Spring Bear Hunts of Ontario
It has been an almost unbearable long wait but it finally happened. After almost 2 decades, the spring bear hunt for non-Canadians finally returned to Ontario, Canada. You can be sure that there was absolutely no way that my family was going to miss out on this historic event. So, while I was busy filming a fishing show Kris and Karlee were busy tending to the bare necessities of bear hunting.
It’s not hard to find outfitters who will assist you, but before your hunt can begin you need to do a bit of planning. The internet is chalked full of opportunity and guides making their sales pitch. We chose the experienced guides from Brace Lake Lodge in Ontario to help the girls out. We also got some assistance from Remington Arms in the way of a couple Model 783 rifles in .300 and .308 calibers. Both calibers make great bear guns. The hunt is another story.
So why after so many years has the spring bear hunting opportunity been reestablished? From what I’ve been told, it appears that hunting is the best management tool available for bears in Ontario. After non-Canadian spring bear hunting ceased, the bear population grew rapidly causing many people conflicts in urban areas as well as property damage. The Canada resident bear hunters were not able to keep the population in check. As the number of nuisance bear complaints increased it became apparent that more aggressive population control measures needed to be enacted. Now, it appears that non-Canadian hunters will help solve the problem. It is my personal hope that this switch in policy will also improve the financial viability of our Canadian outfitter friends.
Your chance at Spring Bears
If you want to take a shot at harvesting one of the 100,000 bears in Ontario here are a few items to get you started. First, get on the Ontario.ca website. There, you will find information pertaining to hunting in the Province. You will need to buy a hunting outdoor card for around $10.00 and a license for less than $250.00. There will also be a $35.00 export fee if you are successful with the hunt. You can also read about all the regulations so you can stay out of trouble. Of course, your guide will also be able to make sure you conduct yourself lawfully.
A spring bear hide is about as nice of a hide as you will find. Your guide should have all the skills and knowledge to properly take care of your hide and ensure that you return home with your trophy. And don’t forget about the meat. Bear meat is wonderful and when properly prepared will provide you with some fabulous table fare.