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Two Bear Limit on New Brunswick Hunts!
Most frequently asked questions:
These are a culmination of the questions I most often get in emails. I will try to answer them as thoroughly as I can. If you are serious about booking a hunt with us Please take the time to read this column as it covers a lot of great info. If you call me on my cell 207 316-7682 I can discuss our hunts in detail and answer any questions you may have that I may not have answered here.
What’s the difference in the quality in hunts between Canada and Maine?
I live in the northernmost town in Maine right along the Canadian border , in fact 1 mile from Canada. Here in Maine where I do my bear hunts it is in the heart of the St. John Valley , farming country, where potatoes , oats and barley are grown. It has the most dense population of bears in Maine and the largest bears in the state. It receives the least amount of hunting pressure in the state due to all private land. Locals do hunt bears here on a small scale. The biggest problem with hunting them over bait here is the time of year we are trying to hunt them is peak season for natural food supply. I don’t care what you try feeding them in a bait barrel , you cant compete with natural food . Now when you hunt with us across the border we enter a big woods environment (over 4 million acres) where natural food is not nearly as plentiful and they hit bait much more consistently . Now you might ask then what makes the area you hunt in N.B different than the north Maine woods? An analogy I will give you is Its like comparing American made products to Chinese made products, night and day difference. I’m going to throw a few facts out there : (read carefully)
If you hunt anywhere in the north Maine woods area ( this is the area of Maine where over 90% of the bear hunting is done) there is a bait site every half mile and don’t let anyone try to get you to believe otherwise. Its big business for the private shareholders ( timber companies). Tracts of state land are managed the same way , baits every half mile. All the outfitters lease a bait site every half mile on a map. The country I hunt in Maine is all private farm country where I do not compete with many people.
In Maine everyone wants to hunt the first 2 weeks of the season. There is good reason for this , see here in Maine the hound season and baiting season overlap each other for the last 2 weeks of the baiting season. Many people have hunted bears in Maine for years during the 3rd and 4th weeks of baiting and have had dogs strike off of the bait site they are hunting. Hence fourth all the guides and outfitters try to cram as many clients into their camps as possible the first 2 weeks. We only take a maximum of 6 clients per week in Canada and Maine.
Canada has no hound hunting which makes the bears much less pressured animals and less nocturnal.
Bear Licenses in Maine are sold on an unlimited basis over the counter. In New Brunswick all non residents can obtain a license in one of two ways, one way is thru a licensed outfitter like myself or thru the general draw. They only advocate a certain # of tags per zone so the bears are managed.
My baits across the border are spread out 3 to 5 miles between each site and I have over 4 million acres to hunt with no other competition. Here in Maine there are hundreds of guides hunting bears.
What’s the difference in a spring hunt versus a fall hunt?
In the spring bears emerge from their dens in early may in this part of the country. They are very lethargic after denning for 6 to 7 months. They get on new growth grass along with the many winter deer and moose kills, to get their systems going and then the rut kicks in. There is no forms of sugary high calorie type foods until summertime which is in July and august here. In the fall, they are eating machines as they are getting ready to den in early oct. Their coats are prime in spring and they go thru a molting process into late spring /summer. They then grow into their summer coats and as fall progresses they grow their winter coats before denning.
What’s the size difference between a spring bear and a fall bear?
The most common thing you will read or hear on this subject is there is around a 30% difference in weight between spring and fall bears. The best way I can describe it is, a big bear in the spring is still a big bear. His framework is the same and I sometimes see them having almost as much fat as when we skin them as a fall bear. An immature bear, or small bear , will remain immature until he gets some age. I don’t care how much he eats between the donuts etc. out of a bait barrel all summer. He won’t weigh a whole lot more between spring and fall. An example on size: A guy from Colorado. Last spring harvested a bear with us that weighed in at 477# ( a true giant). It still had a lot of its fat. It had the same 4 measurements I take for a life-size bear that the biggest bear I ever measured had, other than the belly measurement was 56 not 59 inches. The biggest one I ever measured came from here in the Maine farm country and it weighed 540# . I have measured and weighed over a 1000 black bears in my near 30 year career between hunting and doing taxidermy for bears. A mature bear is mature and an immature bear is immature. They need age to get big and genetics.
What’s the dates you hunt?
We hunt here in Maine starting the last Monday in Aug. and take 6 clients a week.
In Canada we hunt the spring and the fall. 6 clients max a week. In the spring we hunt the 4 prime weeks of a long spring season . We always have bait sites rocking by last week of May and we hunt the first 3 weeks of June. Our season runs from mid-April thru the end of June, however we only hunt the prime weeks of the spring rut.
In the fall in N.B we start our season on Sept. 1 we usually hunt 2 or three weeks depending on when moose season opens.
How many hunters a week do you take?
Maximum of 6
Compare that to most other bear camps that pack in 20 to 40 per week.
Do I need a passport to go to Canada?
No! If you are a U.S. citizen, another words were you born here? Just bring a copy of your birth certificate and driver’s license. Now you have to be admissible into Canada. Do you have anything on your record that would prohibit you from entering Canada? Examples: Felony’s, recent drunk driving charges, assault etc. If you are in question call me to discuss it and I can provide you with a phone # to get a hold of local Canadian immigration office to see if you are admissible.
What’s the deal with crossing guns into Canada or archery equipment?
A simple registration of all firearms is done upon leaving U.S and entering Canada. U.S is free and Canada is 25.00 canadian for a 60 day pass per person not per gun, which with current exchange is about 18.00 u.s money. Simply pay with a credit card. We have the forms here to fill out upon your arrival. All archery equipment does not cost anything and do not have to be registered.
Can I use a crossbow?
Yes, either place.
How do I obtain a hunting license?
