We just finished up another spring bear hunting season, our 28th one and amazingly the hunting is better than ever with our Quality Bear Management system in place! We target mature, 5 plus year old, 300+ lb male bears with 19+ inch skulls. When you hunt with us that is the quality of bear that we have on trail camera that we want you to shoot. It certainly doesn't always work out for every hunter but that is what we are after and we have enough of them to give you an excellent chance to take one. And because we now have an overpopulation of bears, especially sows we are also selectively killing the biggest old females. This ensures everyone has the chance to shoot a big mature bear, male or female. (An old female will weigh as much as a 3 or 4 yr old boar and has a better coat, a fat body and short legs which makes a beautiful rug.) We also now only shoot colored bears if they are a big male, no immature males or colored females can be taken in our camp. The hunting will only get better!
This year we had 29 hunters who shot 32 bears, 5 minor flesh wounds and 27 kills. Twenty of them were over the Pope and Young record book minimum of 18 inches, 13 went over 19 inches and 5 over the recording period for a Booner at 20! We weigh our bears and 14 of them went over 300 lbs, 6 over 350 lbs and 3 over 400 lbs with one at 425 and another at 430! A bear weighed on scale over 350 lbs is definitely a huge spring weight Alberta bear that is at least 6 yrs old, some of them could be well over 10 yrs old.
Most of our bear hunters were repeat hunters and their friends, with 3 of the 5 weeks being booked by groups of 6 people. It makes for a really fun time in camp when you can hang out with family and friends. The first week of the season was the Randy Ginest group from Kansas minus Randy but with Rick and Keri Franklin from Montana. It was a great mix of nice people looking for big bears! Aaron Austin was the only killer with a 7 ft 2 inch hide black at 335 lbs and a 19 4/16 skull. There might have been a few other accidental pass ups of big bears.
The 2nd week was a whole group of past big bear killers, Chris Peccia and Dan and Kayla Wiegand along with Ed Keppler, Nick Snoke, Stu Cooper and Joe League. Dan killed a solid 300 pounder with an 18 11/16 skull. Nick finally got it done with a 305 lb, 19 7/16 bear. Then Ed and Joe got a tie with two 330 pounders, Ed's had a bigger skull at 19 10/16 compared to Joe's 18 12/16 but Joe's was a beauty cinnamon boar! Stu got a 18 5/16 bear.
Then we really started stacking up the bears the 3rd and 4th weeks with 12 hunters shooting 15 bears. Dave Cote shot a big 7 foot, 340 lb bear with a 19 10/16 skull and then another one the last day at an 18 8/16 head. Lee Lebrun took out two big old sows for us and Mike Lockhart got a big 20 3/16 bear weighing in at 365 lbs. Multiple repeat hunter Pete Drummond shot a big 19 5/16 boar. 18 yr old Parker Clements upgraded his bear from last time with a big 360 lb, 7 ft, 19 0/16 boar. His dad Matt got a fat, 300 pounder. Jeremy O'Donnell was very excited to finally get to hunt with us and was rewarded with a 20 inch, 365 lb, 7 footer. Scott Murdoch came all the way from Tokyo, Japan and shot another 400 lb bear at 425 lbs, 7 ft 3 in and a huge 20 12/16 skull, biggest one of the year!
The last week saw 6 hunters shoot 9 bears. One of the big ones was 340 lbs, 19 7/16 and a huge 7 ft 7 in for Mike McCrae. It was a big team effort to track the cinnamon boar down about a mile. The same day Jim Gulley shot 2 boars, a 19 incher and a huge 400 lb, 20 3/16 skull, 7 ft 3 in bear. Shane Campbell shot a big sow on his birthday and then ended the season with a last day giant, 430 lbs, 7 ft 6 in and a 20 1/16 head, heaviest one of the year! Eighteen yr old Leo Elsasser got a bear hunt for a grad present and got his first bow killed bear. We wrapped up the hunts with family and friends shooting another eight bears with guide Gerard getting the biggest one at 19 10/16!
Our guides are the best in the business! A hard working, smart crew. Thanks Gerard, Kevin and Alec!! PJ was also an awesome chef. Thanks so much to everyone who hunted with us too! I hope we deserved your generosity and I certainly enjoyed everyone's company. See you next year!!