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Arizona Bear Guides and Outfitters
Spot and Stalk Black Bear Hunts
We are pleased to offer a unique bear hunting experience in Arizona! When searching for black bear hunts, many people would not ever think to look to Arizona. But, from recent experiences and publicity, more and more hunters are coming to realize that this State can provide some of the best trophy black bear hunting in the West. A glance at recent entries in the record books will show that Arizona has produced many "book" black bears. It is considered as a top choice for record-class bear hunting. Though the quantity of black bears in Arizona is not high by anyone's standards, the quality of the bears (whether it be color, body size, or record book potential) is why many bear hunters have come here.
The Arizona black bear comes in all color varieties (commonly referred to as "color phases"). Colors range from blonde, cinnamon, chocolate, to coal black. Seventy-five percent of the bears we have harvested have been colored with chocolate brown being dominant. Arizona black bears live in the thick timber at higher elevations most of the year, but during the months of August through October (our typical hunting season) some bears come out of the high country in search of fat-building food sources. Bears have a very large home range and have been known to travel as far as 100 miles to find isolated pockets of food. This always keeps us "on our toes" trying to locate them before the season. Some Arizona black bears travel to the lower desert elevations of their mountain ranges looking for prickly pear cactus fruit, which is very sweet and high in calories. This phenomenon is often called "Bears in the Pears." Bears may also travel to areas with a high concentration of acorns, juniper berries, mesquite beans, or manzanita berries during times when they are not eating pears. What the bears are feeding on dictates where and how we hunt.
About Our Bear Hunts
Our bear hunts are fair chase in the purist form! Dogs or bait are not used on this hunt. We use two main techniques to harvest our bears, the spot-and-stalk method and the calling method. As a primary hunting technique, we hike to a good vantage point where a few square miles of terrain can be seen at one time. When a bear is amongst the sparse vegetation, it can be observed at very long distances using high-powered binoculars. We occasionally spot bears up to 2 miles away since they can stand out like a sore thumb. Once a good bear is spotted, we plan our stalk. Rifle shots can sometimes be across big canyons, so a Harris bipod, good high-power riflescope, and a big, flat-shooting caliber is recommended. Lightweight rifles are also needed in this rough terrain. We prefer to use .300 magnums or 7mm magnums topped with 4.5-14X or 6.5-20X variable scopes. High weight-retention boat tail bullets (Barnes or Accubond) from 150g to 180g are perfect for this long range bear hunting. Rifle shots average 300 yards. If you are a bowhunter, this spot and stalk bear hunt is the ultimate challenge. Bring a spare set of nerves!
As a secondary technique, we use calling. Some black bears prefer to stay in the mesquite, manzanita, oak and juniper slopes where they eat the beans, berries or acorns. These areas have thicker vegetation and allow for limited glassing. If this is where the bears are located at the time of your hunt, we may use limited glassing and a predator call. This technique is an exciting way to get a bear within shooting distance!
The bears we hunt are usually in remote areas, giving the hunter a chance to hunt older and larger bears. A few of our bear hunters have taken large males up to 500 pounds! Many of the bears taken have been 10 to 20 years old! Additionally, male bear rugs can often measure 6 to 7 feet with a couple taken up to 7.5 feet! The outfitter has taken the former #8 SCI World Record and has assisted a few clients in taking bears that measured in the top 50. If you fill your bear tag, the potential for it being a trophy specimen is very good.
Our Success Rate: Over the past 17 seasons, our Bear hunters have experienced a very high shot opportunity with a high success rate! We are proud to say that several seasons have been 100% success! Unfortunately, due to the nature of bear hunting, some seasons have been lower. Bad weather (drought), food availability (causing bears to be spread out), the hunter's physical limitations, or just "plain missing" were usually the limiting factors for the unfortunate bear hunters. Putting all statistics aside, you can "rest-assured" that we will do our best and will work very hard to ensure that you have an enjoyable hunting experience! We do not just cycle a multitude of hunters through our camps. But rather, we keep camp sizes to a minimum to ensure the utmost quality. Please feel free to contact our references and view testimonials.
Please note: Bear hunting is done in mountainous terrain. Hunters are encouraged to condition themselves in order to increase their odds for success.
There is NO DRAW. Arizona fall black bear tags are over-the-counter (non-residents will purchase them by mail before arrival). Tag fee for non-residents: $165.00 and hunting license for non-residents is $160.00.
2014 Season Dates
Our 2014 Bear Hunt Dates: For 2014, we will be conducting two bear hunt timeframes, an Archery Season hunt during August 22-26, 2014 and a Rifle Season hunt during October 3-7, 2014. We can only accommodate 4 hunters per timeframe, so book early.
Hunters meet us one day prior to hunting. Spaces are very limited. Contact us as soon as possible to reserve your spot.
Fully Guided & Outfitted Trophy Bear Hunts
Booking Info: A minimum 50% non-refundable deposit and a signed contract is required to book a hunt. The remaining balance is due at least 21 days prior to the hunt. We recommend cancellation insurance for all of our guests. Visit our policy page for more details.
Description of Bear Package
Package includes: accommodations (usually tent camps), meals, complimentary ride to camp if flying (pick-up/drop-off point: Tucson Airport Hotels Only), camp transportation, packing out of animal, trophy prep and a guide.
1 on 1 means one hunter per guide. 2 on 1 means two hunters share a guide. Please note that 1 on 1 will give each hunter his own guide in order to increase the odds of harvesting. If choosing 2 on 1, you must bring the other hunter to share the guide with.
For those that own a camping trailer/pop-up and would like to bring it to camp to sleep in are more than welcome to do so, but we cannot discount the hunt any.
If a hunter has not tagged by the scheduled end of hunt, there is sometimes an option of paying at a daily rate thereafter.
Non-Hunter Fee: Some hunters like to bring along a buddy or family member to video their hunt or share the experience while they hunt. Invite your partner as a non-hunter or observer while on your guided bear hunt for a fee of $750.00.
Cost for licenses and tags, butchering, shipping of meat, taxidermy, hotel stay before/after the hunt (if flying) are the hunter's responsibility.
* Friday through Tuesday noon. All hunters arrive to camp on a Thursday. Flying hunters should get a flight into Tucson, AZ on Wednesday, get a hotel and we will pickup Thursday morning for a ride to camp. Flying hunters should get a flight out on Wednesday morning (hotel required).
Watch an Archive of Bear Hunt Videos
Be sure you visit our general info page.
Also, read our bear stories for more feel of our hunts.
Latest Trophy Black Bear Photos
Chuck Fowler with Pat Feldt. This giant Arizona bear was stalked to within 47 yards and shot with a bow using a Rage broadhead! (2014)
Rachel and Courtney Yockey from Illinois with Arizona bear guide Pat Feldt. This big bear has golden highlights on a chocolate base coat. (2013)
JJ Jeffries shot this brown colored bear at 300 yards. (2013)
Hunter Chris Kincaid from Hawaii and Randy with a nice chocolate brown Arizona bear. The shot was 370 yards. (2013)
Lee Bartlett from Georgia and guide Pat Feldt with a silky jet black bear. The shot was 200 yards. Video (2013)
Carlos Fernando shot this big bear at only 104 yards.
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This website last updated: Aug. 24, 2014
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