As soon as the winter snow melts, we begin bear hunting season in Manitoba. From mid May though June – and again in the fall. While you are preparing for your big hunt, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
There is a thrill in hunting big game, especially black bear, although, the adventure is not for everyone. Successful hunting is a science and more than a sport. A black bear yields approximately 30%of it weight in edible meat. Bear fat is also a great product generating a quality cooking liquid. Its coat is also a luxury prize. A successful bear hunt does not come easily. Previous hunting experience will serve you well and knowledge of this species and the environment will serve you even better.
You should plan your hunt in an area you know well or engage the services of a qualified hunting guide. You will want to be well prepared with adequate hunting gear based on the probable weather for the area. Depending on where you are hunting the season is likely to be cold so your gear should be protective as well as functional. You need to be highly camouflaged and your clothing should be designed to minimize noise and block scent. The vision of a bear is similar to that of a human although they tend to be near-sighted. They do startle easily to movement so as a hunter, you need to be well hidden and extremely patient with restrained movement. Bear are also endowed with keen hearing. They will hear the rustle of your clothing, the squashing of your boot in the mud, and your conversation with fellow hunters. Again, clothing is key. A quality fleece is a fabric that is both warm and “crinkle-free” making it a good choice for any hunt. The bear was also gifted with a remarkable sense of smell which will require the skilled hunter to prepare long before donning the scent-blocking clothing. You should avoid deodorants, sprays, scented laundry detergents, and contact with domestic pets.
All hunters should exercise care and safety. Make sure your gear is appropriate for the type of hunt and your clothing is properly fitting. Make sure that you are always downwind from where you expect to see bears. Be sure to hunt with a team and have a fully charged, long range communication mechanism on hand – remember you are hunting in a remote location; your cell phone might not have a signal.
Bear hunting tours in Manitoba take place starting in May. Each tour lasts for seven days; so be prepared with plenty of necessities to last for a week or more.