The is certainly is no shortage of black bear outfitters to choose from due to the popularity of black bear hunting. For this reason it’s most important that you do your homework if you expect a bear hunt to remember for all the right reasons.
It’s your hard earned money so take your time and know what you should be asking because you can be sure that not all outfitters are equal. Know what to expect from the hunting adventure you order.
Here is a list that should answer some important questions that you may not think of when planning a black bear hunt. Be sure you study it and I wish you the best hunt of your life.
How many hunters per guide and how many non-hunters are allowed?
How many persons per room? AND get pictures of the accommodations or at least a good description.
I like to know what the outfitter is going to be feeding during my trip. I have one special place that feeds me lobster and steak, that along with a great hunting experience brings me back.
Bear hunting can be a dirty job. Be sure you know if there is a laundry facilities.
Know the arrival and departure times along with the location of pickup. It might be at the airport or you may need to rent a vehicle to get there. Don’t leave it until the last minute to work out these details.
How many un-hunted active black bear bait sites are there per hunter? If I don’t like the site I am on can I change locations?
Get a good description of their tree stand set up and bait sites although pictures would be better.
Do they provide transportation to and from the bait sites?
What are the hunting departure and pick-up times and how long after dark is the last hunter picked up?
For us early birds is there a morning black bear hunt offered?
Will the outfitter be on the premises all week?
Is the outfitter accommodations licensed?
How many hunters per guide and per vehicle on departure to the site?
If I harvest my black bear early in the week what type of recreation are available? (ie: fishing, other hunts, near by towns or cities, etc…)
What type of practice range do you offer for both bow & rifle?
If my weapon malfunctions, is there a local archery or rifle shop near by?
Once I have harvested my black bear, where will it be registered?
Who will skin and cut the meat?
Is there a freezer on site?
Is there a local taxidermist and do they provide a price list?
References from both successful & non-successful black bear hunters?
Are there any additional fees?
All of the above questions take time to be answered, but the right black bear outfitter should be glad to supply you with any or all of those answers. Once you have found an outfitter you feel happy and comfortable with, it is time to start preparing for your black bear hunting trip.
What You Can Do To Better Prepare For Your Black Bear Hunting Adventure
You want to be as prepared as you can be so you don’t have any negative surprises on your bear hunt. Be sure to have the outfitter send you a list of important things to take along for your weeks stay. Here are a few examples of items that I believe have made for better hunting experiences over the years:
Passport and proper identification for border officials. I was turned back home one year because I didn’t have my papers in order and it bummed me out for about a year.
Bug Suit (if hunting during bug season) It’s always better to have it with you that wish you did.
Two-way Radios are a great safety feature.
Weather can change in just minutes so it’s best to bring clothes for all weather conditions (hot, cold, rain, etc…)
Snack food items and garbage bags
Camera – A picture is worth a thousand words and are much better to share than just your success story alone.
Compact foldable soft weapon cases
Cooler & Meat Bags
Knife & Tool Kit
Non-scented soaps, shampoos, etc…
There is one final very important note to mention. Have your outfitter send you a non-resident firearm declaration for you to prepare in advance. They take about 20 minutes to fill out at home, but will save you time with custom and border officials. Remember that all rifles will need to be removed from their respected cases, so don’t have them buried under your luggage and hunting gear.