As Time Honored Methods Are Squeezed From Existence,
One Man Continues To Uphold Tradition.
By Dick Metcalf
WAYNE BOSOWICZ is the last of the great Maine guides. He came to that point after decades of hunting and haunting the New England woods beginning when he was growing up in the Berkshire forests surrounding the little Massachusetts village of Otis. Civilization finally drove him out of his home state, and later Vermont, as “back-to-nature” refugees and environmentalist fanatics from suburbia began to fill the lower New England backwaters, dominate state legislatures and outlaw many traditional hunting practices.
In his first years with Foggy Mountain, when he couldn’t find a bank that would lend money to a hunting service, Wayne worked temporary construction jobs to feed his family, and spent every minute possible in the woods studying and hunting bears. Long before it was state law, he regularly extracted teeth from his kills to determine age, and sent them to state laboratories for analysis. Former Maine Fish & Wildlife Department director of biological research, George Matula, a nationally-prominent bear biology authority, has been quoted in the prestigious Yankee magazine as saying, “[Bosowicz is] as rare as they come. Hunter. Field scientist. In many ways we have been trying to catch up to him for years.”
Foggy Mountain’s long-term success ratio is more than 80 percent on bears, and nearly 100 percent on shot opportunities. That’s an astounding statistic for any type of hunting, much less for fair-chase black bear hunting. So it should be no surprise that Wayne has twice been named “International Guide of the Year,” or that his clients include some of the best known figures in business, entertainment and professional athletics. The likeness of “Wayne the Bear Hunter” and his Foggy Mountain logo can be found on a wide variety of hunting related products sold nationwide.
Wayne says he never dreamed he could ever consider leaving the U.S., but like Daniel Boone two centuries ago, he’s literally being pushed back by civilization into ever-more-remote locales. His Longlac site in Ontario is only 100 miles south of the tundra’s edge. In Maine his back is against the wall. History moves us on, but if Wayne Bosowicz is ever forced to pull up stakes and move north of the 49th parallel, Maine will lose one if its greatest resources and a national treasure.
Return to Peterson’s Hunting article “Handgunning For Bear” by Dick Metcalf.
Living History: The Bear Hunter, and Handgunning for Bear,
may be read in the November 2006 issue of Peterson’s Hunting magazine. See page 74.
Read more about Black Bear Hunting with Foggy Mountain Guide Service.
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