Hunt BL5244

$3,900 plus $300 license

Second bear: $1,000 fee

Meals are provided in a lodge

Sleeping quarters in cabins. One is set up as a honeymoon suite.

Travel: Fly to Fort McMurray, stay overnight in the Nomad Inn, ride a boat one hour up the river to the lodge. The outfitter recommends that hunters stay overnight in the Nomad the night before and the night before the hunt at their own expense.

Trophy care: Guides flesh the skulls and skin the bears and freeze the pelts. The outfitter has a freezer at the Nomad Inn to keep pelts frozen after the hunt.

One-hour boat ride from Fort McMurray

This outfitter offers high success from a backcountry lodge reached only by jet boat up the Clearwater River. About 95 percent of his customers are bowhunters. Hunting is from custom-built metal tree stands that feature folding plastic seats that were rescued from a hockey stadium under renovation. austin's antelope

Hunter success is high. Virtually every hunter takes a bear, and a few opt to take a second animal. Skulls typically measure 18 to 19 1/2 inches in the Boone and Crockett scoring system. The outfitter reported 24 bears for 16 hunters in 2015. He has enough permits for 32 hunters. Ideally he would like to host eight hunters a week for a month.

Brady Bradford of Arkansas took this hunt in 2015 and highly recommends it.

"This was the best bear hunt I ever had," he said. "The outfitter is really organized. There were lots of bears. I ended up taking two. The biggest one was 19 1/2 inches and the second was over 18 inches. Both easily made Pope and Young."

"We maintain 19 active bait sites and some of them are quite a ways from the lodge," he said. We jet boat to some of the stands and others we use quads to reach in the opposite direction. Last year we had 10 bears over 19 inches and just under 20 inches. Only three of our bears did not make Pope and Young.

"Out hunters who have hunted in eastern Canada tell us they see lots more bears here, bigger bears and there aren't as many bugs."

The outfitter thinks 25 to 30 percent of bears have pelts that are not black, ranging from blond to chocolate brown.

"People will have a great time on our hunt," he said. "They'll have a ride up a beautiful river to our lodge, and they won't run into anybody else. Nobody hunts bears where we are, and so they don't have to worry about interference from other people, and everybody goes home happy."