My introduction to bear hunting
Last spring, I had the chance to be introduced to black bear hunting. An adventure that I will not soon forget. Let me share with you the story of these few days of great intensity, the advice for this type of hunting and our very special bait.
By Kim Poirier
The journey began on the North Shore, more precisely in the tiny village of Baie-Johan-Beetz. It was Oli, a good friend and hunting guide, who watched over my learning. He knew the hunting territory concerned well and therefore was damn well chosen to guide me. He has been hunting bears for a long time, following in the footsteps of his father, who was himself a highly reputed hunting and trapping guide in the industry. With my beginner level, I needed him to give me some safety measures to go on an adventure in pleasure!
A fashion observation
Before even going to our cache, we took the time to view the images from our cameras. For several days, we had been observing and able to identify three different bears that wandered just a few meters from our cache at all hours of the day. You should know that the bear does not "call" itself, but rather you have to bait it. Which means that it can be attracted during our absence. It is therefore not so obvious to bet on a particular moment to spend 4-5-6 hours in the cache and therefore potentially end up killing.
Setting up the camera to watch the comings and goings in our hunting area.
Our bear bait
As with any type of hunt, silence is essential, but even more so than ever when hunting bears since the cache is located on the ground, just a few meters from the food. In his case, Mr. Black Bear LOVES anything that is greasy and above all that smells strong and rather bad (if you ask me!). In our case, the recipe for baiting the bear was a joyful mix of potato fat, hp sauce and Canada Sauce mustard, which ended up getting the better of him.
Did you know?
Quebec unveiled the 2022 hunting statistics in early February, telling us that no less than 19,500 licenses had been sold for black bear hunting. We also learn that it was in the spring that the hunt was most active, while 90% of enthusiasts chose this period. Finally, 5,600 bears were harvested over the 12 months of the year.
To know more, Click here.
wait for the right moment
For the rest of things, it is simply a question of waiting for the right moment and ESPECIALLY of being well positioned to be sure to shoot the beast in a vital place. A hunter's worst nightmare is to be seriously injured and the animal in question will die further away and it becomes impossible to trace.
Going bear hunting requires patience and silence!
Harvest: after patience, the reward
Hunting is also a team story! So, in our case, despite the fact that we didn't kill during the days that my boyfriend and I were there, our friend Olivier killed the next day and sent us tons of bear meat, because it's thanks to a long hard work of all and the efforts put in the previous days that we ended up being rewarded at the end of the course sometimes!
Our guide Oli, with his trophy, in the tiny village of Baie-Johan-Beetz on the North Shore.
Decidedly, this introduction to bear hunting has updated my hunting activities. I might want to come back season after season to discover new hunting sites as well.
Several interesting facts for beginners
Despite the size of the bear, it makes almost no noise when it comes!
Unlike moose hunting, for example, the use of a thermacell is commonplace and it is not as necessary to use "scent away" type soaps before getting dressed. The bear will be more interested in the scent of the bait than human scents.
The bear is VERY nervous and will tend to run away rather than attack contrary to what one might think.