By Lars Dalseide | September 25 2012 10:37

Finding the right hunting outfitter is essential to the hunt

Through the tale of 12-year old Eddie's first bear hunt, American Hunter Field Editor Frank Miniter explains the importance of choosing the right outfitter ....

Eddie's Bear
Outfitters put us in treestands they’ve hung. They back us up on brown bears. They fly us in their planes. So you need to be sure you’re hiring a professional.

American Hunter's pic of 12 year old Eddie from Oklahoma along with his dad and first bear Eddie was 12 years old and a bear hunt didn’t seem like too much. Not for him. As a matter of fact he’d told his father he wanted to hunt bear more than anything. His father, Greg, considered that awhile. Eddie had been shooting his rifle a lot. Shooting pretty well, too. Eddie could make the metal plate at 300 yards go clang every time. Eddie had hunted a good bit already. Shot deer and hogs and small game as a matter of fact. Maybe he was ready.

Even so, Greg couldn’t take his son just anywhere. This needed to be just the right experience, a kind of controlled rite of passage. He didn’t want some over-macho guide belittling his son. Not now, not when he’s just getting started. Nor did he want his son in a crusty bear camp with men he didn’t know all having a raucous time telling over-the-top tales of backcountry hunts gone awry.

He wanted his son to have a chance to persevere and succeed and to thereby walk out of the forest a stronger, better young man. This was a coming-of-age adventure and he didn’t want anything to step on that.

There weren’t any bears on his family ranch in Oklahoma, so after considering places from Alaska and Saskatchewan, Greg put his finger on Idaho. The Flying B Ranch would be perfect for Eddie. The accommodations the ranch offers for a spring bear hunt in the Rocky Mountain wilderness are just the right mix of adventure and comfort. The people are professionals. And they have lots of bears. This would be the perfect bear hunt for Eddie.

Greg knows all this because he has spent his career helping hunters choose just the right experiences. In fact, his reputation for finding clients dream trips is so good the NRA recently signed an agreement with him to start NRA Outdoors. NRA Outdoors is an outfitting service that gives deals to NRA members. Even better, it’s a service that has a proven list of more than 300 quality outfitters from around the world. Just log on to and select a species and/or a location and you’ll get a list of quality trips for everything from elk to brown bear to Cape buffalo to marlin. When you have a good idea of where you want to go and what you want to hunt and/or fish for, contact Greg’s team. They’ll book your adventure and give you detailed advice.

Read the full story of Eddie's first bear hunt on the American Hunter website.

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