Bear Hunting Adventure

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Bear Hunting Adventure

Post  MEhunter on Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:56 am

Well I've sat down to try and write the full story of this trip of a bunch, but with all the other hunting going on and preperation for the upcoming moose hunts, I just haven't found time to do it. So no long winded story for now, but I figured I would share the pictures before too many more come.

The trip was everything I had expected it to be. If I wrote up a story about the trip before we left I think it would have gone page for page. For being 120 miles from the nearest paved road and store for 9 days, things couldn't have gone any smoother. A few weeks before the trip I wrote up a 7 page trip packet for everyone with every piece of info I could think of, including a gear list, menu, directions, etc... Not easy making sure everyone is prepared, but when there is 13 people counting on you to know what they need things can get a little stressful. From spare tires, to spare gas, and everything in between we had it covered. There wasn't one thing that we got there and said, shoot we needed this, or I wish we would have had that.

Now onto the hunting... I got to camp around midnight Friday and got setup, another 2 guys arrived around 2 am Saturday and the rest of the guys trickled in mid morning Saturday. I zipped around Saturday morning to check out all the baits and cameras we had set a few weeks in advance. The cameras showed a lot of prospects and some nice ones at that. Starting getting guys in stand around noon time on Saturday. Everyone is by noon-1 o'clock most days. We ended up going 10 for 11, the only guy not to kill missed one, past one, and saw another nice one that spotted him before he could get a shot. The number of kills per night and bears are below.

Night one, Saturday, 1 kill - Handgun


Sunday we can't hunt, so that was just a party  and fish day.

Monday night, 2 kills, both rifle




Tuesday night 3 kills. 2 bow kills and a rifle.















Wednesday night, 2 Kills, one bow, one rifle and a miss. The rifle kill had double ear tags...









Thursday night, bear of the trip, only kill. This old boy is probably going to be 20 plus years old, he only had 2 teeth left on top. This was probably the funnest recovery I've ever been on. To say this kid was excited is an understatement. Another guy we had hunting heard him hollaring 2.1 miles away after he shot, and that is no lie. I have some video of it that's priceless.















Friday night, no kills one bear passed up.

Saturday night, final night with 10 minutes to go





I could write page after page with each recovery story to all the work that went in to getting these bears tagged, skun, and cut up, but I think I would be typing for a solid day. This was no easy cake walk hunt. There was a ton of work that was done each and every day to make things happen and have everything go smoothly. It's not easy taking care of 2/3 bears a day with 70+ degree temperatures. I couldn't have had a better group of guys that really listened and didn't complain when I had to get people moving in the mornings.

Here's some other pics from the trip...Sorry none of these are in order. I was running 3 different cameras and none of them had the dates set on them so organizing them has been tough.

Campsite sunrise.


Loaded up


Sampling the goods.


Typical morning in camp having breakfast



Sunrise at the pole



Another big boy loaded late in the week. We had picked up 7 tree stands prior to loading him up, I don't think I stopped moving all week from getting bears paddled across the river to go tag them, to cutting them up, to baiting and checking cameras, moving guys around, pulling down stands, etc...



paddling a 300 poundah across the river to be tagged, we had to paddle these things across the river, haul them up a 40foot banking, then drag them 150 yards up a road to where we could get a truck. Then drive 17 miles to my buddys lodge to tag them. Then turn around and repeat the drag/canoe process to get them back into camp where we could skin and process them.


Another bear loaded.


More sunrise at the pole


Most all these bears had 4 inches or more of fat built up, looks like it might be a long winter ahead...we cut multiple 5 gallon pails worth of fat off a couple of the bears.












Some of the sites were really torn up by some of the bigger bears marking their territory..



We had some guys get multiple flat tires, these dirt/shale roads can really be a pain, this guy apparently didn't put his spare on too well. This wasn't a very good thing to have happen about 8 miles from the camp site with no cell service, but we got by...



The bridge that is gone that makes where we were even more remote. We had to travel 52 miles around just to get trucks into camp.


One nice 10 pound muskie was caught. Wish we had more time to fish, just too much going on with beards.




For being remote, we sure ate like kings. Steak tips, prime rib, boiled dinner, etc...








part of the camp site.





More river and road shots.




We really put the frosting to some of these bears and they couldn't handle it...


Ended up getting a couple kills on trail camera which was neat. Here's one I will share...

[url=http://vid107.photobucket.com/albums/m286/mehunter/Bear 2014/IMAG0506_zps109259e0.mp4]http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif4[/url]






Here's another video of one of the 300+ bow kills. The kid shot about 2 seconds after the video ended. Disapointed we just missed the kill shot, but a neat video...

[url=http://vid107.photobucket.com/albums/m286/mehunter/Bear 2014/IMAG0606_zps8f626243.mp4]http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif4[/url]







I really can't say enough about how hard all these guys worked and hunted. Most people see the baiting and think it's easy, but these bears are some of the smartest creatures going. We blew just about every out fitter near by out of the water success wise. We had less hunters and killed more bears than every one we talked too. My guys sat still and spent long hours on stand. That, as well as "juicing" some of these sites up with our own scents and goodies was a deadly combination. I knew we had a good shot at going 100% for the week, but I can say with confidence that we amazed most of the other guides in the area and people back home at our success rate. This coming November the question is back on the ballot to try and have baiting removed from our methods of hunting. This is the 2nd time in 10 years we have had an out of state group come in and try to take away our bear hunt. The vote was very close last time, I am very nervous what the outcome this November might be. If this was the final season of bear hunting in Maine, we sure as hell went out with a bang.

