Stan is driving from IL to my home in KS and we will head up together from there. Plan to stay in Winnipeg one night. Stan and I hunted my farm in MO a couple of times together, and both of us took deer.
Have started to get ready. Built arrows last night.
On another thread I posted my main bow split a limb a week ago. So, I purchased a new bow so as to have a backup as you never know...
Both bows set up alike, 65 lbs. 28.5 draw, 278 fps
Will try to update. Verizon says my plan covers Canada, and it did the first year but not last year. And my card passport is good through 2020.
We look forward to your update!
Great bow shops (B&B Archery, Kansas City, MO) combined with excellent staffing (Henry) are worth every penny!! They were able to put my new limbs on today, so I will be headed north with the bow that I have the most confidence with. Thanks Henry!
In Finals this week, but still getting things together. Did my once a year hand wash on the truck (2011 Tundra w/ 138,000) and vacuumed, Armor All, etc. Even cleaned the windows. Man, it looks pretty good after all of that, LOL.
Oil was changed Monday (Castrol Edge HM 5W20). Probably start getting stuff to pack in it tonight. Still fine tuning the Pro-D, but it is good for a backup right now. New arrows fly good, and will be topped with brand new Thunderheads 100 upon arrival at camp.
Last year Ron had a site that would have worked well with a blind so I thought I would throw a DB in the truck just in case.
Checked with Verizon and told them how my cell worked 2 years ago while up there but not last year. They said I have a much better phone now and I will get a daily text when I am in Canada asking me if I will pay $2 more for coverage. We will see. If you do not hear from me while up there I will update upon arrival back home. The anticipation is fun. I always look forward to the drive up, but not so much for the drive back.
Habitat for Wildlife's Link
We are here at BT and have wifi.
Here is Stan and Jeff.
Ron had us all meet for orientation last night. Good group of guys with 2 here that will be filming for a TV show. Most everyone currently here has hunted with Ron before.
Weather has been rainy or cloudy the last couple of days, and cold. It is expected to improve this week.
Time is 4:45AM and I already heard a grouse drumming. Stan and I will head out to hunt the 'trap line' baits with Pat later today. Hopefully his outstanding tracking skills will not be necessary as we will all make good shots. Will check bows later this AM. Stay tuned.
Nick, you make the trapline look almost tropical. This is what it looked like last year during my hunt!
Good luck today Frank and say hi to Pat for me! You should be having breakfast about now getting ready to head out and check baits! Man I'm missing Manitoba!
Hung a stand and shot two from 17 yards in wind. Good confidence builder.
Also had a pine Martin steal a huge meat scrap out of the barrel. It had to weigh as much as him!
Bear recovered! I was not there for pictures unfortunately, but a nice full black one.
Stan and I decided to leave this morning. With a sister-in-law receiving more bad news and the bears not cooperating.. Next week should be good with the river and lake baits ready to go.
Obviously Stan and I were disappointed, that might be the understatement of the year. Including my time last year, I had 8 evenings of hunts to see one bear. Same amount of time, Stan had two bear sightings including the one he took last year. Obviously not what one expects, especially reading along on other site sponsors' threads like Alexis' as well as other success stories from non-sponsors here. I appreciate those who responded and tried to help us out while up there. We both will be back, under different circumstances. You do not have to harvest an animal to have a successful hunt, but should expect to observe more than pine martins:)
Hopefully the private communication I sent will help improve things for future guests.
I will be going back and using a different outfitter. That will give me more experience to answer you fully as Bear Track is all that I have hunted bear with.
I've never been on any type of guided hunt, new waters for me. I do know I won't be working, and I get to spend some quality time with a pretty cool kid. I'm looking forward to what transpires.
Best of luck next year!
Brotsky, Again, thanks. I understand that is bear hunting. Maybe compare more than just our experience over the last two years with others, and other outfitters. It was not just Stan and I not seeing bears.
I talked to a hunter who the week before us close to the same area saw 25 bears in one week with 6/8 hunters tagging out the first night.
No matter the conditions, observing 1 bear for 8 hunts is...
I am trying to be very polite. And Christian-like. There are a lot of guys for whom a hunt like this is very rare if at all. I am glad the web site changed regarding number of bears one can expect to see.
FYI, the hunt turning around by me getting one bear to shoot is not a success. I went, and will go again, with the expectation of seeing multiple bears, regularly. Not every night, but most nights. That is a success whether I take a shot or not.
I was up there last year and had a week of no bear, a different week than your three days of no bear. Maybe there are just no bear?
Could it just be a late season activity this year?
How was the lodging and meals? I know the bear sightings were low but how was the rest of the experience
But, I go to hunt and SEE bear. I know Stan does as well. If it was just about being in nature, I have my farm for that.
All of us are different, and have different goals. I get that. For me it is not about the kill. I want to observe bear, and hopefully have at least one chance. I believe many think if I killed a bear I would be happy. If I had seen multiple bear, or even one per sit on most days, that would be a success. I hope that makes sense?
I bet most going up there feel the same way. If outfitters understood that, maybe it would help? That excitement one receives from being close. Just like with deer hunting. You want to get that feeling more than once per season.
Honestly, I could eat nothing but p&j for 5 days straight. I would take that with having multiple bear interactions as opposed to great food and no bear. We have a lot of fine restaurants where I live, but no bear;)
I am overly analytical, but regarding the weather if all outfitters had the same results, ok I accept that. I guess I read other threads and talk with other hunters.
And with weather, Stan was with me this year when I took a young buck in a hard snow storm, and another 3 days later in extreme cold. Weather as an excuse only goes so far, IMHO.
It is not my intent to irritate anyone, just think this might be useful information. I would have liked to report: great food, wonderful accommodations, numerous bear seen by all, one shot opportunity. Thanks.
