2019 New Brunswick Bear Hunt - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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2019 New Brunswick Bear Hunt

Spent the week of May 12th 2019 hunting black bears out of Bob Parkers Stony Brook Outfitters, Sunset View Lodge, near McAdam, New Brunswick. This would be my seventh hunt with Bob Parker; twice in the falls of 2014 & 2015 out of his home camp in Maine, where I took a bear on each hunt with a shotgun, and four previous hunts in the spring at the New Brunswick operation, taking an 87lb sow with a crossbow in 2013, a 345 pound boar with the shotgun in 2016, an unsuccessful hunt in 2017, and a 222lb boar with shotgun in 2018.



Sunset View Lodge consists of a main lodge and four cabins on the shores of Palfrey Lake, which is located just about 10 miles across the border from Vanceboro Maine. The facilities are rustic, on a par with a traditional Pennsylvania deer camp, but very clean and comfortable. Electric service is provided by a propane generator from wake-up till lights-out with gas lighting available 24-7. There are plenty of bath facilities with hot water and flush toilets throughout the facilities. Bob’s policy is not to mix groups, so as on my previous visits, I had a large bunk room in the main lodge all to myself. Couples can be accommodated in Bob’s personal cabin which has extra bedrooms or in one of the small cabins. The food is home-style, very good and plenty.


Lodge

A by Steven Musser, on Flickr



Pulfrey Lake

c Pulfrey Lake by Steven Musser, on Flickr



McAdam had a particularly hard winter and a late spring this year, with ice-out occurring only a week before our arrival, and causing Bob to scrap the first weeks hunt due to conditions and a late start getting the baits going. We had ten hunters in camp for the week, including seven repeat clients, five of whom I’d hunted with before. My friend Pete from Maine and I would hunt once again with guide Mitchell.



THE HUNT


Monday May 13th.


Monday would turn out to be the only nice day weather wise all week, being clear, cold and slightly breezy. I didn’t feel well all morning with my heart arrhythmia acting up, buy felt a little better by the time we hit the woods. I drew a stand in thick mixed timber with a view limited to a narrow “alley” to the bait tree 30 yards away. The evening passed without incident other than an abundance of pine squirrels working the bait.


The Stand


a _mon_stand by Steven Musser, on Flickr



Pete, who was hunting with a crossbow this year, had a medium size bear come in but he was looking for a large bear or nothing. On the ride back to camp we saw two moose. Tom from Delaware, whom I’d hunted with in Maine, killed a very nice 218lb boar, and Cary from Butler Pa killed a 92lb boar, his first bear.


Tom with his bear


a1_toms_bear by Steven Musser, on Flickr



Cary with his bear



a2_carys_bear by Steven Musser, on Flickr



Cary and brother Jerry


a3_cary_and_terry by Steven Musser, on Flickr



Tuesday May 14th.


Tuesday was the worst weather day we had all week, with spitting rain, occasional sleet and snow, accompanied by a stiff breeze. Mitchell took pity on me and placed me in a little hunting shanty on a power line that he and his family use in the fall to hunt whitetails. The bait was directly across the power line just inside the wood line, 39 yards away.



The Stand


b_tue_stand by Steven Musser, on Flickr

b1_tue_stand by Steven Musser, on Flickr

b2_tue_stand by Steven Musser, on Flickr



Even with a roof over my head I was still miserable, cold and damp, and I didn’t envy the others that were out in the open that evening. The only thing that kept me positive was the fact that squirrels and a couple of snowshoe’s were active regardless of the weather. At 7:40 pm a black form materialized from behind the bait, circled, then stood broadside, its head to my left. Getting the bear in my Leupold, I knew it was not a big one, but also not a tiny one, and prepared for the shot. I had a great rest and sight picture but had to wait for the bear to take a step or two to clear a couple of saplings covering its vitals. When the bear finally stepped forward exposing the front half of its body, I placed the crosshair just behind its shoulder and squeezed the trigger on the Savage. At the shot, the bear rolled and swapped ends, disappearing into the thicket. After waiting until 8:20, I went down to check for sign and found good blood where the bear initially went down, but nothing else, and couldn’t establish a route of travel, so I backed out to wait for Mitch and Pete. By the time they arrived, the rain had all but obliterated most of the blood, and after looking blind in the dark, thick woods, we decided to come back in the morning with a crew to find my bear. Of course it was somewhat disappointing to go back to camp without my bear, but I felt 100% confident in the shot and knew we’d find it in the morning. Back at camp it turned out I was the only hunter to see a bear that evening.




