Maine Bear Hunting with Spruce Mountain Lodge + Testimonials

2022 Maine Bear Hunting

Got my bear back! Everyone is doing good. We had another baby girl Dec. 4th. It would be a lot of fun if we could come out there again. It was the best vacation trip I have ever had. Thank you and we want to do it again, it was amazing.

Maine Bear Hunting with Guide

Got my bear!

2022 Maine Bear Hunting with Jason Houser

As seen on Bone Wild TV on the Pursuit Channel & YouTube with host Jason Houser

Brenda and Steve,

Thanks again for a great week of hunting. Steve and I had a great time. Hunting with the hounds was better than we could have imagined. It was just an awesome  experience. Your staff was friendly and very accommodating. Special thanks to Dean for getting us ready and instructing us what to expect on the hunt. He had us prepared for any situation! And last of all and probably my favorite was getting to ride along with Steve! Haha!

Here are a few pictures I promised I would send over. Thanks again.

Jeff Stage

2019 and more Maine Bear Hunting Testimonials at SpruceMtn.com

Rob T – Testimonial Letter and Great Picture!  Link here for this Maine Black Bear testimonial. 

Dear Steve and Brenda. It has been this time of year for the past few years that Mark and I have come to Maine. I have three bears hanging on my walls to show from those trips. I am truly missing being in Maine this year. With Mark’s retirement and training this year, it wasn’t possible to return. But, I say, it isn’t the bears that I miss. I truly enjoyed spending time in Maine and being around the two of you. You took a hunting experience and turned it into a family destination. I hope that all is well there, I worry about the two of you in the woods and I hope that we will be able to spend another fall with you soon. Harvey

2017 Maine Black Bear Hunting Testimonials at SpruceMtn.com


Thank you to you, Steve, and your entire team for 2 great seasons of bear hunting.  The bear I shot on September 15th, is the culmination of a boyhood dream that lasted over 50 years. Your team put me on bears both seasons and ensured that I was prepared to make the shot.  I have and will continue to recommend Spruce Mountain Lodge to all my friends for a great hunting experience.  Your guides are very professional and have great knowledge about the bears and how they will probably react.  The dogs that you use for dog hunts are the best. A great example is Mack your Walker Hound, he tracked, chased, and treed my trophy bear by himself after a chase that lasted over an hour and a half, across the side of the mountain and through swamps and extremely thick forest growth.  Thank you again for the experience of a lifetime.

-Dave, Sterling, VA from 2017 Maine Bear Hunting Season

2016 Maine Black Bear Hunting Testimonials at SpruceMtn.com

Just a quick note from Patrick, Harvey, and myself on our September 2016 Bear Hunt. We want to thank you Brenda and Steve and your great staff for an outstanding Bear Hunt and very enjoyable week at Spruce Mountain Lodge. I can see why Spruce Mountain Lodge is rated so high for its various hunting trips. Your Guides worked very hard and did their very best to make our hunt successful. Thank you so much for all your efforts to make our week with you successful and enjoyable. After such a great experience at your lodge Patrick, Harvey and myself will be coming back again in 2017. Again thanks so much for the great week.

-The Mill’s, November 2016

This is truly a 5 star lodge. There wasn’t a thing that I wasn’t truly pleased with. The hunt was a hunt of a lifetime. The guides were friendly and knowledgeable. The food and cooking staff were a pleasure. Food was awesome and plentiful. The owners Brenda and Steve were excellent in all aspects. A lodge that truly takes pride in all aspects of the hunt,.

I truly couldn’t be more pleased. Did I mention the pair of Bears,. Steve did everything in his power to get my daughter and I a beautiful pair of Maine black bear. Thanks again see you in 2017.

-Scott Eroh, October 1, 2016

5 Star! Another great week with the folks as Spruce Mountain. This is my third time here and it’s truly a great hunting camp. I have successfully taken two bears out of the three years with my bow.

