Contributors to this thread:
Mike Ukrainetz's Link
Mike's Outfitting 2016 Alberta Bear Hunt
It's that time of the year again! Spring Bear Hunting in Alberta. Fun, fun. Sorry for the rifle kill right out of the gate on BOWsite but it was the best video I had out of our new ground blinds. These will be deadly for BOWhunting! I will try to get a good ground blind bow kill ASAP.
I really wanted to show how judging and even shooting a bear from the ground will be so much easier than from a tree. This bears shoulder is exactly as tall as the barrel and his whole body as long as the 5 ft log on the ground. He is the minimum size of bear we want to kill. It is a solid Pope and Young qualifying 4 1/2 yr old boar, 18+ inch skull, 270 lb body weight with a just under 7 foot square hide. A sow, even a huge one, would never be as tall to the shoulders or have as long a body as this class of bear.
Shoot the bear just below the midline, top to bottom of his body, 2-4 inches behind the shoulder and you would probably have a complete pass through on a great bear!
Good to see you posting again Mike. It is always my first go to website every morning. I hope you bring in some good ones again, good luck and be safe!
Always the best thread to start the season! Best of luck this year and thanks for keeping us updated!
A friend of my mine broke 400lbs a few years ago with Mike. This will probably be my first bear hunt when I get a chance to go.
Killing big bears....and lots of them....kind of the norm for Mikes!!!!
Congrats to all!!!
The first bear of the year. Looks like a solid Poper boar, 250+ lbs, nice round head, good crease.
It is a very early spring this year, all the snow was gone by April 10. I don't think I have seen that in 30 years. Very mild winter too, not much cold or snow, great for the antlered critters too.
Good luck, some beauty bears!
I love this thread! Thanks for keeping us posted Mike. Good luck with your spring hunt!
Check out this bad boy, first giant of the year! The 55 gallon barrel looks like a 5 gal bucket with his big mitt in it!!
Holy cow what a tanker!
Those new blinds look like the ticket, any pics of the outside, how big are the shooting windows for a bow?
Like everybody else this is the first thing I check every morning, as always - awesome thread, packed with info.
You're killing me, Mike!
Going to be a long couple weeks if you keep posting pics!
Hey woodguy65(bear killer Jerry Westfall), the blinds are deadly. We tried them last year on half our bait sites with an ozonics and it was incredible. Big bears sticking their head right inside the blind! You become almost invisible to the bears. We heavily brushed some of them in and left others bald like the one in the picture, didn't seem to make much difference once they got used to it. They are heavily built so the bears don't destroy them and they can't get inside with you while hunting.
We now just completed getting ground blinds into all 30 of our baits, took 3-4 guys 2 weeks of building and then hauling them in to get it all done. Expensive for me but worth it in the long run. Good thing we have no snow and low water levels. Total game changer! (Honey pot in foreground to help in sexing the bears up close adds to the excitement.)
nice with that camo job you can hardly even tell it's a blind.
Loving the blinds Mike! What a fantastic way to get up close and personal and raise the excitement level. Weather becomes less of an issue too for your hunters. It would be a blast to sit with a youth hunter in the blind when their first bear comes in. Nice work!
Bou, "everybody like a little a_ _, but nobody likes a smart a_ _ (except me)! Keep em coming! Good job with the blinds Mike.....a great effort for sure!
haha boubound, it blends in perfectly I know! Fortunately bears aren't quite as sophisticated as a whitetail.
I think they trust their noses so much that with the ozonics they really believe the blind is empty even with someone sitting in it.
A little paint and my daughter's Barbi Dream Castle could be a bear blind!
Mike, Great concept with the "up close and personal" ground blinds!" I can only imagine the adrenaline rush!
Do you see the traditional tree stand as a thing of the past for baited black bear hunts?
the last ten or so i have shot have been off ground its awesome, I think you move less Mike I have never used the ozonics you are a firm believer in them? I leave in two weeks maybe should pick one up?
Here is one in full stealth mode. This spot was really good last year, 15-20 different bears coming and going all day and night, shot 3 big bears of it, closest was 5 yds. Problem is that the spruce die and at some baits it gets tough to find enough new spruce to rebrush in every year. Plus, like I said most bears don't seem to care.
I think the overall ground blinds would be great. Up close and personal at eye level would add a lot of excitement to the hunt. Do you notice a lower wound ratio from the ground blinds?
I do think ozonics help, the bears seemed to just casually walk close by or right up to the blind and stick their head in and they seemed puzzled by what they were seeing, a bug eyed guy in full camo! The camo is to blend in with the box blind camo.
