This is a diverse block of land that stretches from the Washington State line in the south to the town of Lillooet on the north end. The area is a series of towering mountain peaks, slopes and valley bottoms where road access is good. Stephenson says the bear hunting here is similar to Vancouver Island. He starts hunting in early May when the bears are hitting the fresh shoots of grass and clover coming up with the warm weather. Stephenson says that bears are very distracted at this time of the year, focusing their majority of their attention on feeding. That makes them great to hunt with a bow or rifle using spot-and-stalk methods. "It's also a lot more exciting than hunting from a stand over baits," he says.
Stephenson says these hunts can be as physically intensive as the hunter wants. Some clients prefer to spend time driving from spot to spot and others prefer to do more walking. Access is by ATV or truck. Hunters typically hike up to a vantage point and glass for bears feeding in the open.
As for trophy quality, Stephenson says the area holds some outstanding genetics, and that the previous outfitter, Leo Ouelette, put a number of big boars in the SCI record book. Last year was Stephenson's first season in the concession, and he reports his clients took 12 bears measuring six and seven feet. Several of them had 19-inch skulls. (The SCI minimum is 18 inches.) Only one of his hunters did not kill a bear, and that was a bowhunter who only hunted two days.