Manitoba is well known for producing huge black bear and we are located in one of the best habitats within the province. Our hunting area encompasses over 2000 sq. miles and we keep about 70 bait sites active during the spring season. In fall, we run about 30 bait sites and also conduct our hunts via spot and stalk as bears are feeding on acorns and cereal grains in farm fields. To our immediate north is endless boreal forest, yet we are at the fringe of the farmland, so there is plenty of nutritious feed to keep the bears around.
A blaze orange cap and jacket or vest is required for the fall hunt. There are no blaze orange requirements for spring bear. Tall rubber boots are a must, Muck brand boots are very good. Rain gear or Gore-Tex clothing is also necessary.
Your day begins with a full breakfast at about 9 AM. After this, you are welcome to head out with one of the guides to check bait sites. You can also grab a rod and reel and try your luck at fishing near one of the rivers or sit back and relax at the cabin.
Checking baits is also an ATV adventure. We use Polaris Rangers as our means in getting into the deep woods and there is plenty of water and mud. You will find it interesting to view the activity around the baits and have your guide explain bear behaviour and what to look for in making a decision on which bait to hunt. During the fall hunt, you also have the option to shoot a wolf and/or coyote, should one present itself. There is of course always the chance of an encounter with a bear while checking baits.
After checking baits, you will return to the lodge early-mid afternoon for a full course meal. You can relax for a bit and we will head out again about 4-5 PM. Your guide will then take you to a bait which presents the best opportunity for you to harvest a trophy bear. We choose this according to a variety of factors such as wind direction and activity. The guide will remain in the general vicinity and when possible, remain in contact with you via handheld radio. Some of our bear area also has cellular coverage.
During spring, our days are long, and the sun doesn't set until 10 PM in the later part of May. Your guide will pick you up near dark, which is usually about 1/2 hour after sunset. Once you return to the lodge, which can be as late as midnight, you will have a meal consisting of soup and sandwiches or other light fare.
Mosquitoes are usually abundant in the later part of May and during the fall season. Any insect repellent with a relatively high concentration of Deet (20%+) will work and Thermacell units are great for the tree stand. Bear are more worried about constant movement by swatting mosquitoes than the scent given off by repellents.
Archery Bear Hunt
If you're an archery hunter, this will also be the time when you and your guide will set up your portable tree stand. We like to involve the hunter in this as we want you to be as comfortable as possible. Most of our clients like to be 15-20 yards away from the bait for archery. For rifle, our stands are on average 60 yards away. While some hunters like to use a harness, most of our stands are only 12-15 ft. in height. Sometimes we will use a higher set up for archery, but we leave this up to the individual hunter.
Rifle Bear Hunt
Bear can be very large and cover ground extremely quickly. For this reason, we recommend a 270 Win. with 150 gr. bullets as the minimum caliber to bring. A scope with high magnification isn't necessary as shots are generally close, but it is beneficial to have telescopic sights as this will give you an extra 10-15 minutes of shooting light at the end of the day, when the big bears are most active. Most of our bait sites are also in heavy cover where light fades quickly.
We will do our utmost to try and recover an animal that has been wounded and the hunter should be prepared to spend time with the guide(s) searching until it is found or conditions/sign negate any further efforts.
If there is blood and the animal cannot be found, the hunter must pay a $500 fee if he wants to continue hunting.