SPRING BLACK BEAR
Travel. Discover. Learn. Hunt.
My guides and I have been running black bear hunts here in northern Alberta since 2009 and have been practicing proper bear management for the last ten years. With nearly 60 bear baits in our main camp area we were quite content to keep what we had developed and manage the herd for big bears. But in the summer of 2018, I flew into a new bear area to the south west of me. Nearly 40 air miles into the complete unhunted wilderness of the Buffalo Head Hills and one of the largest bear zones in the province. After spending some time in the air flying over the country and then spending some time on the ground it became quite apparent that I could not leave this area alone!
The bear habitat is the best I have ever seen, and with it never ever having seen any bear hunting pressure before, it really had me firing on all cylinders! An ice road went into the area last winter so we proceeded to mix and haul in approximately 25,000 lbs of bait and 22 tree stands, trail cameras, salt and as much heavy items as we could think of. Then in mid April we strategically placed over 20 bait sites and hung cameras, but I was not ready for what happened next.
Usually new baits take a while to establish and I am generally content to have 3-5 bears on a bait the first year. But this area was CRAWLING with bears! Most baits held 6-10 bears and some over 15 bears, on brand new baits within three short weeks.
With our season being cut short due to massive forest fires evacuating us from our camp for the last portion of the season, we still managed to shoot 14 boars (not a single sow was taken) and averaged a really good 18 ¾ inches on skull size. Our largest bear squared 7’5” and the heaviest was (to my surprise) just shy of 400 lbs. I am a firm believer that this area will consistently produce B&C bears. With proper management and a gargantuan area to pull bears from I am confident we can continue to harvest many large boars for years to come.
The camp is vacant from April to late August as the oil industry here can only operate on winter roads to get to their oil leases. So that means we have the entire area to ourselves, undisturbed for the entirety of the spring bear season. I saw a whopping total of one oil worker in the area doing a check up, other then that it was quiet.
The camp itself that I have leased is large and has more rooms then we can use. Its completely functional with every hunter getting his/her own room. There are multiple bathrooms and showers, unlimited WIFI, cell coverage courtesy of a large cell booster tower, a full industrial kitchen, large BBQ unit, man cave with multiple sofas, a big screen TV and all your favorite channels. And the best part is some of the bear baits are a five-minute quad ride from camp.
We killed a 19” boar from the porch that was coming into the smell of a BBQ’d steaks and fried onions, we killed a nearly 20” boar a short walk from camp one morning before breakfast. Honestly, I have not had this much fun bear hunting since I was 20 years old.
The charter flight to camp is 30 minutes long with a Cessna 206 and I will be flying support and gear with my Cessna 180. There is quad access to this area, but we will be flying our hunters in whenever possible.
I will also have the main camp at La Crete open and functioning with a good portion of those established baits available to hunt should we for some unforeseeable circumstance need to transfer out of that camp for forest fire reasons or some other reason. (Hunts at the main camp in La Crete go for $5500)
These bear hunts are available for $6500 per person and that INCLUDES your charter flight to camp.
$6500 for the hunt,$300 for your two bear tags, bowhunting permit and wolf coyote license and general hunting license, plus $340 in tax makes for an ALL IN cost of $7140 USD
You will have the opportunity to shoot a second bear for a $1200 trophy fee should you choose to do so.
To get here you can fly into Edmonton Alberta, then connect to High Level on Central Mountain Air or Northwestern Air. In most cases you will get right onto the charter plane in High Level and fly to camp from the High Level airport. In any case we will meet you in the High Level airport when you arrive.
The other option is to drive to La Crete (the home base) and I’ll have the charter plane pick us up from there. It is a 7 hour drive to La Crete from the Edmonton airport; for most people… Some lead foot Texans do it in a fair bit less! Take Highway 44 north to Slave Lake and then onto Highway 88 to La Crete. Its all asphalt, good quality roads right to La Crete.