You’re riding shotgun in a beat-up truck as you cruise down a logging road that doesn’t appear on any map. Even though the truck is moving slowly, you are getting jostled around in your seat. You begin to wonder how that old hound remains perched on the hood as the odometer marks another tenth. Just then the timeworn canine sounds off, shattering the silence and indicating the fresh scent.
Maine bear hunts are among the most traditional you can go on. Despite recent opposition from a number of animal rights groups, the long-standing methods of chasing bears with dogs. And a great number of outfitters continue to carry these torches for the enjoyment of their sports. Many of them spend all year preparing stands around their most productive plots, and log more hours than you can count getting their packs of purpose-bred dogs ready for the next season. And you can count on the local guides to be top-notch. Maine was one of the first states to require accreditation, and to this day they remain one of the toughest places to get a guide license, with extensive testing required to grab one of those coveted certificates.
Maine is unique among states east of the Mississippi River in that it has more public land than private. But the terrain is rugged, and the weather is known to change quickly, especially up on the mountains. Because of this, the state encourages all of its visitors to be prepared when they head out-of-doors. If not, it can cost you: through injury or worse, as well as financially. Maine is one of a few states that charges survivors for their rescues, and the cost of keeping a helicopter in the air is steep, to say the least. So take advantage of the number of well-qualified individuals that cruise the backwoods or run camps, and go harvest that trophy you’ve always wanted.