Bearpaw's 18th black bear season was one our best! Cold spring conditions hampered many of our competition in 2004. Whether good luck or good management we had our best numbers in 6 years.
35 Hunters harvested 55 black bears for another 160% plus season. We had 7 missed opportunities which easily would have put us over 180%. We had 1 unsuccessful hunter and he was only able to spend 3 days with us and unfortunately had a missed opportunity.
Now to the good stuff. 10 bonified 7' plus black bears, 18 Pope & Young bears, 34% colored an incredible 6'8" square average. Hunters saw an average of 9 black bears per week. My favorite statistic is 90% of our harvest was boars over 4 years of age. That is an excellent sign of a healthy bear population and a credit to the quality of our hunters.
Our first hunt was very cool, but the action was solid. George Smallwood harvested a 7'4” Boar with a 19"+ skull in the snow. Chuck and Joe Simpson returned with their 4th trip and were rewarded with 3 nice bears.
Our second hunt was the 14th bear trip with Ken Faith and was very good. Ken Farmer took two 7' plus boars, both over 19 ½" with veteran Guy Bruneau. John Wright on his second hunt with Bearpaw took 2 second 7' plus 19" boar. 7 Hunters 11 Bears.
Jim Moses on his 8th hunt with Bearpaw filled the camp. Didier Ardoin took a superb 7'6” 20 4/8” bruin with Guy on a last day vigil. Janet Lange took a 6'3” brown and 6'4” black on her first bear trip.
Our fourth hunt was really exciting as we had three generations of the Nelson Family. Jim and Delana have hunted with us for over 10 years and it was a great experience for everyone. Steve Burgess took a great 7'4”, 20" bear and Charlie Russell harvested another 7'3”, 19" boar with veteran Bowen Dolhan.
Our last hunt (traditionally the rut hunt) saw the bears actively pursuing sows. Steve Gehret took a 7'3”, 20" boar with Kevin Congdon on his first night as well as a 5'8” black. 4 Hunters 8 Bears.
|Jim Nelson Sr.||605-348-5543||Rifle||South Dakota|
|Jim Nelson Jr.||605-348-1076||Archery||South Dakota|
|Tyrell Jacquot||605-348-5543||Archery||South Dakota|
|Eric Stoncipher||605-381-0066||Archery||South Dakota|
|Charlie Russell||605-720-3327||Rifle||South Dakota|
|Al Kraus||605-394-9663||Archery||South Dakota|
|Steve Burgess||605-343-7258||Rifle||South Dakota|