The last guy to kill in our group sat 2 nights and saw zip. Ron moved him again and he had multiple bears come in at the new stand. A bear ate his seat pad while they were recovering his bear.
This was my one and only guided hunt...one and only bear hunt but here is my take on what I observed from my extremely limited experience. Some of the best baits are likely the hardest to get to and may be a long, rough ride on the back of a quad or a treacherous river crossing in a dinky boat. This keeps a lot of the less adventurous, less mobile, less fit hunters out.
No way I would leave early on a 5 day hunt. The next sit, you may be covered up in bears or have a giant come in. Especially since every other aspect of the hunt was apparently good.
Hope the next hunt meets your expectations and prayers to your sister in law.
Kevin, glad to see you are still around. Yes, I did harvest a bear that first evening 3 seasons ago, thank you again! I remember you told me at least twice going in I was going to shoot a bear that evening. You had that young one coming in very regularly, in fact every evening you told me. I regret shooting him only because I would have liked to observe more bear, but being a rookie... Thanks again!
I think some things changed since then. You don't work there now;) I remember the lake baits being open already because Stan shot his bear there the first night as well. I don't remember the place being for sale back then either!
Midwest, I take precautions after back surgery. So, I will not ride an ATV on the metal portion to fill baits when there is no reason to. The guide does not need the help and there is a good chance you will not hunt that bait any way. I am pretty fit for 58, still hang a stand I packed in .5-1 mile 5 times a week, mostly mornings in the dark. Have done close to a dozen fly-ins in Ontario, riding rough water is something I am used to, especially growing up on the shores of Lake Erie. I just take precautions like an air cushion and an air ride seat in my tractor. Trying to delay having to get a couple disks fused, which based on my activity level will occur since surgery removed the better part of two of them. It is just a matter of time. Just like I walked out of #2 Trap Line, I am not afraid of the dark or being in the bush. Still have the heart of a Marine!
Again, my assessment is simply, for a variety of reasons, the stands I was assigned had been used enough to have educated the bear. Everyone here can read the other threads, talking about experiences at other locations. We all should have seen more bear. Big Bear, thank you for your polite input! Having lived in MI, MT is not the same and I know you understand that. That is why we go up there, to have the experience that other threads show and other hunters talk about. It is expensive, we want to observe bear. It really is that simple. 8 days over two years, 2 different hunters observing a total of 3 bears in MT is something anyone thinking about booking there should consider. That is a total of 16 observation days for 3 sightings!
You can try and make this about me, but it is not. I appreciate those who have recognized how gingerly I have treaded here. Let's be honest, most people want to avoid this type of exchange. Timid in writing or the outdoors I am not. Most people defending this have admitted limited experience. Talk with guys who have more. That is what I did. I yet have to have one of them to tell me my thinking is off base.
Again, hunters will shoot some bear here. If I had the same experience this year as the first year, I would not have shot had I seen other bear. I desired to see multiple bear that would give me a choice. It happens with other outfitters nearby. So, when I go there I guess we will be able to judge if it is me. I promise if I go and am capable, I will post my results. Hope that is fair?
Thank you all, sincerely!
If it's true that the outfit is for sale, the outfitter would have every reason to work even harder and keep results and satisfaction high. Knowing Ron, Im sure he worked his butt off.
Sorry you were disappointed, maybe next time.
Again guys, it is NOT about seeing ONE bear and shooting it. I agree, that can be done enough to keep numbers looking good.
I just received a picture from a hunter in the same area from last week with 6 bears on his bait at the same time. Again, read the other threads please.
This is not a personal attack. It is a report on my experience at an outfitter that may be useful to others.
If I were told that by staying 2 days more I would see a bear and kill it, my decision to leave would be the same. Sometimes it more important to send a message. Hopefully things will improve for future hunters that we should help look out for, IMHO.
Kind of difficult to control wild animals, even in exceptional areas and the use of bait.
Imagine doing all the legwork, countless hours and time away from work and family, then sitting and not seeing anything for several days. Many of us do just that on occasion.
Hope you find what you're looking for on your next bear hunt.
Which facts are accurate now? If the latest are, then your logic is flawed. If others knew there were numerous bear around it would have improved morale for all. And that is what is called hunting, not Nick what myself and others experienced.
Either way I am disappointed and you need not contact me. Discard the business card you asked for and I will fully discount you telling me the respect you had for me in speaking up. I understand why you and Ron are friends.
Frank, what you experienced IS Hunting and maybe a little bad luck. Hopefully your next bear hunt suits your needs. Best of luck.
I know you are sincere. And yes, you might get away with this with young bears or rut crazed, but I bet the experienced guys would not take the risk. Why possibly educate your prey. Not a smart strategy for a property you will hunt over several weeks. This was about ease of dropping hunters off. Thanks.
If you were limiting your distance to the stands and you were not taking the deeper stands then I could see where the bear may not be there due to the pressure of human activity.
Once again I wasn't in your shoes but in my 40 years of bow hunting usually the guy/gal who hunts deeper and harder in the woods or away from camp tends to see more? Just my opinion.
As Nick said it's hunting.
I've bought 2 bear tags in my life 1. When I went elk hunting with my cousins from Couerdelene, had 1 bear in at about 90 yards and spooked a sow with cubs walking back to camp. Other than that nothing else.
2. When I hunted at Blacktail Bobs cabins on POW Island. That hunt started out terrible. GPS took us to the wrong airport in Indianapolis, airline lost my gear for 4 days and I didn't see a bear me first 3 sits then all of a sudden all hell broke lose!!! Crazy amount of bears I saw. But it's called hunting and not killing for a reason.
Like last year when that goofball Jack Harris showed up he wasn't in the stand 20 minutes and let's a 125 skate on by. The next 3 days he didn't see a thing, hell I didn't see my first deer for the first 6 days. It's called hunting not killing. Yes I put jack and I on our hottest spot on the property and zilch for a solid week. I post an annual hunt I do on our lease lots and lots of deer. Not last year until the end of the hunt. That's called hunting not killing!
