Handgun bear hunting in Maine places you in one of the heaviest black bear concentrations per acre of habitat anywhere in North America. Hunter success from our blinds and tree stands over bait has been outstanding with record book kills year in and year out.

Handgunners are Welcome

Yes, handgunners are welcome in the State of Maine and at Foggy Mountain Guide Service. Handgun hunting is legal in Maine. There is no special license required to hunt with a handgun. Your regular big game hunting license is all you need.

Challenge yourself to make a sure shot, and a quick, clean kill

The black bear demands shooting excellence before he will fall to a hunter. Even at these close ranges, a precision shot is essential. Your target is a 4 to 5 inch square (boiler room) area just behind the front shoulder.

The black bear is unlike any other game you have ever hunted. When hit, he will not lie down and bleed out like a deer. But rather, will run until he dies – which could be up to 20 miles. It makes no difference how good a shot you are. Unless you hit exactly in the boiler room, you will get nothing but a wounded animal.

And never rush a shot. But when you do have a good shot – take it. Do not assume the bear may go left or right, or even to the actual bait. Be positive of what and where you are shooting…it’s your responsibility.

Question: Doug Koenig clearly strives to be the best, so where does Doug Koenig go when he wants to hunt bear?

Bear hunters Doug Koenig and Dick Metcalf
Doug Koenig (L), world shooting champion, with shooting and hunting authority Dick Metcalf (R).
Doug Koenig with his trophy black bear from the Maine Highlands
Answer: Doug calls his friends at Foggy Mountain Guide Service. Here’s Doug with his Maine Highlands trophy.

About Doug Koenig

  • At the age of 20, Doug became the first shooter to fire a perfect score at the National Action Pistol Championships (Bianchi Cup).
  • Doug has fired more perfect scores, in the sport of action pistol, than any other shooter in the world since his first perfect score was shot in 1990.
  • In July 2003, Doug won the Gold Medal at the Great Outdoor Games in the Rifle event. The best pistol shooter in the world won the premier rifle event in the world.
  • Doug has won the Master’s International Pistol Match ten times, and has been the only competitor to fire a perfect score (5 perfect scores in 9 championships).

Nice bear taken with handgun

Know your hunting tools

Handgun hunters must know their gun and what it will do under our kind of hunting conditions. Handgunners will take aim at about 25 to 40 yards on average. You are provided pre-built, permanent stands, portables and ground blinds with all obstructing branches and brush cleared from your line of fire. The best cartridges are large calibers with deep-penetrating heavy bullets – either cast lead or jacketed soft noses.

For treestand and ground blind hunting, optical sights are recommended. However, on a scope, nothing should be over three-power. Remember the woods are very dark, and the sky could reflect back from the eye-piece lens when you’re aiming downward. Check out your equipment. Open sights work well with highly visible contrasting colors – a yellow front blade with a white outlined rear notch is very good.

Also, handgun hunters should sight-in their guns downward for shooting from a tree stand. The difference in bullet point of impact when shooting across flat ground or down out of a tree can be as much as four inches with some cartridge loads even at close range – enough to make the difference between a dead bear or a twenty mile search for a wounded animal. Also shoot your gun in a level position as you may hunt from a ground blind too.

Unsurpassed opportunity to hunt a Trophy Bear

We strive to give our hunters the shooting opportunities expected of a truly world-class hunting outfitter. This requires knowledge, skill, effort, advance preparation, and experience. Bear hunting is our life, so no matter how you cut it, a part time guide can not give a full time commitment.

Bear hunters from the Performance Center at Smith and Wesson always enjoy their hunt

Our highly processed baits have incredible drawing power. They are continually adjusted as bear feeding preferences change. Your bait site, stand and blind are precisely positioned and meticulously maintained only after our careful study of prevailing winds, terrain, and game patterns.

A black bear can appear at your stand and then disappear in a blink. Powerful and crafty, the bear’s trademarks are strength and endurance. His nose is as sensitive as the most sophisticated radar system. The bears feed and travel patterns through our thick fir and dense bogs make him a challenging animal to hunt. Scent and noise control are critical to your success.

Black Bear Hunting Professionals

Wayne Bosowicz is regarded as the dean of bear hunting guides. He and his close knit staff of fully licensed master guidesn now led by Brandon Bishopn set the world standard that others can only dream of achieving. And no expense is spared to continually raise that standard.

