Are you looking for a bear hunt that will push your potential for physical endurance, challenging the “beast” within, and increasing the odds for a big trophy bear.

Hunting spring bear in the Salmon River Canyons is a good match for the guy who is fit and can climb a rocky, snag riddled side of a canyon.  

If this is your kind of hunt, Mackay Bar Outfitters offers just the challenge you seek!  

Mackay Bar Outfitter Buck Dewey likes to call it EXTREME BEAR HUNTING which runs annually April 15th through June 30th.   AND IT IS EXTREME because of the steep rocky grades along the breaks above the Salmon River.  A guy needs to have just a little bit of the “goat” gene to be able to successfully traverse these rocky parts.  


Among our versatile forms of bear hunts, the ‘glassing from the boat’ and ‘bait‘ are two of the least physical and least desirable style of bear hunting among visiting guests, but Mackay Bar Outfitters is totally willing to arrange these less physical types of hunts if you aren’t quite in the condition needed for these next two methods, that are more popular because of the higher rates of success.


‘Spot and stalk’ and ‘chasing bears with hounds‘ are the two methods of bear hunting that definitely represent the most physically taxing approaches and what we call our EXTREME BEAR HUNTS.

Mackay Bar Outfitters Spring and Fall Bear Hunts

Your outfitter and guide, Buck Dewey,  co-owner of Mackay Bar Outfitters & Guest Ranch with his partner and wife, Joni Dewey, has been named “a human mountain goat” on a number of occasions.   Buck grew up climbing the ledges and crannies of this rugged region of Central Idaho in the heart of the Frank Church “River of No Return” Wilderness.  Bucks conditioning comes from a passion for the hunt, and providing his valued guests the kind of hunting experience that delivers the most rewarding adventure of a lifetime.

Mackay Bar Outfitters is permit holder for one of the largest units in Idaho.  It’s a rugged country, with limited access, which means very little human hunting pressure.   The Salmon River terrain nestled in the Frank Church Wilderness offers a variety of rocky steep ledges and draws where the big boars roam, feeding their hunger from a long winter of hibernation.

For avid hunters who desire to experience the most EXTREME kind of bear hunt, endurance and agility is definitely an advantage to bagging the biggest trophy boar. “We like to identify the boars over 10+ years old, identified by the larger skull size”, Buck Dewey explains to a hunting guest.

Starting the day with a hearty breakfast under their belts, and the group is getting ready to embark on the first day of their bear hunt.  While the bear hunt is our primary mission,  the serenity of beautiful visual landscapes in this rugged terrain combined with the comforts of Mackay Bar Ranch,  where delicious home cooked meals and beautifully decorated lodging beckons guests to relax and share the tales of the day, is definitely the icing on the cake.

Hunters familiar with bear habitats near Mackay Bar understand that of all places in the world, the versatile color phase bears are especially indigenous to this geographic area along the shores of the Salmon River back country in the Frank Church Wilderness.   Blonde bears, tan bears, red or cinnamon bears, and black bears are prolific in this area, and are indicative of the early stages of bear life.   One might observe  bears moving into their adult stages of maturity where blonde tips of the bears shoulders are the last remnants of their juvenile phase.

While bears are carnivorous mammals that feed on their warm blooded prey, bears exit their winter hibernation largely as omnivores.   Along the shores of the Salmon River, temperatures are mild and the grasses begin to grow much earlier than in the higher elevations of the Rocky Mountains.   Bears spend time along the shores of the Salmon River consuming these grasses and tender shoots of various plant life to help them expel what is known as a gut plug or “stomach plug” that forms in their digestive tract during their hibernation period.  In addition, rich nutrients consumed through an omnivorous diet of plants help bears to shake off their winter nap, super energizing their vitality to forage, travel, bear their young and survive during the spring, summer and fall seasons as their active cycles take them to higher elevations when the heat of summer turns on.

If you’re planning a bear hunting adventure with family or friends and are seeking the kind of memorable experience you won’t find anywhere else in the world, contact Mackay Bar Ranch to ask questions, learn more about our unique 2 Unit Bear Hunting Grounds, and take the plunge to experience Idaho’s stunning back country landscapes for your most EXTREME bear hunting objectives.

You’ll need an Idaho Hunting License plus a bear tag.   Idaho Fish and Game reduces the price of a second bear tag for those who would like to buy two.

Contact Mackay Bar Outfitters to learn more about our Units and book your Bear Hunts in advance to reserve the timeframe that works best for  your busy schedule.

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