Black Bear Hunting in Ontario

A Hunting Tradition

Black bear hunting is an annual tradition at Woman River Camp. Our remote location and exclusive Black Bear Management Areas offer the hunter every opportunity for a successful hunt. The Boreal forest  encompassing our vast hunting area consists of just the right balance of old and new growth forest. Providing our healthy bear population with excellent shelter, safe den sites, escape cover, and incredible berry crops which are essential for producing trophy bears.

Characteristics of a Black Bear

The Black Bear (Ursus americanus) is a very innovative and extremely adaptive animal. They are usually shy and avoid humans but take caution because they are startlingly unpredictable. When necessary, the Black Bear will use its tremendous power and surprising speed to overtake a meal, protect its young or flee an uncertain situation. The bear relies mainly on its highly sensitive nose for food and safety. They are considered “walking stomachs” and can locate a food source miles away.  Keen hearing gives the bear an early warning to unidentified sounds leading to a stealthy retreat. Although their sight is poor, Black Bears can readily identify motion. Black is the most common colour, cinnamon and blonde phases account for 10% of the animals we harvest. These are some of the characteristics that make the Black Bear a formidable big game challenge.

Ontario Black Bear Hunts

Why hunt with us?

  1. Above average size bears with BIG bears taken every year
  2. Very high harvest percentage
  3. Excellent chance for a unique patch or colour phase bear
  4. Self imposed limit of 12 hunters in total per year.  What does this mean?  Please see 1 & 2.
  5. We limit the number of groups in camp per week.  Our professional services won’t be spread thin.  You deserve it!
  6. Our Bear Management Areas cover in excess of 25, 700 hectares (63,500 acres) accessible only by remote logging roads.
  7. Family atmosphere, great hospitality with an attention to detail.
  8. The hunt is as described.  No surprises.
  9. No hidden costs!

Differences between Spring and Fall Black Bear Hunting

Spring Hunting (late May – early June)

  • fur is longer – beautiful hides
  • chance of bare spots from animals rubbing trees. (usually starts mid – late June)
  • bears will be 100 lbs lighter due to coming out of hibernation but will have the same skin and fur that they started hibernation with and will stretch out to their fall weight.
  • lean meat
  • better odds for large boars (start of breeding season)
  • aggressive animals – haven’t eaten in months.
  • Walleye season opens 3rd Saturday in May

Fall Hunt (season opens August 15)

  • short hair, nice hides
  • bears typically weigh 100 lbs more
  • meat has large layer to which no pork needs to be added for ground meat
  • usually less bugs
  • all fishing seasons are open

 

Bear Hunt Techniques

Baited Sites – this is by far our hunter’s number one technique.

We provide each hunter with 2-3 fresh active bait sites.  Fresh means no one has hunted at the site that season.

Spring bait sites are started before bears come out of hibernation. Bears don’t go far from an easy meal in the spring. Big boars will visit bait sites to find sows in heat.

After forest operations are complete and clear cuts have been replanted, it takes a few years before blueberry patches start to develop.  This is when we will start a new bait.  Our well established baits continually produce simply because bears don’t forget where they find food.  Those smaller bears hunters pass on will be big bears in the future.  Baiting and advanced scouting starts in the spring as bears come out of their dens.  Baiting then intensifies as the summer progresses leading up to and after the hunt.  We feed the bears well.  They need the proper nutrition to make it through our harsh winters.

  • We provide all the bait you will need.  What do we use for bait?  You will find out in camp.  For now, all you need to know is it works. and works well!
  • We use Rivers Edge Jumbo Jack 17′ ladder stands to keep you up off the ground and comfortable.  Uncomfortable hunters tend to move.  Bears see movement and retreat without a sound!
  • Initially, we will set you up on a bait site and then you will tend to it on your own.
  • We will explain the site history and provide knowledgeable advice to ensure a successful hunt.
  • No bait sites are farther than 40km (25 miles) from camp.
  • Type of vehicle required to access bait sites varies but most can be accessed with a truck. Some terrain is rough and expect a few branches to rub on the side of your vehicle
  • Generally a hunter will sit on one site for 3 days before being moved.  Wind direction may also necessitate a move.
  • Shots range from 15 to 100 yards and may be set up according to your needs.
  • Baits are designed to offer excellent shot placement and to provide you with easy identification of the sex of the bear.
  • We provide assistance tracking, recovering and skinning your trophy.
  • Remote baits accessed by ATV or boat are available for an additional fee.

Spot and Stalk – most challenging

Spot and stalk provides the hunter with many different challenges when Black Bear hunting.  Most of the hunting will take place in clear cuts and swamps.  Binoculars or a spotting scope and a shooting stick come in very handy.  Lots of walking with long pauses for spotting.  Best done when the blueberry patches are ripe.

  • We will take you out and set you up in a productive area
  • Provide maps outlining terrain and trails
  • We will provide you with tips and techniques used to be put the odds in the hunters favour.
  • Generally, a hunter will spot and stalk any time of the day.  The more time you spend in the field, the more opportunities will present themselves.  You can also spot and stalk for part of the day and hunt a bait site.
  • Shots range from 50 to 200 yards.
  • We provide assistance tracking, recovering, and skinning your trophy.

Calling – is exhilarating

  • When used properly, calling will light up your life! .
  • Bears within range will drop just about everything they are doing and come to the call.
  • Most often, the hunter will use a predator call like a wounded rabbit
  • Be prepared, bears will come charging in to a call!
  • Spring is a great time to call bears

Hunters are welcome to use rifle, archery, or black powder.  Our favourites are a slug gun or archery over bait and a caliber .270 or larger for spot and stalk.  All hunters are required to test their firearm and exhibit they are a proficient shot from a treestand before hunting.

Ontario Black Bear Hunts Include

  • fully modern cabin
  • use of metal ladder stands
  • Export Permit
  • boat/motor/fuel (per two/three hunters)
  • assistance with tracking, recovery, and skinning.  Please be prepared to process your own bear.
  • freezer service
  • area maps
  • all taxes included

7 nights and 5 days of hunting begins when you arrive in camp Saturday afternoon.  Once settled into your cabin, we will fill out paperwork, set you up with a boat, and check the accuracy of your firearm.  Your hunt will begin Sunday.  You are welcome to fish anytime throughout your stay.

Hunters provide –

  • must provide a current or expired hunting license or a hunter safety course card or an Ontario Outdoor card for hunting. 
  • safety harness.  No safety harness – no use of treestands.  Safety is #1.
  • transportation to and from hunting area (some logging roads are narrow and branches may rub your vehicle)
  • hunting and fishing equipment
  • meat preperation ie. freezer bags or vacuum sealer
  • food

Packages can be customized to match your needs. We can put together combination hunts and companions for single hunters. Please contact us to answer any questions you may have.  

Black Bear Hunting Rates

Download our Black Bear Hunting Brochure