I have an actual kill rate of 85% over the past ten years, with a 98% opportunity rate. Overall
actual kill rate has resulted in 81 hunters tagging a bear with me out of the 94 hunters in the last ten years that I have kept record. Most hunters who did not make a kill either passed on or missed their opportunity. This past year, even with the abundant natural mass food crops and opening season with hound hunters starting 1 week earlier than bait sitters, I had 12 hunters out of 15 who took a bear with over 30 bear passed.
The size of the bears harvested varies from hunter to hunter, but I consider a shooter bear to be around 250 pounds live weight. Each year my hunters take a 300-400 pound dressed bear, but that is not the average size. We have taken bear up to 500 pounds plus. Sightings on trail cameras of bear this size are common each year. Actually killing one isn’t quite as easy, but they are out there.
As I guide, I try to educate my hunters on the realistic chances that they will have, rather than telling them this is a trophy only hunt. I believe any legal bear is a trophy. If the hunter is happy, I am happy. The fact that I hunt in private land settings or small areas of public land that cannot be hunted by hounds allows the population of bear targeted by my hunters to not be over harvested and trophy potential is always present.
My baits are scattered in three counties (Sawyer, Bayfield, and Washburn) and my daily bait route is over 100 miles. This is to help ensure that my hunters are not competing against each other.
The night before the season at 6:00pm, I offer a seminar to go over the hunt in detail, and answer any questions from the hunters. We go over shot placement, shooting hours, hunter safety, wound policy, judging bear and individually, the arrangements and stand locations for the first day’s hunt. This is a great time to get to know the other hunters in camp as well as my guides. I encourage all hunters to attend this gathering.
I have a long list of successful hunters and a short list of unsuccessful hunters upon request.
To assure a safe hunt, I require that all hunters and anyone observing, wear a safety harness. All hunters are also required to stop back at my house or call to check in after each hunt.
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14975W Nelson Lake Road
Hayward, WI 54843