Hopefully lower wound rate too. 2 minor wounds last year and about 12 kills.
Sounds like you've built a better mouse trap.....just like your custom crib work at the bait site to get the proper shot angle on a bear...
MMMM...maybe that's why you guys kill so many (BIG) bears each year, year after year!
Mike would share the plans for your blinds so I can build some for whitetails
Couldn't resist sharing the pics on this chocolate colored beast. Melon head. Look at the time too!
Here he is again. My gosh he is a giant.
Always enjoy your threads Mike!! Good luck to you and you hunters!! Love those blinds you set up!!!
I'd take that shot, nice bear
Awesome stuff Mike! Can't wait to get up there and hopefully shoot one of those melon heads out of a one of those ground blinds. Don't go up until the 22nd - the wait is going to kill me.
Mike, for my education does weather (ie early spring) affect rut timing or no? Seems like every fall we have the debate on full moon and weather impact on whitetail rut timing but not as familiar with the bear rut drivers.
Another beautiful colored bear, not as big the one before but a great bear anyway.
I love watching this thread. Mike, I hope you don't mind that I attached this link. Watch a great bear!
Great video, thanks for sharing!!
Great video/advice on when NOT to shoot and when to shoot. Awesome bear love the character (scar over eye), hard to top that bruiser!
That was a great bear! Fantastic hunt for me to be able to video.
Here is a picture of one of our bait sites for those that haven't seen them, big crib for a nice broadside shot, 2 barrels, one with meat, other with popcorn and licorice bricks, beaver cage and they all have the honey pot. Every bait is set up the same. 5 foot log for judging size and now we also have a big metal stake pounded into the ground at 33 inches tall, the height of a big bears shoulders. Perfect for the ground blinds.
Here is a big ole boar with the measuring stake. If he was on all fours his shoulders would easily be as tall as the stake, 33+ inches. He is a 400+ lb, 7+ foot hide, 20+ inch skull bear. Well, that's my guess. Hopefully we get to find out very soon! First group of hunters this week and more bears that we can shoot a stick at!
Here is another monster of a bear. Big head and body.
Mike...don't you know your suppose to "bear proof" those garbage cans? Really, who left the lid off? :)
You have some big boys already, best of luck to you and the hunters this season! Look forward to your updates.
Randy Ginest from Kansas puts our first 2 bears in the Pope and Young record books for 2016!
so awsweome! congrats Randy
Congrats to Mike and his hunter Randy for starting the season with 2 great bears on the ground.
Crazy, two bears of a lifetime in one week. Congratulations!
Wow! Great job Randy! You might be ruined for life now shooting two beauties like that in one day! Congrats!
CONGRATS, BOTH TAKEN ON THE SAME NIGHT?
Yes both same night, 30 minutes apart. He couldn't keep track of all the bears wandering around him in the ground blind, some within 3 yards paying him no attention. Well, one did stick his head in the blind and stare at him a bit!
I wouldn't shoot anything but that big brown phase. What a big guy. Please share when he is taken. A lucky hunter it will be.
Mike Ukrainetz's Link
Congrats Randy! Mike, wasn't it Randy that shot a big color 2 years ago?
Yes it is trophy8. Click link for pictures of Randy's other great colored bears.
Nice bears! Congrats to Randy!
Randy is a melon head killing machine! Got to like those colors!
Congrats to you both!
Keep 'em coming!
Josh Austin also from Kansas took this nice boar the other evening with a one arrow kill. Squared six and half ft. This is Josh's 2nd bear hunt with us, his 5th bear hunt ever and his first bear.
Mark Corry from Utah also took a nice boar with his bow, just missed making Pope and Young, great coat though. This is Mark's 3rd hunt with us.
and then Mark's wife Dena showed him up by killing this big grizzly with her bow...
Ok it's not a grizzly but it kinda looks like one! Solid Poper in upper 18's, 285 lbs.
Josh Austin gets his 2nd archery bear, a big headed old one. 20 inch head, squared 7 ft 4 in. Some neat brown hair on the back of his ears too. A great bear!
It looks like that wraps up the first week for us, Mark and Dena only wanted one bear each so 6 bears for 4 hunters, no wounds all good boars. Lots of big ones left for the upcoming weeks.
Great Kill by Dena. That had to be a little scary when it walked in trying to decide if it was a Griz or not! Weird looking dude.
AWESOME bears everyone!! Will be up there next week, can't wait!!!
that is a super first week
Here is what a 240 lb almost Pope and Young boar looks like.
and a much larger one at the same bait, what do you think he weighs!?
