As of April 18, we still couldn’t get into our camp due to the 12+ inches of snow we received on April 11 and the rest of that week saw. Up until this point, the snow was almost all gone and a lot of bears where walking around already as more and more tracks became evident in the freshly made snow. Baiting and getting into sites started on April 18 with the Argo as it wasn’t until April 23rd I could start accessing baits with the quads. The snow was almost all gone once again and the odd bait was starting to get hit. During the week of April 25-30 while baiting, I had time to put out some “new” baits and move a few “old” ones that I felt could be better. By the end of this week, pretty much all of the baits where out and during the week of May 2-7 my son Jordan and I started checking and freshening up all baits as the first group of hunters were scheduled to arrive on May 8. The baits looked great already and we couldn’t wait to get started!
The first night saw some good action as hunters saw and passed up some good bears. The second night, Daryl from Wyoming shot his first black bear at 6:00 p.m. Rain fall started at 1:00 p.m. and lasted all day and into the evening and next day. The third night saw a young bear climb and chew at Wayne’s stand. However, Wayne who is from Pennsylvania was after a much larger bear. The baits in the last few days where really starting to heat up more and more. On May 13, we had snow flurries off and on all day and woke up the next morning to an inch of snow. That day however, Wayne shot a good black bear at 9:05 P.M. after passing on two others. The next day Dale also from Wyoming shot his bear walking into the bait site with Jordan. That week saw 100% success and the fishing opener was here. All the guys caught lots of fish that day and we all enjoyed a fresh meal of fish. The second week, May 16-21 saw 7 hunters. By Tuesday night, we were already at a 100% opportunity. The first night saw a total of 16 bears seen with Tyler from Ohio seeing the most with 7. Mark from Michigan shot a big black and saw another bear the first night too. The second night, father and son duo; Travis and Josh from Indiana both shot excellent bears as Travis’s was a beautiful cinnamon and Josh shot a huge black bear with his bow. Tyler once again was seeing all kinds of bear and shot a nice black with his bow. This bear got a little too close to Tyler so he ended up shooting it out of the tree he was up in. Byron from Michigan saw 3 good bears also on the second night but decided to wait it out. On the third night, Kevin from Ohio saw 4 bears and shot a nice black with his bow also. While running and checking baits all week, all the other guides and myself were seeing some real nice bears at the baits. Curtis from Indiana ended up shooting his bear Friday evening at 8:15. And finally the last of the hunters, Byron from Michigan was done Saturday evening once again were 100% success rate. The fishing this week was unreal as guests hammered the northerns up to 42 inches. This past week saw lots of sun and temps for a High reach 28C. The bush was finally starting to dry good.
The third week, May 23-28 saw 12 hunters in camp and once again saw 100% opportunity. The first night saw tons of action with lots of re-peat and new guests! That first night, avid bear hunter and good friend Jason from Wisconsin passed on 2 really good bears with his bow in hope at a chance at a much bigger one. Jason’s patience paid off as just before legal shooting time, a big black with a big white V showed himself just enough for Jason to get a good clean shot at. This big bruin that went well over 7 feet ran only 30 yards. Bob also from Wisconsin passed on 5 different bears. Tim also from Wisconsin saw 4 bears and shot a nice black bear from a ground blind. This same night, Tim’s son J.T. also shot a good bear just before dark and another father and son duo, Brandon and Ben from Wisconsin, shot their first bears also this night. What a night it was as two fathers and sons all shot their bears on the same night! Tim’s other son Mathew saw 7 bears on the first night. The second night saw lots of heavy rain but 2 more bears where shot. Mathew and Dalton both from Wisconsin had bears down in the rain. On Thursday, May 26 another father and son team from Wisconsin were hunting. Steve watched a big black just before dark with no shot and his son Carl shot a big black at 7:00 p.m. with his bow. Carl then watched and videotaped a much larger bear after all this! My dad who was guiding Charles from Wisconsin walked into a big bear at the bait. When he finally left, Charles while walking to his treestand shot another black that was coming to the baits. Charles never ever made it up his treestand that night! Steve that night saw 4 other bears and on the next night, arrowed the 8th bear that came in! Tim and Bob respectively saw 2 and 3 bears each the last night but passed on them also. The fishing was absolutely amazing still as guests claimed to be catching 100+ northerns in only 2-3 hours of fishing.
