Thursday, September 15, 2011

Guiding Bear Hunters With Eagle Mountain

Matt Whitegiver on Left
2011 marked my third hunting season with Eagle Mountain Guide Service. In previous years, I had volunteered my time to learn more about bear hunting, guiding clients and generally how to organize a sporting lodge. This year, however, I was fully on my own guiding clients, tracking wounded bears and ultimately guaranteeing the safety of everyone in my charge. Throughout this endeavor, I consider myself fortunate to have forged a friendship with Eagle Mountain owner/operator and guide Matt Whitegiver, as he was and continues to be an instrumental force in assisting me in becoming a better hunting guide.

Me, Tommy and 221 lb Black Bear
A large part of becoming a master guide is linked to confidence and how one carries themselves around groups of other sportsmen and the skill of maintaining a cool head under pressure and precise understanding what needs to be done in difficult situations. For guides like Matt, these skills have been finely honed through years of experiences in Maine’s woods and on its waters. For others, like myself, I have found that practice makes perfect and that becoming a great guide is ultimately about investing time guiding clients and finding a good mentor, willing to invest their time in teaching you the correct way to do things and who is not afraid to take a chance on you and be patient when you make mistakes. Throughout this learning process, I have gained considerable confidence and ultimately much more about bear hunting then would have ever been possible from any other means.

Here are a few things I learned about BEARS from this Bear Hunting season:

1.    Bears will not tolerate strange smells at a bait site
2.    Bears will tolerate strange smells at a bait site
3.    Bears LOVE strange food smells at the bait site and will run in to investigate
4.    Bears will come back to a bait site where another bear was shot
5.    Bears won’t come back to a bait site where another bear was shot
6.    Bears fear wind and heavy rain
7.    Bears love wind and heavy rain
8.    Bears still moving after shot should be shot again . . . repeat as often as necessary until bear stops moving.
9.    Bear ribs when slow cooked are freaking delicious
10.     Bears are fantastic animals to hunt. Just when you think you have them figured out they surprise you again and again. No matter what you know OR think you know about bears, sometimes when the chips are down, you just need to throw a hail Mary pass and pull a new set of tricks out of your pocket to have any chance at tagging a massive bruin!


  1. Are you hunting at Matt's camp this weekend? Your cousin Pat and I will be at Kim's this Sunday..stop will be almost in the neighborhood.

  2. PBM, HA! That is still quite a trip up the stud mill road! Perhaps we can all connect on Veterans day weekend!

  3. I see your packing a sidearm. Mind if I ask what caliber? and I assume it is a backup in case something goes amiss.

    Also, would love to get a post dedicated to shotgun deer hunting.

  4. Anon,

    My sidearm is a 9mm with a 15 round clip. It is NOT what I would recommend for potential tangles with wounded bear BUT it is what I had kicking around in my closet. I figure if after 14 rounds the charging wounded bear doesn't die, I will reserve the last round for myself. THE gun to have in this situation is a .357 or better still a 44 magnum in a wheel gun.

    Shotgun? This is Maine. We don't shoot deer with shotguns, we get to use rifles. Where you from Massachusetts? LOL!

    1. Hey Steve, watch the comments about Mass people... I heard there crazy!

      Keep shooting bro.... best advise to a bear hunter.

  5. Hey Steve, this is Rob the crazy guy from Mass that isn't anonymous this time.

    1. Hey Rob! HA! Yes, you may no longer be anonymous BUT you will always be crazy! Look forward to doing some STRIPPER fishing this summer! No, that is not a typo. LOL!

    2. You got it Steve, I hope you can make the trip down and mother nature is good to us with light or no wind.


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