC
Scott Lee
810-201-8275
scott@hawkhunting.com

Ben Rising vs. Scrape Master – Illinois Booner

My first trip of the year to hunt Illinois is always a exciting time, just being able to leave your own state and leave work behind is a welcome feeling. Earlier in the summer I had strategically placed some trail cameras on field edges, future scrape sites and tight pinches that were easily accessible on the farm I was hunting – looking for a potential candidate to hunt in the fall of 2016. I also had prepped in the summer by hanging some of the HAWK Heliums in some major travel corridors between doe bedding areas close to some normal breeding scrapes anticipating pre-rut and rut activity.

The cameras never lie and after getting pictures of a buck I nick named Scrape Master, the pursuit was on. I knew by the intel that if I was to encounter him and get a shot it would be in one spot close to his favorite scrape that I always got his picture. I had secluded access that allowed me in and out without a lot of detection and the Helium KickBack afforded me the comfort I needed to sit all day when those daylight pictures started showing up.

The Story of ‘KNEE HIGH’ – 172″ IL Brute

With a season of trials and tribulations drawing to an end, Evan Smith climbed into his stand on the 1st of January with high hopes of harvesting a deer he called Knee High. Little did he know that only thirty minutes after being in the stand, that very deer would be standing twenty yards in front of his dad. Evan’s dad, Craig Smith, passed on the deer knowing how hard his son had worked to have the chance to harvest him. The Illinois giant slowly made his way through the hardwoods, where he would soon put on a show for Evan. As he came into view, it would take 12 minutes, a scrape and a rub to get to the moment of full draw. This would become the hunt of a lifetime for Evan and also a hunt that proves a fathers love for his son!

WATCH THE STORY & HUNT FOR KNEE HIGH BELOW!

Score: 172 1/8″

Age: 5 1/2 yr old

Date: 1/1/16

Location: Illinois

Treestand: Helium XL

Other Gear: Ranger Traction Climbing SticksSpeed Retract Hoist Reel

Summer Prepping For Whitetails

With the unofficial start of summer here (Memorial Day Weekend), there’s just one season that now separates us from climbing back into a stand for 2017. As summer days slip by, crunch time sets in and only time will tell if all the hard work during summer months will pay off.

In light of those long, hot, bug filled days we’ve compiled several articles we believe may provide some new insight to your summer scouting & preparation. None the less, hopefully some fresh reading to pass the time before Fall.

1) 4 Step Process to Planting Food Plots – Bone Collector 

2) Mark Drury’s Top 10 Pre-Season Scouting Tips – Mossy Oak

3) 6 Classic Summer Mistakes Most Deer Hunters Make – Wired To Hunt

4) Safely Hanging an Invisible Treestand – Robinson Outdoors 

5) QDMA’s Guide to Summer Food Plots – QDMA

6) 7 Steps for Taking Better Trail Camera Pictures – Outdoor Life

7) 11 Steps to a Perfect Deer Hunting Treestand Set-Up – Wired To Hunt

8) 3 Camera Locations for Summer Deer Inventory – Bucks Bulls & Bears

This summer grab your boots, trail cameras and a cold one at the end of the day – Deer Season 2017 is on the horizon.

21 PHOTOS TO REMIND US WHY WE LOVE SPRING

Days are growing longer, birds are gobbling and crops are being planted – No doubt Spring is here. Below are a few of our favorite photos to remind us just how much we love Spring & everything it brings.

1 – FULL STRUT


Easily found in a field nearby, toms can be seen strutting nation wide. Photo @Heartland Bowhunter

2 – HOT HEADED TEMPERS

With strutting jelly heads comes high stakes. Photo @Heartland Bowhunter

3 – LOVE IS IN THE AIR


Spring is here & so are the ‘Birds & the Bees’. Photo @Heartland Bowhunter

3 – SHEDDING FOR A NEW SEASON


A quick reminder that he’s still out there. Photo @The Legends of the Fall

4,5 – UNMISTAKABLE SOUNDS


Listen closely, he’s bound to be heard sooner or later. Photo @Bone Collector

Caught mid stride, this gobbler lets out a bellowing blow. Photo @Team Radical

6, 7, 8 – COMRADERY


Spring is often best shared around a tailgate with a few buds. Photo @Small Town Hunting

Fresh harvest wrapped up in bacon set over a bed of hot coals. Photo @Whitetail Fix

Bringing families closer one gobble at a time. Photo @Bone Collector

9 – COMBO MEALS


Grab some oil & turn the fryer on high! Photo @Team Radical

10, 11 – HEART PUMPING ACTION


Taking up close and personal to the next level. Photo @Small Town Hunting

How can a strutter at 10 steps not get your heart rate going? Photo @Bone Collector

12, 13, 14 – SPURS FOR DAYS


We’ve got a limb hanger! Photo @Heartland Bowhunter
And another! Photo @Small Town Hunting
Got Hooks? Photo @The Break TV

