Butch and Joan from our office have done a number of inspection hunts of this outfitter’s multiple operations and have taken mule deer and bears with this outfit. Lots of whitetails here too! Some decent mulies, too. And some elk, as well (Joan had a big bull tearing up the country right in the headlights of her ATV!)
A typical bear hunting day with this outfitter goes as follows: Up early, have breakfast, load up the hounds and head for the timber. Once the hounds strike a scent, they are released and, using collars with radio beacons, you can track the dogs, then intercept them at the nearest tote road into the forest. Then you hustle to the commotion, hoping the bear stays bayed up or treed. These hunts are high success and a lot of fun. And you can use any weapon you choose.
You also hunt the afternoons by sitting on the hillsides watching for bears entering the plum tree thickets on the valley floor. During the month of September the wild plum trees fill every canyon on the ranch with some of the tastiest wild fruit around. Bears come from the surroundings mountains down to the ranch in order to fatten up for the winter. Those shots can be longish (up to 350 yards), so you are strongly urged to have shooting sticks or a bi-pod, and a gun of .30-06 or bigger caliber, with a 7MM Mag or .300 Mag about ideal. Some years the hounds produce best, some years the hillsides do. But overall they have been averaging close to 100%. Joan averaged seeing 3 to 5 bears per evening, while Butch saw at least one a night, and 5 on his last night. But it varies widely. If the fruit crop is low, the hounds will produce more bears.
Butch and Joan both passed up honest 6.5 foot bears as they wanted to shoot nothing but a big color phase. Several color-phase were sighted, but no shots were taken as nothing quite measured up to the 7’ standard they imposed on themselves. They observed bears wrestling (Butch watched two 6 ½ footers of about 300 pounds playfully mauling one another for over 20 minutes!). This country is near the famed Snake and Salmon Rivers, and this particular ranch is unique for its high bear numbers. Great spot and stalk hunting.
But they also have some great hounds. So if you want to hear hound music, and also be pretty dog gone sure of taking a bear, then this is a great hunt for you. With these two different tactics employed, on two separate areas, your odds of success really soar. We usually see around 95% opportunity on this hunt with about 90% success. The color phase on this hunt is about 60%, running from dark chocolate brown to cinnamon, blonde, and red. Average bears are from 5’10” to 6’6”, with some going 7 foot and larger. The bears also tend to be fatter this time of year, pushing them up into the 300-350 pound range, with some getting up to 400+ pounds.
Here’s a report from a previous client:
“Brian, the hunt could not have gone better. Below is a link to photos of my son’s bear, plus a short YouTube video. The outfitter organized things very well, and the guide/houndsmen were phenomenal. Helping a 13 year old boy with autism harvest a bear is no easy task. These guides did it seamlessly from start to finish. I would recommend them to anyone.”
This is an easy drive from Lewiston, Idaho, or about 2 to 3 hours from either Boise or Missoula. Butch felt it was the finest un-baited black bear hunt he personally had ever been on. No one can guarantee that you will see the same number or quality of animals, but we are confident there should be 100% opportunity on 6’ or better bears.
This is an excellent hunt and it usually sells out early, so please reserve early. Add 6% sales tax and 3% forest use fee to the price. Be prepared to shoot some long distances, or very close with the hounds, so a low power variable scope of say 2-7x or 3-9x works well. And a bipod or shooting sticks is in order. We think you should be able to shoot out to 250 yards, or a bit more. Some shots can be much less of course, and with hounds they may be under 30 yards! PRACTICE! If you want to see a bunch of bears, see some elk, some mulies, etc. too, and pop a big blackie, then this hunt is for you.
PRICES 2019 (all prices subject to change without notice until deposit received)
Price is only $3,000 per person, 2 x 1 guiding for 5-day hunt, including guiding, meals and lodging. Observers/non-hunters are $750.
Please add 6% Idaho State Sales Tax to all fees. Price does not include License ($164.75) or Bear Tag $186. The tags are over-the-counter and are guaranteed, so NO DRAWS to enter!
2019 Dates (approximate): Sept 4-8, 10-14, and 16-20. Arrive the afternoon before and depart the morning after.