Sitka Mountain Gear
MIKE'S OUTFITTING 2019 Alberta Bear Hunt
Bears
Contributors to this thread:
Mike Ukrainetz 04-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 04-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 04-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 04-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 04-May-19
badguybuster 04-May-19
krieger 04-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 04-May-19
Alexis Desjardins 05-May-19
JTreeman 05-May-19
Kevin Speicher 05-May-19
midwest 05-May-19
Bowboy 05-May-19
Dino 05-May-19
petedrummond 05-May-19
HUNT MAN 05-May-19
TREESTANDWOLF 05-May-19
hdaman 05-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 05-May-19
Mark Watkins 06-May-19
KyleSS 06-May-19
Rancher 06-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 07-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 07-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 07-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 08-May-19
standswittaknife 08-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 08-May-19
Tody 08-May-19
midwest 08-May-19
Boreal 08-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 08-May-19
Twinetickler 08-May-19
Sam 08-May-19
t-roy 08-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 09-May-19
Bou'bound 09-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 09-May-19
Nick Muche 09-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 09-May-19
Bowboy 09-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 10-May-19
Kuma 10-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 10-May-19
rattling_junkie 10-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 11-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 11-May-19
hdaman 11-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 12-May-19
Bou'bound 12-May-19
Rob Nye 13-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 14-May-19
Predator 14-May-19
uteangler 15-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 17-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 17-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 17-May-19
hdaman 17-May-19
Pgribb 18-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 18-May-19
Basinboy 18-May-19
T Mac 18-May-19
JL 18-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 18-May-19
caribou77 18-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 19-May-19
Mike Ukrainetz 20-May-19
midwest 20-May-19
04-May-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The Outfitter Mike Ukrainetz and his Daughter Brooke on the 1st grocery run.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The Outfitter Mike Ukrainetz and his Daughter Brooke on the 1st grocery run.
Hey Bowsiters, It's that exciting time of the year again, Spring Bear Hunting in Alberta, Canada!! We do it over bait which I think is the most fun, engaging, intimate and yes, even challenging way to hunt bears. Especially when you are after one of the big boys, for us that's a 300 plus lb, 19+ inch skull, 6 ft 10 inch square hide or bigger bear. We strive to get every hunter an opportunity at a bear of this size or larger. Some are much larger with the occasional one going over 400 lbs and a 20+ or even a 21 inch plus Booner head.

For those hunters that just want to make sure they get a bear we do let them shoot smaller ones, usually a selected big, old dry sow, beyond her breeding years. Or if a bait has an overpopulation of sows we will be less selective of just which one it is. Lots of bears here! So many that they let hunters take two bears each, 2nd one on a trophy fee.

04-May-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Typical bait site with broadside positioning crib and size judgement stakes.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Typical bait site with broadside positioning crib and size judgement stakes.
Here is a typical bait site for us with the broadside positioning crib/wall, a meat scraps only barrel, a popcorn with liquorice barrel and a beaver cage. We also have a honey pot and an oats and grease barrel at every site, along with a Reconyx camera. (They are outside of the picture.) The barrels here are loosely chained so the bears can knock them over and roll them around. We've also newly installed size judging stakes, 36 inches tall with the top 6 inches painted white. If the bears shoulders are as tall as the stake, shoot him! If not, don't.

04-May-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Guide Alec Zabel setting the honey pot and oats and grease barrel.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Guide Alec Zabel setting the honey pot and oats and grease barrel.
The honey pot is set about 4 1/2 feet of the ground so a bear has to stand up to lick out the honey, this way you can tell the sex of the bear, especially with binoculars. The oat barrel is loosely chained to the tree with slits at the bottom on either side so again the bear has to go broadside to feed at it and the fact that it stays standing helps to judge the size of a bear. To me volume and variety is King! We never see a drop in activity due to dandelions or moose calves being born. The bears have all the variety they need right at our baits and it never runs out. This also allows several bears to feed at the site at one time, if you force the bears to feed right beside each other then some bears won't come to the bait. We've had as many as 9 adult bears at a bait at one time.

04-May-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Our bear proof wooden ground blind.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Our bear proof wooden ground blind.
These ground blinds are an awesome game changer compared to a tree stand! Two people can sit in one on comfy lawn chairs, very safe, no safety belt needed, it's dark inside so the bears can't see you and with an ozonics scent suppressor the bears can hardly tell you are there. Some will walk over and stick their head inside to check and that adds to the excitement of the hunt. Sturdy, the bears can walk on top of them and often do. Plus it gives the perfect ground level shot. And you don't have to sit in the rain. The downside is that it does give a different feel to the hunt compared to the view out of a tree stand and being out in the elements.

