A Mammoth From Manitoba

Gary Gustafson, Bear Hunting Magazine
John Palmer and his trophy.
John Palmer and guide Reuben Rickards

John Palmer of Rome, New York has been bear hunting a long time. Until recently, he held the New York state archery bear record with a 21 2/16" bruiser. But Manitoba, particularly at Sugarloaf Outfitting, has become the place he hunts every year. On May 28th 2007, John harvested another memorable bear there.

John enjoys experimenting with new techniques and products when he hunts. This year, John hunted out of a pop-up ground blind. As an archery hunter, he wears a Scent-Lok suit and also uses Dead Down Wind's E3 odor terminator spray to keep his blind from emanating any odors offensive to bears.

Reuben Rickards of Sugarloaf already has trophy-sized bears hitting his baits. Twenty years of experience in guiding has helped him develop some great hunting areas. Another big advantage he has is that his guiding concession borders Riding Mountain National Park. Although John was seeing some good bears, he decided to try an anise oil Bear Bomb to further entice a big bruin into the bait.

The combination of Reuben's intelligent baiting practices and John's timely use of a bear bomb did the trick when John arrowed this whopper. The trail cameras at the bait had been capturing numerous big bears, but this one did not show until the night John hunted.

The bear has a skull that green-scores 21", but the skull is relatively small for the body size. The bear's girth is 55" and he tapes 6'10" nose-to-tail. Reuben estimated the weight of the bear to be just under 500 Lbs. A bear this big could easily weigh over 600 Lbs in the fall!

Sugarloaf Outfitting can be reached by calling (204) 546-2940.

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