John is not a sponsor yet. I encouraged him to become one. As he is in start up mode I think he counts every penny. I don't think he inherited many repeat customers from the previous operator as that guy apparently, based on my research, ran a fairly shabby operation.
Big Woods Wilderness OutfittersContributors to this thread:
Alexis Desjardins 07-Mar-16
WV Mountaineer 05-Jun-16
Anyone hunted with this Manotoba bear outfitter?
Whoops....obviously that should be Manitoba....
I think the lack of responses might tell you what you need to know. I can recommend 3 outstanding Manitoba bear outfitters who are also Bowsite sponsors if you're looking for a bear hunt. I have no personal knowledge of this outfitter and it seems not many others do either and no outfitter reviews are posted. Buyer beware.
Well, I took a chance and may live to regret it. The current owner operator of "Big Woods Wilderness Outfitters" apparently just bought the outfit a year or so ago. Near as I can determine the story he tells on the website is correct in that he has a good deal of experience just not as an owner/operator. Anyhow, I had enquired about a cancellation hunt (I'm retired and can take advantage of such hunts) and got a very attractive offer. It's an easy drive from my home in Minneapolis so the additional costs beyond the outfitter are minimal. I've been in the position of a new business startup, though not in hunting operation or anything even remotely similar, so I have a certain amount of sympathy for the new guy. After trading emails and talking to the guy I took the chance and sent a deposit for the last week of May. Come the middle of June I'll publish the results.
Good luck, hope you have a fun hunt!
Good luck! Everyone had to start somewhere! Hopefully it turns out to be a great hunt! Have fun either way, there's a lot worse places to be than Manitoba in the springtime!
Brotsky...Thanks for the positive thoughts. Your comment on Manitoba is in line with my thinking. Even if the hunting isn't so great sitting in a tree in springtime is likely to be interesting.
Good luck! Good of you to give a new outfitter a chance. It might wind up being the hunt of a lifetime!
From: Alexis Desjardins
Wish u the best on your hunt, welcome to Manitoba
Just got home from the Big Woods Wilderness Outfitters hunt noted above. Accommodations were great (See Nopiming Lodge on Bird Lake in Manitoba). John Toutant the outfitter uses cabins at the lodge and the lodge restaurant for feeding his hunters. This is NOT "Roughing it"!! I'm no expert on bear hunting but it's my impression that John knows bears and hunting them. We had some lousy weather, totally rain / wind blown out of hunting one day and had another very marginal day (Wind / Rain) where we went out but nobody saw anything. I wanted either a really large black bear or a color phase of any reasonable size. On Thursday I had my choice of two moderately large blacks or a smaller but really nice looking chocolate. I took the chocolate. There is very good fishing right at the lodge and the lodge has boats for rent. One of the guys in camp got his bear on Monday and went fishing. Among other fish he caught a 26.5 inch Walleye. I didn't fish as Friday would have been my only day and I didn't want to buy a full year license for one day. Manitoba does not have short term fishing licenses. Anyhow, bottom line...Big Woods Wilderness Outfitters provided an extremely enjoyable hunt that was only a days drive (9 hours) from Minneapolis. I'm already negotiating for a return trip next spring. Oh...one other thing...I did have a Wolf wander by my stand one evening. I had never seen a wolf in the wild before. The fall bear hunters can shoot wolves but not in the spring.
Great ^^^^^^^ ! Glad you had a good time. Got any pics to share ?
From: WV Mountaineer
Sounds like you had a god time and a great hunt. If he is a sponsor, post up a review. Sounds like he deserves it. God Bless
Unfortunately I shot my bear right at dark. The "Kill site" photos didn't come out showing much. I have some taken the next morning when skinning but probably a bit bloody and ugly for the website. Perhaps I'll post photos of the rug when I get it.
No pictures ....it never happened :)
SteveB.. I'll see if I can find a couple of pictures that will make you wonder What Happened!!! However they may have nothing to do with bear hunting. Seriously, I'm a bit disappointed with my photography. I thought I had the camera set up correctly. Maybe I should just let the camera do its "Automatic" thing rather than try to be a stud photographer. Back in the days of film cameras I knew what I was doing, even processed and printed some of my own stuff in a friends darkroom. Modern cameras are a bit of a mystery to me. It's so bad that my daughter has to set up my iPhone apps!!
:) We are all picture hungry here.... bad pic is better than no pic. Just kidding with you though..... Bad pics happen.
Glad you had a great hunt Stubbleduck! Thanks for coming back and updating us on how it went! Congrats on your bear!
Well...I'm reviving an old thread just to report that I have signed up for my fourth year (2019) in a row at Big Woods Wilderness Outfitters. As noted I shot a nice chocolate bear the first year. The second year I shot the biggest bear I, in my limited bear hunting career, have ever seen. I have no idea what happened to the shot, I thought I was on target, but after following a sparse blood trail, for at least a half mile before it petered out, in classic Canadian Shield bush, no recovery. Last year, third year at Big Woods, I saw a very large number of bears but, as I was holding out for something exceptional, like the unrecovered bear from year two, I just took a whole bunch of video and didn't take my bow off the peg. I could have shot at good quality, representative, bears on four out of five afternoons (The fifth afternoon / evening was very heavy rain) but had my mind set on something exceptional. Anyhow, as noted in my first years comments, I took a flyer on a new outfitter and it has been a great experience. I've seen lots of bears, made a good friend, and met several interesting folks at the bear camp. I've had both good and bad experiences with outfitters....I'm glad I took a chance on this one, it's a day's drive from home, very comfortable accommodations, a great outfitter, and (Most importantly) lots of bears.
Still no pics though. ??
yes pics please...