04-May-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Head guide Gerard Van Den Boogaard showing new guide Alec how to make popcorn.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Head guide Gerard Van Den Boogaard showing new guide Alec how to make popcorn.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Guide Kevin Carlson with a monster moose shed!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Guide Kevin Carlson with a monster moose shed!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Lots of wind blown poplar trees. Being a bear guide is a ton of work!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Lots of wind blown poplar trees. Being a bear guide is a ton of work!
Like every good bear outfitter we go through tons of bait in a year and it ain't cheap! We will feed over 400 different bears and kill about 30-40 of them each year. It's a very sustainable harvest year after year and if we didn't shoot them farmers and beekeepers would and they still do, lots of them. Legally they can kill as many bears as they want on private land and leave them to rot. The bears do a lot of crop damage and we must protect the vegetarian food!

From: badguybuster
04-May-19
The judgement stakes are clever!!!

From: krieger
04-May-19
Great pics!

04-May-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Big Boy! Looks a bit shy of stake height but other pics show differently.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Big Boy! Looks a bit shy of stake height but other pics show differently.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
and the stake disappears! A big mature sow would look a lot like this bear but her shoulders would probably only be up to about the bottom of the white mark, 30 to maybe 32 inches.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
and the stake disappears! A big mature sow would look a lot like this bear but her shoulders would probably only be up to about the bottom of the white mark, 30 to maybe 32 inches.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Young male bear, light in the shoulders like a sow but the big paws and about 33 inch height give him away as a boar.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Young male bear, light in the shoulders like a sow but the big paws and about 33 inch height give him away as a boar.
Thanks guys for the kind comments! First big bear of the year in broad daylight. Kind of short legged beast but fat, big head, looking good.

05-May-19
Good luck this season Mike stay safe

From: JTreeman
05-May-19
Good luck, looking forward to the rest of you season reports.

—Jim

05-May-19
Always one of my favorite threads of the year. Good luck, hope you have a safe and successful season! I love the attention to detail at your bait sites.

From: midwest
05-May-19
Always a fun thread to follow. Have a great season, Mike, and thanks for sharing with us!

From: Bowboy
05-May-19
Have a great season. Some bears should be hitting the ground soon!

From: Dino
05-May-19
Awesome thread Mike!!! Look forward to this every year, Thx for posting and taking us along!!! Have a great season.

From: petedrummond
05-May-19
see you the 19th!

From: HUNT MAN
05-May-19
I always enjoy this one.. best of luck to you and your clients!! Hunt

05-May-19
Always follow this one and Alexis's.

You guys are sure to knock down a few giants this year!

Best of luck

From: hdaman
05-May-19
Mike's Outfitting is as good as it gets. He and his guides do everything possible it give you a chance at a great bear(or 2)! The crew, the family, the accommodations, the habitat, the wildlife....Mike is committed to ensuring you have a great time and to your success.

05-May-19
Thanks so much for all the kind comments!

From: Mark Watkins
06-May-19
An incredible annual thread....keep up the great bears Mike!

Mark

From: KyleSS
06-May-19
I wait for this thread ever year. Can't wait to see what you guys do this year. Best of luck Mike

From: Rancher
06-May-19
Thanks for showing the pics Mike,I will be with your buddy Kyle next Sunday for the 2nd year in a row.Good luck to you,and your hunters,Cliff

07-May-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Big ole swamp bear playing with a 5 gallon bucket!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Big ole swamp bear playing with a 5 gallon bucket!
Our first group of 5 repeat hunters showed up yesterday and we hunted that evening, saw 34 different bears but no for sure shooters. Everyone is being very diligent in trying to make sure they get a big one like the one pictured. He's in the bait at the perfect time!

07-May-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
What a decent size colored bear looks like compared to the white post.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
What a decent size colored bear looks like compared to the white post.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
And what a truly big one looks like! Tall and long, forget about looking for a round head with a crease in it or little ears or a hanging belly.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
And what a truly big one looks like! Tall and long, forget about looking for a round head with a crease in it or little ears or a hanging belly.

07-May-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Boar or Sow?
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Boar or Sow?
We are really confused by this bear, boar or sow? Blocky head, just a short legged boar? It's still alive so don't know for sure. What do you think?

08-May-19
Well you guys are boring. Not one comment. I make the same post on Instagram and facebook and everyone chimes in. Maybe it's because the real hunters hang out on bowsite and know my tricks already? It's a sow, shorter than the post, but it did actually have me thinking a boar because she is she beefy looking, blocky head, thick ankles. Old dry sow, going to try to shoot her.