400? Looks heavy to me but i don't know much about field judging bear.
What an enjoyable thread.....
Congrats on a great first week! 6 bears for 4 hunters, 0 wounded.
keep the updates rolling!
One of our latest target bears, a big dark chocolate boar. He has done some consistent daytime feeding the last few days but we have to be careful. Mature boars can be easily pushed into being nocturnal, kill a bear on their bait and it can do it or just hunting one spot 2 or 3 days in a row can do it, or a hunter walking around spreading his new scent can mess things up. I like to feed them steady for several days with no hunting and then hunt it just 1-2 evenings and kill him or then let it rest till you get good daytime pics again. It can take several weeks with different hunters to kill a giant, old bear, sometimes several years. Hunting the same spot day after day doesn't always pay off.
Interesting that there are crows with him on the bait. I don't ever seem to have bears and crows at the same time. When walking in to the bait site hearing crows at ground level is always a kind of downer because in my experience that means no bears there. Do you often have this?
We get lots of ravens and bears together on our baits. In fact we have ravens at all daylight hours on all of our baits. The only time we don't have ravens is when the hunter is sitting in the tree at the bait! To a smart old bear no ravens means DANGER!, don't come into the bait.
The box blinds we use are a huge help but even then for ravens to land on the ground and hang out at the bait you have to have the box all closed up. We have a sliding-open roof to allow some light in to be able to see your pins but then the ravens can spot you and generally won't land on the ground. They will usually be much lower in the trees and continue to make a racket which is good enough but it is best if you have a lighted pin and can sit in the dark but Pope and Young doesn't allow the lighted pin for record book entries.
Always enjoy Mike's posts. You get to read how much effort he puts into his operation, always trying to improve his hunters success based on knowledge, while always willing to explain why he does what he does. Having hunted with Mike, I can honestly say he is intense at times, but its his intensity that also makes him a top outfitter.
Look forward to more reports.
I think we got a big one. More pics and details in morning, 2 am to get him out! Going to bed, had to share first.
Thanks trophy8. It was great to hunt with you!
Mike looking at the head it looks like a beast. Great thread and looking forward to seeing some more bears on the ground. Good luck!
Always great to see these nice bears Mike. Thanks for letting us tag along again, and let's get the stats on that puppy pronto!
Mike, is that the big choc boar you posted the trail cam pic of?
Here is the beast! Ed Keppler from Texas takes down a giant. I know it was with a gun but at least it was iron sights at 20 yards. You could have done it with a bow. Beautiful chocolate color, perfect hide that squared an unstretched 7 foot 8 inches, skull of 20 2/16 green score and a body weight of 420 lbs. Fantastic bear!
Ed killed an 8 foot, 450 pounder with us 2 years ago. lucky? yes but also good, he holds out for the big ones and refuses to shot small, didn't even kill one last year on a hunt with us. Go Big or Go Home Empty. Not easy to do. Congrats Ed.
(and yes hoyt-n-ragin, Brad Fine, it is the choc bear posted May 3 but certainly not the only big colored bear we have roaming around our baits.)
The Texas crew, left to right, Nick Snoke, Max Fuertes, Ed Keppler, Jay Hanslik and Kevin Gentry. A fun lovin bunch! Missing is Chris Williams who was MIA somewhere.
Chris finally got in on the picture while Ed was admiring his gun.
WOW!! What an incredible bear - he's got it all. Congrats to the hunter, and the outfitter!!
Amazing. Congrats Mjke! You do it right for your guys!
Check out this color phase raven! Probably a Spirit Raven!
Congrats to Ed! Fantastic trophy bear!
that is a fantastic bear ED!! Congrats and nicely done with iron sights!! Cant wait to see you guys this week!!
Mike just out of curiosity, how old do you think that bear is?
Kevin Gentry got this nice bear too. Squared 6 1/2 ft, 17 14/16 skull, almost made 18. Crossbow kill, first one we have ever had! I think. Big white blaze on the bears chest. Happy hunter.
(hoytin) Ed's bear was probably 6-9 yrs old, very good teeth, little wear. I think just 6-7 years because he made a big jump in size from last year, he looked to be about 320-350 lbs on trail cam, then jumped right up to 420. They usually only make those big jumps in size at younger ages or after an exceptional rain year, bumper farm and berry crops but I'm guessing.
Beautiful bears Mike! This thread drives me crazy! Not many mention the cooking, but it's world class, also!
Randy and Mark loved the cooking too. Ana Terhorst is our cook and she is fantastic, can cook practically anything. She is a little camera shy though.
