I am Bear Miller, an accomplished sportsman in all aspects of outdoor activities, with a wealth of hunting, fishing, and survival knowledge and skills. I have been hunting birds, elk and deer in the mountains and plains of Colorado, and fishing the lakes, rivers, and streams in this state for 29 years.
I moved to Colorado in 1983 while serving our country in the United States Air Force, and I have established my knowledge of the wildlife in this state through study and first hand experience from my hunting and fishing. I am very knowledgeable with hunting and fishing techniques, camping, survival, and primitive living, and I excel at teaching what I know to other people.
In 1983 I started elk hunting with a recurve bow in Colorado completely on my own, backpacking into the most remote areas of the state, taking all I needed on my back for trips lasting up to 10 days. For 15 years I hunted this way, with minimal gear, enduring the extreme elements of the wilderness. During that time I developed my knowledge of what a hunter needs to survive, and even be comfortable in those conditions and the situations of elk hunting, including taking care of the animals and packing them out. I have been through it all; from lightning storms, hail, snow, spending the night out in some unexpected place on a frigid night, and even dealing with injuries like broken bones and severe lacerations. I learned a lot in those 15 years, about elk hunting, about survival, and about being in the wilderness.
In 1999 I used my first outfitter to pack me and my gear in to a drop camp, then come back and pick me up after a week. It was a similar experience; I was still in the remote wilderness, only this time I wasn’t taxing my body so much to get there. I liked that, especially when it came to packing out an elk, it was a much more pleasant experience to let a horse carry my elk off the mountain. But I was still on my own for those times between drop off and pick up, so the experience was the same for me, and it allowed me to go even further into the wilderness. During that time I learned to change my tactics; I didn’t need one big backpack for the whole trip, I had a base camp, and I could go on longer excursions for a day because I could bring more gear with me to allow for that, like a day pack, extra survival gear, and extra clothes. In this period of time I learned how to hunt elk differently than I had before, I had new options with the added gear. I had many successful and adventurous hunts, with the same elements of the wilderness experience as I had in the backpacking days.
After a few years of using this outfitter to pack me in and out, I developed a good relationship with Sable Mountain Outfitters, which led to a third level of my experience, I went to work for them. I went from being a client to being a guide, wrangler, and camp cook, and I learned that side of the business. I learned about how the outfitting business works, from rounding the horses up at 5:30 AM, getting them saddled and to the trail head by 8:00, packing the mules with the client’s gear, then getting the clients to their camps, which was usually a two or three hour ride with people who had little or no experience with horses, and no experience in that type of wilderness. I really enjoyed that work and getting to know out-of-state clients, it gave me great insight to these customers.
My time spent with Sable Mountain Outfitters has taught me a lot about the people who come to Colorado to hunt and fish. Almost all of them are from another state, and very few of them have true wilderness experience, meaning that when we go to camp, we are miles away from help of any kind, and cell phones don’t work. Even if they did, it would take hours to get any kind of help, maybe even days depending on where the help was needed. To these clients, this is a true wilderness experience, and that is what we want them to have. It is a thrilling rush to be exposed to the natural world, knowing that nature is the one in charge, and we are simply visitors to that world. Every day in the wild is a new experience because of that.
I have learned a lot in my life time, and my goal is to teach people what I know, to help people experience the great outdoors, and to help grow awareness of the conservation of our wilderness so that there will always be wild places for generations to come.
Below are some pictures of my adventures in Colorado and Alaska.