Wednesday May 15th


Wednesday morning after breakfast, I, along with Jerry and Cary from Butler Pa., met all of the guides in town for the ride out to the bait site to continue the search. We hadn’t really gotten started when Cary immediately found my bear not twenty yards from the bait. No wonder we hadn’t located it in the dark; it had fallen into a pool of black water to the side of the trail and was almost invisible. We must have walked right past it several times Tuesday evening. Back at camp she tipped the beam at 112 lbs.



Loridr with his bear


b3_my_bear by Steven Musser, on Flickr



Wednesday evening was once again nasty, cold, damp and drizzly. I stayed in camp to get some rest as I was still not feeling all that well. No bears were shot at that evening. Cary had purchased a second tag and hunt, and saw another bear that hung up behind the stand, but spooked it trying to turn to get in position for a shot. Pete passed on a medium sized bear for the second time in the hunt.



Thursday May 16th


Thursday was once again overcast and cold. I rode along with Mitch, putting out Pete and running baits. Other than one partridge, we saw no game that evening. I snapped a shot while waiting to pick up Pete. In the pic below, his stand was halfway up the second ridge and in the woods to the left.




c_wend_petes_stand by Steven Musser, on Flickr



Pete finally got his chance at a very big bear, but missed when his bolt hit a twig and deflected, sticking harmlessly in the ground. The good thing was that the bear wasn’t spooked all that bad, even coming back a while later and circling the bait. Cary also missed a big bear that night, attributing the miss to “bear fever”. Jim from New Hampshire, who was bow hunting, saw a small three legged bear that he elected to pass on, nicknaming it “Tripod”.



Friday May 17th


Friday was a bit warmer but once again threatening rain, and I elected to stay behind and pack up so I could get an early start for home in the morning. The hunters had a good night. Pete sat the same stand and the big one came back in, but despite spending the better part of an hour at the bait site, the bear never presented a shot for the crossbow. Jerry from Butler Pa. finally saw bears when he had a sow with cubs of the year come in and give him a show. Things got a little exciting when one of the cubs decided to sit next to Jerry in the ground blind. Luckily it never fussed and the sow kept about her business. Jim elected to abandon the bow for his rifle, and after passing on “Tripod” once again, killed a 100 lb sow and saw another bear as well. Rick from Maryland killed a nice 200 lb boar, making for a great last evening hunt and saving what had been a somewhat slow week.



Jim with his bear


d1_jims_bear by Steven Musser, on Flickr



Rick (on left) with his bear along with his son Brandon


d_rick _and_brandon by Steven Musser, on Flickr



Sun sets on another hunt at Sunset View Lodge


z sunset by Steven Musser, on Flickr



What had been a fairly slow week turned into a pretty good hunt with 17 bears seen, 5 killed for 10 hunters and 2 missed. There were no woundings, which was a bit unusual in my experience with the spring bear hunts. All the hunters were great company and maintained a positive attitude throughout the week. I apologize for the lack of scenic pics, but I wasn’t feeling all that great and it wasn’t picture postcard weather. Unlike last year, the fishing was nonexistent as the lake was too rough and too cold yet to provide a bite.


Loridr

Last edited by loridr; 05-21-2019 at 03:41 PM.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 09:09 PM
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WTG loridr
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 09:32 PM
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Congrats on another successful trip/hunt! Nice recap and pics! Thanks for sharing!! Hope your feeling better!
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 09:56 PM
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Very nice. Congratulations on a successful hunt.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 06:26 AM
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Enjoyed your hunt report Steve plus those great pics!! CONGRATS on the bear!!
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 10:35 AM
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Nice bear and write-up Steve!
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 11:17 AM
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As always @loridr excellent story. Congratulations on the bear, I'm glad you guys found it. Camp looks very nice too.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 11:26 AM
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Congrats man on another successful hunt and thanks again for sharing it with us here. Hoping the action picks up for our hunt the first week of June. A late spring up north for sure.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpms View Post
Congrats man on another successful hunt and thanks again for sharing it with us here. Hoping the action picks up for our hunt the first week of June. A late spring up north for sure.

It'll pick up for sure, in fact this weeks hunters should do very well as is usually the case. I've always gone the second week of the season even though action picks up the third week; it's a trade off between bear movement and black flies, and a matter of getting booked as there are a few big groups that tie up camp the next few weeks.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loridr View Post
It'll pick up for sure, in fact this weeks hunters should do very well as is usually the case. I've always gone the second week of the season even though action picks up the third week; it's a trade off between bear movement and black flies, and a matter of getting booked as there are a few big groups that tie up camp the next few weeks.

I think I'd err on the side of less black flies as well!!
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