-Steven White, September 11, 2016

5 Stars! Great week and Steven, Brenda and all the guides go out of their way to do their best to ensure a successful hunt. My first time up there was not successful in bringing home a bear but it was a great time and they tried hard to set us in the right places to get one. Hopefully if I get the chance again it will be a different outcome. Thanks Steven and Brenda for a great week and thanks to your team.

-Chris Fraser, September 18, 2016

Testimonial from two very dedicated Maine Black Bear Hunters (submitted 2016) Seasons 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016! Thank you for booking your hunts with SpruceMtn.com

In the spring of 2013, my husband and I began to think about booking a black bear hunt. After some research, we discovered that Maine has a very large bear population. I had heard that on the east coast Maine is the closest thing to Alaska with abundant wildlife and lots of unspoiled areas. That combined with the bear demographics was enough to make me start searching for outfitters. When I happened upon Spruce Mountain’s website, I was intrigued because both Stephen and Brenda are registered Maine guides. As a woman hunter, I thought it would make the experience even more interesting to have a woman guide. After chatting with Stephen by phone, we booked our first bear hunt over bait for the fall of 2013.
When we arrived for our hunt, Brenda came out to meet us and I think she I hit it off from those very first “hellos.” Stephen and Brenda were very attentive hosts and made sure hunters were comfortable, well fed and prepared for the week’s bait hunt adventure. We were asked if we preferred ground blinds or tree stands. We did not have a preference and hunted from both. I personally liked hunting both. When I took my bear, it happened to be from a ground blind. It was exhilarating to be up close and personal with a large predator right at dusk.
If you have never hunted bear over bait, you may think it’s an easy hunt. I guess it is for the hunter because the guides are the ones putting in the long hours. Besides dropping off and picking up hunters at bait sites, the guides are checking those sites in the morning to see if they were hit overnight. This provides a game plan for where to put each hunter in the afternoon. You are not assigned to some random site where a bear may or may not come in. You are put at a site where there has been bear activity.
While at this hunt, we listened as Stephen described hunting bears with hounds and decided that we would hunt at Spruce again in 2014 with hounds. Unlike the leisurely pace of a bait hunt, hound hunting is fast and furious. You are up before dawn, trail cams are checked at bait sites to see if bears came in overnight, and if the scent is fresh, the dogs are off and running from that site. From there it is a race by truck, and sometimes on foot, to catch up to the bear. I shot my bear when he crossed the road in front of the dogs. My husband went on a hike through the woods with the dogs and his guide, Andy. He shot his bear up close and personal from just a few feet away. This is exactly what we wanted in a hunt – an adventure and a memory to last a lifetime.
We hunted with Stephen and Brenda, this past fall and the fall of 2016 will make our fourth time at Spruce Mountain Lodge. We have hunted with three other outfitters in different states and one in Canada. While we had good experiences at all of them, Spruce Mountain is the only one we have returned to year after year. The friendship, hospitality and great hunting make our travel to Maine each fall something we truly look forward to.

-Karen Haines, North Carolina January 31, 2016

Testimonial from two Maine Black Bear Hunters

Dear Steve and Brenda. It has been this time of year for the past few years that Mark and I have come to Maine. I have three bears hanging on my walls to show from those trips. I am truly missing being in Maine this year. With Mark’s retirement and training this year, it wasn’t possible to return. But, I say, it isn’t the bears that I miss. I truly enjoyed spending time in Maine and being around the two of you. You took a hunting experience and turned it into a family destination. I hope that all is well there, I worry about the two of you in the woods and I hope that we will be able to spend another fall with you soon. Harvey

Testimonial from a Maine Bear Hunter and Maine Turkey Hunter

I have been hunting with Brenda and Steve Cole of Spruce Mountain Lodge for bear and turkey for 10 years with my 11th year coming in 2016. They have a way of always making their hunters feel at home. They make the hunting experience very enjoyable. The hunting lodge is always warm with plenty of delicious food being served. If you go hungry, it is your own fault.
The ten years I have been bear hunting with Brenda and Steve has been very successful. I have shot seven bears between hunting over bait or with hounds. My youngest son also shot a nice bear the year he came hunting with me. It shot his bear the first day.
As far as turkey hunting, Steve has put me on turkeys everyday to shoot with his expert calling skills. I have gone home without a turkey only because I missed the shot.
I would recommend that you do not pass up the chance to hunt at Spruce Mountain Lodge with Brenda and Steve Cole.

