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Monthly Archives: May 2016

Quick tips for hunter safety

While reading some great hunting articles last night, I came across a very overlooked topic.  This is an article written by Tyrrell Hearn and is a great quick snippet on basic hunter safety tricks!

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Over the years we have all heard of hunting accidents and how bad they can be. Hunting safety should be paramount in the mind on any hunter, especially those using high-powered rifles. It goes without saying that guns are designed to take life quickly and effectively, making it imperative that you treat them as such. If you are a hunter, here are a couple tips to keep you safe this season.

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Blind placement– Keep in mind that there are people around you who may also be hunting in the mornings and evenings. Be mindful of other known hunting groups in your area. Having a chat with them about the direction of their firing lanes so everyone is up to date on their neighbor’s new hunting spots is a great way to stay safe.

Less powerful bullets– It is always a draw to buy the highest grain bullet for your guns, however, higher grain equals a faster and longer bullet trajectory. Pick something a little smaller but effective for the game you are targeting.

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Hollow points– Buy hollow point bullets. Full Metal Jacketed bullets are not legal to hunt with in most areas anyway. Hollow or soft tipped bullets will break up even if they are only hitting brush and small trees. Lessening your chance of a bullet traveling way past your target.

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Safety orange– Wear your safety gear so that even at a distance, the most novice of hunter will not mistake you for an animal.

Stay safe, think ahead, and have a great hunting season!

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How To Hunt :Tips for How to Get Started Hunting Local, Wild Food

While doing some research, I came across a fantastic article that outlines the starting point for any new hunter.  We have all been there, wanting to do but not knowing where to start…..here is a fantastic push off point

Sean McCosh (DuckBuckGoose) – PHJ ProStaff – Cincinnati, OH

Want to learn how to hunt but don’t know where to start?  You’re not alone.  There are thousands of people who have recently become interested in hunting, many of which have never even shot a gun. 

For many, that’s because we’ve been experiencing a food renaissance in America. People are becoming aware of the downsides and potential health risks associated with commercially raised meat and highly processed foods.  As result, there is a renewed interest in getting back to basics and consuming locally harvested “real food” that you hunt, grow or gather yourself. As a lifelong hunter, I welcome this resurgence and the new hunters that come with it – because the more people who hunt, the more interested voters we have to fight for our right to hunt and help us protect important wildlife habitat for the future generations.  Plus, as hunters, we love to share our passion for hunting and the outdoors with others…it’s in our nature.  My bet is, once you discover the excitement, satisfaction, connectedness to nature and sustenance that hunting offers, you’ll want to share your passion for it too.

Hunter Safety Course

I was lucky.  My Dad, my grandfather and my uncles were all hunters. They taught me from an early age the principles of gun safety, how to shoot a gun and to be an ethical hunter.  I was blessed to have that opportunity, but if you didn’t, not to worry.  Chances are your state offers (and probably even requires) a hunter safety course for new hunters.Side by Side Shotgun broken open for safety  I took the Ohio hunters safety course when I was a kid and, although it was a long time ago, I can still remember being enthralled by the class and excited to take the test at the end, so I could finally get my hunting license and hunt alongside my Dad.  If you are not sure what the laws are in your state, here is listing of the hunter education requirements for various states.  In my opinion, the classes are interesting and fun and can teach the basics of everything from firearm safety to outdoor skills, to animal anatomy and public vs. private property rights laws.

Upon taking a hunting course, you’ll soon discover that there’s much more to hunting than simply walking in the woods and shooting an animal.  You may be surprised that a very a diverse cross-section of the population is take hunting courses – ranging from young kids who come from a family of hunters, to recent immigrants, to “seasoned” foodies who are finally ready to see exactly where their food comes from.  If you want to get a head start and take an online hunter education course before you take your state’s official course (if offered and required) you can do so online at this site from the International Hunter Education Association.  In addition to what you learn in these courses, you can also learn a lot by signing up for ProHuntersJournal.com and picking the brains of hunters in our community. It is 100% free, so if you’re not a member, click here to join now.

