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Maine Bear Hunting

2016 Guided Bear Hunt Results

The 2016 season had many challenges and highs and lows. The 2016 summer in Maine was dryer than normal, which in turn meant less natural food than normal. Heading into the season things were looking good, except for one thing, all the activity was in the dark. As the season approached, I tried a few tricks that seemed to work.

During the 1st week of the season we had very warm temps. Four bear were harvested, 2 were wounded, 2 were missed, and 18 were passed or no shot. The van broke a spring shackle, which can be a difficult bush fix, and the truck blew a power steering hose.

The 2nd week also brought warm temps early but, temps were cooler at the end of the week. Four bear were harvested, 1 wounded, and 11 passed or no shot.

Last winter I decided I wasn’t going to sell the 3rd week due to the number of hunter during the season and also an unfavorable moon phase. Two of my sons, Ben and Jesse, came up for a visit along with some brother in laws and nephews. A good time was had hanging out and a little hunting was done on some used sites. My nephew, Josh, took a nice dry sow and they all headed home Thursday morning.

The 4th week was mostly a group of fathers and sons. Us old guys were very happy for the 6 17-19 year boys when it came time to drag a bear that weighed 428 lbs. Nine bear were harvested that week, 1 was wounded, and 18 were passed or offered no shot.

The Stats for this season were

  • 35 Hunters
  • 18 Harvested
  • 4 Wounded
  • 3 Missed
  • 47 Passed or no shot

Going into the season I was expecting a higher harvest percentage but, the experience is about more than just killing. We had a lot of fun, made memories and friendships; some of which will last a lifetime.

The lowest part of the season, and maybe my guiding career, was the loss of Cody. Three weeks before the start of the season, Cody consumed something poisonous. He spent a few days in the animal hospital in Fort Kent due to kidney failure. They did all they could but, it became apparent it was too late and we had to put him down. Those that know me know that Cody was a member of our family, my hunting buddy, and probably my best friend. You are missed buddy.

God Bless & Happy Hunting,
Curt Enck

www.northernhideawayoutfitters.com


2015 Guided Bear Hunt Results

People ask me all the time, “Is it a guaranteed hunt?”. My response is that this is a real hunt, not a “pen” hunt. We are hunting a wild animal in big woods and they can do whatever they want. The only guarantee I will make is that at the end of the week you will say that “He didn’t lie to me and they did everything they could to make the hunt a success”.

Well that said, 2015 was a very tough year for us. There is no way to sugar coat it. We only hunted the first 2 weeks, had 22 hunters, and harvested 6 bear. No, that is not good and not what I am use to.

Natural food was our nemesis this year. The weather in northern Maine this summer brought rain and sunshine almost every day which provided perfect growing conditions. We just could not compete with the abundance of natural food. We had some wounded, some passes, and I’m sure there were some hunter errors. However, the hunters are not to blame for the low numbers. They kept a positive attitude, hunted hard, and did their best. The good thing for me was that it was a statewide issue, not just an issue with us. I guess some years it is just not meant to be.

Just because the hunting was poor this year, doesn’t mean the season was a complete waste. Old friendships were renewed and new friendships were formed, which I value greatly. Now we start planning for the 2016 season. I am confident that during the 2016 season the hunting will be back to normal and harvest numbers will be back to what we have become accustom to.

Please keep in touch when possible and let me know how your local hunting season goes. I like to see pictures and hear stories of your successes.

God Bless & Happy Hunting,
Curt Enck

www.northernhideawayoutfitters.com


2014 Guided Bear Hunt Results

Hunters and friends have been anxious to hear how the 2014 bear season went. Conditions in northern Maine were dry this year and most of the berries were gone by the start of the season. I had a goal of harvesting 25 bears during the three weeks we would be hunting.

The first week of the season brought temps of 90 degrees with 20 mph winds out of the south. It was a strange sight to see many of the hunters swimming in the river before going out to hunt. The temps may have been hunt, but the hunting was, too. Eleven people hunted the first week and we put 9 bear in the freezer including a 376 lb. boar taken with a bow by Jason Payne.

We were over booked the second week with 14 hunters. The camp and trucks were full and the weather was great. The week ended with the hunters tagging 9 bear, with the largest taken by Jeff Bomgardner, weighing in at 276 lb.

The third week was strange. The hunters had a full moon, rain and falling temps to deal with. At the end of the week we were 4 out of 7, with the heaviest weighing 303 lb., taken by Larry Botto.

Even though we did not reach my original goal of 25 bear, I would have to say it was a successful season. We had 32 hunters put a tag on 22 bear. We also had more than 30 passed, 2 misses, and 4 wounded. The fishing was very good the whole season with Nate and the hunters catching more than 30 Muskie. The roads were in good condition this year and we only had 2 flat tires in 8 weeks.

