A week at bearcamp

A week at bearcamp

 

18 February 2020

 

 

A WEEK AT BEAR CAMP

 

The 4 weeks of Maine Bear season at the Wilderness lodge is the funnest 4 weeks of the year. Hunters arrive on Sunday afternoon around 2pm. Some are new hunters and some are old friends that have been coming for years.

After the meet and greet, everyone is shown which room they have and the unpacking of the trucks begins. Around the time when everyone is settled in, the lobsters arrive along with some would argue, the best part of the week. My wife our chef and lodge boss, Lisa. Her meals are half the reason I think a lot of people come back year after year.

When everyone is done feasting, all the hunters and guides gather in the great room for the 1st of two informational meetings.

This Sunday night meeting is brief. Hunters draw their bait assignments out of a hat & we make sure everyone has the correct licenses. We also go over the shooting range which everyone has to use the next morning to check that their weapon is dead on. We have a archery range too.

After breakfast Monday morning, we all gather in the great room again and have the 2nd & more informational meeting. Then everyone takes their turn at the shooting range.

After all that, everyone is free to go do whatever they made plans to do during the off hunting hours. We don't head out to the bear stands until 2pm. Many people bring ATV's and hit the trails which happen to go right by the lodge and go for miles. Some grab their fishing gear and head to a nearby pond for some trophy Small mouth & Brook Trout fishing. Others just take a ride through the woods or barrens surrounding the lodge. We try to have a skeet shoot competition some point in the week. There is also coyote hunting to be done.

Before you know it, it's lunchtime. A quick lunch, a shower and on goes the camo. The excitement really starts to build now with the hunters and the guides. Speaking of the guides....

Step back to the end of July. 4 weeks before the first hunters arrive for week 1, the guides start working very hard setting up and readying 45 baits sites covering some 50,000 acres. This includes baiting of course, but there is so much more involved to make each site ready for a hunter. First and foremost we have to get bears coming in. That is accomplished by a rigid baiting schedule. Then we have to lug in tree stands and set them up in the best tree we can find. At some baits we build ground blinds. All the while we're fending off flesh ripping Deer flys that attack like yellow jackets. It seems they're hatch coincides perfectly with the fist day of baiting season. Most of the time we have both hands carrying something like bait buckets, tree stands, pole saws, pruners and all the things needed to cut shooting lanes and walking trails. That means we can't smack the flies when they bite. Each set up is miticulously prepared and each site get a check on the score card as "ready to hunt". We have to know how many left handed shooters we have each week so we can set the stand the proper angle.

Needless to say we guides are very excited when we reach the point when we can walk into a bait, dump a load of of bait at the barrel and then look back at the tree stand and there is finally a hunter sitting in it. Until you follow us around hunters have no idea how much hard work it takes to make a site ready for hunters and confident that it will produce.

Back to Monday... 2pm. All the hunters are geared up and gathered at they're guide's truck. A final good luck to all and we're off.

On the way to the big woods your guide reminds his hunters of the important parts of the briefing. It is our mission to make this the safest,  most exciting and sucessful trip you have ever been on.

When you reach your bait sites, the guide walks you in, takes you right to your stand and makes sure you are all set. He then goes and dumps a bucket of bait at the barrel. He'll look back at the stand and will have a big grin on his face because the tree stand is manned. A last thumbs up and he's off to the next bait site.

Hopefully everyone brought the hand held Marine band radio that was on the suggested "things to bring list", so they can call to their guide if they get a bear or even shoot. All the guides have base radios in their trucks as does the lodge which Lisa monitors while she's cooking another fabulous supper.

At dark, the guides start rounding everyone up. Getting everybody out of the woods is our top priority. If there are bears down or need to be tracked, we pick up everybody first, then go back.

Hopefully the bear is right there near the bait. We load it into the truck and head for the lodge where a great meal will be ready.

We have a tradition that started a few years back during one of SOWW weeks. SOWW stands for: Special Operation Wounded Warrior. Every year we dedicate 4th week of the season to hosting a SOWW hunt.

The tradition is called the skin of Fame. The successful hunter sits in front of everybody in the great room with a tanned bear hide over their head and tells the story of they're hunt.

It is also known as the skin of shame for those who missed their opportunity.

It's great fun and a lot of laughs.

That's a short look at a week of hunting with Eagle Mountain Guide Service. And a stay at Downeast Maine's Wilderness Lodge.

We hope you take a good look at our website and consider hunting with us this year. Everyone arrives as a hunter and leaves as a friend. We've made a lot of friends during our 21 years in business. We'd like to make more...

 

Hope to see you,

Matt

 

Web Site : Eagle Mountain Guide Service

Phone #: 207-537-5282