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Looking to book a bear hunt in Maine for fall of 2020. Anyone have any recommendations? Looking to hear from folks who have used Maine outfitters for "bear over bait" hunts in the past 2-3 years. Also looking for any advise when selecting an outfitter or any outfitters to stay away from.
 

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Northern Hideaway Outfitters, Kurt the owner is from Reinholds pa. You won’t find a more honest and hard working guy. His operation is top notch. I was there when the new warden came for a visit. It was a formality, the warden said that Kurt’s rep was a-1 among the wardens and that he was stopping in to just introduce himself.
 

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I'll add one. Wilderness Escape Outfitters, Randy and Sharon Flannery. Friends of mine for full disclosure. He has many return clients which is always a good sign. I may go back up this year. Spoke with him last week, they'll be at Harrisburg show.
The bears are there, however bear over bait in the lower 48 is a not like in Canada or Alaska and guides from up there will tell you that success is lower and they are harder to get being more wary. I've been to Randy's 7 or 8 times(and about as many times for deer) and saw bear every trip but one. My friend is 3 for 3. I only took one bear though. Some weeks bear activity is low, but if they're moving your chances are good. He has both ground blinds and tree stands and has plenty of them so he doesn't have to hunt same stands through the season. Something you'll want to ask other outfitters.

Other things I would ask:
Game processing.
How many hunters they take per week.
How long trip from lodge to stands. I went with one outfitter that had a 2 hour trip one way to the stands. Was exhausting by the end of the week.

I take % success rates with a grain of salt (or maybe a shot of whiskey) as they're open to interpretation and in some cases exaggeration.
Wounded bear? Some consider your hunt done if you wound one that is not recovered. Or if you miss more than one bear

(been in camp many times where shots were missed). Ask about recovering wounded bears and what happens afterward.
Do you have to sit the same stand for the week, or are they willing to put you on a different stand?
Bear outfitters sometimes have minimum caliber or bullet requirements if you're rifle hunting. They have lots of experience and opinions on what works for most people and what doesn't, then again it's your hunt and some don't care what you're shooting. Chasing wounded bears through the swamps in the middle of the night is not they're preferred scenario however.
How far are the shots from stand to bait?
Many hunts are afternoon and evening (1/2 day) so you might want to ask about other available activities, like fishing, etc.

Good luck if you go.
 

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P.S. If you research my screen name you'll find I am, was, is, was,.......quite the bear killing expert.
BBbaaaahahahahahahaaha
 
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