Wisconsin Example of How Michigan Bears Could be Better Managed

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears, Friends of ELO

By:  Richard P. Smith. Wisconsin is a perfect example of how Michigan could better manage their bear population. During 2016, Wisconsin issued 11,520 bear licenses to hunters in the state and those hunters registered 4,682 bears, according to a report issued by the Wisconsin DNR. Michigan only had 6,896 bear licenses available in 2016, resulting in 1,636 bruins being registered by hunters. Wisconsin hunters harvested almost three times as many bears as Michigan and almost twice as many hunters (1.7x) had the opportunity to hunt bear in Wisconsin than Michigan even though Michigan has more … Read More

Bear Hunting When Conventional Wisdom Ain’t Workin’

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears

Michigan’s bear hunting permit system can challenge anyone’s patience ..including mine.  After all, it is managed by the Dept. of Natural Resources.  Most of us spent years reading the online results: “try again next year”.  For one mid-Michigan hunter, Tony Dodak, he knew his efforts of getting a permit inside of the Red Oak bear management unit (BMU) was a work in progress.  Nine years to be exact.  He and his (hunting partner) brother, Aaron, began the planning process of unsuccessful permit draws back when the U.S. was in the midst of a financial crisis … Read More

Michigan Bucks and Bears

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears, Friends of ELO

By:  Richard P. Smith. Do you want to see more bucks or bears in Michigan during the future? Before you answer that question, some background information about both species of big game is important. Due to the use of a method in 2012 to estimate the UP bear population that is prone to errors, the DNR thought bear numbers were declining and reduced bear hunting licenses by 32% from 2012 through 2014 to allow the bear population to increase. The number of bear licenses issued to hunters in the Lower Peninsula (LP) were cut back … Read More

A Classic Michigan Bear Hunt (w/video)

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears

Black bear hunting in da U.P…..eh.  On September 15th, 2016 my dream of bagging a Michigan Black bear came true.  My name is Nick Grillo and I am an avid Outdoorsman.  I have always been around hunting but I started out deer hunting when I was 14.  Deer Hunting has always been one of my main passions in life, that is until I sat 7 yards from a black bear, face to face at ground level.  Man….now that was a rush.  I still love deer hunting, but definitely gained a huge respect and passion for … Read More

My First Michigan Bear

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears, East Lake Buzz

“This was my first Michigan black bear hunt and it was everything I hoped it would be. East Lake Outfitters was exceptional! My hunting partner and I arrived at camp a day early to an excellent dinner after a long road trip. Prepared food was exceptional each morning & night.. The area is beautiful. There is a reason why the U.P. is called “God’s Country”. I could not believe how hard our guides worked for all of the guys at camp. I did shoot a nice Michigan black bear! The bear came in exactly how … Read More

The DNR Has Michigan’s Bear Count All Wrong?

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears

ground shrinkage

By:  Richard P. Smith. If 116 Michigan residents, many of whom were bear hunters, either saw or had trail camera photos of 1,000 black bears in the state during 2015, how many bears do you think were seen and photographed by the thousands of other hunters and nonhunters last year? If I had to make an educated guess, it would be more than 50,000. Some of those bear would have been seen and/or photographed by more than one person, of course, but certainly not all of them. So how many bears were there in Michigan … Read More

Black Bear Hunting in Northern Ontario

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears, Friends of ELO

By:  Tom Lounsbury The older I get, the more choosey I am about who I go on adventures with in the “wild country” because if the chips are ever down, you need to know they will be right in there covering your “six” or enduring matters with you in a skillful manner. That is why when fellow outdoor writer Jay VanHouten of Midland wanted to know if I would be interested in going on a northern Ontario black bear hunt with him, it was a no-brainer for me to come back with an automatic “yes”. … Read More

Leave The Tracking To The Pros.

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears

leave tracking to pros

By: Laura Scharich Dave and I were heading back to a favorite bear hunting camp for my third bear hunt. I was so excited. I got hooked on bear hunting in 2013 even though it took seventy five hours in the bush to get my first bear. I had managed to get some video of small bears and had a bear destroy my ground blind the first night so it was still an eventful, memorable, and long hunt. Dave chose to do some fishing up there instead of bear hunting and our friend, Jeff was … Read More

“That Can’t Be The Bear I Shot!..?”

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears

“Ground Shrinkage” is a term that black bear hunters become all too familiar with because bears often look bigger than they really are, especially to hunters who have seen few, if any, bears in the wild. It’s common for bear hunters, even those with plenty of experience under their belts, to shoot bears that they think are big only to find out they are smaller than they thought when they recover the bruin they shot. Is there a way to avoid ground shrinkage when bear hunting? There are no guarantees, but one of the best … Read More

Increase In Bear Licenses Essential

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears

By:  Richard P. Smith. Even though there are now more black bears in parts of the UP than whitetail deer and that lopsided situation could worsen if bear license quotas are not increased significantly, the DNR does not plan on recommending any change in the number of bear licenses issued during 2016 because bear regulations are on a 2-year cycle. In other words, bear license quotas are supposed to remain the same as in 2015. The only way to change that mindset is for concerned bear and deer hunters who want to see the fledgling … Read More