Max Fuertes took his first bear with us, 250 pounder, squared 6 1/2 ft, 17 13/16 skull. A big 3 yr old boar. Happy guy!
As a side note our 3 yr old bears will weigh about 220-250 lbs and have a skull right around 18 inches, usually just under 18 with about 25% of them breaking the 18 green score mark. If you hold out for a 4 yr old he will be in the mid to upper 18's skull, weigh about 280 and square just under 7 ft. Five yr old will be around 330 lbs, solid 19 inch skull, hide square over 7 ft.
Chris Williams with a big 7 ft 5 inch bear. Beauty coat, 19 4/16 skull and a big 350 lbs. Taken with a lever action iron sighted 45-70, actually wood/iron mix sight. The sight broke and he had to fix it with a piece of wood.
I would say this bear is a 5 yr old, at the upper end of the weight for a 5 yr old but he had a long body, long legs so that is probably what put him at that weight. Great bear.
The sight. It's kinda cool to shoot these bears with a basic no scope rifle. (I know, even cooler with a bow but we can't all be awesome bowhunters!)
The weigh in. A 350 pound bear is a big one for Western Canada in the spring. In some wilderness areas the bears don't get much bigger than that their whole life and can take over 10 years to grow that big. Our bears can do it in 5-6 years because of all the farm crop food.
Some great looking bears going down up there! Good stuff!
Kevin Gentry from Texas gets a monster colored bear for his 2nd one! Squared 7 ft 2 in hide, 19 7/16 head and 365 lbs. Beautiful color. One 20 yd shot.
For those of you have hunted with me before this was the gravel pit bait chocolate bear, we had several guys burn up many days on this bait in pursuit of this big boy, he was even shot at with a rifle last year and the hunter fortunately for Kevin missed! This makes 11 boars for us, no sows, 7 of them well over 18 inch skulls and the 4 others not far under 18. Great season so far.
Here is the front pad from Kevin's bear, 4 5/8 inches on a 7ft 2 in square hide bear. Any bear in our country with a pad over 4 1/2 inches can make Pope and Young, biggest I have ever seen was 5 3/8 inches.
Sometimes you will hear or usually read in an article in a magazine that if you add one to the width of a bears front pad that is the square of a bears hide. So a 5 inch track will give you a 6 ft bear, 6 inch a 7 footer. In fact I just read that the other day in a hunting mag. What a total crock and my Taxidermist Jim Boland who mounts bears from all over Canada, not just my area, totally agrees. Who originally came up with that idea anyway? Ridiculous, completely inaccurate. Anyway, my rant for the day.
Beautiful bear!! Congrats to all on the success!!
I have heard that same rule about the width of the front foot plus one....I also heard that the length of the back foot pad (without the toes) was supposed to approximate the length of the animal (without adding one). I have heard from several different people with more bear experience than myself, so I defaulted to their expertise. I have even passed that rule of thumb on to others.
I just went up into my gameroom and measured my bears. My polar bear squared 9'3".....front pad is between 6"-7" wide. However, on the day that we cut his track, I remember that track being about 1" narrower than my hand, which is 9" wide. I cannot explain the difference. My Brown Bear squared about 8'10". Front foot pad is just over 6" wide. My Grizzly Bear squared 8'5" and the front foot pad width is 5.75" wide. I do not remember what my Black Bear squared, but the skull is in the 19" range. I'd estimated him to square about 6'8"-7'0. The front pad is 4.5" wide.
Based on that quick review alone, I wonder if it wouldn't be a great idea to start recording the pad width of every bear that you kill this Spring. THEN, predict what the bear will square (BEFORE you measure the bear, so you won't have any bias)....and THEN measure the animal ....so we can start to construct a ROT (rule of thumb) that is really more helpful.
Mike Another awesome bear!! how was this week overall? Hope everyone had success (especially the bow hunters !!). Cant wait to see you guys in 2 days. Very pumped to get in the woods!!
I was one of those unlucky hunters. I spent the better part of two days at the gravel pit bait last year waiting for this beautiful chocolate bear to show...Congrats Kevin!
Is the hide for Kevin Gentry's first bear (Black, not color phase) still in camp? Any chance that you could get the front pad and back foot pad measurements from it? Same request for Ed Keppler's, Max Fuertes', and Chris Williams' bears too. You stated the approximate squared measurements and green skull measurements ....could you give the length and wingspan measurements as well?