08-May-19
ok... I've looked daily at this thread for updates so dont stop.

08-May-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Big, old sow! I bet she makes Pope and Young.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Big, old sow! I bet she makes Pope and Young.
Here she is posing for the camera, she's been around for years but as soon as we start hunting the spot she goes mostly nocturnal and random hitting.

Thanks for the encouragement standswittaknife! No LIKES to count to pump me up each day, just crickets here. chirp, chirp. haha

Another bear judgement tool we've used for tree stands is to cut a log 5 feet long and lay it on the ground at the bait. NO sow will ever be as long as that log measured as a straight line nose to tail as she stands in this picture. For us EVERY boar that is 5 foot will make Pope and Young solidly, 18 1/2 plus skull. A 36 inch stake or a standing barrel works better out of a ground blind like we use now.

From: Tody
08-May-19
Nice setup, need to make a trip one year to hunt with you Mike.

From: midwest
08-May-19
Keep it coming! Looking forward to the first kills!

From: Boreal
08-May-19
Mike, I would've wrongly guessed boar for that bear. Straight stovepipe legs. The nose doesn't look pointed, more short and stubby. What are the sow characteristics that could help me identify this bear?

08-May-19
Boreal, the best way to identify a sow from a boar is that a sow will be well below the height of a 36" stake when viewed hunting out of a ground blind and less than 5 ft long on a log when hunting out of a tree stand. Forget all the rest.

Most terms that experienced bear hunters use to describe a what a big boar looks like are subtle, subjective and confusing to novice bear hunters and even sometimes to themselves! Before we used barrels and white topped posts I had guys in camp that had killed over 20 bears who accidently killed big, fat sows, some were dry but others were breeding age. Not a big deal in the overall population but if you really want to properly manage the bears that come to your bait site it becomes a problem over time reducing the quality of your hunt.

From: Twinetickler
08-May-19
Fun thread! Wish I has a tag in my pocket this spring!

From: Sam
08-May-19

Sam's embedded Photo
Sam's embedded Photo
A bear I did NOT shoot, probably a mistake. Can’t wait to come back.

From: t-roy
08-May-19
Good luck to your hunters, Mike!

09-May-19
Love to have you both back Sam and T-roy! Thanks

From: Bou'bound
09-May-19
Please post photos of kills on the main success thread too this year if you could

09-May-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
335 pounder! A big weight for a spring Alberta bear.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
335 pounder! A big weight for a spring Alberta bear.
Aaron Austin from Kansas got his first bear yesterday evening, guide Alec got in the pic too! Happy guys.

The 5 repeat hunters in camp have seen lots of bears and 3 other probable 300+ lb bears have been passed up in search of giants. Hopefully it pays off?!

From: Nick Muche
09-May-19
Nice work, love this thread as well! First photo of the sow had me thinking boar but the next photo made it clear it was a sow. Can't wait to follow along!

09-May-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Guide Alec and hunter Aaron Austin with a big one!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Guide Alec and hunter Aaron Austin with a big one!
First bear of the year for us and it's a good one! 335 lbs, 19 4/16 Pope and Young skull, and the hide squared out at 7 ft 2 inches. (7 ft 4 inch wide, 7 ft 0 inch long) Exactly the kind of bear we want every hunter to hold for. Congrats to Aaron and to Alec and the rest of my team here at Mike's Outfitting!!

(We measure the square of a bears hide by measuring the hide laid out on the ground, tip of the nose to the tip of the tail and then measure claw tip to claw tip across the front legs and then it's the average of those two measurements. No stretching. The skull is out of the hide, paws are in it, which actually gives a slightly smaller measurement than if you took the paws out.)

From: Bowboy
09-May-19
Congrats on a super bear!

10-May-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
A true blonde!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
A true blonde!
Now here's a beautiful bear! That is off limits to shoot, want to spread those genes.

From: Kuma
10-May-19
Hi Mike! Glad to find your thread again this year! Gerard sent me the link and got me hooked up! I always look forward to this thread and report each year. And it’s even BETTER when I know I will be hunting with you guys in a couple of weeks! Can’t wait to get back! Thanks for the updates, pics, and great information. You do a great job on this report and forum! I’m not a big Facebooker, so this is the one I look forward to! I appreciate the time and effort it takes to bring us along on your adventures and season. Keep it up!

That blonde bear is a beauty! Hope a big mature boar in that color is roaming around also!

Can’t wait to escape the concrete jungle, and spend some time out in your neck of the woods. Wishing you, your guides, and all your hunters a happy and successful season. See you in a couple of weeks!

Kind regards,

Scott M

10-May-19
Thanks Scott, see you soon! I'm sure bear camp is a nice, big change from Tokyo!!

