2017 Bear Hunting Summary
Our 18th year in business was definitely a memorable one. It was memorable for two reasons, the great hunting and the devastated trail systems to our bait sites. An early winter storm passed through our hunting area and dropped a large amount of heavy wet snow along with freezing rain. The trees gave in to the excess weight and completely closed down the trails. I cleaned trails for four days in January, four days in February and then around another 10 days in April just to get the trails passable. I guess the great hunting was the reward for all the extra work that was done prior to the hunt.
We had 17 hunters during the spring hunt and everyone was able to go home with a bear. The first week definitely got the spring season headed in the right direction with 1 Manitoba book bear and 3 more above the P&Y standards. The weights were also good with two bears at 280 lbs, one at 282 lbs and the fourth one at 345 lbs. Week two continued with a couple more Manitoba book bears and two beautiful cinnamon colored bears. The head scores for the book bears were 19 2/16 & 19 6/16 with weights of 375 lbs and 389 lbs.
We were busy the first night with 3 bears hitting the skinning shed, 2 more on Wednesday night and the final hunter tagged out on Friday night. By the end of the week we had a total of 60 bear sightings by the six hunters. The third week was short and sweet. With only 3 hunters in camp and the bear activity at a high level we were able to have everyone tagged out by Tuesday evening. The bear sightings for the two days landed at 26 in total and we able to snag another P&Y bear.
Our final week in the spring was a family affair. The Krueger family from Wisconsin were here for the third year in a row. Kelly had harvested a bear on both of their previous visits and now it was time for her daughter Emily to show her up. On the second day of her hunt she cracked a 345 lb male with a P&Y head. Not bad for your first bear hunt.
We saw an average of 40 bears per week during the spring hunt. There were 6 hunters that tagged out on the first day, 5 on the second day, 4 on the third day, 1 on day four and 1 on day five. Our fall hunt started on Sept. 4 with a bang. It seemed like the action was a little slow because of the acorn crop but Monday night proved those thought to be wrong.
We were able to harvest 3 bears on Monday night and finish up the week with another bear on Tuesday night. The second week also took off like a jet with three of the hunters able to tag out by Tuesday evening. The acorn crop got it’s revenge on our final hunter. Although he saw 14 bears he was unable to get the bear he wanted.
As the week went on the activity slowed to a point where he didn’t even see a bear on his final night of hunting. The first 3 bears of the week weighed in at 323 lbs, 360 lbs and 435 lbs with two of them reaching the Manitoba record book standard and the other reaching the P&Y standard. Our color phase numbers were down this year for no apparent reason, but our book bear numbers were up.
Hopefully the great success we had in 2017 will continue on into the 2018 season. We are looking forward to seeing all the hunters that have been here on previous hunts and a few new faces in 2018.
Opportunity: 100% Success: 96%
Bear color summary: Black – 19, chocolate – 3, cinnamon – 2 ( 21% )
AT OR ABOVE P&Y STANDARDS: 12 ( 50% )