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When it comes to Ontario.....

Discussion in 'MichiganBear.com' started by HTC, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. HTC

    HTC Trophy Husband

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    ......are there any guides that honestly start baiting prior to me pulling in the parking lot.....I don't know, say maybe a month before the season even? I am going again this fall and have been researching different outfits. Two years ago 6 of us went with a very popular outfitter mentioned on this forum often. When we were shown our bait sites one thing that was readily apparent....at least half of our baits had not been previously baited or even walked up to in one case. Of course the advertisement is, "2 active baits per hunter". The outfitter told us that the baits were all started in June and baited at least twice per week up to our arrival. BS. Upon arriving at one of them his employee that was acting as our "guide" had no choice but to fess up that they don't get to all of them and the rest had only been a couple times over the previous two weeks. Thing is I might have been alright with that if they just told us up front. In the end, 5 of the 12 baits never had a visit the entire time we were there, one bait got hit once in the middle of the night, (it was right next to an active log landing. Who puts a hunter within 50 yards of tractor trailers getting loaded out all day) the other stands worked out. You could not help but get the feeling that it was all about the dollars and number of hunters, just give them two stands, collect the money and hope for the best. I will say, I am not at all bitter, we had a good time, we brought home 4 bears and if push came to shove I would go with them again but for now I am looking for something better. Price is not the problem and I am not looking for a gimme hunt. What I am looking for is an outfit that does what they advertise and takes care of their hunters. Any suggestions? Right now I am looking at a place called Hillsport Hilton which seems to have a good rep but not much written here about them in the past couple years. I am open to any other suggestions. Trying to stay within 8 hours or so of the Soo. Thanks.
     
  2. kingfisher 11

    kingfisher 11 Premium Member

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    I would be curious with the replies also. I know I can go up and hunt with my Sask deer outfitter. I just don't want that long of a trip and price for a bear.
     

  3. mikwest074

    mikwest074

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    I hunted with Hillsport Hilton last year. Everyone had a chance to shoot a bear. Gary and his helpers work hard making sure the bait sites are all bait up months before we showed up. Gary runs a great operation. He makes everyone feel welcome. Gary will do his best to help everyone get a nice bear. I plan on going back this year. Food is great. And if you can find time your able to do some fishing also.
     
  4. NancyJ

    NancyJ

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    yep, this has always been the issue with hunting in Canada,,,we call it the Canada shuffle.........
     
  5. tgafish

    tgafish

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    I've hunted with several Ontario outfitters. Although Hilton isn't one of them, I've never read a bad review of that operation. fwiw
     
  6. Chromelander

    Chromelander

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    I'm looking for a new outfitter also. The ones I'm interested in talking to are marmac lodge, red line lodge,northern wilderness outfitters, hillsport Hilton, and Rick Dickson. Plan on going to the hunting expo in a few weeks to narrow it down.
     
  7. tgafish

    tgafish

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    If you plan on hunting the first week I would shy away from Northern wilderness. Ron takes on way too many hunters and it spreads his resources too thin. A friend of mine in the know has expressed the same opinion of Ricks operation. Both operations kill a lot of bears but the first thing to get cut when you're running hundreds of sets is how often they get worked
     
  8. HTC

    HTC Trophy Husband

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    That is good to hear. I am meeting him at the Expo in GR at the end of this month.
     
  9. countryhigh1963

    countryhigh1963

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    I to have hunted with rick Dickson he does have some big bear but not all that honest their were 4 of us two saw multiple bear and two saw nothing went 1 for 4 one misted.we were put on bait that were already hunted.Last year same 4 of us went to Richie falls bear hunt found them at the expo in G.R. told us they would post bear pic when thay started baiting never did said we would hunt bait that were never hunted found out later in the week that 4 bear were taken of the bait I sat on for first 3 nights. but on the plus side food was really good and he does move you to different baits.We did go 2 for 4 and everone saw bear and got shots 1 mist 1 lost no big bears in camp average bear 120lb I woud go back If I just wanted to get a bear but not for size.
     
  10. Hunter1979

    Hunter1979 Staff Member Mods

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    Two buddies hunted with Rick Dickson about 2 years ago. Myself and another buddy went to film. Like others have said, he just takes on too many people and is stretched thin. Getting the lodging booked was way harder than it should have been. We had to wait 5 hours past the agreed upon time for his guy to show us our stands. Each hunter was promised two active baits with stands. 2 were supposed to be for gun and placed away from the bait. There was one bow stand placed. Good thing we brought stands for filming, still not sure what would have happened if we didn't. I don't think the baits were baited enough in advance to have the bears on any sort of pattern.
    I did like the area and the diy baiting. My cousin shot a small bear on the last day. I would not recommend him to a first time hunter. Also, he never checked in with us until it was time to leave and get paid.
     
  11. Chromelander

    Chromelander

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    I'm guessing the best time to go would be on opening day. Then you have the best chance at hunting fresh stands and having the first opertunity at the bears in a area. Yes camps will be full, but a good guide should be ready for that. If they are not, well then they aren't prepared. I do question when a outfitter advertises a huge BMA and many baits, how they maintain that many baits in such a large area regularly. I also get the impression that they won't put alot of effort in getting out deep in the bush but rather have stands that are easily accessible. Last year I drove 10 hrs to hunt only to be placed within a quarter mile from the highway where I heard logging trucks all day. And after 2 or 3 bears were shot all the baits went dead leading me to believe the bears where hitting the multiple baits. To be continued..
     
  12. agross

    agross

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    I have hunted with Gary at hillsport twice . The bear in my avatar is from there . We talk to Gary every year at the sport show in Grand Rapids. Pretty sure he is at the one in lansing a month later. He has an enormous area, and a lot of stands. If I were to go again I think I would try the spring hunt. On our last hunt we went 5 for 7 and should have been 6 for 7. Smaller bears mainly. The hunt before that we went 3 for 4 and should have been 4 for 4, those were nice bears. As far as what week is best, totally depends on the weather. If u are not happy with a stand or setup, tell Gary and he will move u. Bob parkey is usually there too , great guy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  13. countryhigh1963

    countryhigh1963

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    I just got a flyer in mail from rick Dickson he raised his price up 100 dollors now its 1300 plus tax . He is the only bear guide that I have went to that taxes your hunt whats up with that?
    .
     
  14. old professor

    old professor

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    The taxes are federal and provincial taxes on tourism. I have noticed that most outfitters that I have looked at this year are stating that taxes are NOT included in their package priced. Last time I was up there, as I recall the tax was 14% but you got a rebate on some of the tax when you came back across the border.
     
  15. DirtySteve

    DirtySteve

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    I have hunted ontario once. The guy that guided me has since passed.

    I did fish at northern walleye lodge once in recent years. He had a bear and moose hunting operation in the fall. I remember him telling my son that if he wanted a job in the summer he hired a kid every yr as a camp hand. This was a boat in place and the duties were things like taking guests to and from the dock to the cabins with their pontoon. One of the main duties was running bear baits in the summer. Their baits were primarily boat in locations so you would spend the day motoring around the lake and hauling baits into the woods. I am not sure their success rate but I am fairly certain he was baiting in the summer.