10-May-19
That's the same way I measure bears Mike, keep up the good work!

11-May-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Aaron telling the story of his bear hunt.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Aaron telling the story of his bear hunt.
Here’s a peak into our lodge, some half truths have been told around this table!

And thanks rattling junkie! Good luck on your hunts too!!

The measure of a bears hide gets thrown around a lot and it can be done very differently which can greatly affect the numbers, some guys just measure the length tip of the nose to the tip of the tail and still call it the square of a bears hide and others do it to the base of the tail making it 3 to 6 inches shorter and then paws in or out make a difference and if it's skinned for a lifesize mount not going all the way up the neck makes it shorter for width. I always like to clarify exactly what we are measuring, glad to hear you do it the same.

11-May-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Big, Big bear!!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Big, Big bear!!
Now here's a new Jumbo bear, he'll square well over 7 feet no matter how you measure him!

From: hdaman
11-May-19
After a couple of trips that lodge feels like home. The stories and comraderi at that table are fantastic! Good luck everyone!

12-May-19
Well we finished up the week with a new record, one bear killed for five hunters and one minor flesh wound. NOT the record we were were hoping for! And four 300 plus pounders with 19 plus inch heads passed up. At least that's what they looked like on trail camera and on the hunters own cameras and videos from the ground blinds. That's what you sometimes get when you emphasize that's it's a trophy bear hunt and you have repeat hunters trying to top the bears they've killed before with you. Some hindsight regret but everyone still seemed happy with the hunt. They saw about 100+ different bears and all the hunters are rebooking for 2020 or 2021. New guys and gals in tomorrow!

From: Bou'bound
12-May-19
That’s success in anyone’s book.

From: Rob Nye
13-May-19
The jumbos seldom come easy! Often a little luck is required to put em on the ground. Sounds like the hunters had plenty of action and a good hunt overall.

14-May-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
We started off the 2nd week of hunters with a bang! Well, more like the thunk of a couple well placed arrows. More pics to come!!

From: Predator
14-May-19
In for the fun! Love this thread! And congrats on the couple of bears taken thus far. Mike has the big one's for sure! Loved the up-close and on the ground encounters. Look forward to seeing more big ones hit the ground.

From: uteangler
15-May-19
I'm following this! Can't wait for spring of 2020! Good luck Mr. Ukrainetz!

17-May-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Dan Wiegand
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Dan Wiegand
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
300 lbs!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
300 lbs!
Repeat hunter Dan Wiegand took this good bear with us this week. 300 lbs, 6 ft 11 in square hide and 18 11/16 skull. It’s one of those in-between bears, bigger than the usual 4 yr old and smaller than a 5 yr old. A great bear no matter what!

17-May-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Ed Keppler
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Ed Keppler
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
330 lbs
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
330 lbs
And Ed Keppler from Texas took his first animal with a bow! 330 lbs, 19 10/16 head, hide squared 6 ft 8 in, stocky bugger!! Ed has killed a couple big ones with us with a rifle too, two weighing over 400 lbs, 420 and 450.

17-May-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Melon head!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Melon head!
and another big one came in late last night!

From: hdaman
17-May-19
We need to hear more about that last one!

From: Pgribb
18-May-19
I agree with hdaman

18-May-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Joe League
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Joe League
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
320 lbs, big spring weight bear!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
320 lbs, big spring weight bear!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Before picture, with the 36" tall post at work
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Before picture, with the 36" tall post at work
The melon head bear, wide but short snout. 18 12/16, short legs so only squared 6 ft 8 inches and weighed a solid 320 lbs, a great bear which will make a beautiful life size mount.

From: Basinboy
18-May-19
A beauty!

From: T Mac
18-May-19
Beautiful bear congrats to Joe!

From: JL
18-May-19
Nice one.

18-May-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Guide Gerard about to get eaten!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Guide Gerard about to get eaten!
Kind of a funny trail cam pic, looks like the bear is ready to launch!

From: caribou77
18-May-19
Great bears so far. Maybe after the mule deer hunt..... loved having those bears walk in on me during the moose hunt.

19-May-19
caribou77, luke anderson. Yeah that would be great. It's a really fun hunt where you get to watch lots of bears up close. It's the best way to build up a real interest and love for the bears.

20-May-19
We did better this past week with 5 kills for 6 hunters, all with skulls over the Pope and Young minimum of 18 inches and 2 going over 19 inches. The one unsuccessful repeat hunter was looking for a big one. Plus tons of bears seen and lots of laughs. Bear camp is always a great time!

From: midwest
20-May-19
UNREAL!

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