2016 Bear Hunt Summary
Our 2016 spring bear hunt started on May 9. We had a few late winter storms in the past so we decided to start later then we had ever done before. Looking back we could have started a week sooner because the spring weather came early and we even had a few days of summer in early May. One of my game cameras measured the temperature one afternoon at 101F. The warm weather put the bears in the mood to eat. Color phase bears were in big demand in 2106 and several of the hunters were able to tag the color they were looking for. We had six hunters in for the opening week, four returning hunters and two new guys.
The first night out we looked after half of the weeks work. Two color phase bears made it to the skinning shed that night and we were able to locate a 340 lb. black bear the next morning. The second day a beautiful cinnamon bear showed up and one of our Ohio hunters was able to put his tag on it. Day four brought in the fourth color phase bear for the week. After passing on this bear Monday and Tuesday Todd decided to go after him on Thursday. Two unusual things happened that night. The same bear actually showed up and he weighed in at 300 lbs. I don’t think I have ever had anyone pass on a 300 lb. cinnamon colored bear before. The final hunter for week one was unable to make his opportunities count. Our second group of hunters consisted of three new clients and two returning friends. The new hunters didn’t hold back on Monday night and we were able to pull in two bears.
On day two the returning hunters took charge. They harvested a 240 lb black and a 220 lb. blond. Our final hunter for the week tagged out on Wednesday with a 210 lb. blond. After three days of hunting the total bear sightings came in at 47. A returning group from Michigan showed up for week three. They didn’t let us use our skinning knives until Wednesday night. We brought in a 200lb. chocolate and a 292 lb. black. On day four we picked another color phase bear, a 240 lb. cinnamon. The final three guys used their tags on Friday evening. This was a great week for total bear sightings.
Five days of hunting, six hunters, 95 sightings. The bear numbers continued into the final week of our spring hunt. We had four hunters for the final week, three hunters that had been in Manitoba before and decided to give Mountain Oak outfitters a try this year and one returning hunter. The first bear of the week that showed up in our skinning shed was a 315 lb. cinnamon. A 25 year dream fulfilled. We snagged two more on day four with the biggest weighing 342 lbs. Our final hunter had his heart set on colored bear. After seeing 19 bears over the five days but not one colored one he decided to go home without a bear, a true hunter.
Our 2016 fall bear hunt started on August 29. The group that came in for the fall hunt had hunted with us for a few years during the spring hunt and just for a change decided to try the fall hunt. We managed to harvest three bears out of four hunters with the final guy missing his opportunities. The highlight of the fall hunt was the beautiful 320 lb. chocolate bear that Ben was able to arrow with his crossbow on day three of the fall hunt. We also got two blacks last fall that weighed 220 & 260. Over the four days of hunting there were a total of 48 bear sightings.
After looking though some my game camera pictures from the 2016 seasons I’m very confident that our 2017 bear hunt will be very exciting for both big bears and color phase bears. The bear numbers seem to be growing every year and the big bears just keep getting bigger. Hopefully we can hook up with you in the future for a memorable and exciting bear hunt.
Opportunity: 100% Success: 88%
Black: 12, Cinnamon/Chocolate 4, Chocolate 3, Cinnamon 1, Blond 2
45% color phase bears
AT OR ABOVE P&Y STANDARDS: 7 bears (32%)