The Texas Oil crew enjoying the nice weather. A fun loving bunch! They respectfully held out for the big boars like we encourage everyone to do and it paid off with 3 really big ones and a couple others just under the 18 inch mark. Most of all they had fun and said they would be back!! Love to hear that.
Medicineman, I admire your enthusiasm for the pad size/square of hide! But I've measured well over a 100 front pads and literally hundreds of bear hides, there is no correlation other than a pad size of over 4 1/2 inches is a possible Poper bear with a hide of 6 1/2 ft or more, could be a 200 pounder or a 450 pounder with an 8 ft hide. The only other one is a 5 plus inch pad is from a very big bear, almost certainly a 7 ft+, 19+ inch skull, 350+ lb bear. Even this has it's exceptions though and you find a big footed young boar.
Interesting. I was merely trying to provide proof for a comment that you made earlier in this thread.
Without numbers, it simply becomes another persons opinion. Don't get me wrong, as you stated, you have hundreds of hides of experience under your belt....unfortunately, those that claim the track width plus one rule are probably qualified to make the same claim. I simply wanted to provide specific documentation supporting one claim or the other.
I find it interesting that a couple outfitters continue to refer to the fact that no correlation to weight will be found....and weight isn't one of the parameters that was requested.
If we can't get specifics, you can expect the very "total crock" that bothers you, to probably continue.
I'll measure all of my kills from here forward and gladly Bust The Myth!
Here is a jumbo bear. That stake is 36 inches tall. If you use the 36 inch or 3 feet tall stake as your guide you can also see that the bear is 5 ft long from nose to butt. That is the 2 measurements we use to indicate a shooter. This bear is around the 400 lb mark so yes obviously a shooter. What some people don't realize is that a much younger, smaller but still shooter boar would have very close to the same overall shoulder height and body length as this giant. A typical minimum shooter bear for us is a 280 pound, 18 3/4 skull, 7 foot hide male bear, never a sow. A sow will never have more than 30 inches in shoulder height or 4 1/2 ft in body length, a calm, critical look will keep you from ever killing a sow if that's your goal.
Hey Mike, I can't seem to get your website to work, it just stays a solid screen?
Hey onetohunt I've been making my site mobile friendly but apparently it is nobody friendly! Dam thing, whatever happened to a phone call or a letter in the mail?! Feel like a dinosaur. Wish I could go back in time. Thanks for letting me know. Will work on it.
Mike- Here's a photo of my bear's paw from 2013- 4 1/2" or so. My bear squared 7'4", weighed 400#, and it's skull was 20 4/16". I'd say you're right about the "rule of thumb" being wrong.
Pad width has a closer correlation to hide Length measured from nose to base of tail. At least here in Mt with smaller bears. Never heard of anyone saying pad width correlated to the "squared" hide. which is just a way of making the bear/hide sound bigger and probably has nothing to do with pad width.
We pounded heavy duty metal stakes into the ground this year for estimating bear size out of a ground blind. When we went back to some of the baits the stakes were bent right over, couldn't figure out why till we checked the trail cam pics. Pretty funny we thought. What would possess a bear to do this?! Crazy buggers!!
That is funny. Little guy being destructive for the fun of it.
He got the lid off the barrel too, not easy to do.
We are now getting lots of rain and even 6 plus inches of snow on friday is forecast. Fire and ATV bans should be lifted soon. This is really good for our antlered critters too, perfect timing for the crops! Bit of a bummer for the guys hunting bears right now. We have taken lots of bears in rain and even snow though.
Scott Davis got a big bear yesterday evening, just getting it out of the bush and dealt with today, went down into a river valley, better pics coming soon. A solid 7 footer, over 300 lbs.
A bit better shot of the beast! 375 lbs, 19 4/16 skull, squared 7 ft 2 inches. Front pad 4 3/4 inch. Rifle kill 18 yds.
The before picture of the Scott Davis boar.
A beast for sure!! Congrats on a great bear!!
I like "pole dancer" bear too. I bet it's a sow. :)
We went from record breaking hot temperatures and high fire hazard to this! 10-14 inches of wet snow, trees busted down all over the place. It will take us several days to clear out all our trails, what a mess.
Still killin bears though! Repeat hunter Don Roepke from Wisconsin with a recurve kill, solid Poper boar at 18 9/16.
and another one with another repeat hunter Gary Janik, also an 18 9/16 skull bear, hide squared 6 ft 10 in, weighed 270 lbs. A great bear.
and Mike Jyachosky with a calm before the storm bear. Solid 6 and a half foot boar. Skull in the 17's.
I thought I would share a few pics of something other than dead bears. The Lodge, all the comforts of home.