Everywhere I go, people have been asking me about the bear referendum and what my opinion is concerning the outcome. I really don’t know what to say. At this point I would have to say it is a coin toss. On November 4th, the good people of Maine will cast their votes and hopefully common sense will prevail.

Thank you to all who hunted with us this year and in years past. Hopefully 2014 was not the last year for a bear hunt in Maine and, God willing, we can hunt together again.

God Bless & Happy Hunting,
Curt Enck

www.northernhideawayoutfitters.com


2013 Guided Bear Hunt Results

As the end of July rolled around and the baiting season was about to begin, my feelings were that it was going to be a difficult year due to the amount of natural food available. Thru July and midway thru August it rained almost every day and I was getting very tired of living in raingear. The baits started slow due to the constant rain and the abundance of natural food, but eventually the weather changed and so did the site activity. At the end of the season our sightings and opportunities were down this year but our percentage of kills wasn't as low as I had feared.

The 1st week of the season we had 12 hunters who harvested 7 bear. The largest of the week was taken by Bill Harris, a boar weighing 194 dressed. Some hunters were disappointed they didn't have more sightings and at least 1 hunter wished he hadn't passed up a decent bear early in the week.

The 2nd week of the season brought heavy rain and wind on Monday making hunting a waste of time. I took 5 hunters out because they were excited and they figured they had a better chance to shoot something sitting on stand rather than sitting in the lodge. The rain moved out for Tuesday but the windy conditions remained most of the week. Going into Friday night's hunt we only had 2 bear in the freezer out of 10 hunters but they kept their heads up and hunted hard all week which resulted in us harvesting 4 more Friday evening. The largest of the week was a sow weighing 224 dressed taken by Doug Burras.

The 3rd week brought different challenges as we had a new cook, a new guide, and cell texting wasn't working which drastically cut down communication with civilization. Also, as I was wearing out, so were the trucks. The list of vehicle problems had grown quite large and we were out of tires. The weather improved and the berry crops were dried up. The hunters ended up 7 out of 10 for the week with the largest being taken by Devyn Laser, a boar weighing 266.

The downside to the 2013 season we had 5 people this year that didn't see a "shootable" bear while on stand. Also, my tire bill was very high this year with 14 flats and 8 of those tires damaged beyond repair, but overall, the season wasn't too bad. We had 32 hunters take home 20 bear, which comes out to about 63%. I lost count of the sightings and passes but we had 3 clean misses and with the help of Cody, we recovered every wounded bear. Muskie fishing was spotty and slow most of the summer but it heated up in time for the start of bear season. The largest of the season was 44" caught by Rick Packer and Dan Martin landed the most with 8.

Bookings for the 2014 season have been very good and with a possible bear referendum coming next fall, I'm sure we will be sold out early. We will be having a slight price increase starting in November so if you're thinking of booking for 2014…don't wait too long.

God Bless & Happy Hunting,
Curt Enck

www.northernhideawayoutfitters.com


2012 Guided Bear Hunt Results

Well, the 2012 bear season has come to an end. The season had highs and lows. With the dry summer, bear activity at the stands and around camp was very good. During the first week of the season we had 4 hunters, 2 women and 2 men. The girls both scored with their first ever bear and Nate was able to film both of the hunts. Both men had opportunity, but neither released an arrow.

The second week of the season we had a group of 10 guys. We had some challenges making killing shots, however the week ended well with 9 of the 10 tagging a bear.

The third week we only had 3 hunters. As the weather changed, so did the activity at the stands. They were able to kill 1, wound 1 and miss 2.

Totals for 2012: 17 Hunters

  • 12 Bear killed
  • 6 Bear missed
  • 4 Bear wounded
  • 63 Bear seen on stand

Some of the highs of the season would be that everyone saw a bear they could shoot while on stand and there were no cubs or wet sows killed. Also, Nate and his girlfriend, Lina, got engaged on Saturday night before the season opened.

Some of the lows of the season would be 2 blown tires and 1 spare opening night, the number of wounded and missed bears, and Cody getting too close to a wounded bear. Cody got bit a few times, scratched, and lost a tooth. But don’t worry; he is ok and hopefully a little wiser.

We’ve already begun making plans for the 2013 season and so should you. Start making your plans now to hunt with us in 2013. Give me a call (717-575-0990) or send me an email curtenck@aol.com to book your hunt. Also, like us on Facebook and don't forget to check the website for updated pictures

Please keep in touch and keep me informed about your hunting season. God bless and happy hunting,
Curt Enck