I do hope your next hunt whoever you hunt with affords you with a world class boar.
I have been dying to afford to tak Morgan to Beartrack Outfitters but with Morgan's medical expenses and mine unexpected 4 months later it looks like I might be able to take her on her 28 or 30th birthday lol JK.
I appreciate your feedback and it's even better the more you wrote as I get to see in detail what your issues consisted of.
I also got to see what others posted as well.
As they say there is always 3 sides to a story and if we played 21 questions between you and Ron the root cause would show up.
Best of luck and this has been a very educational thread for sure.
Followed along with Morgan's updates and are very happy for your entire family!
After some PMs I am convinced what happened last year was intentional. This has been educational for me as well. I was impressed with Alexis's statement about transparency and looking at any pictures. It was Stan who first pointed out his frustration at not reviewing pictures daily like what we experienced the first year. Lots of excuses such as camera was not turned on, 2 times the SD card was put in wrong, no camera. When we were shown pictures of day bears there was no date.
The camp stand was not touched from when they were last in there until I hunted it. The two shoulder bones they placed on top of the meat barrel we're still there, both barrels still standing. Why worry about wind if no bear are using it?
Is it reasonable to believe the guides know the bait friendly locations and then place their friends and TV crew there? Again, this is coming from the education I am receiving behind the scenes. If you are paying good money, results should come close to what other outfitters in nearby areas are experiencing. People should question what gives before their down payment
A friend of the outfitter sitting a busy stand, multiple nights with wind changes, electing not to shoot while others see nothing and do not know what is going on? No doubt some of you will explain why that is OK. And when we asked to go back to a stand they now said was hot, we were told the wind was wrong. Had to laugh at that after sitting at camp bait.
Ron told us last year that BS brings in enough business that he does not have to do trade shows any longer. Well, an accurate picture needs to be portrayed then. This was our honest experience. The mods here know I am not the only one to have these thoughts. Defend all you want. We will not go back or ever recommend BT, in fact just the opposite. Thanks.
Being, as I told Pat, I had a crow land in my tree 3-4 arrow lenghts away and stay several minutes, numerous Ravens on the ground several times, pine Martin etc. My tree stand etiquette was absolutely the same as has allowed me to kill a lot of game in my time.
Not to be rude, but how can you interpret any of what is posted above as I was the only one not seeing bear?
What does cost have to do with it? If I paid more would I see more? The other outfitters charge about the same.
It paid off spending my ass in the seat of a stand vs. in a vehicle heading home. But I took it up as hunting vs. killing and as I said it was like all hell broke loose. I saw more bears than anyone in camp I believe?
I know I wasn't in your shoes Frank so I only hear what your saying, we have not heard nothing from Ron. As I doubt he would. If he felt a lot of this was on you he is taking the high road by not bashing a client? But as I stated above there are always 3 sides to a story.
But I look at it as you felt you paid good money for a weeks hunt. You didn't see anything for a few days and said screw it I quit!
Had you stayed the whole week and hunted hard the whole week I think you would have a much better argument (if you never saw a bear the whole week).
Like I said I have no skin in the game but when you quit midway thru I cannot help but say (sorry Frank you put a lot of this on yourself)
Let's hope your next bear hunt is the best ever and you shoot a world record.
I have been sent pictures of hunts nearby at the same time with multiple bear. Multiple hunters have said privately that is what one should expect in MT. The web site used to say the same thing.
I stayed last year in bluebird weather. I watched on BS as the next group came in and hunted fresh stands and scored. Same excuse last year, weather. I am surprised the bear put on any weight being they only move in certain weather obviously. Amazing anyone kills anything up there at all.
4 guys in our cabin. Through Wednesday evening, 11 total sits (one guy arrived a day late due to an injury) the group observed one deer. How you guys turn that into me only not seeing deer is just dishonest. Yes at 58, I am not as tough as I once was but being a Marine I am mentally tough as I ever was. I offered to pack in a stand, just like last year I was able to convince Ron to take me to stand before lunch. This was the only day I observed anything. Give me some freedom to adjust as I would back home, then blame me. Heck, I would have had no worse results!
No one is asking to pull a lobster out of a tank. But I did not get where I am at being stupid either. Any of you who want to sit on stands already used with your scent blowing right to the bait, go for it. The only bear I saw last year came to the bait facing me, laying down watching me the entire time while he ate. No shot, yes I knew the bear knew I was there. Understandable, and exciting!!!!!!!!!
Now please take the time to read some of the other threads and comments. And Kelly, as some have recognized I have been very polite. I only started to defend some, what I think are ridiculous comments by people not there, so anyone wanting to hunt bear in MT have information worth considering.
As you can gather from another thread I started, I would rather do something productive at my farm than not see any bear. It is tough though getting out of the wheelchair to change implements;)
So, now I challenge you. Explain to us why other outfitters in the same area have different results all season. Did I effect that also?
So, I did not go up for food. I did not go up for lodging. I went up to see multiple bear and MAYBE have a shot opportunity. These expectations were in line with the marketing. It is what others have delivered and documented here. I really don't care about your experiences on other hunts in other areas. If I was going on one of those, I would do my research and my expectations would be in accordance to that research. And I would be prepared mentally and physically or I would not go.
There is a reason I don't back down. I am confident in my hunting ability and too many people have agreed with what I wrote. But, it is not easy doing this.
I have been honest with all of you, so please quit the subtle insults. Bear hunting the way it is done up there is not demanding at all. If I had an outfitter who allowed me to drive my vehicle from camp to stand, I would remain there all day going in only when light enough to make sure nothing was at the bait. Read Dijardins thread, a hunter killed a nice bear in the morning.