-Russell submitted 2016

Testimonial from Robert Beall of “World of Hunting” hunting with us during the 2010 Maine Black Bear Hunting season – Thank you Robert!

When I planned to hunt Black Bears during the 2010 season I knew I wanted to do a fall hunt. When researching fall bear hunts to my surprise there was limited areas that offered these types of hunt. Hearing that Maine was one of the most gorgeous states in the lower 48 I started to look there for my next hunting adventure. This is where I found Spruce Mountain Lodge. From the first time I spoke to Brenda Cole she made me feel as if I was part of the family instead of another hunter. For all you hunters out there you know more times than none you don’t get those feeling from outfitters. Next thing that really caught my eye was cost of the hunt for what they offer and the amount of time hunting with a 90% success rate for bear sightings. When I arrived at the Bangor airport guide Jason was there awaiting my arrival. He was informative from the time he grab my bags until the turning into the drive at the big modern main lodge. Being an outfitter for many years I can tell you it can be hard to be exciting and informative to your hunters year after year. This was not the case with these guys. Lodging to some is no big deal as is quality of food. Well know matter what your feelings are you won’t be disappointed in either of these items.  The quality of bears is as good as I have seen hunting in Alaska, 3 different areas of Canada, and Oregon. All the baits seemed to be very active. The one downfall I see is types of stands. They do offer to allow you to bring your own stands. Do to logging in the areas they are not able to put up the comfort type of stands. I chose to ship my stands ahead of time. All others in camp brought climbers or pop- up blinds. This is a small price to pay for a chance to harvest a great Maine Black Bear. Once the hunt started the guides were very punctual and on time to have you on the stands and ready to go. All guides Trevor, Mike, and Jason worked very hard to ensure success of the hunters. I was on stand for a total of 5 hours when I was able to harvest my first Black Bear of Maine. We had 13 hunters in camp and the first night there was 7 bears shot at. WOW I had no idea there was this many Bears in Maine. In whole I can tell you that this was one of my most enjoyable hunts I have been on. I will be back and I am taking my family along to enjoy the fruits of Maine. Did I mention the lobster and steak dinner on Friday night? See ya in camp.

-Robert Beall, Host of “World of Hunting” www.worldofhunting.com

Testimonial from a Maine Black Bear Hunt in 2013
Message: I do not know if you accept feedback on guides, but I wanted to let you know how pleased my husband and I were with Stephen and Brenda Cole who operate Spruce Mountain Lodge. We did a bear hunt over bait from Sept. 2-7, 2013 and could not be more pleased. They are both very competent and professional and we would not hesitate to book another hunt with them.  -Karen H (from online submission at MaineGuides). Full testimonial here!

Full testimonial continued from above Maine Bear Hunt at Spruce Mountain Lodge:

