Father and Son Bear Hunt at Brown’s Clearwater Lodge

Brown’s Clearwater Lodge is a family-run lodge that caters to families and offers an excellent hunting and fishing experience with comfortable cabins.
Ty&Son

Most people who grew up hunting and fishing have created lifetime memories with their dad, mom, grandparents, siblings or friends. These memorable experiences are often why the outdoor spirit keeps burning from within as we go through life.

My son, Tyson, and I started a Canadian father-and-son tradition about five years ago by travelling north of the border to Ontario on our first adventure together. It was a fishing trip we both remember fondly to this day. Like any tradition, the idea was to go to Canada every year after that. But as we all remember, the tragic Covid pandemic put a snag into those plans. Fast forward five years, with all the Covid restrictions now lifted, we decided to resume our tradition. This time, we planned a fall hunting and fishing adventure.

Tyson has been watching me trophy bear hunt across Ontario for many years. It has been on his bucket list, and now that he is over the legal hunting age of 16 as a non-resident of Ontario, he was able to make that dream happen. I knew the bear population across Canada had already been extremely healthy. Add to that the lack of bear hunting pressure in Canada in many regions due to the pandemic and the odds were in our favour that this would be a hunt he would not soon forget. 

We decided on Brown’s Clearwater Lodge in Superior Country because it is a family-run lodge that caters to families and offers an excellent hunting and fishing experience with comfortable cabins. Brian, Aniela and family run an unbelievable operation that offers several very nice cabins, a campground with full hookups and a fully guided hunting operation. They do it all, and it starts and ends with family — from theirs to yours.

Our trip started by getting checked into our spacious, clean, comfortable cabin. Shortly after, we caught up with Brian and our guide, Rodney, to devise a game plan by checking out trail camera pictures of the bear they had frequenting a few sites they set up for us. This is a great way to get the hunter excited and confident before heading out for the hunt. Knowing a couple of real bruisers showed up regularly got Tyson, and my heart rates up even before the hunt.

Trail Cam Pic

Brown’s Clearwater Lodge typically has 50-plus active bear sites going at one time but maintains well over 100 sites across hundreds of thousands of acres of Bear Management Area. This gives the hunter many options — in tree stands or hunting blinds — depending on how you want to hunt and the bear activity. Trail cameras are a must for any successful bear hunting operation. They eliminate non-productive areas and help pinpoint the most active times of the day. This allows you to hunt the prime times and jump in a boat to fish the rest of the time. 

The first evening, we headed to a hunting blind scenario with the crossbow, where the bait was situated only 15 yards in front of us. Hunting a bear from a blind is one of the most adrenaline-filled hunts you can experience. You are at eye level with these big boys and can hear every breath they take — and I’m sure they can likely hear my heart beating.

Hunting Blind

As we got settled into the blind, I cautioned Tyson that even though a trophy bear had been coming into the site on multiple days in a row, there was a good chance — from my experience — we would be sitting there multiple days.

But just a few hours into the hunt, I was proven wrong.

Tyson spotted a shooter bear moving in just in front of us. The bear cautiously climbed over a pile of logs to the bait. I could hear Tyson’s breathing pick up and his heartbeat grow louder as the bear came into shooting range.

Suddenly, the bear bolted back into the woods as Tyson pulled his crossbow up for the shot. I told Tyson that the bear was there for a reason: winter was nearing, and the bear’s stomach would overtake him back into the bait. The trophy bear moved back in just minutes later, only to take off a second time, knowing something was not normal.

As the bear came in for the third time, a shaking 17-year-old was ready with the crossbow, having the crosshairs directly behind the shoulder as the bear slowly turned to give him a shot opportunity. He squeezed the trigger, sending the bolt to a perfectly placed spot. The bear ran; I hugged Tyson, knowing he had closed the deal on a trophy black bear. Seeing his excitement and hearing his voice quivering from adrenaline overload as he kneeled next to the bear was a father’s dream for his son.

KillShot

Having a whole week to bear hunt but tagging out on the first day left us plenty of time to grab the Trika Rods and go after some of the fantastic multi-species fishing Brown’s Clearwater Lodge has to offer. We pitched 1/4 oz VMC jigs with white 4-inch Big Bite Bait Sensation Slim Minnow soft plastics and #5 Jiggin’ Raps for multiple days of amazing walleye fishing. We connected on many big northern pike and smallmouth bass mixed in using the same presentation. On the last day, we vertically jigged 1/2- to 3/4-ounce jigs with a 5-inch Big Bite Bait swimming jerk minnow and #7 Jigging Raps, both in white or chartreuse for Lake Trout.

FatherSonFish

I’ve experienced some amazing bear hunts over the years, but this one will be the hunt I remember the most. Sharing this trip with my son and building memories together in the hunting blind and the boat will never be forgotten. Tyson is hooked on these trips, and we now share the passion for bear hunting!

Brown’s Clearwater Lodge offers world-class spring and fall trophy bear hunting, with a high-density bear population across a massive Bear Management Area. They also offer moose and wolf hunts and amazing trophy-class multi-species fishing, including walleye, lake trout, smallmouth bass, pike and more on several accessible lakes. If you are looking for a top-notch family adventure or a solo hunting or fishing experience, get ahold of Brian and Aniela. You will show up as guests but leave feeling like family. 

For more information on Browns Clearwater Lodge, please visit www.brownsclearwaterlodge.com.

About Ty Sjodin

Ty Sjodin is the co-host of The Ontario Experience airing on The Sportsman Channel, The Sportsman Channel—Canada, and the World Fishing Network (WFN).  He enjoys traveling across Ontario, experiencing everything the province and lodges have to offer—including the amazing hunting and multi-species fishing! Ty can’t remember when he wasn’t outside fishing or hunting, but it was about the same time he started to walk. He has a strong passion for the outdoors that was instilled in him by his father and has been shared with his older brother to this day. That is the same passion he now shares with his son, Tyson. Ty spent his college years earning a Business Management / Sales Degree at Bemidji State University, while feeding his obsession of being outdoors in a boat, on the ice, on his bow hunting stands, in the duck blind or shooting grouse. Getting his start in the fishing industry, Ty went to work for In-Fisherman joining the Lindner’s in 1998 to sell everything from TV, print and digital advertising as well as working with and promoting the In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trial (PWT). After 10 years he moved on to sell TV and digital advertising in the hunting industry as well as fishing for Babe Winkelman Productions for the next 6 years. Ty has come full circle rejoining the Lindner’s once again, now at Lindner Media Productions handling the multi-media sales efforts as well as some on-camera talent.

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