Choosing a Gun and Shooting Practice

Again, I was lucky.  My Dad was a knowledgeable hunter who knew exactly what I needed to get started hunting and when I was ready to progress to “the next level” by moving up to a bigger gun or a more challenging hunt.  But if you are an adult just getting into hunting, the first thing you have to do is decide what animal or animals you want to hunt, because that will determine what sort of gun (or possibly bow) you’ll be using.Gun cabinet with hunting shotguns and rifles  Once you determine this, I suggest reaching out to an experienced hunter of your chosen game, to get their advice.  If you know someone who hunts, there’s a good chance they will be willing to take you under their wing and maybe even let you borrow a gun after a little training.  If you don’t know anyone who hunts these animals, not to worry.  As I mentioned, hunters love to bring new people into the sport and share advice, so try reaching out to hunters in online message board areas of sites like this one, or by talking to a trustworthy sales person at a reputable sporting goods store or outfitter. If you go into a store to look at guns, you may want to approach it simply as a fact-finding mission at first, and make that clear to the sales person.  Since guns and hunting gear can be expensive, a good first step could be to call up a shooting or hunting club near you and ask if they have the type of hunting gun you’re interested in available to rent, and if they offer shooting lessons. That way you can learn more about the gun and see if you like shooting before you jump in with both feet and spend hundreds of dollars.  

Whichever gun you choose, you will need to practice gun safety always and practice your marksmanship often, to become an ethical hunter.  These points cannot be stressed enough.  I’d rather not shoot an animal at all than to shoot it poorly and run the risk of badly injuring but not killing it.  The ethical hunter strives to be a great marksman and practices accordingly.

When I was first learning how to hunt, my Grandpa would often say… “Don’t point your gun at anything you don’t plan on shooting and don’t shoot anything you don’t plan on eating”.  Of course the “eating” part didn’t apply to target practice, but there’s a whole lot of wisdom packed into that simple lesson of his.

Learning How to Hunt

There is no substitute for experience when it comes to hunting.  So, if you don’t have experience yourself, try to borrow it.  Approach the sport with a hunger for knowledge, a childlike curiosity and an open mind.  If you do, and you are not afraid to ask questions, my bet is you can quickly find a mentor that will help you learn the basics, answer the many questions you might have and maybe even take you hunting.

My friend Jason is a phenomenal duck and goose caller.  One morning this past season he was hunting our duck blind with another friend who is literally a world-class caller and has won several goose calling competitions and titles.  As Jason was backing his duck boat into the water that pre-dawn morning, they saw a couple of new hunters clumsily attempting to put their tiny skiff in the water also, on what to them was an unfamiliar lake.  It didn’t take long for Jason to realize that these guys didn’t know what they were doing, and that they were literally risking their lives by attempting to cross the icy waters of the lake in that tiny, overloaded boat.  So, instead of lecturing them about what they were doing wrong, he simply walked up and invited these guys to join him in his blind.  After all, they had plenty of extra room (and he didn’t feel like rescuing them from the icy waters when there were ducks to be hunted).  Quickly realizing Jason was an experienced hunter, these two guys gladly joined.  Their willingness to learn would be richly rewarded.  

I was on the phone with Jason throughout that day to give and get field reports. Their hunt started out slow with very few ducks in the area. But, it ended up being a massive migration day for Canada geese.  Realizing that, Jason ended up pulling most of his duck decoys and changing his decoy spread to set up primarily for geese.  As huge flocks of geese started to come onto the lake, he and his championship goose caller friend put on a real calling clinic for these new hunters, which resulted in a 4 man limit of geese on their first “real” waterfowl hunt.  Jason said the look on their faces was priceless when they realized the situation they had fallen into by being open to learning from more experienced hunters.

If you can’t find experienced hunters in your own social circles, reach out to your local division of wildlife office and ask them if they can point you to any local resources.  Many Division of Wildlife or Natural Resources officers are hunters themselves and are very willing to share information to help you be successful.  Another strategy is to contact the local chapter of wildlife conservation organizations like: The National Wild Turkey Federation, The Quality Deer Management Association, Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation or Pheasants Forever.  The type of organization you choose to call will obviously depend on the game animal you want to pursue and where you live, but you’ll find that local volunteers for these organizations are passionate about hunting, and about bringing new hunters into their organizations.  They can be a tremendous resource.

There’s one last point I need to make about learning from experience.  Once you learn the basics by leveraging the experiencing of others, you’ll quickly start to realize that you’ll be learning something new on every single hunt, based on your own experience.  This is one of the most rewarding aspects to hunting, because no matter how long you’ve been hunting, with every trip to the woods, every day on the water and with every animal encounter, you’ll start to pick up insights that will help you make better future decisions and make you a smarter hunter.

