If you are looking for an affordable Bear hunt in the US (Maine) consider giving Steve a call! http://www.katahdinvalley-outfitters.com/
I was looking for a bear hunt over bait that was reasonably priced with a good chance of success. Steve Nissley of Katahdin Valley Outfitters in Sherman Maine filled the ticket for me.
I spoke at lenght with Steve by phone and discussed all the aspects of what I was in for. I had never paid to go with an outfitter and was full of questions. Steve took the time to answer all of my questions and kept me up to date over the year as to the conditions up there and what the bears were looking like.
I chose hunting over bait and after seeing the huge territory that we hunted in better understood why this is done. The area is huge and the woods very thick with little room for any long shots. He put me in a tree stand for the first 2 days and when I did not see any bear he moved me to another location and placed me in a blind. I saw a huge bear the third day and opted to return to that spot on the fourth but did not see him again. The fifth day he gave me the option to try another spot and I did. I did not see another bear but the experience was awesome. ( I opted to leave a day early...had wife along and we wanted to do Bar Harbor, Portland and sightseeing along the coast)
There were 8 hunters in camp and of those all but one saw bears. A ninth hunter came in on day 4 and shot a bear that afternoon. A total of 6 bears were shot and 1 was hit but not recovered. They ranged from 100lbs to 350lbs.
The Nissley family are fine folks and treated us great. It is a family owned and run operation with everyone having a part in the business. Steve and 2 of his sons act as guides and take care of everything concerned with your hunt. His 2 daughters handle the other important thing......your stomach! The ladies prepared all the meals during our stay and the home cooking was fantastic! Plenty to be had and they certainly are great cooks!! Steve and his sons were happy to help out with everything from directions to local sighseeing, recommending a float plane service to get a great look at the area, to skinning and preparing the game for transport home.
Here is the schedule we had: Arrive Sunday and check in at the cabin located at the Nissley farm. Then we were treated to a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. After dinner we discussed the upcoming hunt and all questions and concerns were addressed.
Monday - Saturday: Breakfast about 8am.
Lunch at noon.
Headed for woods at about 1pm
In stand between 2 and 2:30pm
Picked up between 7:30 and 8:30pm
Dinner when we got back.
The stands and blinds were within 75yds of the road where you get dropped off. Each day Steve would bait your site after he walked you into your spot. My baits were all within 40yds of my stand/blind and that seemed to be the case with all the sites he has. He would let you know if the bait was hit and then head out.
The hunters used a variety of calibers and I carried my trusty 50cal flintlock.
During the first 3 days I hunted I did not hear a car, a shot or even an airplane fly over. The woods were active with all types of the usual game and I saw a fisher cat for the first time also. The scenery was spectacular and the wife and I made the most of the area in the mornings after breakfast and did some sightseeing in Baxter State Park. The beauty of the area was just the icing on the cake for me.
My wife had tagged along for the trip and Steve gave us a room in his home to stay in for the week. The other hunters stayed in a very nice cabin located right there at his farm.
I have nothing but praise for Steve and his family for taking such good care of my wife and I during our stay! The experience was 1st class from beginning to end. Even though I did not get bear, I feel they did thier best to put me in a spot to give me the best chance to harvest.
The Nissley family are a close knit group and they make you feel right at home during your stay. They are truly great people who really care about your experience. From the food,the comraderie at the dinner table to the knowledge and experience they share with you during your hunt you can expect to be "part of the family" during your stay!
A big THANKS from my wife and I to Steve and Family for not only a quality hunt but also for a great overall experience!!
I'll be back there in August 2010 to give it another try!!