Karen Haines
Hunt dates: Sept. 2-7, 2013

My husband, Howard, and I traveled 1,200 miles from North Carolina to Spruce Mountain Lodge for our first bear hunt over bait (first bear hunt ever for that matter). I have always wanted to see Maine and it did not disappoint me. Northern Maine is beautiful and is a true wilderness.          I don’t think you can find anyplace quite this wild and remote anywhere on the eastern U.S. coast.
As for hunting bears over bait, anyone who thinks that this style of hunting is easy has obviously never done it. If you do it right, it is tough to sit still, be quiet, and stay awake for hours waiting for a bear to appear. It’s not any easier for the guides. When they are not shuttling hunters to their bait sites, they are putting out bait, strategizing where to put hunters for the next day’s hunt, skinning bears or doing some of the more mundane, but necessary, chores such as getting in groceries for the lodge or fueling vehicles. It seems their only downtime is when they sleep.
I was so fortunate to have Brenda as my guide. One of the reasons I wanted to hunt with Spruce Mountain was because both husband and wife are guides. As a woman hunter, I enjoyed being able to share this experience with another woman who obviously enjoys the outdoors as much as I do.
I was privileged to harvest a nice boar on the next to last night of the hunt. He will make a beautiful rug. Howard saw a bear about three times larger than mine about midway through the hunt. Unfortunately, it was a sow with two small cubs and a yearling. He made the ethical decision not to shoot her, but was very pleased just to be able to watch her and her cubs for as long as he did. We view hunting as an adventure to be enjoyed and are not of the mindset that your hunt was only successful if you “tagged out.”
Howard and I loved the hunt and would book another over bait hunt in a heartbeat. However, after watching one of the hounds, Mighty Mo, work at tracking downed bears and listening to Stephen’s exciting tales of hound hunts, we’ve decided our next hunt with Spruce Mountain will be a hound hunt so we can experience both sides of Maine bear hunting.

Bait site: Turkey Leg
Time Shot: 7:10 p.m.
Weapon: Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle .308; Leupold scout scope 2.5x28mm; Buffalo Bore ammo with Barnes TTSX 150 gr. solid copper bullet
Bear: 126 pound boar

Testimonial from Charles & Nick P from West Virginia hunting with us during the 2010 Maine Black Bear Hunting season – Thank you Charles & Nick.

Brenda & Steve, first let me say that I really appreciate your hospitality that your people showed my son and I during our hunt and stay at your lodge.  My son Nick is a real conservationist he saw bear, but considered the animals not big enough to take, so Steve put him on a site, where a larger bear was coming too.  Nick took his time and was ready when the bear came in, at almost dark when he shot the bear, but what was most impressive was that when he shot the bear twelve people came to that site to help retrieve the bear, which made Nick feel special, he was so excited.  I on the other hand did not see a bear, but still had one of the best times of my life hunting.  Brenda your guides Mike, Trevor, Jason were great when it came to baits, putting you on a stand and retrieving you in the evenings.  Also the food your cook did an outstanding job of feeding everyone and making sure everybody had enough to eat, she is an asset to your staff. I feel sure we will book another hunt next year as soon as the hunting schedule comes out, please let me know.  Let me tell you this and I’ll close.  My mother passed away who I loved very much the weekend before our hunt, and I was not sure weather I was going to get to hunt, but the Good Lord looked after us and we still got to come anyway.  Your lodge from my house is nearly 1100 miles and I would come back again in a heartbeat.  Thanks so much for your generosity you and Steve showed my son and I, well be back.

Testimonial from Mike hunting with us during the 2009 Maine Black Bear Hunting season – Thank you Mike.

Brenda and Jason
Just put a bear roast on to cook and thought of all of you at Spruce Mtn. Guide service. As you recall the main reason for the Bear Hunt was my nephew John. It was a reward for his fight with cancer.John had a wonderful time and is still talking about his encounter with the big bears. John just celebrated his 23 rd birthday, this is amazing when you think that just over two years ago the doctors gave him only a 10% chance of living. I really want to thank all of you for the special care you gave  John, he had a great time and will remember it for the rest of his life. He is ready to go hunting again with hopes of getting one this time. John was very tired by the end of the week and the 31 hour  non stop drive home was also hard on him. John has recovered from the trip and is stronger now than he has been in years.

I want to thank you for a wonderful hunt, friendly atmosphere, good food and comfortable lodge. The hunt was the most exciting hunt that I have had in many years. Once again, thank you for a wonderful memory.

Mike Golden

Testimonial from Gary hunting with us during the 2009 Maine Black Bear Hunting season – Thank you Gary.

