Jeannine's meals were excellent and cabin clean and comfortable, however Ron was the only guide in camp and wasn't ready for the four hunters that week. Three of the five evenings all hunters were put on stands with winds blowing over the baits and game trails leading to the baits. By Ron's own admission this was detrimental to bear hunting. He told us he didn't have stands up at baits that wind would have been proper for. We were placed in stands with proper wind directions on two occasions, once when poor weather moved in and the second time 2 hours after he had put up the stands. On three evenings my bait hadn't been hit for a few days. Twice i sat in stands that were very noisy from any wind or movement. The Wednesday before i arrived, Ron had told us which stands our group would be hunting, however upon arrival we learned a tv film crew would be using those stands the next week. Ron kept telling us that we were his priority but his actions didn't reflect that as he spend considerable time preparing for the next week's group. During the five days, i saw no bears. The morning that i left, Ron had two additional guides in camp preparing for the next week's group. Numerous things were told to us before and during the hunt that were total BS that never happened. In-closing Ron wasn't properly staffed or ready and he knew it, which limited our chances for success. Ron's a talker and very good at telling you what you want to hear(BEWARE).
Was the outfitter notified of problems? - YES
We're glad, that we have a chance to respond to these reviews, and appreciate the chance to rebut things we may not agree with. Roger and the other members of his party were fine people who we'd welcome back in our camp any time. Out of the over 780 hunters I've guided since 1985, Roger is the only one I ever sent home without the opportunity to shoot a bear. This I suppose, the blame falls on my shoulders alone, but not all. While Roger claims I was putting hunters in stands when winds did not dictate I should be putting them there, he failed to say, and I remember that evening, that both his brothers shot bears that same night. AS for the weather, I suppose the unseasonal freezing cold and blistering winds and rain we experienced that week, which he does mention the wind, then he claims weather did not affect the hunt, JUST was an oversight, on his part. The morning I drove though the back window of the truck, because of frozen brakes on the ATV, while getting prepared to go look for a wounded bear his brother shot, because the whole province froze solid the previous night, was neglected to be mentioned. Also, it was Roger's brother who asked me why I did not seem upset with what I had just done. I explained to him "You boys traveled a long ways and paid good money, and I'm not going to ruin your hunt with me blowing a gasket over just an ACCIDENT, and besides, they make those windows every day.....I'm gong to go buy one!" Bear movement was spotty and unpredictable that week, and this was the second time I've ever experienced that. They'd slam the bait one evening and not the next. I was "snake bit", not Roger, in trying to put him on a bear in the conditions we had. He says, he sat on the same bait for 3 days. I've never done that in my career. If he refers to sitting on baits the bears are hitting every second day, then what was wrong with hunting it the other second day? That's usually the killing day in my experience. It worked for his brothers.
Roger has a few issues that made guiding him a challenge: (1) Roger is a little larger than most and my steel ladder stands are only rated for 300 lbs. So I was limited to where I could put him. Most of my stands are the same steel ladder stands all my hunters sit in. (2) With him having recently had a back operation, I could not take him to stands that would accommidate a guest of his size, on top of his medical conditions, because of the bumpy ride into the forest. One day we did go to the "Trap Line" and he mentioned to me the fact that he was having to go back to his surgeon because his back issues were coming back. There's not a quality outfitter around that would risk a guests health just for a bear.. Whether we took the Agro or ATV, that area was not going to happen that week, for him or the other guest from Saskatchewan. Long before, the hunt, Roger's brother contacted me about Roger perhaps cancelling because of his back. I assured him, I'd make sure we did not hurt it any further. Looks like I'm paying for that desision now. (3) Roger has problems with closed in places, so I was limited there. My pop up ground blinds were out of the question for sure. And closed in bait sites, I never took him to either. Usually I can work around anything and have, but all the issues I've mentioned so far, stacked up against us. AS for a tv crew coming the following week, I fail to see how that had anything to do with his hunt or anyone's that week. I had mentioned I was not ready for the "tv" group, as, I had them slated to hunt my 7 baits on the lake, and though baited, I'd yet to stand up my ladderstands for THEM only, as the ice had just gone out 3 days before we started hunting. With 4 guests in camp, I could not run on the lake then jump in my truck and drive 40 miles to pick up guests in the middle of the night. That's just not acceptable. The TV film crew NEVER hunted the same bait sites as the Bachmier group ever. THAT I can prove. I hunt 2 different numbered zones and my bear tags are area specific. Breaking the law will not happen in our camp. So we stuck to where I felt their best chances would be. That's what I get paid for. I had considered the Bachmier group to hunt the lake baits, but Roger's back issues dictated that we not, as our lake will blow up on occasion and be too hard on his back.. Besides, the lake has 7 baits sites and my other areas have over 30 to choose from. I fail to see how more choices to hunt, is a bad thing. Yes, I did have 2 guides show up to prepare for the upcoming week's hunters, AND let it be known, THOSE guests shot great bears on the very baits the Bachmier group hunted. Roger, with his issues could not have hunted a couple of those either.. While I will not close my response in anger like Roger did, if I knew of the "bs" he speaks of, I'd gladly respond. I understand his disapointment in not harvesting a bear, and suppose this is disappointment talking not Roger. We pride ourselves in a quality hunt, once in a while a not so good hunt will happen. In our camp, first and foremost is we take control of what we have control of; food, lodging, equipment, and effort. Roger's group received all 4. Weather and bear movement we cannot control. Out of the 29 hunters we had as guests this spring, 27 were successful. Roger was one of them not to score and is 1 phone call away from being invited back for a fall hunt N/C, and not because of his outfitter report, he's just a nice guy and we think we are too.
Bear Track Outfitters
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