It is called adjusting, trying something different, willingness to learn. It is what Stan observe me do by hanging a stand in bitter cold two nights in a row adjusting for a nice Buck's pattern changes. I scored. It was tough getting out of the wheelchair to hang the stand, but somehow I managed while Stan was in a heated blind.
Yes, a little sarcasm, but IMHO you earned it.
So what next, I was too blind to see the bear, too deaf to hear it???
Other cabin, 3 hunters harvested, and Dean says he passed. 50% success rate at best, very low numbers observed. TSI, appreciate your comments, but you are in a totally different area. Please look at some of the MT threads. Which, BTW where is the BT thread since the first week?
Speaking with a gent who I might be able to go as a backup next year to another MT outfitter. They can hunt all day if they desire. He does so, and shot his biggest bear at 1:30PM. Was not trying to tell the outfitter anything, just making suggestions Skippy that others seem to have deployed with at least a modest level of success. It is what I do during the rut. P&J, some crackers, 2 waters, good to go for the day. I will post the next time I go.
Kelly, can we be a little more objective now? Is this all me or is there some blame elsewhere? Baiting started when? Baiting practices are? Pressure per stand and general area? Hunting routine actually a routine or does it vary?
Kelly, I was going to hold this back, but I think it is fair to ask now. I remember a short time back when Nick claimed you were an attention getter. You defended yourself, but you remember the feeling you had inside I am sure. I also defended you. I thought your documenting some of your family trials and challenges was about seeking support from the BS community and recognizing the power of prayer. Still think that about you!
I also believe I will be held accountable for any intentional inaccuracies I speak. This may be in your words, my perspective, but to me it is the absolute truth just as your sharing your family trials is about the desire to have comfort from those you share much in common with. While others see it differently, to you your view is correct and honest and transparent. I know I have done the same here sir!
Do I bet the next crew on fresh baits will have better results next week? Yes I do, and that would suggest there is some credibility to Stan, I and others believing the bear were already educated on our stands. Or maybe some other practices will also change increasing the success rate. Would that not be good for everyone? I don't think there was a great success the week before. This means several hunters continued to hunt stands late into the week last week and this week. Furthering educating the bear? I believe so. Just in case you want to question the other hunters, one has been on 50 trips to Africa and hunted every continent. The other is only a semi-god with 5 200" plus mulies. I am not even in their shadow, let alone their league. It was not us guys!
Someone said to me that after I left with my negativity it was like a breath of fresh air with bears on the table. It was only 1 bear, one Dean let his young friend Cody have. Honesty, for some people it is just really a tough thing to do.
I am not always right, not even close. But, based on hunting experience, and the third time here, I think I made the right call. Time is precious. I used it to work on the farm so I would not experience no wildlife later this year:)
Bear Track's Link
As far as not updating Bear Tracks thread, I've included a link to the newly updated thread. During bear season, internet updates are not a top priority, but I'll do my best to keep that thread updated. We've also started a Facebook page for Bear Track Outfitters, and I will be posting trailcam photos and updates there as well.
Ron, there is nothing to refute. You had a 50,% success rate two weeks in a row. I know of two other nearby outfitters with much higher success rates in the same period. One being a BS sponsor has found the time to kill bears and post results. The other also has a plum of an operation at a nearby lake, but is not a sponsor.
Let's not just talk success rates which can be deceiving. How about average number of bears observed, number of multiple sightings on stand at the same time, % of hunters not seeing anything, PY qualifiers, color phases, average weight and estimated age, etc.
I don't know if either of them are taxidermist, but I bet they would have had my rug back before two years. Still waiting.
Again, these types of threads should improve the operation, hopefully. Hunters ought to ask what the plan is each day. Why are they being assigned that location? What is the history there regarding hunter use and bear activity. What is the forecast for the wind that day and how does that relate to stand, bait, main trails access. I know we are supposed to trust our guides but I think the good ones wanting to be fully transparent would want to share and teach their clients what they love.
BTW, do dandelions only grow in your area? Ron, you and your crew are quite capable if you want to. Do it!
I will go again as I said but with a different outfitter. It was just so cool having a bear come in silently and watching him. I want to see this at least a few more times. I had never experienced it before. To me it was way cooler than any deer I have taken.
Another point I want to make to Ron's response. Trophy hunters do see other bear, check Dijardins thread out again. And BTW, this explanation holds no water for me not seeing bears. I wanted a respectable specimen, not a trophy.
For Les and crew I expect things will improve. Not only fresh baits, but as someone PMed me, the current baits have had another week to be found. And with Ron mentioning new bears this is probably part of the explanation
This hunter said his outfitter went through 16,000 pounds of oats before the season began. It would be nice to know an honest take on how that differed at BT.
I went the same week last year. If there were limited bear numbers at his sites because of bait practices and these bears experienced hunters they could have changed their behavior. Open fresh baits, new bear pushed from other areas or searching for sows finding old baits, the last 2 weeks hopefully will be much better than weeks 2 & 3.
Hopefully Ron will think about what he can do different for the future seasons.
I am sure this thread has him reassessing everything he ever thought he knew about baiting bears and running an outfitting operation. He is very fortunate to be getting such sage advice for such a low price from an expert. He should truly benefit from this in many ways for years to come.
Heck he should offer you a free hunt just to get more exposure to the solutions and ideas you have.
I was going to PM you but thought it best I put this for everyone to see so there is 100% transparency.
If you took my post as attacking you personally I do apologize. That is not my intent. I did state that there are always 3 sides to a story. No matter who you are!
Beartrack Outfitters has a stellar reputation on Bowsite and it has me baffled how this is the first truly negative post I've ever seen on Bowsite about him, (I may have missed any negative post before).
If you feel I am attacking you I want you to know that is not my intention at all. As I said I had spinal fusion on Wednesday and I am loaded up on some serious pain killers and muscle relaxers.