In Maine, you can go online and purchase a nonresident big game license and a nonresident bear permit. If you plan on carrying a gun in Maine get the big game firearms license , if you are going to archery hunt then get archery license. In Canada I have the licenses here upon your arrival. I get tag allocations thru D.N.R as a licensed outfitter. In Canada a second bear tag is available should you choose to pursue a second bear.
How do I get my bear back across the border?
I register your bear and give you the proper export permit to present to U.S. customs upon leaving the country. There is really nothing more involved than that. We basically do everything for you getting back and fourth across the border from the moment you arrive to the moment you head home.
What are your lodging accommodations like?
In Canada my camps are 26 miles from my house here in Maine. I live 1 mile from Canadian border. It takes us 45 minutes to get to camp on a good road the whole way. You arrive here at my house in Maine on sun. morning and we cross into Canada as a group. You take your own vehicle to camp, then we take over from there for the week. Our camps have full electricity, a deep well for our water and are really nice and comfortable, especially for being that far into the timber. Our camp is licensed thru the Dept. Of Tourism in New Brunswick, to sleep and feed 12 guests at a time, however we keep the number of guests per week to six. Hunters camp is one big camp with 4 bedrooms and 2 full baths. Hot showers, great food, 3 meals a day. Plenty of room for your group to spread yourselves out and be very comfortable for the week. In Maine I put clients in a local motel and provide 3 meals a day.
Do I get cell service while at camp?
If you have Verizon or AT&T phones will usually work right at the camp. In the case of U.S cellular (like I have) ¼ mile up the road from camp, your phones will work. Get an international plan for the week for in this neck of the woods , even on the Maine side of the border, your phones will be on Canadian towers and be roaming.
What do your hunts include and am I guaranteed to kill a bear?
Our hunts include fully guided 5 day hunt. Arrival day is Sunday, ( no hunting in either place on Sundays) departure is on sat. morning at the end of the week. Lodging, 3 great home cooked meals a day. Great knowledgeable guides that are “smoke free” with years of experience. I have had the same guides for years in both places. I am a firm believer in you are only as good as what you surround yourself with. They can make you or brake you. Top notch equipment from tree stands to trucks are utilized. I have 2 brand new 2015 ¾ ton crew cab Chevy’s going into my 2016 season. It was time to upgrade. Plenty of space in the trucks as only maximum of 3 clients to a guide in my camp. We skin & prep bear for taxidermy including freezing of meat and hides. I give you all of your options for your mount from the skull to the mount, to the meat. I do about 90% of the bears taken with us , however if you have your own taxidermist we will skin your bear properly and freeze it for your safe travel home. I have been doing taxidermy for over 30 years and have mounted too many bears to count. I have a beautiful taxidermy shop here at my house with many mounts on display. We also quarter and freeze your bear meat for you to take home or you can leave it here with me as I offer smoking services, from kielbasas, various sausages, jerkies, summer sausage and other things. I have sampling of my meat services for you to try during your week long hunt with us. Most people leave me their meat to do for them. I then ship it to you frozen. If you choose to, I also have meat cutters in the area to have your meat processed here during your hunt.
You will be hunting the most active bait sites that we have going at the time of your hunt. We have plenty of active sites and are very aggressive at putting clients in the best spots to be successful. Most of our bait sites are set up for archery or firearms. Most sites have multiple stands for various wind directions. We utilize the use of ladder stands, tripods, portables with climbing sticks , ground blinds , pop ups . We have many options to make you comfortable and successful. We truly hunt the wind correctly each and every day at our bait sites. We guarantee very active bait sites with numerous bears hitting each site, some as many as a dozen bears on a site, especially in Canada. We run right around the 100% mark on shot opportunities in Canada and around 80% here in Maine. We advocate the taking of mature bears only. Absolutely no sows accompanied by cubs are allowed to be taken. We weigh every bear we kill and we have averaged between 160 # - 210# over the last 8 years. Scales do not lie, the outdoor channels do. I would beware of any bear outfitter guaranteeing you a kill. We can not control the weather or the hunter’s abilities. These are truly free roaming animals that have a huge home range. Do your homework. It is not a canned hunt under high fence. We do however bait with as much bait or more than any other outfitter. Our sites receive on avg. 400 # of food a week per site. I have sold bait to other outfitters here in Maine and Canada for almost 20 years. I can tell you with the amount of bait most of these guys buy from me for an up and coming season , they use one tenth the amount I use at my sites.
What do you guys use for bait?
I use what works. I purchase tractor trailer loads (40,000#) at a time of everything from donuts and pastries, pie fillings, icings etc. I purchase oats by the tons from local farmers and collect restaurant grease year round and use roughly 2000 gallons a season on my baits. I also use over 100 Barrels a season of meat scraps on my baits. My bears are extremely fat and happy.
What do I need to do to book the hunt?
I require a 1000.00 deposit and the remainder of your hunt is due upon arrival in the form of cash. No checks or credit cards. Upon receiving your deposit I will send you out a complete confirmation package which includes directions to my doorstep and a complete recommended gear list.
How much do you charge for non- hunting guests?
We charge 500.00 for the week for a non hunting guest which will cover lodging and meals. If you bring someone that is not hunting but is going to participate in your hunt example: cameraman a 100.00 xtra charge will be assessed.
What else is there to do if I tag out early ?
Good brook trout fishing in all the local lakes and ponds and rivers and streams. If you have an A.T.V or U.T.V you are welcome to bring it along as there are thousands of miles of trails and roads for you to ride directly from where you will be lodging.
How do I get a moose tag?
Go online after Jan. 1 every year and apply. All tags are on a draw. Maine fish and wildlife and N.B D.N.R online. We hunt zone 3 in Maine. Draw a tab in N.B. and show up here. I will obtain your license at local DNR office.