2015 Bear season results

2015 Bear season results

7 DEC 2015

 

Now that the 2015 Maine Fall hunting seasons are all over, I can finally sit down and report how things went. Living at the lodge for 3 months with no internet is awesome but it means I cannot blog. So, when I get home I have a lot of writing and remembering to do. I have to report on Bear season as well as Moose, Upland bird, and Whitetail seasons both rifle and muzzle loader. That's asking a lot of a failing memory :-) So....

Here's how Bear season went...

First thing I want to say is that we had 4 weeks of fantastic people at the Wilderness Lodge. From the first week hunters right to the fourth week Special Operations Wounded Warriors or SOWW ( more on that week below ), Eagle Mountain Guide Service enjoyed the company of some great sportsmen and women. The new friendships made and the return of old ones is my favorite part of Bear camp.

2015 will go down as a "tough" year... Statewide, bear harvest numbers were down. The reason for this was the huge abundance of natural foods. From Choke Cherries & Mountain Ash to the early falling Acorns, Bears had no problem finding food in the woods. Hunters were reporting bears coming to the bait sites and walking right past the bait. They just weren't hungry enough. Because of this also, the bigger Bears were a rare sight. The younger less experienced Bears were the main show of the season. 200 lbs was our biggest Bear.

Based on what I've heard from outfitters around the state, I think we actually did pretty well. We harvested 16 bears this year. Down from last years 25. Almost everyone had an opportunity but because of the fact many Bears were not coming all the way in, many of those opportunities were less than desirable and to their credit, a lot of hunters passed on shooting. Myself and my guides appreciate that...

The upside to a year like this one is that it usually means the next year's, Maine's Bear hunt will be a good one. We don't often get two bumper crop years in a row. Typically the following year will have a serious lack of natural food sources. So book early !

This is the third year we have hosted a Special Operations Wounded Warrior hunt at Downeast Maine's Wilderness Lodge. Eagle Mountain Guide Service is proud to honor these heroes who keep us all safe from those who want to do us harm. Special Ops teams are winning the war on terrorism more than anyone knows due to the lack of fan fare and the secrecy of their missions. We owe them all a debt of gratitude.

This year we hosted 10 Warriors. Navy SEALS, Army Rangers/Green Berets, and Marsoc ( Marine Special ops ) . The gratitude expressed to us from these men is very humbling and more rewarding than I could ever have imagined or even put into words. We will continue to host this event as long as we are in a position to do so. Thank You guys for your service and for a fantastic 6 days.

The picture above:

We started a new tradition at the lodge this year during our Special Operations Wounded Warrior (SOWW) week .
Whenever anyone has a story to tell, whether it is about a bear they killed or saw or anything interesting happened while on stand, they must sit in front of the whole group and wear this bear skin rug while they regale us with their story.
Here, Retired Navy SEAL Ron Bellan call sign Reaper 01, enthralls the group with the story of his kill.
This tradition will continue.... All hunters from all four weeks will be required to wear the rug of glory...