The only thing I do see that is hard for me to grasp is that you left early into the hunt? Not sure if I read correctly but did you leave early last year as well?
That is the only thing I can say that I would scrutinize on this thread about your post. To me it's unfair to put down an Outfitter. For not seeing anything when you packed up and left early. I am trying to be 100% objective about my post.
As for the other guys not seeing anything either in the other cabin I can see where you are coming from. I live in Ohio and when I hunted in the 70s and 80s we were lucky to see 6-9 deer an entire season. Then in the 90s - 2013 it was common to see 10-30 deer a day several days per season. But easily see close to 100 deer a season.
Then 2 years ago numbers were waaayyyyyyy down. Jack Harris view of my property would be it sucks! Because he only saw 1 buck in his 3 days out of 6 he was scheduled to stay.
If he would have stayed for the 6 days it would have still sucked for him as the area he and I hunted sucked which I believe do to the freaking weather (80 degrees).
As for Nick attacking me with his views on me I could give 2 shits about. He is younger than my 2 boys and he has no idea who I am as a person other than what I type. Did I let him get under my skin yes, but then I did a self check and never even think of him unless I see his post here on Bowsite.
I do think Bowsite has a very tight family per say as you, Ron myself are the regulars here on Bowsite.
To never hear of one I'll post about bear Track it threw a lot of folks off guard. It did not help giving an unofficial negative review when you didn't stay the entire hunt.
As for my belief in our Creator and His son Jesus yes I have 100% faith in our religion.
Frank I want you to know I do appreciate your support and prayers for my family and I do not forget those here on Bowsite who take the time to be supportive.
Once again I was trying to look at this post from the outside looking in. That is the reason for my statement 3 sides to a every story.
Ron has a stellar reputation for most here on Bowsite. Bear Numbers may be off, weather could be shitty, etc.
Had I left early when I went to POW after three nights of no sightings I would be able to have the same review you gave. But I stayed and the bear sighting literally exploded the stand I was on. But since I stayed my review is it was an awesome freaking hunt for sure. I tagged out and got to fish in Alaska as well truly an amazing time bear hunting in Alaska.
Once again please don't take this as attacking Frank just a fellow bow hunter trying to look at the entire overall picture.
And as I ended every thread I hope your next bear hunt leaves you with an amazing monster bear!!!!
Frank, you probably should have stayed the entire hunt if you were going to post a bad review about an outfitter who is held in high regard on here. It takes away from the credibility of your review that you left due to low bear sightings. We all know how fast that can change.
Personally I would have just posted an honest review in the outfitter review section and let it be. The can of worms is opened now.
Kelly, I did NOT take it as a personal attack. Hope the fusion is a complete success and follow those doctor's orders!
Guys, the PMs have a totally different flavor and I can tell you there are people happy this thread was started.
Please refresh yourselves and start at the top. I was very mild in my wording until some of you just took one side without being there or knowing anything.
To Bou and others, please look at the thread regarding tips for baiting bear. Notice how many said pay attention to their nose. Bou, I don't need to meet any of your self imposed abilities or experience to understand what happened on my walk in Tuesday and the entire sit. It happened at least twice last year and concluding once again I would be put on stand with such little attention paid to basics, I have better use for my time. But, I would not have left unless Stan felt the exact same way. He controlled the decision.
Once again, look at other threads and the results are different. If you remember, it was 2015 when I asked on this site who I should book a bear hunt with in Canada. Kelly, we even spoke on the phone, and I thank you for that!
Now, if someone were to ask me the same question today, I could not in good faith say book with BT. Yes, no doubt some will have success. Are the odds better with other outfitters in the same area? I say yes, you may not agree. I can accept that. This was an honest thread just like many semi or live hunts. I wish it had ended the way some of you hero worshippers wanted it to, but it didn't. You laid out all the reasons it was my fault. I tried to defend my view. I have not backed down not just because I know my accomplishments as a hunter are at least partially transferable, but because so many with the knowledge and experience have supported me. They for good reasons do not want to be put through this. It is not easy, but it is the right thing to do. I would want this information if I was booking a hunt.
And nothing in life is free. My friends would use the word generous to describe me. My out of pocket expense was more than anyone but Stan and I know. He would definitely use that word.
Bou, I am not so arrogant to think I know even a small bit of what an outfitter does. It is not a question of that, but a question of willingness to do the same for every client. Arrogance is thinking someone who on paper knows less than you can teach you nothing. As a teacher, I know how inaccurate that can be.
Do I think adjustments will be made. I hope so. It would be a huge disservice if one thought the posts here are reflective of the entire BS family. I can accept the negatives coming my way if it results in others having a better experience.
And I promise to be honest with regards to my next bear hunt.
Hope all of you had a great Memorial Day and had time to reflect that others paid the ultimate sacrifice so we can have these discussions!
How about that rug? And skull?
Also, are those big enough for your trophy hunters? Where are the kill pictures? Or are the bear educated enough to only show when hunters are not there? Maybe they just found the bait?
See other threads mentioned for kill pictures with big bears.
You really ought to know all the facts before leaping.
All of you go to the baiting tip thread. Read Ron's own words about 4 decades of experience. Read how important to him wind consideration is. Look at the date.
Look at my very bland post after Tuesday night. I hunted exactly the setup he likes described, only the water was upwind of me and the bait was downwind.
What doesn't make sense to me is you guys challenging me for challenging my expert going against his own words. How does a guy win with that? I waited to see if any of you had the integrity to read what HE said first before slamming me.
Look, it is a free country. Based on my experiences there, it was not something for me. I get you might conclude otherwise.
The day before this trip I was elected Department Chair. I have a ton of work waiting and new knowledge I must learn. My work load has increased phenomenally and I may or may not get all of my farm work done. You get to make the call for yourself as I do. I don't think less if you decide something different. But I do hate when people come to conclusions without all of the facts, especially in your profession.
