Although it’s been a long time since I’ve hunted spring black bears, I’ve never stopped thinking about those spring hunts and the fun and excitement involved. Last year I decided it was long past time to plan another spring hunt.
I had a couple clients that wanted me to set them up with a good hunt, and I told them that I didn’t have anyone I was currently booking for that offered good spring bears in Eastern Canada. These clients didn’t want to travel to western Canada, and wanted to keep the cost down to more reasonable levels. All I could do was tell them that I’d do a little research and see what I could come up with.
The previous winter I had contacted every outfitter in New Brunswick in an effort to set up a good bowhunting situation for whitetail deer. That hasn’t happened yet ( a long story for another day), but in the process I did make contact with several outfitters that seemed to have great bear hunting potential. I figured that by switching gears with my research it wouldn’t take too much effort to line up a good bear hunt. Because I wouldn’t have hunted with which ever camp I selected, the plan was to put a “Taq-A-Long” group together so I could check out the camp at the same time as a few clients got to join me for the fun/excitement.
A few dozen phone calls and emails later I had narrowed the search and was calling references. After confirming my choice, I contacted Mike Roy of Bear Paw Outfitters and asked him to set aside the best week of the following season for my group. Mike agreed to not only save us the best week, he agreed to give us the first week at the second (newest) camp.
Mike maintains two camps so he can hunt a few weeks out of one, and then switch location so the second half of the spring season he is hunting all fresh bait sites. By doing this everyone gets to hunt “fresh” stands and he doesn’t over harvest the bears in either area. The result has been near 100% success for archers eight years running and average bear sizes in the 175-225 pound range. They also take several bears each season over 300 pounds (in the spring!) which is quite an accomplishment.
Once the plans were made it was time to confirm the clients, get in the deposits, and make the dates on the calendar. Then the waiting began. Fast forward almost a year and it was time to pack our gear, load up the truck, and head north. Most of us were driving north from New England. We’ll be leaving a day early and taking our time so we’ll be well rested when the hunt begins.
I invite all our friends to share this hunt by checking in every day for the daily hunt updates. See you then.