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Yes - someone would pay to bear hunt. I know some folks that paid $1200 for the first week of season - a baited place to hunt. No lodging, food, etc. I paid $2400 for a week in canada including lodging, food, boat for fishing, and baited stands. I thought that was a good price. It was good fishing, not the best bear hunting - but I did kill one. I still had to get there and back. That is one of the cheaper full service hunts I have seen. I am doing my own baiting in AR and figure I have $2000 in a fall of bear hunting - including lease fee, travel, and bait.
 

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Yes - someone would pay to bear hunt. I know some folks that paid $1200 for the first week of season - a baited place to hunt. No lodging, food, etc. I paid $2400 for a week in canada including lodging, food, boat for fishing, and baited stands. I thought that was a good price. It was good fishing, not the best bear hunting - but I did kill one. I still had to get there and back. That is one of the cheaper full service hunts I have seen. I am doing my own baiting in AR and figure I have $2000 in a fall of bear hunting - including lease fee, travel, and bait.


I have often thought about all of these things. I killed my first bear in 2013 with Sandy at Outlaw Guide Servece in Arkansas. I paid $2k back then and it seemed expensive but I really wanted to kill a bear and I did.
Since then I have gotten access to private land to bait on and I now see why the price was $2k. It is a LOT of work. Not to mention buying bait and gas. I think the days off work just gathering bait and baiting hurts the most. I easily drive a 6 hour round trip every time I bait which is about 10 -14 times a year. I am a self employed taxidermist and every day I'm out baiting Im losing money from not being in the shop. I dont know the exact math but it might be cheaper to just go on a guided hunt. The problem with that is Im kinda stubborn and like the satisfaction of doing it myself and the reward that comes with it when successful. I have killed 2 in the last 5 years diy. I guided my then 16 year old daughter on her bear. I put a 18 year old guy on a hot bait last year and he killed a bear. My brother got a bear 3 years ago. My goal this year is for my 8 year old to get a bear. He has been on every baiting trip except for once.
 

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I have often thought about all of these things. I killed my first bear in 2013 with Sandy at Outlaw Guide Servece in Arkansas. I paid $2k back then and it seemed expensive but I really wanted to kill a bear and I did.
Since then I have gotten access to private land to bait on and I now see why the price was $2k. It is a LOT of work. Not to mention buying bait and gas. I think the days off work just gathering bait and baiting hurts the most. I easily drive a 6 hour round trip every time I bait which is about 10 -14 times a year. I am a self employed taxidermist and every day I'm out baiting Im losing money from not being in the shop. I dont know the exact math but it might be cheaper to just go on a guided hunt. The problem with that is Im kinda stubborn and like the satisfaction of doing it myself and the reward that comes with it when successful. I have killed 2 in the last 5 years diy. I guided my then 16 year old daughter on her bear. I put a 18 year old guy on a hot bait last year and he killed a bear. My brother got a bear 3 years ago. My goal this year is for my 8 year old to get a bear. He has been on every baiting trip except for once.
I agree 100% - there is a lot more satisfaction on a diy baiting experience than going somewhere and they do it for you. And there is no guarantee that you will kill one on a guided hunt. DIY is expensive, time consuming, and hard work. This year, we had a nice bear on bait for two solid weeks. Never missed a day. Rebaited Friday and hunted ten hours sat and ten hours Sunday. Bear has not been to bait since last Thursday night. No bear has. Who knows what happened.

On the flip side, my Ontario bear hunt was a great experience. I enjoyed the fishing probably more than the bear hunt. Scenery was great, temperature was great, they fed you, baited, carried you to the baits - I loved the trip. My son passed two small/medium sized bears the first evening and never saw another bear. My wife never saw a bear at the bait. I saw one and killed a medium sized female - so you dont always get them. Yes, I would go again. I killed two bears in five years of DIY in AR and still enjoy it - but those bait runs can get tiring.
 

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I was more or less wanting to do it DIY for the experience I know that it is not an easy hunt at all. I know the success rate will be much lower than if I hired a guide. I was looking for something Oklahoma/Arkansas area, but from the sounds of it might just be best to head to Colorado and try it out there.
 

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Let me be clear. Im not downing anyone for using a guide. I did it on my first bear. I have even considered going to Canada or somewhere for a chance at a big bear. Not saying we dont have big bears but they just seem to go nocturnal as season approaches. Plus I like the experience of hunting new and different places.
But for me as far as hunting locally I like the diy experience.
I am also considering going out west for a spring spot and stalk hunt. Sounds fun also.
 

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I agree with a change of scenery hunting. We don't have a hunt able population in Kansas and I have been to Colorado more times than I care to go. I know that everyones experience is difference and opportunities aren't the same for everyone but do you think the DIY Arkansas bear hunt success rate is less than 20%?
 

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I agree with a change of scenery hunting. We don't have a hunt able population in Kansas and I have been to Colorado more times than I care to go. I know that everyones experience is difference and opportunities aren't the same for everyone but do you think the DIY Arkansas bear hunt success rate is less than 20%?
On a baited hunt I think it might be that high on a poor acorn year. Its going to depend on the spot you have. Some folks are going to have a shot at a bear or two every year while others are going to struggle to hang onto one until season opener. You can see that from the folks here that bait. A couple hundred yards can make the difference between an excellent bear spot and a bear desert.
When you start talking about intentionally going after bears on public land the success rate is probably going to be in the low single digits but man, that’s a heck of an accomplishment. I’ve killed three on public land but two were just a right place right time thing while deer hunting and I didn’t have any idea a bear was around until it walked up. The other one I was deer hunting and found a ton of bear sign so I sat down and decided to bear hunt that day. I’ve never even saw a bear on public when I left the house with the purpose of bear hunting.
 

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i could never get worked up on a baited bear hunt, so we went diy to alaska.

we went to an island in south east Alaska for a spot and stalk hunt. it was a great hunt and we stalked bears in streams that were so thick with salmon that you were kicking them out of the way. skinning a bear in the dark with salmon everywhere as the bait was good for raising the blood pressure a point or two.

if you are going to spend money on a hunt you wont regret this one. on the ferry over to the island we got to see whales, too.

natural bait!


we thought we could do it for 3500 but it cost a few hundred more, but was still under $ 4000. in addition to the bears we brought back 50lb of fresh salmon. fresh salmon is very very good.

we drew tags for this spring but the covid caused us to miss the trip.
 

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i could never get worked up on a baited bear hunt, so we went diy to alaska.

we went to an island in south east Alaska for a spot and stalk hunt. it was a great hunt and we stalked bears in streams that were so thick with salmon that you were kicking them out of the way. skinning a bear in the dark with salmon everywhere as the bait was good for raising the blood pressure a point or two.

if you are going to spend money on a hunt you wont regret this one. on the ferry over to the island we got to see whales, too.

natural bait!


we thought we could do it for 3500 but it cost a few hundred more, but was still under $ 4000. in addition to the bears we brought back 50lb of fresh salmon. fresh salmon is very very good.

we drew tags for this spring but the covid caused us to miss the trip.
Sounds like a heck of a time!
 
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