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Bear Hunting in Canada

Every year thousands of hunters travel to many parts of Canada for the bear hunting season. For many hunters, bagging a bear is a true accomplishment as these creatures are looked upon with awe and respect. Some come to hunt the Canadian Black Bear, while others come for the ultimate prize, the Canadian grizzly bear also known as the Canadian brown bear. Hunters enjoy the camaraderie and outdoor adventure of the sport as much as stalking and catching their prey.

Bear hunting in Canada is a source of revenue for the country and it is here that many hunters seek to bag the perfect bear trophy. It is especially important to the economies of Quebec and British Colombia and tourism soars when bear hunting season begins. From beginners to seasoned outdoorsmen, bear hunting is what they look forward to all year around.

There are countless hunting lodges from the most simple and rustic to luxurious lodges that have every amenity one could desire. Depending upon the type of experience you are looking for, you can find the ideal hunting lodge to cater to your needs. Many employ the services of a hunting guide so that they are almost assured of a kill during their hunting trip.

Bear Species Found in Canada

Canada is home to three species of bear. The Canadian brown bear also known as the grizzly bear is most often found in the Canadian Rockies and British Colombia. These bears subsist mostly on a vegetarian diet eating plants, seeds, grasses and berries. They will also eat small mammals, fish and even insects. The grizzlies found in the Canadian Rockies will also hunt mountain goats, caribou and moose. The largest of the male grizzlies can weigh as much as 1500 pounds.

The black bear is the least aggressive of the bears that are found in Canada. They are smaller than their grizzly cousins. If you think you can hide from a black bear by climbing a tree, think again. A black bear can beat a human when climbing a tree on any given day. Black bears typically avoid open spaces; instead they favor areas that are forested. Their diet is typically vegetarian with foods such as nuts, honey, seeds and plants but they have been known to feed on small mammals, insects, fish and carcasses.

The polar bear is the largest of the bear species of Canada. Males can weigh as little as 800 pounds or as much as 1800 pounds. These bears are carnivores and spend most of their time on the ice. They are fast runners but they are also able to travel in cold waters. Their paws are webbed and their nostrils close when they are underwater. Their fur is water repellent and can easily be shaken dry.

Bear Seasons

There are different seasons for bear hunting in Canada and it depends upon which species of bear you are hunting. Spring grizzly bear hunting season in British Columbia is from May until June while the fall hunting season is from Sept. 22nd to the 30th and Oct. 2nd to the 10th. The habitat of the Canadian grizzly bear is steadily shrinking. British Colombia bear hunting has been most affected by this trend. It is said that half the grizzly population makes their home in British Colombia.

For the Canadian black bear, hunting season is in the spring from May until June in British Colombia. The abundance of black bear makes it a popular prey for hunters of all skill levels. Their range goes from British Colombia to Newfoundland. Populations vary and depend upon the availability of food and the intensity of the hunt in any given year. It is said that the northern regions of Canada contain black bears that are far more dangerous and aggressive than their southern counterparts.

Quebec bear hunting season is in the spring. It lasts from the end of May until the end of June but hunting dates may vary according to the whims of Mother Nature. Canada bear hunting regulations differ depending upon the species as well as the province.

Interesting Facts about the Canadian Black Bear

It is said that black bears are very intelligent animals. Their sense of smell and hearing are quite developed and that is why they will seek out campsites and homes if they detect the slightest odor of food. In normal circumstances, the black bear is afraid of people and quite shy. But if they find food in a populated area, they quickly overcome their fear in favor of a free meal.

Though the black bear is not a true hibernator, they practice something called denning. Their body temperatures become low as well and their heartbeats slow down in the winter. Denning provides the black bear a chance at survival when winter conditions are harsh and food is scarce. During denning, black bears neither eat nor drink nor do they defecate or urinate. A black bear can be awakened while denning because their sleep is not the deep sleep of a hibernating animal.

Tips for a Successful Black Bear Hunt

Food sources are where a skilled and knowledgeable hunter will find the black bear. Once black bear hunting nears, a hunter will go out and track his prey by paying close attention to droppings containing broken stems or twigs and bear tracks. Exploring where a black bear is gathering his food before the season begins, he will have a much better chance at spotting a black bear for the kill.

Because of the black bear’s fine tuned sense of smell, when hunting these intelligent creatures the hunter must ensure that his scent is covered. Hunting clothes should be kept clean, rubber footwear is recommended and wearing clothes near a campfire will often allow a bear to detect a human scent. A hunter should never smoke while he is on stand and using a cover scent is also advised.

Interesting Facts about the Grizzly Bear

The grizzly bear has a hump that is quite distinct on his back. Their claws are long being about the size of a person’s finger. Their faces are concave and their coloring is typically dark brown but they can be seen in colors from cream to black. In the coastal regions of Canada and Alaska, grizzlies are referred to as brown bears while bears habituating inland regions and the lower forty eight are referred to as grizzly bears. Though the grizzly is not classified as endangered, they are considered threatened. Populations have dwindled because of human habitation and poaching.

Tips for Hunting Grizzly Bears

Hunting the grizzly bear or the Canadian brown bear has become limited in British Colombia. The best time to hunt for grizzlies is in the autumn and in the spring. In spring, grizzly bear coats are thick and dense and claws are sharp. This results in a hide that is of the highest quality. Salmon season is another optimum time to hunt for grizzly as they can often be found fishing in streams for this delicacy. It is important that if your first shot does not take the big bear down that you continue to shoot for you are now in a dangerous situation. Be careful that you do not damage the skull because the size is recorded and try not to damage the hide if you are looking for a trophy. If your life is at risk, then by all means shoot to kill and don’t worry about damage.

Hunting bear in Canada can be an exciting and exhilarating experience. Having a guide that knows the best techniques and hunting grounds will increase your chances of a successful hunting trip. A bear is intelligent and a worthy opponent so that killing one is often the pinnacle for the hunter.
 
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