After the Shot

For many new hunters, the question of “what do I do with an animal once I shoot it?” is their biggest source of trepidation about getting into hunting.  Well, it is a great question and there’s more to it than meets the eye.  Your first challenge is to successfully recover the downed game.  Once you shoot an animal, recovering it needs to become your first priority (after safety, of course).  I’ve seen hunters get hopped up on adrenaline and side tracked by seeing more ducks in the air, or other deer approaching – causing them to take their focus off of animals they had already shot.  This can lead to lost game, which is never a good thing and one of the most unfortunate situations in hunting.  Deer Buck Harvested with Rifle 

How you recover an animal depends on the species.  For big game like deer, elk or bear, it is best to give the animal time to expire before you pursue it.  If you make a great shot, sometimes you’ll see the animal go down and expire within your view, but it doesn’t always happen that way. There may be tracking involved, which is just another fun and challenging part of the hunting experience.  If you’re hunting small game or fowl, you can and usually should go after them right away, to recover them wherever they dropped.  Sometimes a quick follow up shot is needed to quickly and ethically kill the animal.

Once you recover a big game animal like a deer, you’ll need to tag it – which basically just means you put a tag with your name and some basic information about the harvest of the animal onto the animal itself.  This is a legal requirement in most, if not all states in the U.S.  

Then, whether it is big game or small, you’ll eventually need to clean and process the animal.  For big game, like a deer, you will likely need to field dress or “gut” the deer out in the field.  This serves two purposes.  First, it helps cool down the body cavity more quickly, which helps preserve the quality of the meat.  Secondly, it removes a lot of weight from the animal, which will help you drag it out of the woods to your vehicle more easily.

As for the question of how-to field dress a deer, how to clean a duck or any other animal, thankfully we live in an information age where practically everything you need to know can be found on the internet.  That is, if you don’t have a friend or family member to show you first-hand.  From field dressing to plucking to processing, a simple search on Google or YouTube will deliver links to dozens of videos that can help walk you through the process.

When I shot my first deer with a shotgun as a teenager, I was fortunate to have a family friend help me field dress it.  Then I took it to a meat processor to butcher it. But when I finally took up (and fell in love with) bow hunting years later, I had no one around to show me what to do when I killed my first doe.  Fortunately, I was prepared and had a step-by-step guide to field dressing printed from the web and put it in a plastic bag in my backpack  – so I’d be ready if I was fortunate enough to harvest an animal.  Good preparation is a hugely important part of successful hunting.

Getting Started Starts Now

When I decided to take up bow hunting, I was inspired by simply shooting a friend’s old compound bow at a local archery range.  There was something about taking aim and releasing that arrow that resonated with something deep inside of me.  Simply by shooting his bow, I realized that even though I’d never hunted with one, I was in-fact a bow hunter. So that day at the archery range I set a goal.  I said to myself and to my friend, “I am going to buy a bow of my own, practice and kill a deer with it next season”.  Mind you, although I was a long-time small-game and bird hunter, I had never hunted with a bow.  My goal was to figure it all out…the equipment, the strategies and how to prepare for a hunt in ways that would help make me successful.  So that’s what I did.  Since then I’ve taken about twenty deer with a bow.  I’ve fed my family with several of those deer and donated others to local food pantries or others in need.  I am a bow hunter. A sportsman. A provider.  And it all started with simple, clearly stated goal.  

What’s your game?  What’s your goal? It is time to get started!

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Posted by on May 30, 2016 in hunting, Wawang Lake Resort

 

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How to Size a Black Bear

……… WHEN SIZING UP A BEAR

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A big bear swaggers and walks with attitude. He doesn’t jump at every sound like a small bear will.  A big bear doesn’t have to; he believes he’s got nothing to fear. Once you’ve spotted your bear on the bait site, it’s time to get serious about analyzing how that bear is behaving.

It is important to note that long before you judge the size of the bear, you must judge the sex of that bear and here are some things to take into consideration:

A big, old sow will have all, or more correctly, almost all of the physical characteristics of a big, old boar. She’ll have the nasty looking face that’s seen one too many years in the ring, the potbelly and the sway back.

Watch to see if the bear stands on his hind legs and rubs his back on a tree, that’s a boar.  If it walks along and straddles small trees, wiping its scent on that tree, it’s a boar.  If it stands up and breaks saplings over its shoulder, it’s a boar.  If it encounters another bear and gives chase, it’s a boar and if it is following a smaller bear, it’s a boar.

SCALE:  There is one last general appearance tip to judging black bear that makes the top three in importance, and that is scale.   A big bear looks big . . . but so does a closer, smaller bear.   Here’s a help tip on how to gauge more accurately.  If the bear is 150 yards away but the hunter thinks the bear is 200 yards away, the hunter will overestimate the bear’s relative size by somewhere near 25 percent.   In other words, the hunter is in for a serious case of ground shrink when he walks up to his bear.  TIP:  Let the bear get as close to you as possible and preferably on the bait itself.   The closer the bear, the less chance there is of misjudging the distance to relative size.

SPECIFIC TIPS FOR JUDGING BLACK BEARS: If the bear fails any one of the above general conditions, then it’s advisable to pass up on it or let the bear walk. It’s tough and you could be wrong, but at least there isn’t a dead small bear lying on the ground.   Call it a personal aversion to guilt.