Wayne’s tip on choosing a handgun for bear hunting

For decades, my favorite caliber has been a 41 Magnum, and it still is. I’ve killed a pile of bear with the 41 Magnum, but I just think the world of my Smith & Wesson 44 Magnum Mountain Gun. And that’s what I’ve been carrying for several years now,” says Wayne Bosowicz, Maine Master Guide. Wayne also owns a 454, but doesn’t have enough bear kills with it, or with the 500 and hot 460, to let him give an expert’s opinion.

“Wayne the Bear Hunter”

Wayne with his good friend, and famed handgunner, J. D. Jones (R) at the NRA National Convention.

Prime Black Bear Habitat with Controlled Access

You will hunt deep in the most productive black bear habitat in North America, on nearly one million acres of private and state lands. Our prime hunting areas have controlled access – an unparalleled benefit for Foggy Mountain’s guests. We have hunted these lands since 1964. We know the habitat, and we know the black bears habits and patterns within it.
Hunters Roy Jinks, a national authority on handgun history, and Wayne Betz Roy Jinks (L) of Smith & Wesson and Wayne Betz (R). Roy is an outstanding person and long time friend of Foggy Mountain. Besides being a good hunter as shown here, Roy is one of the nation’s premier authorities on handgun history.

Roy Jinks (L) of Smith & Wesson and Wayne Betz (R). Roy is an outstanding person and long time friend of Foggy Mountain. Besides being a good hunter as shown here, Roy is one of the nation’s premier authorities on handgun history.

The black bear in your territory are under-hunted, resulting in a growing bear population, with many stands having multiple bears visiting them.

Bear Hunts in Two Vast Maine Regions

We hunt two regions of private lands. Each area has access controlled by gates, as are 95% of our total hunting territories.

1. Highlands, Katahdin and Moosehead Region

2021 Season: Hunt begins Monday, August 30th (Arrive on the 29th) thru September 3rd; or hunt Monday, September 6th (Arrive on September 5th) thru September 10th.

Maine’s vast Highland, Katahdin and Moosehead Region lies between our Ebeemee Lake base camp, and Mount Katahdin and Moosehead Lake to the north. A six day stay and a five day hunt.

Housekeeping Accommodations – We offer excellent housekeeping accommodations in comfortable cottages or camps. We match your lodging to the size of your party and the area you are hunting. We provide bedding and household equipment. You’ll have everything you need to prepare your own food inexpensively. There are also several places to eat within easy driving distance.

2. West Branch Region

2021 Season: Hunt Monday, September 13th (Arrive on the 12th) thru September 17th; or hunt Monday, September 20th (Arrive on the 19th) thru September 24th.

Hunt Maine’s famous West Branch Region between Moosehead Lake and the Canadian border. A six day stay and a five day hunt tailored the same as our regular base camp housekeeping hunts.

American Plan – Stay in the comfort of a fully restored Maine Lumberjack Lodge. This lodge has been designated as an official National and Maine Historic Site, and features original turn-of-century decor. What’s more, you’ll enjoy home-cooked, all-you-can-eat, lumberjack-style meals, reputed to be the biggest and the best in Maine. The coffee pot always on.

Tom Fegely looking at bear taken by hunter Chris Dolnack Tom Fegely (L), outdoor writer from Pennsylvania, looking at the bear taken by hunter Chris Dolnack (R) of the National Shooting Sports Foundation
Tom Fegely (L), outdoor writer from Pennsylvania, looking at the bear taken by hunter Chris Dolnack (R) of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
  • All hunts are six days lodging and five days hunting.
  • The best time to arrive is Sunday afternoon.
  • A 50% deposit is required on all hunts. No deposits refunded.

Please make Checks Payable to “Foggy Mountain Guide Service.”

Click Here for Maine Black Bear Hunting Rates.

Hunting License

In order to purchase a Maine hunting license you will be required to show a previous license from your home state or province. A hunter safety certificate is also sufficient.


When you book a hunt with us, you will receive a complete confirmation kit including detailed information on equipment and clothing, plus graphic illustrations of optimum shooting angles.

Please feel free to call us at any time.

Click here for answers to some of your Hunting Questions.

Visit our Handgun Bear Hunting Trophy Room

How to Hunt Black Bear - HandgunningRead about Doug Koenig’s Bear Hunt
by Dick Metcalf in Handgunning Magazine.

Handgunning for Bears - Peterson's HuntingRead Handgunning for Bears
by Dick Metcalf in Peterson’s Hunting Magazine, November 2006.