Entrance into the spacious lower level where all the hunters and guides stay, along with a few of my archery bighorns.
Nice new leather couches, very comfortable and the dining area, a few stories have been told in this room! (All bow kills in this house.)
One of the bedrooms, 2-3 people in each room, updated the mattresses with a cushy memory foam topper, no one on bunk beds, hate those things!
Great bears Mike and like the others also. As is the case every year, enjoying your thread this year to. Thanks for taking the time!
Box blind napping and goofing around, don't need to worry about rain and snow in these things.
A bear might try to join you to get out of the weather though.
Box blind view with a bear on the honey pot used for help in sexing the bear.
Where the big bears hide out and get HUGE!! haha
Spring bear hunts are a great hunt to relax and have a good time, quite a few of my weeks are booked by a group of friends or family. We only hunt the evenings so we stay up late, sleep in and have 3 hot delicious meals a day! Avid hunters can hunt 11 am till 11 pm every day if they want and they will often see bears all day long. Jay and Chris seen here choosing the relaxing around camp daytime activity. We even have a swing set and slide for the really energetic guys!
Brad Fine from PA held out all week and finally took this 18+ inch P and Y qualifying boar on the last evening of hunting. He saw well over 20 bears, which was great considering that 3 out of the 6 evenings were either rainy, snowy, cold or all three.
All six guys in camp killed good boars this past week. The last one was a beast, pics coming soon!
Mike, Just got home and wanted to say thanks for a great week of hunting. Food was awesome (thanks Ana) and all the guides worked very hard all week. Josh, Steve and Gerard do everything in their power to get their guys on quality bears!. Grade "A" operation up there for sure!!!
Thanks again and hopefully see you again Brad
and the big beast! Chris Peccia drove up from Montana and took this great bear. He passed up several other bears and got this one late on the last evening. 20 0/16 skull, hide squared 7 ft 3 inches, weighed 365 lbs. He had a massive body, more like a 400 pounder but his legs were on the short side so that kept him under 400 lbs and under 7 and half feet square hide. Beautiful coat. Chris has a whole group booked for next year, they'll be pumped up when they see pics of this bear!
(5 inch wide front pad)
another look. Not sure why we are killing these big colored bears but we will take it!
"along with a few of my archery bighorns."
Not many can make that statement!! Awesome!
FOUR archery bighorns if my memory is correct!!!
Incredible bears again this year...Congrats!
Yes I like to sheep and goat hunt. I plan on doing a goat/stone sheep combo hunt this august for myself in my BC area. No idea if Stone sheep even live in our area but I'll be looking, it will be fun no matter what!
back to the bears! You guys got me distracted thinking about sheep hunting!!
Here is a before the storm picture to give an idea of how big a dump of snow it was, never seen anything like it in May.
and after at the same bait! 35 hrs later, crazy. Kyle at Eagle Eye bear camp got it even worse.
Check out this beauty colored bear, a new one! The snow had us locked out of this bait, just got in and found this on the trail cam. Nice surprise! Where do these new bears come from? never seen him before, hopefully he sticks around.
Dennis Miller from Louisiana with his first bear, 6 ft 1 inch hide. Happy guy!
Shawn Savant with his first bear too, archery kill, also a 6 footer, just missed making Pope and Young, great bear.
so close to 19 inches! 18 15/16 skull, 270 lbs, 4 yr old. Brad O'Bryan with his first bear too, another fantastic bow kill.
Joe Mudd from Maryland gets a jumbo! 375 lbs, just under 20 inch skull at 19 14/16, squared 7 foot. Joe killed this bear and we didn't have a single trail camera picture of it on this bait, shows what the rut can do for you! This makes 4 bears for 5 guys in camp for the 4th week of hunters on day 3 of 6, all going great, one of the best seasons we have ever had!
Tale of the scale. 375 lbs, tough to say how old this bear was, teeth were in good shape, somewhere in that 6-10 year old class, I bet.
Here is the kind of bear our hunters have to pass up, beauty color but not big enough. Painful for some guys to do but you can't shoot big colored ones without letting the small colored ones grow up!
This picture just came in on a text from one of my guides, Gerard, in the field. A big, long headed 300 plus pounder! Hunter Dennis Miller.
I think we got another big one!
Two Giants in one evening! Brad O'Bryan with a bow, Dennis Miller with the rifle. Both over 7 feet and 20 inch skulls, that is a no BS crease on Brad's bow kill bear, huge chunks of meat on either side of the bears head, old bugger, 10+ years. These are Big Daddy and Chads baits Legendary bears, been hunting them for years, their time was over.
