Bear Hunt Results

2018 Guided Bear Hunt Results

The 2018 bear season has come and gone. Some new friendships were formed and some old friendships were reestablished. The summer of 2018 was very wet for most of the east coast. However, northern Maine was above the jet stream so the summer of 2018 was fairly dry in the North Maine Woods.

The first week of the season at Northern Hideaway Outfitters found the bait sites active due to the blueberry and raspberry crops coming to an end. Although the sites were active, much of the activity was after dark. The hunters ended the week 5 out of 9, with 8 passed or offered no shot, and 1 missed. The largest bear weighed in week 1 was 394 lbs., taken by Curtis Kenyan.

The second week had 1 large group of 13 guys. Seven of the 13, 18 were passed or offer no shot, and 2 were wounded or missed. Shane Rutt shot the biggest bear in week 2 which weighed in at 276 lbs.

Towards the end of the 2nd week and into the 3rd, the choke cherries became ripe. Some bear switched back to natural food and sows with cubs started to show up at the bait sites. The 3rd week was a bit more of a struggle. The numbers ended up 2 out of 7 harvested, 17 were passed or no shot was taken, and 1 was missed. The largest was shot by Miroslav (Mike) Helanuk at 232 lbs.

The final stats for the 2018 bear season at Northern Hideaway Outfitters were:

  • 14 of 29 hunters tagged a bear
  • 4 bear were wounded or missed
  • 42 bear were passed or offered no shot

One odd fact about this year’s harvest is that 13 of the 14 bear we tagged were male.

Sadie had a good year tracking, Nate was able to help out a couple of weeks this year, Ernie and Kip did an excellent job in the kitchen, and God kept us safe. We may not have taken as many bear as we should have or I would have liked, but I’d have to say we had a good year.

God Bless & Happy Hunting,
Curt Enck & the Crew

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

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

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