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Hunting Black Bear? Go Native

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Animal rights groups have altered traditional spring and fall hunting seasons in numerous states. Indian reservations, however, offer great hunts in natural environments with historical season structures. For example, Jere Neff and his son Carson (above) booked a fall bear hunt for opening day (August 21) with George Sabattus of Huntley Brook Guide Service in Maine. Sabattus leases land from a local Indian tribe, which gives him greater latitude with season regulations. What’s a fall bear hunt like? Here’s how Jere describes his recent hunt of the bear shown below:

O“This was Carson’s first baited bear hunt and it lasted about 3 hours when his bear came in to a bait around 5:40 that first night. While he was getting it done I was watching my bear come in and back out from the bait barrel like six times.  I didn’t see a bear in 2012 and was undecided about taking this small bear on the first night, but then my phone started to vibrate  and I was sure it was Carson texting me that he shot.  I couldn’t look at my phone because a bear was 18 yards away. I decided that a small bear harvested with my bow would be a fine first bear trophy. So, I shot the bear with my Hoyt bow,  got complete penetration, and heard it crash 30 yards away. At 5:50 I read Carson’s text (Just shot one) my reply (Me to). In 10 minutes or less both father and son had connected on their first bears… and that was so cool.”

The Quinault Indian Reservation along the Pacific Coast of Washington offers excellent bear hunting as well; look for a qualified guide like Letty Potter, with her 20 years of experience, to lead the way. In most cases, animals harvested on Indian Reservations do not count against state limits, sometimes allowing two hunts with one set of travel expenses.