I did a very transparent accounting of this trip. My expectations were in line with the marketing. I was fully prepared in every way. Everyone gets to make their own call. I have no doubt more attacks will occur. I am sure there will be those who say they want nothing to do with this type of bullying.
I was as bland as I could be in writing my report. I expected to be challenged, it should be that way in fairness to all parties.
I used Ron's own words. I compared what I experienced to what is public for all to see. I have communicated with hunters and folks involved in the industry. I know human nature and that folks will say more in private than they will publicly. If I thought my conclusion was incorrect, I have enough integrity to say so. Ron communicated to me once that my character was tops with him. I guess that changed because I posted a less than stellar report.
Many here came out in support of Ron. I believe for the most part all of you are sincere. I disagree, but that is life. People will evaluate us on how we conduct ourselves.
Someone had to push me to be blunt. They said they were reading between the lines. That changed the level of candidness I posted with.
For me, just me, at this time with everything going on in our lives it was my decision to spend the time on more fulfilling activities and with people I love. Life is too precious to waste on things that only bring frustration.
Regarding the high fence comment, I wanted to see multiple bear. The kill remains secondary. Multiple bear in this area is a realistic expectation that others have provided and documented here.
Bear, it is your call. I cannot change your heart or mind. I have been truthful, and fair to all parties.
For those of you believing there will be no changes, he updated his season thread as one example that there will be because I believe Ron will listen and adjust, and continue to attack me. All of us have fragile egos to some extent. That is good for him, his operation and us IMO.
Thanks again, and yes I know I am long winded:)
I appreciate bigkev stepping up. I do not know him or have ever communicated with him. But his report mimics several that I received while up there. I tried to have another outfitter take us for the last two days. We had enough funds on us to pay their pro-rated normal rate. We would have provided our own food and slept in the truck. we could not make it happen.
Just yesterday I received another PM telling me about another outfitter who had his first hunter in 7 years not see anything for one night.
You guys have threads to verify what I have said about other hunt experiences and a person with enough courage to post it. Thanks bigkev. You also have Ron's posts and pictures that do not dispute my accounting. It is a common practice to attack the person to distract from the issue, and people will take that into consideration when booking a hunt.
Each of us gets to make our own decision about what they would do. I have been honest and fair. Bear, you and others would arrive at a different decision. I am fine with that and will not attack you because I disagree.
I started the thread before the trip. I never intended to write only the version that would be acceptable. I don't think the results some of us have experienced in recent years are mainly the fault of the hunters. JMHO, and again, all of us get to use the information here as we see fit. Notice how I documented the first bear kill which was eaten by wolves. I told the truth but did not publish the negatives. Again, the evidence is there for anyone willing to be objective that I have been fair. Thanks Bear.
It is fair to ask about something that should have been completed long time ago. It is about credibility.
I will let it go if the uncalled for disparaging ceases.
But it should say... Come Back. I Promise To Show At Another Outfitter Who Knows How To Bait And Pays Attention To Wind Direction...
Keep up the great work Ron !! Those are some great bears your guests are harvesting this spring ??
In seriousness?, those who are supportive of a certain outfitter need to put their money where their mouth is. That is what I will do. And I encourage others to do the same!
I read Sean's response to hunting wind direction and how he would take a portable and adjust. I asked to do just that.
Adjusting and understanding habitat allows me to take deer like this off my own land. Yes, probably only 1% of hunters will do that.
Gets a little old you guys playing like someone who disagrees with you is just stupid. And no, I did not quit. As verified by someone else, we we're willing to pay good money to stay up there for two more days and hunt with another outfitter who was posting mostly successful hunts. We we're tired of the BS.
Look, outfitters make us pay in non-refundable deposits. They take care of business for themselves, and hunters need to do the same for each other. I encourage anyone wanting to book with any outfitter to do so after reading multiple opinions and being fully informed. Take into consideration how far out you have to book and how long their waiting list is to replace any cancellations.
He might be the most honest lovable person in the world. That is not what I pay for. It is not personal, it is an honest accounting.
They read this thread. They go to the last two years of Desjardin's threads. They contact bigkev about PLO.
Where do they spend that money?
If you pay me to hunt whitetails, you will see them. I would have liked to have been put on a hot bait, even shown just one, LOL.
Bear, thought you were gone;). You only want to see a giant, it is your hunt, your call. I went to see bear, not one. That is what was marketed. My money, my hunt.
You non-experts are too funny. This thread documented a hunt. If I had seen multiple bear, that would have been what was posted and everyone would be back slapping me. That is not what happened. We pay an outfitter because we lack the expertise to do it ourselves. We are admitting that when we hire them. We do expect results close to what others produce when charging the same amount, don't we? Every job I have had, no one accepted excuses. Yes, some days fish don't bite and bears don't show. Again that word 'some'. It was a lot more than some, and for more than just us according to the messages I am receiving.
I don't know how this is helping BT. I am not asking g for any money from any of you, nor do I really care what people I will never meet and will never have to deal with think about me. As someone wrote me, there are more lurkers here than posters and I am making a dent.
I hope that dent is more book bears, many more sightings and 100% satisfaction. Amazing to me how many times problems/issues get resolved once they are called out.
The response I received from Pat when wanting to hang a stand was I just could not get that out of my head, that being the bears might circle downwind. Remember, you guys are telling me I must listen to my guide. Which is it?
The only bear the four guys in our cabin saw was Stan's bear the first night. It came in 40-60 yards downwind of him, and then left. That is why I came up with the idea. After having a bear blow at me the first night and break a tree which was angling down wind of me, I thought it might be a good idea.
In full disclosure, I contacted another outfitter while there and asked their opinion. Was told with truly wild bear I may get lucky but not likely.
