Two First-Hand Reports On Black Bear Hunts


Published: November - 1999

Maine may not be the place to find a record book black bear, but it sure is a good place to go on an inexpensive, high-success, guided hunt for this species. For starters, nonresident bear hunting licenses are available here over the counter for only $100 ($85 for a big game license and $15 for a bear tag). Add to that the fact that you can hunt with any weapon during Maine's four-week-long fall bear season. Then consider costs. There are bear outfitters in this state who will provide cabin accommodations and access to thousands of acres of remote wilderness for only $800 a week. We are indebted to subscribers Joe Faulk and John Conti for bringing all this to our attention in recent Hunt Reports. Here's a look at what they had to say in their reports, plus some information we dug up ourselves by making a few follow-up phone calls.

Joe Faulk Report: Joe Faulk hunted his bear in southeastern Maine near the Maine/New Brunswick border with Dave Tobey Guide and Outfitter. Tobey's base of operation is in remote Grand Lake Stream, a tiny village with a population of 150 about 120 miles northeast of Bangor. The town is located at the end of a 10-mile road heading west from US Highway 1 and lies at the very south end of West Grand Lake. It is surrounded by thick woods crisscrossed by gravel lumber roads. Tobey has access to over 1,000 square miles of corporate-owned timberland, and after 20 years of running bear hunts here, he has established a number of stand and bait locations that regularly produce bears for his customers. This year, 23 of Tobey's 32 hunters killed bears averaging 225 pounds in weight and six feet in length. The largest bruin taken this season came in at 420 pounds. While Faulk was in camp, he says 10 hunters took nine bears weighing from 190 to 310 pounds. The tenth hunter missed on two opportunities at three different stands. Faulk himself killed a 240-pound bear measuring nearly six feet on the second day of his hunt.

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