It is really great to take both of these beasts. Bears like these will aggressively defend a bait site and not let other younger boars grow up on the bait. Take them out and multiple 2-4 yr old boars will be able to grow up and share the bait. Then hopefully we can get them in the 5+ year old, big boar class.
Thought you folks would like to see another shot of Brad O'Bryan with his monster bear. I just love these big, old, bears, almost certainly a 10+ year old bear. They are so much bigger than your average bear in body size, muscle structure, character, they usually have some big scars. Always makes me wonder what they have been through, what other bears they have fought, cow moose they have dealt with when they are killing calves, how many hunters they have evaded, all that, very cool.
As for the no bull stats on him, he had a 20 4/16 noggin, squared 7 ft 3 inches and weighed 385 lbs. Looking at him draped over the 4 wheeler you would swear he will be well over 400 lbs, 21+ inch head but they need a long frame to pull that off, long body, long legs, long nose. He had the age and nutrition, just didn't have the genetics. Fantastic bear though, anything over 20 is huge.
Now this bear taken by Dennis Miller had genetics! Look at that long snout, big frame too. 340 lbs, 19 15/16 skull, squared 7 ft 2 in. Was probably just a 5 year old max 6 yrs I would say, no big meaty muscle in his head yet almost a 20 incher. He would have been a 21 plus incher and over 400 lbs by 7 or 8 years old. Just some observations, a great bear right now though too!
Back from Mike's (I'm Brad O'Bryan). Incredible operation Mike has. Everything including the lodge, guides, logistics, blinds, food etc. is top class. And most importantly, the "system" they have for assessing and judging bears in awesome.
If you are looking for a crack at a big bear I don't know how you could top Mike's operation.
Already dropped stuff off at taxidermist and I'm going to have a big bill! The big boy from Chad's bait (also see trail cam pic in Mike's post above on 5/15 - taken 5/13 at 6:10am) is getting mounted full body life size. Just too cool looking of a bear not to do it (despite my wife not being at all thrilled about it - lol!).
Thanks for a great hunt Mike!
Thanks Brad. It was great having you and your son Trevor in camp! Love to have the avid bowhunters. You guys will have to come back and try an elk and moose combo bowhunt or a trophy mule deer hunt, or even another bear hunt. Tell your wife sorry from me! Haha
We have a new crew of eager hunters in camp now, the Clements family, Danny, Matt and Parker and PJ Reilly from Lancaster Archery. Hopefully we will be loading another big bear like this one! You know it's big when it takes 4 guys!!
Our corn popping operation. We will pop about 60-45 lb bags of seed, so about 2700 lbs of seed which makes some crazy amount of popped corn! Bears love it!!
Here is an excellent video clip taken by Mr Big Bear Randy Ginest from Kansas. What a beautiful cinnamon bear! This is what a 340 lb 19 inch skull 7 foot bear looks like. (Randy passed up the bear while on a quest for a huge black one. He eventually harvested the bear later in the week but not on video.)
12 year old Parker Clements is ready for a big bear! Guide Josh Harb is accompanying him.
Matt Clements shot this big boar this week with a rifle. Mature boar at 18 1/2 inch skull, squared 6 ft 10 inches, 270 lbs. Now Matt is going for a 2nd bear with his bow, hopefully even bigger!
Got another big one! Danny Clements,! Better pics tomorrow. Wanted to capture the excitement of the moment with guide Gerard.
Danny with our Classic Lawn Picture Bear, 5 yr old boar, 19 8/16 skull, squared 7 ft, weighed 345 lbs. Danny was very good at holding out, working hard at figuring out what he was looking at, sorting through the 15 plus bears he saw, figuring out big sows from big boars, immature from mature and he got rewarded on the 5th evening with this great bear.
This is the perfect minimum bear we strive to get for every hunter, of course not everyone kills a bear like this but you are always sitting a bait with a bear of this caliber or larger on trail camera. Patience is usually rewarded. With our 1200 sq mile guiding area and our baits scattered to every corner of it we could take 30 bears or more per year of this size and larger.
The no BS scale, we weigh every bear. Nice white chest blaze on this one. Very rarely do we ever shoot a bear under 200 lbs, really no need to, also rarely get one over 430 lbs. That gets into the super genetic freak class.
you guys really have it down to a science
Parker Clements with his big ole bear! First bear kill for him at 12 years old. He held out all week trying to take a big boar, passing on several big sows, colored bears and lots of young ones. Finally in the last couple hours he took this nice bear. Big Congrats goes out to him!!