By the time we hit our fourth week, the baits where all hot and a lot of new bears where hitting them. This week saw 6 more hunters, 3 re-peat and 3 new hunters. On the first night, Garrett from Colorado was done quickly as he arrowed a big 7 footer that scored 19 4/16. The second night saw limited activity as heavy winds and rain came through. On the third night Leroy from Wyoming saw 2 real good bears and 1 that he said was a monster but couldn’t get a shot at. Olin from Wyoming saw 3 different bears and shot a beautiful cinnamon colored bear. LT from Kentucky saw 5 bears this night too despite the wicked cold front. On Friday, May 3 Van Eaves from Illinois shot his bear with the bow. The last night a miss occurred as good guest and repeat hunter Byron from Wyoming missed a huge black with a big white V. However, approximately 30 miles away, Leroy had just shot a monster bear at 8:30 that was 8+ feet, scored 21 3/16 and weighed well over 600 pounds. What a Bear!! 100% opportunity once again, what a week!
The week of June 6 – 11 saw a big group of 8 from Indiana arrive and 2 other hunters from Ohio for a total of 10 hunters/huntresses! In this group of 8 was a family of 6 with 2 sons and 2 daughters hunting (two sets of twins). On the first night, Eric who was sitting with one of his daughters saw 5 bears and 1 monster that was well over 500 pounds they passed up on but have plenty of video of him at the bait. Jenny who was sitting with her son Chanz watched Chanz miss a real good bear this night. Gavin passed on a beautiful cinnamon with his bow at 6 yards which he videotaped instead. Andy and Trevor both saw 6 and 7 bears respectively that night. Eric’s daughter Carly shot a real good bear on the second night a t 5:10p.m. after seeing g 4 others. Andy shot a big black for his first bear ever that squared 6 ½ feet. He saw 5 other that night also. Trevor saw 7 again but didn’t shoot yet. David from Ohio saw 3 bears and shot a nice black just before dark. On Wednesday, June 8 Gavin shot a big black right at dark with his bow. Unfortunately, by the time the guides found it first thing in the morning, wolves had eaten the stomach and one of the hind quarters. Fortunately, it was salvageable for a ¾ mount. This bear also squared over 6 ½ feet + 350 lbs. Brian from Ohio also shot his first bear ever this night. On the 9th, nobody went out hunting due to heavy rain, winds and lightning. However, the next night, Eric who was hunting by himself now, shot a big black at 7:00 p.m. He saw 2 others also and 3 wolves that came through! Eric’s daughter Hope showed great patience and once again passed on 2 bears and also saw 2 wolves. One that layed right by the barrel. Jenny and Chanz also shot at 9:15 after seeing 3 others. Chanz is 12 years old and shot the bear of a lifetime that squared 8 feet and scored 20 8/16. Once again, 100% opportunity! Started closing up sites at this time and seeing some huge tracks around baits still as the rut is in full swing.
The last week of bear camp saw 5 hunters arrive. Another father and 12 year old daughter from Wyoming hunting together too. Dave and Lillian passed up bears the first few nights and Lillian, who showed great patience, squeezed the trigger at 9:00 p.m. on the fourth night. Logan from Illinois shot at 5:10 the first night and he had his first black bear. The weather was extremely hot this week and bear activity slowed down a bit but we kept 100% opportunity. The fishing remained hot all season as limits of northers were caught.
This spring saw lots of youth bear hunters which was great to see. Most of them witnessed lots of exciting action and bears coming up their trees. Leroy’s big bear might be the #1 Non-Resident bear this year in the Province but we will have to wait for the December 31 deadline to come and go.
Congratulations to all of our hunter’s success and hope to see you all in the near future!!
Closing up baits and taking down stands we were all still seeing some really big bears at the baits and lots of good sign. If this is any indication, the 2017 Spring Season is going to be a dandy!!
Also a big thank you to all of our hard working bear guides.
Happy Hunting & Straight Shooting,
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