Our Fall 2020 program will run for three weeks from August 15 to September 5, 2020. Hunters may choose to come in either week (Sat to Sat). Don't delay. We only book 4-5 hunters per week.
At MRL, we offer an all-inclusive, fully-guided Hunt/Fish Combo Package that includes everything from baiting to butchering – so it’s completely turn-key for you. All meals, accommodations, maid service, boat, motor, bait, fuel, firewood, daily transportation, game retrieval, processing of your bear, butchering , labelled packaging and freezing is included in your 7-night/6-day Hunt/Fish Package. Your hide will be carefully cleaned, wrapped and frozen for you to take to your taxidermist. We even take care of all licensing (fishing & hunting), tags and validation, and export permits. We hunt in WMU’s 40 and 41.
We take great pride in running a professionally-managed hunt, ensuring optimum success and safety of our hunters. Baiting and clearing of stands begins early each season to promote active baits long before our hunters arrive. We offer stands or blinds with shots ranging from 20 yards to 80 yards, accommodating both rifle and bow hunters. We aim to have at least two active stands per hunter and generally exceed this each year. Trailcam monitoring during the baiting process allows us to preview bear activity with hunters.
Unlike many outfitters, we strictly limit the number of hunters as we accept to no more than 4 or 5 each week. We take the time to profile our hunters to understand their level of proficiency, choice of firearm(s), stand or blind and shooting and range preferences. This enables our guide team to provide best-in-class service to each hunter while maximizing our harvest success and a positive and more exclusive overall hunt experience for everyone.
Prior to the start of your hunt, our guide team, led by our hunt director, will conduct an orientation and program overview. This will include Team introductions, review of Hunter and Firearm Safety, MRL’s Bear Hunt Program Policies and Itinerary, Baiting and Stand Activity Report, Stand/Blind profiles, Administration and Logistic details and Hunter Q & A’s. Following the orientation, our Hunt Director will oversee the sighting-in of your firearm.
Daily transportation to and from your stand is included in your hunt package. Also, hunters appreciate that we have full cell phone coverage throughout our hunting areas. As such, we require that all hunters carry a cell phone enabled for out-of-country calling (for non-residents) so that you can call us when you harvest a bear or are in need of assistance. Meals are prepared by our Master Chef with breakfast served daily at 8 AM and your main meal at 1:30 PM. Departure time from camp is usually around 3 PM each day. This allows you ample time in the mornings to fish our 24 kilometer (15 mile) water system and to prepare for your hunting day. A hardy late night snack is served on your return to camp.
When you harvest a bear, a team is dispatched to your location immediately. We will track and retrieve your bear and return to camp to begin processing your game. Processing is conducted in a respectful, systematic manner with opportunities for photos as well. This activity is always exciting and engages the entire camp in a celebration that goes well into the evening. Skinning and butchering will take place the following morning on site. It is important to note that if you harvest your bear on the last day of your hunt, we cannot promise that time will permit us to fully process your bear prior to your departure. In this instance, the Hunter is responsible for the carcass.
Brian Moulder, Hunt Director: Brian is a life-long resident of Marten River, Temagami and North Bay and is a retired director with the MNR’s Forestry division. He is a highly knowledgeable and experienced bushman, hunter and firearms expert and is extremely helpful to hunters, particularly first-time hunters. Brian’s affiliation with Marten River Lodge dates back at least 30 years. He also acts as lead tracker when the need arises.
Ray Sapiano, MRL Owner and Program Administrator: Owner and operator of MRL since 2012, Ray has hosted and administered eight bear hunts, upholding MRL’s long tradition of success under mentorship of his team of experts. Ray has raised the bar on professionalism in the management of the hunt and level of service provided to hunters. He has invested in new equipment including mutli-passenger UTVs, an Argo, trailcams, etc. and implemented policies, guide protocols and developed MRL’s Hunter Orientation program.
Neil Graham, Guide: As a seasoned hunter and bushman, Neil is deeply passionate about hunting black bears. A predominant bow hunter, he enjoys the art and science of baiting, attracting, harvesting and processing large game. With his practical experience and education in biological and environmental science, Neil has a deep ecological understanding of the local natural environment and wildlife.
Bill Tregenza, Senior Guide (Retired): Bill is also a life-long resident of Marten River and a highly respected trapper, bushman, angler and hunter. Bill developed the bear hunt program at Marten River Lodge over 30 years ago and guided at the lodge for 20 years. Today he mentors our team, provides oversight and council on program planning each year and will occasionally help in processing game.
Tyler Moulder, Tracker and Associate Guide: Tyler is Brian’s son and has helped and worked along-side his father on MRL bear hunts for years. An avid and enthusiastic outdoorsman, Tyler is a great complement to the MRL team and often tag-teams with his dad to help track, retrieve and process game.
Phil Beauchamp, Butcher: By day, Phil is the store manager at No-Frills, Sturgeon Falls. In his off time, and from his home-based professional butcher shop, he specializes in wild game processing and is well known throughout the region for his work. Phil has become our go-to butcher at MRL and provides quality, professional work and very quick, reliable service.
Your package includes a boat and motor for every 3 adults in your party. Our boats are fully equipped, 16’ Starcraft models and include high-back swivel seats, vinyl floors with 7’ casting deck, automatic live well and bilge pump, rod holders, fish finder, 30 HP electric start motors and unlimited bait and fuel during your stay. Our main water system offers 24 kilometers (15 miles) of fishing with access into 4 different lakes for Walleye (Pickerel), Pike, Perch, Small Mouth Bass and Lake Trout. On arrival, we will provide you with a map and orientation of our water system and point you to known hot spots.
Though our focus and priority during our hunt dates is the bear hunt itself, MRL does specialize in guided remote back-lake fishing adventures. If hunters are successful in harvesting their bear early in the week, and time and resources permit, we may be able to accommodate a guided fishing trip to one of our remote lakes at additional cost if there is interest.