By Clay Newcomb

BHM Publisher

Bear hunting is becoming more and more of a necessity in North America as bear numbers continue to rise across the continent. Though the last 20 years has seen its share of hunting opportunities decrease with the close of several spring seasons – including Colorado and Maine. However, hope remains and we are optimistic that seasons will again begin to lean more in favor of hunter opportunity. Maine’s victory over the Humane Society of the United States to ban hounding, trapping and bait hunting was significant. 2014 was the “year of the bear” as many states/provinces saw a rise in human bear conflicts. Bear hunters, get ready for the next decade. It’s my prediction that the states will be calling upon you to help them more and more.

Samuel Bumgardner and Clay Newcomb bear  

Samuel Bumgardner of Arkansas traveled to Northern Alberta in 2014 to kill this 19 14/16-inch bear. Spring is a great time to hunt. At left, Clay Newcomb, Rye Johnson, Samuel Bumgardner and Shane Auman.

            Aside from the management aspect of bear hunting, bruin hunting is a top-notch pursuit in terms of challenge, adventure and trophy status. Black bears are the icon of American wilderness. Daniel Boone recorded that he once killed 155 bears in one season on the Little Sandy River in Kentucky in the late 1700s – there isn’t a more American hunt.

Bear Hunting Magazine photography is awesome

Spring bear camp is hard to beat - super fun and exciting.

            It’s mid-December and it’s time to start thinking about spring bear hunting. Did you know that bears are the only big game animals that you can hunt in the spring? The biggest drag of the passionate hunter is that he can only pursue his passion during the fall – well, welcome to your new best friend, BEAR HUNTING. Several states and provinces have spring bears hunts that are typically done in May and June. This won’t even interfere with your turkey hunting. Once you’ve been to a spring bear camp in the North, you’ll never want to miss another one. Long days, cool nights and big bears doesn’t get any more exciting.

Clay Newcomb photography

Samuel cooks some bear back strap over an open fire.

Currently, eight states and five Canadian provinces have spring bear seasons.


US States: Alaska, Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Washington, Wyoming (Maine allows spring hunting on tribal lands)


Canadian Provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (Ontario currently has a spring season for residents in some regions)


The sport of bear hunting is on the rise, big time. We need to recruit new hunters to fill the growing need for active bear management through hunting. Take a chance and book a spring hunt in 2015. If you want some advice, don’t be afraid to call the BHM office and talk to us. We represent some tremendous outfitters.

Clay Newcomb Photography