Brenda and Steve,
I have to say that that week of hunting with y’all was a great time for me. You guys sure know how to treat your customers like a part of the family. Steve and the boys, Jason and Craig did all they could to get everyone on bears but sometime it happens where you don’t see them. It happens and that is why it’s called hunting and not killing. If everyone took and animal every single time they hunted, it would not be any fun anymore. Rennies cooking was great. I never went away hungry from her table. I will have memories to last a lifetime and myself, Bryan and Chris all look forward to next yrs hunt with y’all already. The memories I have will by far outweigh whatever animal would have been taken. They will always be there. Y’all take care, stay safe and keep doing what you do best, making people feel at home. The harvest is just the bonus to it all. -Gary Scheel

Testimonial from Jim hunting with us during the 2008 Maine Black Bear Hunting season – Thank you Jim

Link to the Letter

Testimonial from Mike hunting with us during the 2008 Maine Black Bear Hunting season – Thank you Mike.

Dear Brenda and Steve…..Thanks once again for the great time you showed Rebecca and I during our stay at Spruce Mountain Lodge. Your operation, from the excellent Web site to the hunt itself, was first class all the way. Trevor and Lee were highly professional guides, and I learned a lot from them. The successful conclusion of the hunt following a six-hour chase speaks volumes. It was all we hoped it would be.

If you ever get down this way give us a call and we’ll do the town.

Here’s the story I published on it in today’s issue of the Niagara Falls Reporter. I’ll do another one for Guns & Shooting that will be geared more specifically to other hunters as well, and send that along when I get it done..


Thanks again. It was the experience of a lifetime, and well worth every penny!

Mike Hudson
Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Testimonial from Don hunting with us during the 2007 Season of Maine Black Bear Hunting

Dear Steve and Brenda, I want to thank you for a great experience on my black bear hunt! I had a most wonderful time , that I will never forget. The bear meat tastes great. I want to thank you for getting me in touch with your taxidermist, Frank Cupero, his work is excellent. I got my mount back already and I cant believe how real it appears. Once again, Iwant to thank you for your friendship and caring while I was there , Trevor, Lee and Kurt are guides to be proud of . Thank you, Don.

Testimonial from a Maine Black Bear – Father and Son

“…I wish every parent who hunts with their child could experience what we did. Hunting is what brought us to Spruce Mountain Lodge but you and the staff is what makes it special…”read full letter

Maine Black Bear Hunting Testimonial


Thank you so much for a great hunting trip. Your dogs are fantastic. I know it was your experience and hunting knowledge that resulted in Tim and I getting our bears. The family atmosphere and friendliness of everyone involved in the hunt was a bonus, especially for our wives.

Thank you again.”

Testimonial From the 2007 Season of Maine Black Bear Hunting

Hi Brenda. Just wanted to say thanks for yet another GREAT season of hunting with you guys. 2 years in a row Steve has put 3 shot opportunities in front of us. Again. I can’t say enough good things about him. I couldn’t ask for more! And of course Kirk and Lee are turning out to be extraordinary guides. They were great last year, but they have come such a long way in so little time. They both are very knowledgeable and are assets to the camp. I hope the rest of your season goes good and hopefully we will be back next year. I attached some pictures of the bears we shot over the years in case you wanted to put them in the photo albums at the camp and/or on the website. Again, thanks for another great hunt and we will see you guys again. Tell everyone we said hi and thanks.

Mike Pelletier

Testimonial From the 2004 Season of Maine Black Bear Hunting

Staale V. Rasmussen, Haugesund, Norway:

I was here with 3 good friends. Monday morning Bjarne did get his bear after a good dog chase. Next day the Boss, Johan did get his. 3 bear in Maine. So Wednesday, it was my time to go to the fire. I was guided by the best guide in Maine, Mr. Steve Cole. After 2 hours dog chase, Mr. Cole told me to be ready, because down the road there should come out a bear. 2 seconds later, BOOOOM I have fired my shot. We start running down the road, and what a bear. It was a beautiful 429-lb. male bear. You would see in the photo book a photo of a Big Guy and a Big Big Big Bear, that’s me. Sorry my English, I’m from Norway.

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