Manitoba Black Bear Hunts
Brad Mason from Negaunee, Michigan showing what it looks like to load his 590 pound bear
Manitoba Black Bear Hunting Adventures
One true reputation Manitoba holds is having very successful black bear hunting, with some very big bears coming out of this province. Not only do these boars carry big weights, but skull size on this province’s bears is phenomenal compared to other Canadian provinces. Our own hunting areas prove that to be true, as we consistently take a high percentage of record book bears annually. Success in our camps is always at 100 percent opportunity, with the average bear weighing 225 pounds. I note ‘average’ as I am not the typical outfitter who loves to exaggerate a bear’s weight, and for those that wish, we will lift your bear on a scale. We consistently shoot bears over 300 pounds and every year we will shoot a couple over 400 pounds. Again, we are not the typical outfitter who loves to exaggerate bear weights!
Tracey Kauffman from Bethel, PA with a 475 pound bruin that would score 21 3/16"
Our consistency of killing big boars is because we have a huge area designated by the government exclusively to our operation. This didn’t come overnight, but through many years of purchasing other outfitters out in the immediate area to encompass the huge tract of exclusive areas that we operate now. We have also survived as a business because we run a solid hunting operation; many outfitters only survive a few years because they don’t realize how much work is involved in this game. But the number one reason for our consistent success is the use of TRAIL CAMERAS. With trail cameras on EVERY bear bait, we are able to direct clients to productive baits starting on their first day of hunting. This has literally become a full time job in itself, to go through all the SD cards, but this added work leads to quick success on our bear hunts. We also carry a nice amount of colored bears, generally cinnamon or chocolate, with the odd blonde. Not only do I understand how to kill these big bears, but I have a huge passion for the job, and I enjoy nothing more than the chase on these old bruins.
Bob Currey from Drumore, PA with a massive 418 pound boar.
We also run a very ‘fair’ hunting lodge. No matter whether you have hunted with us for the past 10 years or are a newcomer, everyone is treated the same. Each hunter draws a predetermined bait site out of a hat for the first hunt and then we tweak the nightly sits as the kills begin coming in. By no means do we cater to the guy that has hunted year after year, or especially the thought of a media/camera crew looking for a free hunt. You, the normal client, coming into a camp are not fooled when an outfitter is putting their favorites on the best baits. Be sure to visit with the outfitters’ references about this.
Caravan plane coming to pick hunters up
Land-based vs. Fly-in Hunts
We run two styles of bear hunts in Manitoba, land-based and fly-in. The land-based is operated from our main lodge as well as a smaller remote river camp deep in the bush. Travel to and from the bait sites is by truck to where we off-load 6x6 quads and run into the different bait sites. At the river camp, we run quads or Argos 13 miles back into the remote camp and then go by both boat or ATV to the bait sites. There is never an issue getting bears shot on the land-based, as we will put every hunter onto multiple bears before the end of the hunt. Usually, 90 percent of our hunters will be tagged out within the first three days.
We also offer remote fly-in hunts. The benefit of this hunt is the great fishing literally out the front door. This trip is very relaxing, with small groups of either three or four hunters per camp location. We don’t see quite the numbers of bears on this hunt, but the age class is awesome. If there is a question on which hunt you want, I suggest visiting with me and I will direct you to the one I feel would best suit you.
Rusty Plemons from Haslet, Texas with a huge boar taken at first light.
Spring or Fall?
No matter which season you choose, we will put you onto lots of bears. The only big factors that will hurt your hunt are days of high winds and/or days heavy rain. These types of days will slacken overall sightings, but won’t kill your hunt. Even during a year with a high fall berry crop, we still have our hunters onto bears.
The biggest difference between a spring and fall hunt is that in the spring the bear’s hair is longer than in the fall. If you shoot a 300 pound bear in the spring or a 380 in the fall, the spring bear will actually look bigger on a mount with his spring coat. And although there is the chance of seeing rubbed bears in the spring whereas you won’t see that in the fall, those big boars will almost always hold great hides easily until mid-June.
Through the trail cameras we can help educate a person if there are bears that are poor in hair quality. And although one might have to worry about a delayed spring that might hamper an early May hunt, rarely does this happen. The fall hunts do see some beautiful weather as we begin sliding through the season.
This is what a 590 pound bear looks like on trail camera.
Trail Cameras, Trail Cameras, Trail Cameras!
First and foremost, do not hunt with an outfitter that does not use trail cameras on ALL of their bear baits. Nothing has changed the game of hunting like the trail camera. I have learned more about black bears with the use of these cameras than anything else. Not only does it show where the big bears are located, but teaches us about their personalities, whether the bear is nocturnal, and such things as how the rut is unfolding. It shows us which big boars are killable and those we are wasting our time on. Basically, for us, it means we start all of our hunters on a productive bait from day one. It doesn’t always mean you are going to kill that big bear, but at least we are not putting you on a bear bait that simply has a sow and cubs, or a couple bears the size of black labs.
This particular boar we have been after for the past two years.
Bottom line is that our kills come typically days one, two and three…and not days four or five and that is completely due to our use of trail cameras. I often feel like I’m back in school with the amount of studying of the different SD cards that come back from the bait site cameras, but that extra homework is a complete game changer when it comes to your success. I love the game of bear hunting, and I love nothing more than getting our clients onto big boars.
A young Jorja Yocom from Cozad, NE all set to take her first bear. Notice how comfortable our tree stands are!
Bringing a Non-Hunter Along!
No other big game hunt other than perhaps a midwest antelope hunt provides as great an opportunity to bring your significant other, son, daughter or friend with you as our bear hunts. Kids, 12 or older, are able to hunt and we look forward to putting an extra tree stand beside them in order for you to video or to share the hunt. We also continue to see more non-hunters join in on the hunt when they are able to share it. It has been surprising how many non-hunting wives have absolutely loved watching the amount of bears they were able to see. In regards to younger kids, this hunt provides likely the best avenue to add fuel to the fire for them.
Not only will they have success with us, but we will keep them entertained with the whole process, whether they go back out and help bait or blood trailing other bears. It’s a pretty big deal when these kids go back and tell their buddies exciting stories from a bear camp. For non-hunting wives or girlfriends, our lodge is more than clean and organized along with great cabins. The camaraderie they’ll have, spending time with Wendy or the other gals, is just excellent, and the meals will be remembered more than those from a fancy restaurant. If you don’t believe that, speak with any of our reference!
Manitoba Hunting Regulations
Basic fish and wildlife regulations for Manitoba can be found in the Hunting, Angling and Trapping guides. Regulation changes occur every year, so it is important that you read and understand the information provided in the guides. For a free PDF of the most current available Hunting, Angling and Trapping Regulations please visit the official Manitoba Wildlife Federation's website by clicking the MWF logo displayed to the right or the button below.
Manitoba Hunter Education Requirements
Need your Hunter Education Certification? A replacement Hunter Safety Card? If you’ve got questions about getting certified so you can go hunting you’ll find everything you need to know below:
Manitoba Hunter Education Website
Manitoba Black Bear Gallery