15-21 – SWEET SUCCESS


A Spring morning well spent. Photo @Final Draw
A different perspective. Photo @Team Radical

Looks like Tom got a headache from this deal. Photo @Trevor Olson

Picture Perfect. Photo @Heartland Bowhunter

Everyone loves a quick nap in the Spring sunshine! Photo @Whitetail Edge

Home of the red, the white and the blue. Photo @Heartland Bowhunter

Who said bowhunting was just for whitetails? Photo @Alpha Strong

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TY EASLY, HEARTLAND BOWHUNTER – 188″ NON-TYPICAL

I have been blessed in my 29 years of archery hunting to take a lot of great whitetail bucks, but never did I imagine I would have the opportunity at a deer of this caliber. November 14th, 2016 I headed to north central KS with my good friend and cameraman Wes Cooper to go hunt with Cody Kuck and Heartland Pride Outfitters. We met up with Mike Hunsucker and Brandon Franklin midday and headed west in pursuit of some giant whitetails. We did not arrive in camp till 10:30pm, but we were all pretty excited and stayed up till after midnight putting a game plan together for Tuesday. It did not take long to realize Cody and his guides had done their homework and showed us a good number of nice bucks that he had on the farms we would be hunting. Tuesday morning we started scouting at sun up and then spent the next six hours slipping in and hanging stands. We ended up hanging two sets on two different farms about three miles apart. Of all the bucks Cody had pics of, there was one non-typical that I really hoped to get a crack at. Only problem was he seemed to be the only shooter on that farm while the other farm had four different shooter bucks using it. We decided that first evening we would try hunting the non-typical.

With unseasonably warm weather the deer activity that afternoon was not great for Wes and I. Mike and Brandon on the other hand were on a big buck that afternoon, but could not get him close enough for a shot. Wednesday brought much of the same warm weather patterns and we decided to hunt the other farm near a pond. That morning we had an encounter with a shooter but he stayed just out of bow range. It was a long all day sit as the temps climbed up to 70 degrees. Sitting by the pond offered a great deal of waterfowl to keep us entertained, but by the end of the day we had only seen 4 deer. With a cold front moving in that night we had high expectations for the 3rd day.

I wanted to give the non-typical one more opportunity and the wind was perfect out of the NW that morning. The draw we hung the stand in was only about 600 yards long and maybe 100 yards wide with a CRP field to the west and a winter wheat field to the east side. We had our stand on the east side of the draw about 300 yards from the north end where the bedding area was located. That Thursday morning, November 17th, we climbed into our Hawk Helium XL stands before sun up with no idea what was about to go down.

At day break we had a doe come from the SE that caught our wind and right away we started to question our stand choice. After she spooked, I decided to rattle and a couple nice two year olds came in to check things out. About 8:45 I picked up the horns again and before I could finish my sequence, a nice three year old came to within ten yards of the tree. It was just one of those special mornings that the bucks really seemed to be on their feet and cruising. About 9:15 Wes and I were chatting it up in the stand and he asked me what the non-typical looked like. I got my phone out and pulled up a pic to show him. As we were looking at the picture I looked up the draw and saw a deer heading our way. Right away I knew it was a nice buck and as soon as I got my binos up I knew it was him. We watched as this giant made his way through the draw, heading right toward our tree. As I reached for my bow I gave myself a little pep talk: “you got this, just keep it together”. The Lord brought him just far enough down the draw before he stopped and appeared like he was going to head back to his bedding area. By this time he was at 26 yards and I was already at full draw waiting for him to give me that shot angle I needed to seal the deal. As he turned to head back north I released the arrow. I knew the shot was a little back, but was sure it was good enough to get the job done.

As an archery hunter you live for that moment. I was flooded with emotions that I had no control over. Twenty-nine years of bow hunting and I had just killed my biggest buck ever. Not until Cody met up with us and we walked up on him did I realize just how big he really was. This buck’s trail cam picks did him no justice. We had all thought he would be pushing about 170 inches, so when we walked up on this 20pt 188 inch giant…well let’s just say there was no ground shrinkage. And just when I thought this hunt could not get any better, Mike ended up killing another great buck the following morning. There is always so much more that happens on a hunt such as all the stories shared and friendships made along the way. I was truly blessed to be given such a great opportunity at a buck of a lifetime and even more blessed to get to share this moment with such good friends!

Score: 188 inches
Age: 6.5
Date: November 17, 2016
Location: North Central, KS
Treestand Model: HAWK Helium XL Hang-On
Other Hawk Gear: Tactical Solo Tree HookXtendible Bow Arm

Watch the hunt for this Giant on the upcoming Season 10 of Heartland Bowhunter – Only on the Outdoor Channel.

Monday 08:30 AM EST

Wednesday 08:30 AM EST

Thursday 09:30 PM EST

Thursday 05:00 AM EST

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