Bear, what those dear above have to do with bear hunting is that I did not always connect by following conventional wisdom. I think you have your outfitter to get your big bear. I look forward to reading about your hunt in the future.
Yes, I just was sent a very recent video. And, I have had deer do strange things. That last picture, the deer on the left was shot and died 40 yards down wind of my stand. As I was climbing down, a monster I estimated at 180 started horning my dead deer. I had to yell several times to get him to leave, and he was there as I started to field dress my deer. Sometimes wildlife does unexplainable things.
But, both Ron and Sean said you should pay attention to wind. It was 8 nights to see one bear, just the facts please! (Hope you get the Dragnet punn) Any hunters go that many days without seeing a bear at the other outfitters mentioned?
Again, you have your outfitter. Let us know when you book. Please let us know how many people you recommend go there.
You have a valid point about past results. Past results also do not tell us what is going on today. Maybe an outfitter trying to sell has lost the fire? Maybe floods or other natural phenomenon have negatively impacted a certain geographic area? Many things not in the outfitter's control could affect the current situation.
I would like the most recent information when making an expensive booking decision, I think others probably do as well.
So along with the information on a B&C kill, how about other important information like average sightings etc. I see a huge difference in the transparency between Desjardin's thread over an entire season and a friendly birdie sharing selective information.
I realize it is difficult for some to comprehend that there are people with enough ego strength to not care about what others they will never meet or be involved with say or think about them. I did not take your post as an insult, but your opinion.
I did not blame others, bear hunting this style is nothing more than counting on your guide to place you in a stand where you will have a good chance of seeing something. That did not happen, it was not my fault. Again, the other two in our cabin did not see anything the last two days. No surprise.
Why I started the farm thread, you will see. I will have a hunting thread this fall. It is about work and preparation, not quitting. But thanks, sincerely!
Further, if all of you again would go to the top of this thread. I had a problem with my Hoyt bow, a split limb. I did not whine, I left the cheese in the refrigerator, and contacted Hoyt. Knowing Murphy's Law, I made sure I was prepared by purchasing another Hoyt. Why Hoyt after one problem, because I have bought at least 10 new ones through the year and never had a problem. Customer loyalty just like with BT, until proven otherwise.
Hoyt delivered as said. The Pro shop delivered as said. You all read my documenting their great service and recognition by name. Only 1 person responded to that. It was a portrayal of the truth as I saw it, just like this hunt was.
Further, you did not respond to Kevin's post, yet jumped on with DFS, a guy who posts out of no where on a thread I think most of us hoped was on the ash heap of history and then two posts later chirps about a B&C bear. W.C. Fields was right about fools, eh? I was born at night, just not last night.
Finally, you are a bear hunter. Are we not in the bear rut, late, at a time boars may wander in search of the last receptive sows, much like the late whitetail rut? I am no expert, but this is what I was told. So, a boar could venture into unfamiliar territory? Maybe you might begin to understand why I would not be excited about one big bear. I don't enter my own DIY bucks, with a bear other than coming up with the money and executing the shot I really cannot in good faith take any credit. The outfitter, guide, luck all play a much bigger role, and area also.
It seems like folks who have charged for guiding really get annoyed with this thread. Is it to discourage us from these discussions? I have tried to be fair and balanced. Some of you have come to conclusions with little knowledge of me, the area, or the outfitter. I posted the good (Hoyt Bow, B&B Archery) and the bad as well as the ugly (my picture).
Just let each decide where they want to spend their money. Hope that is fair.
KUDOS to Ron for taking the high road although after reading this I am waiting for him to come on here and rip your ass.
I continue to be educated. It seems outfitters adjacent to off limits park land is where the numbers are measurebly higher.
How is a client being difficult for posting the truth? I asked and everyone so far has avoided answering. Why did the other outfitters have much better results?
Again Bear, integrity. Loyalty is why I went back to both BT and Hoyt as explained above. Only one has been consistent. You were wrong about Slager just like you are wrong here. Get over it.
Guys, go hunt there if you think it is so great. I encourage all of you to do so. It will help keep prices down at competitors. One which I will be sending my hold payment to later this week.
We quit not because of tough conditions, but because we were tired of the BS.
Bear, are you intellectually challenged? Dean was a friend. No surprise him and the TV guys were on active baits.
I walked out 2 miles in the dark even though Pat offered me an ATV ride, and the keys to his truck so I would not have to wait in the dark. I declined both, I fear no evil because I walk with the Lord. You simply are full of bull taking any shot you can. It speaks to your lack of integrity. I waited the last two nights until after legal shooting time just to see if a bear would come in. My eyes would only allow me to see until about 15 minutes before legal shooting light in the woods so I would not have shot. I do not believe in lighted pins, but have no problem if others legally use them. Just not my cup of tea.
Now, just saying...what other outfitter does not have clients see any bears over multiple sits? I hope they do decline me, lol! But answer that question, and refer only to clients in that area.
When you going to answer the question? Why is BT's record not what Desjardin's or PLO's is this year? Come on guys, speak up now.
Whatever reason you come up with, we all know it is something potential clients should consider before booking and paying the asking price. That is why you don't answer. So I am going to ask every time you question me now.
My only bear was a double lung, recovered by me and drug out by me well before shooting light ended and at least 45 minutes before Kevin got there. I would have wanted to limit myself to that type of scenario again. It is why I hung a stand upon arrival and shot every day. I did not need to be concerned with this though since we never saw any bears.
Still like to know how the bait activity was the week after we left. It would shed some light on all the accusations of the problem being me.
Besides the obvious of spending some quality time with my son hunting and not being at work, I had 3 goals for this hunt.
