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21

Bear Hunting with Magnum North Outfitters in Manitoba

The management of the American Crossbow Federation assembled a panel of crossbow hunting experts to evaluate the newly contracted bear outfitters for our trek into Manitoba for our annual Spring Fling. Our outfitters were David Bouchard and Wyman Sangster; and our guide was Evan Proctor. After a week of hard and at times, very wet hunting, hearty affirmation was unanimously awarded by the team to our hosts for a job well done.

Joining us on the maiden expedition to Magnum North Outfitters (MNO) was Ken Buerger and his grandson, Trenton Buerger, both from Wisconsin. Claude Davenport and his wife Ruth drove all the way from Alabama; and our fly-in hunters were David Simon from North Carolina and Ron Williams from Maryland. MNO is just a couple of hours north of Manitoba so fly-in is a snap with pickup and delivery to the airport just one of the many fringe benefits offered.

Spring of 2010 was the wettest that our hosts could ever remember. Trails that on a normal year are bone-dry were covered in spots by three feet of water. But MNO is mobilized with modern state of the art equipment; consequently there was no obstacle too large for the experienced woodsman to overcome. They attacked the challenge of filling their hunter’s tags with a vengeance.

By Thursday all tags were filled, save for the one held by publisher and editor of this illustrious publication. The only person not to take a bear was, of course, me. I didn’t even see one while on stand. Needless to say, I was in for more than my fair share of good natured ribbing and free advice compliments of the successful hunters. It was generally agreed that I spent way too much time with a camera in my hand and that the absence of bears on the stand was entirely my fault

The hunting was excellent, the accommodations were very nice and the food…Oh my goodness, the food! Even if the hunting would have been a wash, the food would have made the trip a winner. The main meal of the day was served at midday. Grilled pork chops, barbecued ribs, New York Strips, fresh walleye, maple cured ham and steak and lobster were some of the entrees that were served with all of the appropriate trimmings. It was an incredible fare and I and the entire crew ate at each sitting like it was our last supper. To top it all off, David’s wife, Cindy provided a daily flow of freshly baked pies, bars and cookies that delightfully and delectably decimated our sweet tooth.

David and Wyman are extremely skilled hunters and outdoorsman that are known far and wide for their hunting skills. David has lived all his life in the area we hunt and knows the county like the back of his hand. Well maintained, dependable state-of-the-art equipment moves the crew to and from the stands, which are well placed with robust bear activity (unless one is too busy putzing around with his camera). The MNO guide, Evan is also an experienced outdoorsman with a friendly demeanor and the talent to deftly and cleanly strip the hide from a bagged-bruin, regardless of its size. The bottom line is that our hosts couldn’t have tried any harder to meet our needs and expectations during our stay there.

The allotted territory that makes up the MNO is a combination of farmland that abuts up to endless miles of dense wilderness. Four-wheeler trails leave the fields and are swallowed up by thick forests dotted with wetlands, which make up this classic bear country. The natural beauty of the countryside and the prolific wildlife populations make each shift on stand an adventure unto itself.

During our stay, one of our team members had a medical emergency requiring hospitalization. The hunt accommodations are just two blocks from the local hospital, which we can confirm is staffed by wonderful and personable medical people. We also found a quaint little, bible-orientated church within easy walking distance of our quarters where we were able to share Sunday morning worship with some very warm and friendly people. There are convenience stores and a hardware store that should be able to fill any needs and if not, the big city is within easy driving distance.

 In spite of the record rainfall, MNO’s state of the art equipment stood up to the test. The food the entire week was exceptional and there was plenty of it.Trenton Buerger won the prize for the first bear taken while having the time of his life with his grandpa, Ken. Hunt team L to R back row: Wyman, Cindy & David.  Middle row L to R: Claude, Charlie, Ruth, David, Evan & Ron.  Front row L to R: Ken, Trenton & DJH.  Ron Williams with the largest bear taken for the week.A Yellow Lady Slipper was proudly showing off its colors. Claude Davenport with his black bruin.

Our entire team would like to sincerely thank David & Cindy, Wyman and Evan for taking such good care of us and working so hard to meet our every need during our stay at Magnum North Outfitters. It received thumbs-up from our entire team. If you would like to join us next year, give us a call at 320-634-3660.

Posted in: HBM Hunt Reports

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