Editor Note: Subscriber Debra Sieloff filed the following report on an Indian reservation bear hunt in Arizona that we first reported on two years ago. As an Email Extra subscriber, you got a sneak peak at her report and photo last month when Sieloff sent us word that she had killed her third trophy bear with the outfitter we featured. Here's the full story.
My 80-plus-year-old father and I have hunted Ontario (near his Michigan home) for fall black bear for years, with moderate success. We could usually expect 200-pound solid blacks. It's always hard to judge size on bears, but our guides always said, "When the really big one comes in, you'll know it. It'll be like the VW bus just arrived." I wanted a big bear and, as a result, I'd hunted the past several years without success. I was waiting on the bus to show up. The saying goes: You can't shoot a big one if you're shooting little ones.
Then, a friend at work showed me a copy of the August 2010 issue of The Hunting Report
, with a cover story (Article ID 2489
) on B&C bears in Arizona
, including big color-phase bears, on the White Mountain Apache Reservation. The article gave the names and contact information for all the outfitters guiding for bears there and some useful background on the hunt, including that the reservation has no-draw bear tags.
I contacted outfitter Mike Mell of Ram Riders Guide and Outfitters, who was featured in the story. Mell is a licensed guide with exclusive access to 300,000 acres of the multi-million-acre reservation.....