1) Get two bear kills on film
2) Test out the 100 grain Ironwill broadhead
3) Get some good footage of bears
Prior to the hunt I made arrangements to get to camp early on Sunday and start hunting Sunday night. Ron was accommodating with this. I would not hunt until Hunter killed a bear, so it was possible I would not even get to hunt. IMO I don't think many other outfitters would have allowed us to do this. Thank-You Ron. We got checked in mid-morning on Sunday. Ron had a plan for us that night. Reading the updates from the prior weeks I was honestly a little nervous for what was to come. Hunter shot a mid 150's boar the first night. I got great footage of it, and he was very excited.
The following morning I was off with my guide, Sean, checking baits. It's really nice that BT had cameras on all of their baits. It was fun to get in to rebait and check cameras. Unfortunately the cameras this time would screw us a little. We checked a handful of baits and there wasn't a lot of bears hitting anywhere. 1-3 bears per bait was average with maybe 1.5 bears average hitting in daylight. I was NOT looking for a monster bear. Just a decent bear and the opportunity to film multiple bears. Over the last couple years I have really enjoyed the video and still picture aspect of hunting. I was hoping to get some good footage on this trip. We had been planning on hunting Indian Trail 1. There was a big boar in there the night before at midnight, but only one small bear had been hitting there in the daylight for the last number of days. At the last minute we changed and went to a different bait. Wouldn't you know it, a great boar in the 6.5' + range showed up 3 hours before dark and was at the bait for over 2 hours with a sow. I didn't see anything on Paddletrail 1.
The next day was a repeat with checking baits and cameras with Sean. Sean is a great young guide and I can tell you that you will see some great things coming from Sean and Bear Track in the future. He's a hard worker and will do well. The thing I liked is Sean gave me the chance to give my input. Day 2 I hunted Indian Trail 1 where the big boar was the prior night. No dice, again no bears sighted. Day 3 was again like the others. Up early for breakfast and off to check more baits and cameras. Today it was decided I would hunt Indian Trail 2. The wind was wrong for some of the other baits we would have liked to hunt. I was in stand early and again it was uneventful.....until 9 pm. Then a nice bear walked out and right into the bait. Nice, not a monster, not a small one. I knew early when seeing him that I would shoot him when given the chance. I had yet to see a bear, sightings were slow for most people in camp, and I had a good bear in front of me. Within 90 seconds of first seeing the bear he was dead. I got down, looked him over and got back in the stand. I knew I probably had 3 hours in the stand yet, so I just kicked back and relaxed. Sometime after 10:30, right around dusk, another bear was circling around huffing and breaking stuff. It was pretty cool to hear, although I never saw it.
I'll summarize what I thought of the hunt.
Ron and Jeannine - great people, very accommodating, fun to be around. Jeannine is a great cook.
Guides - Sean and Pat. Good people. Hard workers, very friendly and knowledgeable. Willing to help with whatever we asked of them. Sean was our guide and I worked with him for many hours over the days. He understands guiding, bears, and he did play the wind without question everyday.
Baits - Lots of them. Over 40, and on average only 7-8 hunters in camp at a time. Cameras on all baits. Some of the baits could have the treestands worked on or upgraded a little. When I guided here in WI we had a huge variety of bait and made a lot of changes. There wasn't a lot of that here, but maybe with no other baiting competition a big variety isn't needed. I can't really say for sure. I did not see sign anywhere on any of the baits that they were overhunted. No garbage lying around, etc.
Bears - I do not think there is a high quantity of bears, at least compared to past years and what other hunters report seeing. There did seem to be a large bear on or around every bait that we checked. Maybe not daily, but that is typical of big bears, especially during the rut.
I was hoping to see a larger number of bears than I did. I do understand it is hunting and things happen. I do believe numbers are down from the past. Even if the bears were nocturnal, they would still be there on camera at night. Even though I wasn't seeing bears, I really enjoyed my time on stand. Seeing the camera pictures, even though lower numbers, I had the feeling that at ANY moment a bruiser could walk in. I've hunted enough to know that Sean was doing the best job that he could, and honestly I don't think I would have done anything much different. A couple of very minor things that we talked about, but nothing major. Even though it was slow, in this instance I would NOT have considered leaving early. Are there times I would consider leaving a hunt early, ABSOLUTELY. Time is precious. For me to waste vacation days is not acceptable. I don't feel I would have been wasting them, had I not killed on day 3, and hunted out days 4&5.
Will I go back to Bear Track. Not next year. This is not a hunt I can afford to do often. Someday I hope to go back and hunt with Sean. Stay tuned and watch, you will see good things from him, I'm sure of it.
If anyone has specific questions for me feel free to PM me or hit me up on Rokslide. I am documenting the Season for Hunter and I over there, I'll attach the link. It has pictures and video's of our season, including Bear Track which I am currently still updating.
If you post on here asking specifics I probably won't see it. I don't have the time in my life to waste reading the petty bullshit that goes on with some of the keyboard jockey's online, especially a few of them on this thread like....Big Bear, pete drummond, DFS. NOWHERE have I saw HFW (Frank) say anything derogatory, in bad taste, or really anything other than an opinion or educated guess. To call someone names and belittle them for giving their opinion is pretty low and speaks a lot towards the integrity of those talking. YES Frank did leave early. Yes there is the chance that he could have tagged out on night 4 or 5. That was HIS choice, he admitted it and gave his reasons why. Again all his choices and opinions. That's the great thing about 'merica, we can all have our own opinons and make our own choices. Is it likely that Frank would have seen 3-5 bears per night his last two nights, like he was hoping. Probably not, but we'll never know. Is it possible he could have tagged out on night 4 or 5? Yes, but we will never know.
I enjoyed my time in camp, my time around Ron and Jeannine, Pat, Sean, and the rest of the hunter's. I enjoyed my time in the woods as well. Was it everything I hoped it would be, no. Then again, that's hunting more times than not.
time can't be too precious to you if so much of it is spent on this forum and topic