The Hunt

To ensure we deliver a world-class bear, we only offer hunts to six hunters a year. To guarantee an exceptional experience we only have three hunters in camp at a time, and only hunt the first week of the first season.

You will rise to a light continental breakfast before heading out to the field.  In the field, you will likely be in a tower stand or ground blind.  We like to be settled in our hunting position 30 minutes before legal shooting time, which is 30 minutes before sunrise.  You will be accompanied by a guide at all times, while your guide’s job is to make sure you are in position and set up for the shot when the time comes.  We try to take all of our shots within 100 yards.  Scoped high power rifles such as a 7mm, 300 Winchester Magnum, or higher calibers are preferred for this style of hunting.  

In the event the bears do not cooperate on a still hunt, we will call in the houndsmen.  Hound hunting is an exciting and challenging method of hunting that will provide you with a story of a lifetime.  Here you will need an unscoped rifle such as a 45-70 or a shotgun loaded with slugs, which we can provide. These shots can be up to 50 feet or even as close as point-blank.

Hunters are expected to arrive at camp fully licensed and prepared for the hunt, we’ll take care of the rest!

Black Bear Hunt
Black Bear at sunset

Still Hunting

There is something about climbing into the stand or ground blind on a cool crisp morning in Eastern NC an hour before sunrise that satisfies the soul. The adrenaline of walking in the dark, knowing a world-class bear is close by, is exhilarating.

Countless hours of scouting coupled with weather conditions, wind, and the hunter’s ability all play into the overall strategy of getting a hunter lined up on a trophy black bear.

Official shooting time in NC is 30 minutes before sunrise, therefore we like to be in the stand 30 minutes before shooting time. This gives the hunter a chance to settle down and get his bearings on the possible shot opportunities. We typically try to take all of our shots within 100 yards.

Be sure to layer up with warm clothes. You can expect 10-40 degree temperature changes throughout the day with lows in the 30s and highs in the 70s. State law requires us to wear hunter orange at all times while in the field. Knee boots are a necessity for this part of the world.

We recommend scoped 7mm magnums, 300 Winchester Magnum, or higher calibers for these hunts due to the bear’s thick hide and extremely thick and dense fat.

Hound Hunting

Known for excitement, hound hunting is no easy way of taking a black bear, especially in Eastern North Carolina.  The extremely thick pocosin offers unbelievable bear habitat, but it does not offer easy passage for us 2-legged creatures.  You will be challenged physically and mentally as the bear maneuvers and tries to evade the hounds.  Through bear dens, ditches, briar patches, and game trails; you will likely be reduced from walking to crawling on your stomach, hands, and knees or rolling on top of the thick canopy.  

This style of hunting offers an intimate look inside the black bears world.  You will be exposed to the wilderness and solve the mystery as to why these bears grow to be the “Worlds Largest Black Bears.”  These ultra-thick pieces of forest are loaded with berries, nuts, and small game making it the perfect habitat. 

The houndsmen take great pride in the skill and effectiveness of their hounds.  Therefore they train year-round to ensure their ability.  We typically hunt with Walkers and Black-and-Tan hounds.  These particular hounds stand up well against the thick wilderness and large bears.  Lead dogs are chosen for their strong scent-trailing abilities, speed, focus, and drive.  Once the lead dog strikes a bear, the houndsmen will then dump a few more hounds to give chase.  The idea is for the bear to bay, depending on size and stamina of the bear, this could take a while.  You will know the bear is bayed when you hear the dog’s tone and cadence change.  

It is now time to dive in after him.  As you draw closer to the action you may hear the bear growling or chomping his teeth.  The roar of the dogs will mask your sound some, but it is best to move in as stealthily as possible.  Keep in mind most shots on dog hunts are from 50 feet to point-blank.  When you’re that close to the bear the whole world tunes out and you become keenly focused on the bear.  

As you draw down on the bear, it is critical to listen and take careful instruction from your guide.   Your guide will help position you for the best possible shot, making sure the hounds are out of the way and the shot is clear.  Shot placement is key as you take aim, be sure to aim for vitals or his head if possible.  “Don’t forget the double safety if you’re using a 45-70.” Once you have taken the shot, reload quickly and prepare to shoot again.  The accompanying guide will be able to provide guidance during this unnerving time.  45-70’s and slug guns are the preferred, and most effective, guns for this style of hunting.  

That night, we can promise you will have an epic bear story to tell for all time.

Hound Hunting Black Bear
Black Bear in field

How To Judge A Bear

Because they don’t have distinctive antlers or other obviously measurable attributes, black bears can be among the hardest big game to judge in the field.

Here are three elements to consider as you size up your trophy.

1. Behavior
Does the bear walk with a swagger? Does it seem to own the field and intimidate other bears? He’s probably an older, bigger male. But if it shies away from its fellows, or acts nervous and edgy, it’s probably a young, submissive bear.

2. Scale
Use other bears or known objects(like tractors) to scale and find the trophy. The bear most frequently misjudged is the solo bear.

3. Anatomical Features
Lastly, judge a bear’s ear size, the length of its legs, and how saggy its belly appears. The ears of large, old boars tend to look small and jut from the sides of his head while a younger bear has pointed ears that appear close together.  An older bear looks like he has short, squatty legs because his body is so muscular.  A bear whose belly sags close to the ground is probably an older, well-fed boar.

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