Never thought I would say this, but...

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Never thought I would say this, but...

Unread postby Freelance Bowhunter » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:27 am

I'm going to be a bear hunting outfitter.

Never had any intent of doing this but man, how things have changed in the past few months. Sorry for the long background story but here goes. Bear with me I will get to the bear hunting part.

My wife and I have thought for some time that the day would be coming in which we would be living on a lake in Minnesota during the summer and somewhere sunny and warm in the winter such as Texas or Arizona. It's still a few years away but I from time to time I have been looking at properties and saving up for the right lakeshore property. Well, last fall, an amazing deal on a lakeshore property appeared online and I immediately called the realtor and asked about it. The price didn't make sense or match the things I was seeing in my research. It seemed too good to be true. I went to look at the property the next day, took my wife the following day and made an offer right away. It was an older couple who hadn't been to the property in years and just needed the money for medical bills so they told the realtor to dump it. Long Story shot, the tax appraisal was $222,000 and I bought it for $90,000 and they threw in all the furniture and everything, even a pontoon boat that was in the garage. It's got 600 feet of lakeshore, a 36x48 pole building that has been partially converted into living quarters and also a small cabin. Fishing in the area is great.

Two months after closing on the property, COVID hit and gas prices were cheap so I spent a lot of time up there all spring. It's 2 hours from home but I was there a lot and did a complete remodel of the building and cabin. As most of you know I am a full time freelance writer, specializing in deer and bear hunting and bowhunting. Well, this COVID has hit me hard. One of the Whitetail magazines I write for in every issue folded in April. Another magazine cut back to a quarterly. Another dropped my column because the advertisers are just not buying ads. Suddenly I now have a second mortgage payment and my income was cut by about 1/3.

This property is north of Grand Rapids, MN, in really good bear country. I knew the solution to paying for this property was to use it as a base of operations for bear hunts. The property has two bedrooms in the main building and the cabin sleeps 2-3. I moved a park model on there for me and a guide to use for sleeping quarters. I put a full bathroom with shower in the main building so I can easily house and take care of the needs of six people. Beginning in 2021, I will be taking a limited number or hunters, 6 a week for the first two weeks of the September season for a total of 12 per year. Fully guided, all lodging and meals are on me. (I really can cook, you'd be surprised!) I'll mostly be baiting in zones 24 and 27 but I do have some great baits I have hunted before in Zone 25 which are about an hour away so I may add that zone as well.

So there you have it. I am going through the process of getting my Minnesota guides license and also the necessary permits to guide on National Forest Land. I'll be putting out test bait sites this year and taking hunters next year. My price reflects that it is for a quality hunt. I have always been convinced that spending the extra money on quality bait, stands, cams, etc. is worth it. We'll be hunting both from trucks and ATVs. Should be really fun and I am very excited about the challenge of getting it up and running. I'll be doing a youtube video on it and finishing the website over the next few weeks.

Really never thought I'd be doing this, but here goes...


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Re: Never thought I would say this, but...

Unread postby seazofcheeze » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:36 am

Sorry to hear about the troubles with the magazine business. The bear guiding sounds like an exciting new adventure, good luck!
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Re: Never thought I would say this, but...

Unread postby Edcyclopedia » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:43 am

You're like a cat and will land on your feet!
Be Well...
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Re: Never thought I would say this, but...

Unread postby stash59 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:44 am

This Covid stuff sucks. Good luck you'll do well.
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Re: Never thought I would say this, but...

Unread postby Dewey » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:45 am

Sounds like a blast. Nothing better than making a living doing what you love. Hope you have a lot of success with this new venture. 8-)
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Re: Never thought I would say this, but...

Unread postby dan » Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:10 am

The great thing about bear hunting is you don't have to be the shooter to have a blast... Good luck... You anywhere near the over the counter area?
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Re: Never thought I would say this, but...

Unread postby Mike Foss » Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:09 pm

Good luck to you
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Re: Never thought I would say this, but...

Unread postby Ol Split ( ) Toes » Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:08 pm

I should draw in a year or two, always been a diy guy but my mn tag I'm gonna hire out. Keep ya in mind
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Re: Never thought I would say this, but...

Unread postby Freelance Bowhunter » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:40 pm

dan wrote:The great thing about bear hunting is you don't have to be the shooter to have a blast... Good luck... You anywhere near the over the counter area?


Not at all. I'll be mostly doing zones 24 and 27. Far from the No Quota zone.
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Re: Never thought I would say this, but...

Unread postby Freelance Bowhunter » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:41 pm

Ol Split ( ) Toes wrote:I should draw in a year or two, always been a diy guy but my mn tag I'm gonna hire out. Keep ya in mind


That would be great. It would be fun to meet more guys from this forum.
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Re: Never thought I would say this, but...

Unread postby 218er » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:41 am

I’m pretty certain you’ll be a fantastic bear guide. I’ve found your information and articles over the years to be extremely helpful. I wish you the best of luck.
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Re: Never thought I would say this, but...

Unread postby Tufrthnails » Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:50 am

Very cool. I have found personally it takes a lifestyle “crisis” to get me to take risk especially when it comes to financial things. Had I not went through what I did last winter I never would have moved to the private sector. I always thought I could hack it and was fairly certain I would excel in the private sector in my career path, but the public sector is so “secure” I never wanted to take the risk. Now I’m making substantial more money and enjoy the challenges that arise it seems daily.
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Re: Never thought I would say this, but...

Unread postby Freelance Bowhunter » Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:44 am

My website is up and running. I'll be doing a video in a week or so.

https://www.bucksbullsbears.com/bear-hunting-outfitting/
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Re: Never thought I would say this, but...

Unread postby Moose » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:01 pm

Im no bear hunter but it sounds like you got one heck of a deal! Sorry to hear about the string of bad luck. Things will turn around for you, im sure of it!
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Re: Never thought I would say this, but...

Unread postby Uncle Lou » Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:43 am

Bernie, good luck to you in this venture. You might as well guide, you basically accomplished everything there is to accomplish as a bear hunter.
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