Eight hunters began their journey by calling in Winnipeg, Manitoba. From there, we were presented with only one way to reach our final destination, Eagle Nest Resort in the middle of the Winnipeg River: float plane. And so began our fly-in bear hunt. I was happy to check this particular item off the bucket list.
The lodging at Eagle Nest was everything a hunter (or fisherman) could ask for. Comfortable, rustic and modern (we even had a touch of Wi-Fi!), it made a great temporary home. Two of our sponsors on the trip, Bushnell and Ugly Stik, are well represented here.
As I noted, Eagle Nest sits in the middle of a lake, along the Winnipeg River. So, once our plane landed, there was only one other way to get around: by boat. When we weren't fishing, we were being carted to and from our bear hunting sites by our guides, who'd long since learned how to navigate the occasionally treacherous and rocky waters.
Decked out in ScentLok gear, I spent my evenings in a tree stand, minding a bait pile. I'd ultimately see just one, smaller bear, which I passed on. Perhaps I shouldn't have. Regardless, I left Manitoba without a black bear of my own.
My ammunition of choice for the trip was a .338 Federal load from Federal Premium's Fusion line. Unfortunately, we never did get to see what it'd do to a bear. Which disappointed more than a few folks in camp.
My most frequent companions during my stay in the Great White North were my Savage Arms Model 11 Hog Hunter, and my Ugly Stik. When we weren't hunting bears we passed the time by fishing the river, which was alive with walleye, northern pike and smallmouth bass.
Though I hadn't tagged a bear as the sun was setting on our trip, it did little to hamper the adventure as a whole. The entirety of camp was more than ready to stay for an additional week—or three—given the opportunity.
We cover our fair share of adventure hunts here at American Hunter, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a North American adventure that rates quite like an fly-in bear hunt. And that's exactly what Web Managing Editor Shawn Skipper had the opportunity to do over Memorial Day weekend. Armed with a Savage ArmsModel 11 Hog Hunter and .338 Federal cartridges from Federal Premium's Fusion line, he set out to tag his first-ever bruin. Get an inside look at his hunt—which featured a little fishing, too—with this gallery.