Parker was a great kid to have around camp, more mature than some of the men we get here, cleaned up after himself, was polite and helpful, love to have the Clements family back!
(thanks boubound, I enjoy the improvement process, trying to make it better and better every year. We are in the testing phase right now for some new baiting techniques for next year. We get so many bears on our baits it is near impossible to keep up with feeding them all. I think a full barrel of oats and grease will be added to the meat, popcorn, licorice, beaver and honey that is already at every bait site, working on the best delivery technique for oats, have tried several, they tend to spill so much of it and waste it.)
Another huge coloured bear! Pics in the morn.
Those spilled oats make for good bird watching...Looks like a great year on all your bait sites, Congrats!!
Here is James Halford with his big bear, a dark cinnamon, almost chocolate colour and black on end of paws. Big framed bear, squared 7 foot 6 inches, long body, long legs. 355 lbs and 19 13/16 skull. May have only been a 5 or 6 yr old. Awesome bow kill.
This bear was a very inconsistent bait hitter, when he did show up it was mostly at night. We tried to keep the killing of other bears minimal on the bait and he finally gave us several daytime pics in a row. We put James on it, not really having high expectations of a kill, high hopes though and James kept his cool, made a perfect one arrow kill. James is really appreciative of it!
Keri Franklin from Montana also shot this big bear yesterday, an old dry sow, perfect one to take. Missing teeth. Squared 6 1/2 ft, 230 lbs,17 inch skull, big stats for a sow! These big mean old sows will dominate the bait, keep other young breeding age sows off it and even run off boars. Love to take them out. First bear for Keri and she is hooked, wants to come back next year and might even let her husband tag along again.
Filming a TV show, caught on trail cam.
Chris Hunt from Big Boys TV with a 6 1/2 footer.
Chris's buddy, Codi Northam with a big ole bear too. They only had 2-3 days to hunt and still got it done!
Head bear guide Josh Harb gets the final bear of the year with his bow! A solid Pope and Younger at 18 3/4 inch skull, just under 7 foot hide.
Me and My Family thanks anyone who tuned in to our bears hunts! It is great to be able to make a living doing what we do. We couldn't do it without the hunters who trust their hard earned money with us!!
I also wouldn't be able to pull off the whole thing without fantastic guides like Josh Harb, Gerard Van Den Boogard, Steve Hansen and our talented cook, Ana Terhorst. They all appreciated the hunters generosity too. See you next year!!
Thanks for taking us along and taking the time to post again this spring. Always a favorite. Sure seemed like a lot more colored bears for you guys this year - and big to!
Enjoy your summer!
Thanks for taking us along Mike, I'll be in touch.
Very cute picture of the family, kids' are missing some teeth like some of them old bears :)
Mike you got some great looking bears.
I look forward to your thread every spring! Really appreciate your time and effort to share with us. Keep up the good work. Mark
A quick summary of our hunts shows that this past spring was probably our best ever for shooting big bears! Especially for giant colored ones. This is in an area we have been hunting for over 20 years, shows what proper management, selective harvest, dare I say Trophy Hunting can do. We still have a very good age structure in our bear population.
We had 30 hunters who shot 36 bears, 4 were minor flesh wounds and 32 kills. 28 of those bears were good sized 6 foot plus square hide bears weighing over 225 lbs and having skulls well over 17 inches. 20 out of the 32 bears had skulls over Pope and Young's 18 inch minimum, 11 out of 32 had skulls over 19 inches and hides over 7 feet. And out of those 11 big bears 7 of them had skulls within 1/4 inch of 20, above or below, and were well over 7 foot in the hide. The biggest hide was 7 ft 8 in. Biggest skull 20 4/16. Heaviest bear was 420 lbs.
The average hunter saw about 15-20 different bears with a low of about 10 bears and a high of around 40. Plus lots of adventure and fun in the great outdoors was had by all!
Mike Ukrainetz's Link
Had to share this one last pic of the whole family with the James Hallford bear. We love bears!
For anyone interested in our full bear hunt report with pictures, basically a summary of this thread click the link above. We are almost full for spring of 2017 too. Just 4-5 spots open for May 28 to June 4. Feel free to call me about the hunts too, 780 864 3770.
We do have a couple of bowhunts open for this fall too, an elk and moose combo bowhunt and a couple of rut moose hunts. Giving $500 off the hunt cost to any bowsiters. Need proof of your bowsite membership. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org NOT through the PM system on bowsite. I'm not smart enough to operate it. Thanks!