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Most hunters believe that black bear hunts fall into three categories: over bait, over hounds, and overly difficult. Spot-and-stalk methods tend to have low success rates and aren’t very common as a result. However, many hunters believe that it is the only fair way to hunt big game. If that’s how you feel, then this is the outfitter of your dreams: during the last two years, their spring spot-and-stalk hunts have had 100% success rates!
Normally, five days would seem like too little time for any bear hunt, let alone one without bait or hounds. You will find a very different situation here, though.
These black bear hunts take place in British Columbia, home of more than 25% of the Canadian bear population.The area is packed with bruins.
To sweeten the pot even further, these outfitters have access to more than 1000 square miles of very lightly hunted territory and work hard to keep it that way. They regularly rotate the locations they hunt to give each spot time to recover and produce more record-book trophies. They also keep their hunts limited to four shooters at a time.
What does all this mean for you? Big bears … and loads of them!
Most hunters with this outfitter see at least eight bears on a single day of hunting. Some encounter as many as 60 before their five days are up! In fact, over the last two years, not only have hunters with this outfitter had 100% success rates on their first tag, they’ve had 100% opportunity rates with their second as well!
If you do want to go for two bears, the standard practice is to take the first with a firearm and the second with bow and arrow.
Many of these bears are trophy-worthy, weighing in at 300 pounds on the lighter end and 500 in the heavyweight division. They average 70”–82” (six to seven feet)from tip to tail.
The bears have more than just size to give them high value as trophies. A large percentage of these bears show up in color phases, running the full gamut from black to blond. They also have high-quality hides that are rarely rubbed.
If you fill both of your bear tags with time to spare, you will have plenty of other options at your disposal. Packs of wolves prowl through these woods. Adding wolf to your hunt doesn’t cost much, so you should certainly consider it. The local streams offer some great fishing, too.
If adding more animals to your hunt sounds too expensive, consider shooting with a camera instead. Wildlife viewing opportunities abound. On top of the wolves and black bears, you can also find impressive grizzlies and moose out here, and the wilderness itself can offer some beautiful shots.
Getting to the camp takes a bit of time. First, you need to fly to Vancouver, and from there to Prince George, BC’s largest city.Leave plenty of time in your schedule for making your way through customs—two hours at an absolute minimum.
You should also plan to stay in Prince George the night before and the night after your hunt ends. That way, you don’t have to worry about getting all the way from the airport to the field (and vice-versa) in one day.
The outfitter will meet you in Prince George on the first day of your hunt and take you on a six-hour drive to the camp. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about regulations preventing you from hunting on the same day you arrive. You can get out in the woods and even take your first bear before night falls.
You’ll stay comfortable during your nights in camp. The wall tents will keep you out of the wind and rain, and woodstoves will keep you warm. You’ll also be right on the edge of a lake. Where better to spend your vacation than on a waterfront?
A five-day, one-bear hunt costs $3,200. You can add a second bear for an additional $1,000. Adding wolf is little more than an afterthought—it only adds $50 to the price.
The price covers 2×1 guided spot-and-stalk hunts with 4×4 vehicles for getting around, plus your accommodations in the comfortable wall tent camp. Meals during the hunt, the trophy fees for your first bear and any other packaged animals, field preparation of the trophy, and pick-up and drop-off services in Prince George, British Columbia are also included.
The outfitter strongly recommends using a .300 magnum or similar with bullets weighing in at 170 to 200 grains. You may well have to take your shot at 300 yards, so accuracy matters more than anything else. Good optics certainly won’t hurt at these ranges.
Bring layers of camo. Bears have excellent vision, making the camo critical. You can also expect chilly temperatures on these spring black bear hunts: temperatures can drop below freezing in April, and even in June, you can expect to see plenty of mornings in the forties and fifties. It can still get quite warm in the afternoon, though, so being able to remove layers is important.
Licenses, tags, permits, taxes, fees for non-resident hunters (such as the Hunting Preservation Fund), trophy/meat processing, shipping, and taxidermy, trophy fees for non-packaged animals, alcoholic beverages, and gratuitiesare not included in the price. Fly-in backpack hunts may be available for an extra fee.You are responsible for your own meals and accommodations before and after the hunt, travel insurance, andflights.
These are some of the best black bear hunts around. If you want to harvest a record-book bear using spot-and-stalk techniques, you couldn’t pick a better outfitter.