While they have hunted bears extensively in Canada, Vicki says up until this year she had never taken a black bear in the U.S. That all changed on a recent hunt in Colorado. Ralph and Vicki reveal they were actually in Colorado to hunt elk and Ralph was successful in that quest. However, the dice landed a little differently for Vicki. While there, the temperatures were in the 80’s and 90’s and they found themselves hunting over water. Fred and Michelle Eichler advised them to pick up an over the counter bear tag if they happened to be sitting over water holes saying they would more than likely see one. Vicki says that is exactly what happened. They did some spot and stalk elk hunting one morning and then decided to head to a blind and sit over a water hole while the temperatures climbed. They got in the blind at 9:00 a.m. and after an all-day sit, at 6:00 p.m. a bear made his way into the water hole where she quickly made the shot and closed the deal. What initially was an elk hunt turned into Vicki’s first U.S. black bear, a beautiful color phase chocolate. When it comes to bear hunting, those with little experience are often surprised by just how much meat are on them. Ralph says that most people see bears as predators and as a result think they aren’t unpalatable; however, he argues they make fantastic table fare. When it comes to bear hunting, whether it’s in the U.S. or Canada, baiting is a popular method, however it can have a negative connotation with many people thinking that hunting over bait makes it “easy”. However, in contrast, bears are smart and don’t just pile in to a bait sight for a free shot. The Cianciarulos say that when hunting in the thick timber of Canada, spot and stalk can be almost impossible at times so the only practical way to manage and hunt bears is often over bait. Ralph highlights the similarities of hunting bears over bait and hunting deer over a food plot or another food source like acorns and asks, truly, what is the difference between the two.
Ralph and Vicki will then turn their attention to hunting moose. In their many encounters with moose, both Ralph and Vicki have taken monster bulls at unbelievably close distances. More specifically, they talk about a hunt in the Yukon where Vicki tagged a bull at only 5 feet away during a spot and stalk hunt. Both Ralph and Vicki agree that hunting in the Yukon is exciting and explain how you can tell if a rutting bull is in the area based on smell alone. Furthermore, they’ll highlight how using decoys, if done properly, can really pique a moose’s interest, get them worked up and bring them in. They note the sheer power that moose have and how a cow can hoof a predator to death. If that’s what a cow is capable of, Ralph says to imagine adding 120 pounds of headgear, up to 30% more weight and tons of muscle and that’s what you’re up against with a bull. When you are decoying, challenging and calling in a monster of this caliber, it can be intimidating but they both agree it’s an incredibly exiting experience.
Tune in for a fun and informative talk with “America’s Favorite Hunting Couple”, Ralph and Vicki Cianciarulo, hosts of “The Choice with Ralph & Vicki” on Outdoor Channel, Sundays at 12:00 p.m. ET.
Happy Hunting Friends