Friday, July 5, 2013

Bears, Bass and Blueberry Pie

     I decided to begin the process of getting my gear in the woods in preparation for bear baiting to begin in a few weeks.  As an outfitter that year after year produces nice bears for our clients, it doesn't happen by accident.  It takes a lot of planning, preparation and hard work.  Many people the day after Independence Day are doing something other than hanging tree stands, but I decided today would be a good day to begin getting my stands out into the woods, and get a few shooting lanes cleared and bait barrels set out. 
     The area I hunt is what is termed a working forest.  The landowners make their living cutting and selling trees, and I lease hunting areas from these landowners.  Sometimes a logging operations impact my hunting areas and I need to make some adjustments.  I had to move a few bait sites this season due to some ongoing logging operations.  I located some good looking areas a few weeks ago, and went out to set my barrels in place as well as build my ground blinds, clear the shooting lanes and hang tree stands.
     I figure I have about two weeks of work to do before I will be ready for baiting to begin.  Since the temperature is close to 90 degrees during the day time, I will try to do my prep work early in the morning when the temperature is a bit easier to deal with.  A few of my bait sites are quite far off the beaten path, along old logging roads.  This past winter was hard on small trees along roads, bending many trees across the roads.  I will have to cut my way in as much as a mile in a few cases to reach the spots where we will hunt bear in a couple of months.
     What I am trying to produce is an opportunity for a hunter to take a nice bear like this one taken by Jim Balog. 
This is what I would say is a good quality Maine black bear.  Jim has hunted bears a few times, but last season was his first here at Mountain View Drifter Lodge & Outfitters.  The above bear is his largest to date, and he'll be back in the fall of 2014 to hunt again.  We are fortunate to have a great population of black bears, but it takes a lot of attention to detail to get a bear to come to a bait in the fall during day light hours when a hunter is sitting in the area.  It definitely is not easy.
     We have been providing bear hunting opportunities for our clients for over 12 years now, and I believe we just keep getting a little bit better year after year.  If you have never hunted bear over an active bait, you really should put it on your list of things to do.  When a bear comes in through the shadow filled woods, you will be hooked.  It is an amazing experience.
     During the September bear hunt the bass fishing is still very good in the area.  I have had people come a week early just to fish prior to their bear hunting week.  It is that good.  Many of my clients will fish in the morning prior to hunting in the afternoon, or after they fill their bear tag.  A good day on the river will produce dozens of bronze colored bass like this one.
Jason Balog boated quite a few bass on this trip after he tagged his first Maine black bear.  I have just a few weeks left to get everything in order so that my clients can experience world class bear hunting and bass fishing.  One of the things I do not have to worry about is the food that my amazing wife, Nancy, will prepare for our guests. 
     My responsibility lies on in the woods and on the waters, but Nancy's domain is the kitchen, and she does an outstanding job of preparing home cooked meals for our guests.  She makes a fantastic Maine wild blueberry pie that you really owe it to yourself to try.  Here is a typical meal my wife may prepare for you.
I can't wait for bear season to get here to share some of my bears, bass and blueberry pie with you.