1 handgun kill, 3 bow kills, and 6 rifle kills. 6 of the kills were first time bears for the guys. Most of them were the first bears they ever saw. I don't think I've ever seen more smiles and heard more laughs in a week in my life. We all had the time of our lives. Hopefully we can go back and do it all again next year, maybe I will even spend some time on stand next year as well.

After being back to work for 5 days I took off last Friday at midnight and drove back up to do some moose scouting. Things were just starting to get rocking in the moose world and most of the big boys were still down in the low lands. Didn't find anything I readlly lliked for areas which was discouraging, but we have to more days of scouting we can do this coming weekend before the hunt starts on the 22nd. Really hope things pick up this week!


Nothing like a bloody tailgate in the fall!!!

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Re: Bear Hunting Adventure

Post  Pa. Bowhunter on Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:28 pm

I don't know where to start !!!!! About the easiest way would be AWESOME and sign me up !!!!! Oh , and get the bridge fixed Very Happy !!! Most people can't even begin to understand what a trip that was !!! Just getting those bears across the river and up the hill would turn most guys away ! I bet getting that big one in the boat and up the hill was a site to see by itself !!! I think you and all the others will remember that trip forever !!
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Re: Bear Hunting Adventure

Post  soil on Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:36 pm

man that looks like an amazing time!  those are memories that will last forever.  i'm sure those guys admired the work you put in to making things go so well for them all.
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Re: Bear Hunting Adventure

Post  bowGal on Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:27 pm

Outstanding  write up,  and  photo's , Dave,
 Congratulation's to all of you, -
  Thank you so much  for sharing  ,

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Re: Bear Hunting Adventure

Post  MEhunter on Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:14 am

Pa. Bowhunter wrote:Oh , and get the bridge fixed Very Happy !!! Most people can't even begin to understand what a trip that was !!! Just getting those bears across the river and up the hill would turn most guys away ! I bet getting that big one in the boat and up the hill was a site to see by itself !!!

Haha the bridge being out is what makes the area so great, it hadn't been bear hunted in several years. Getting the bears down and into a canoe then unloading and hauling them over the bank was quite the chore. I would drag a big deer over a small bear any day, nevermind almost 400 pounder. Bears flat out suck to drag and move.

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Re: Bear Hunting Adventure

Post  ridgerunner on Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:56 am

Sounds like an awesome trip, congrats on the success!  You guys have some really big woods up there.  Back in '91 I spent a summer installing transmitters for MPBN and had a great time once you get North of I95.  I bet it hasn't change much.
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Re: Bear Hunting Adventure

Post  Pa. Bowhunter on Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:28 pm

I hear ya Dave on deer compared to bear ! Funny how a 200 pound deer drags nice and easy and a 200 pound bear is like pulling a big a$$ bowl of jello thru the woods !!
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Re: Bear Hunting Adventure

Post  Mountainman Vic on Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:21 pm

That is awesome Dave. I need to get up there with you. Do any of you guys boil that bear fat down and use it for water proofing?

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Re: Bear Hunting Adventure

Post  MEhunter on Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:22 pm

Mountainman Vic wrote:That is awesome Dave. I need to get up there with you. Do any of you guys boil that bear fat down and use it for water proofing?

If we don't lose the hunt this year we are going to try and expand this hunt next year if possible.

I've heard of people boiling down the bear fat, but we didn't try it. I'm sure it would work, that stuff is insane!

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Re: Bear Hunting Adventure

Post  bowGal on Wed Sep 17, 2014 5:53 pm

MEhunter wrote:
Mountainman Vic wrote:That is awesome Dave. I need to get up there with you. Do any of you guys boil that bear fat down and use it for water proofing?

If we don't lose the hunt this year we are going to try and expand this hunt next year if possible.

I've heard of people boiling down the bear fat, but we didn't try it. I'm sure it would work, that stuff is insane!
 Vic  I am glad you asked  about the fat, I was going to ask what do you do with all that fat-  but  figured   it might be  a dumb  question, lol!  Since  I know very little about bear's and had no  Idea bear fat was good for water proofing, Thank's learned something new today

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Re: Bear Hunting Adventure

Post  BuckRubIL on Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:50 pm

Awesome pics and Story Dave, you guys put in the work and reaped the rewards!  Bear hunting is definitely on my bucket list! cheers
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Re: Bear Hunting Adventure

Post  ridgerunner on Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:16 pm

Vic, a friend of mine got a 545 pounder last year and they boiled 10 quarts out of it.  Looks just like a jar of milk.  He was saying traditional smokepole shooters look for it for their leathers.
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Re: Bear Hunting Adventure

Post  Godfather on Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:44 pm

Wow!! What a story/pics you have posted here Dave!! Congrats to all of you on a great trip! 

And if you are ever looking to expand this hunt and need anyone to fill a spot, I'm next in line after Vic!
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