spring 1998 season was as good as it gets. Dry, warm spring weather enabled
us to get our baits into some previously unhunted areas which paid big
success was 160%; 46 hunters harvested 77 bears. Two unsuccessful hunters;
Tom Dremel and Tom Cirucci failed to connect on their 1998 hunt. Sightings
were up slightly to 7.3 bears per week per man. Color remained constant
at approximately 33%. The average bear taken was 6'2", 235 lbs.
We exceeded our average on large bears; traditionally 1 per week over
7'; this year almost 2 (1.74).
We operated 57 baits in 1998 over a huge area approximately 5000 square miles, thus enabling us to take mature bears most of which were 5 years or older. Some ancient bears were harvested; 7 are estimated at over 15 years old. Light hunting pressure, large area and the finest guides in the business have allowed us to maintain these exceptional numbers. Our 5 year average is 154%.
HIGHLIGHTS IN 1998
Rick Beaman of Wills Point, Texas enjoyed a relaxing golf and hunting vacation in the Peace Country, taking a 6'10" bear as well as a few birdies home. Second time hunter, Bruce Robel took a 7'8", 400 lb + brown bear with rookie guide Kevin Congdon. George McManus joined the Ken Faith group on their annual bear hunt, taking a superb 7'5", 20 inch skull bear on Ben Kunstleben's swamp bait.
The third hunt saw Dave Newcomb take a once in a lifetime bear at 7'10", 450 lb +, 20 5/8" skull. Also on this hunt, Desmond Clapp took a 7', 375 lb, 19 4/8" skull and David Andrus took a 7'7", 450 lb monster all off of Guy Bruneau's remote Cadotte River baits.
Archery hunters, Jerry Laton harvested a 7'5", 400 lb, 20" skull and Larry Osman harvested a 7'2", 19 4/8" skull bear; Bearpaw's 45 and 46 Pope and Young Bears in the last 5 years on the 5th hunt (1 st week of June).
Our last hunt was exciting as the full camp was Father and Son teams. Mark and Dan Minium, 3 out of 4 bears, Rick and Scott Fortenbaugh, 3 out of 4 bears, and Dave, Justin, and Jared McClure, 4 out of 6 bears, rounded out our excellent season.
Many thanks to our excellent staff in 1998; 8 year veteran Guy Bruneau, 1st year guides Kevin Congdon and Chris Gilbert, 3rd year with Bearpaw Mike and Gordon White, 6 years with Bearpaw Ben Kunstleben and also Shelley Duperron.
OUTLOOK FOR 1999
At the time of writing, we are 60% full for Spring of 1999 as a good percentage of clients rebooked for next spring. We are experimenting with some new areas this fall to insure more quality bears in 1999.