BODY SHAPE:    Bigger bear are older bears, and like most of us, they don’t have the svelte bodies they once did. They tend to look “heavy” and out of shape. Remember, they monopolize the best feed and habitat, and therefore exert less energy to live.

HEAD SHAPE:   A big bear (boar) will have a deeper, wider and longer snout than a smaller bear or a female. His ears will appear to be wide apart and small. If he is aware of you and looking your way, his ears won’t stand up on top of his head like a dog’s ears, they’ll seem to be aimed out to the side of his head. A big bear will have well developed “bulging” muscles on the top of his head.


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LEGS:   A big bear will have massively developed front shoulders. His shoulders will look big and burly. A sow’s wrist will pinch in directly above the foot. Not so with a boar. The lower forearm, wrist and the foot on a big boar are all the same width. A big bear often appears to have shorter legs because the body is so much thicker, but keep in mind that the best-scoring bears for the records book are often the lankier looking, longer-bodied bears.

There are bear that have meatier heads; bear that look great and are great trophies, but that don’t score well.  There are others that have short skulls, block- headed beasts that look impressive, but that don’t score well at all and there are lanky, skinny bears with donkey faces that score like the devil, but that a hunter seriously looking for  a  records book bear wouldn’t walk across the street for. Black bear morphology is just too darn diversified to make a science out of judging.

The best way to hunt for a record boar is to simply shoot the bear that looks good to you and that hopefully  you’ll  appreciate all the time and effort you put in for the hunt.  If it’s got a nice hide, be happy with your animal. If it has long claws and weighs a ton, good for you and congratulations. If it isn’t as big as  you’d like, don’t fret, you’re not alone and the rug on your wall will still look great. If it happens to be one of those rare few bears that has grown a skull that qualifies for the record books, thank your guide for the good fortune that made that bear come to the bait site.

To easily judge, remember:

  • Check out the ear size in relation to the head
  • Mickey Mouse ears means a small bear.
  • Watch to see if the belly is low to the ground
  • Legs that appear short means big bear.

Watch the bear’s behavior around the bait – small bears will be skittish and afraid of a larger bruin in the area.

Look for a log around the bait and use it as a reference, check to see the length and height of the log before climbing into your stand. When the bear enters the bait site use the size of the log to help determine the overall size of the bear.

SKULL MEASURING

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Hope this information helps develop your judging skill on your next hunt, and,  good luck out in the field.

For further information, or, to book your next bear hunt please contact us at:
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Tips For More Grouse

trees3Learn to Recognize Good Cover
Some hunters seem to have a sixth sense about where the grouse are. This isn’t magic but rather the culmination of years of experience, observation, and a working knowledge of what the birds need. These guys are constantly reading about grouse habitat and lore; they take note of wherever they hear drumming in the spring. They know that good grouse cover holds food and provides protection from predators — if it is near an evergreen stand or gravel so much the better.

Take a page from these hunters. Every time you or your dog move a bird, have a good look around after the smoke has cleared — you’ll see a pattern soon enough. Study grouse biology at home; carry field guides when you hunt; learn to recognize common grouse foods in your area. After a while you’ll develop that sixth sense too.

Keep a Log
Every serious grouse hunter I know keeps a hunting log. Some maintain elaborate leather-bound journals in which they detail particulars of the hunt such as the date, cover, number of flushes, dog work, weather, harvest, and crop contents of the birds. Other keep it simple, by marking covers on their handheld GPS. Either way, the hunter is reminded of the places that produced grouse last season.gps

Do this consistently and it won’t take many seasons before you have a bevy of early, mid, and late season options. The more options you have, the better your chance of having a grouse dinner.

Break Some Clay
Over the course of a season, few of us get enough shots at grouse. So it only stands to reason that a hunter ought to make the most of each opportunity. I do this by honing my shotgunning skills in the off-season. Skeet, trap, or sporting clays keep a hunter sharp so that mounting and swinging his scattergun becomes second nature. You’ll still miss — grouse have a way of humbling everyone — but you’ll also make some shots that you might not have without the off-season practice. It just takes a few of these to turn a mediocre season into a great one.

Don’t Forget the Dog Days
Spring and summer are tailor-made for training your dog. Despite this, few of us take advantage of the opportunity. Instead, we expect our dogs to work flawlessly on opening day and we’re actually surprised when that doesn’t happen.

Does your flushing dog hunt too far ahead and blow cover before you get there? A little “hup training” (teaching your dog to sit on command, no matter how far away) in the off season goes a long way towards remedying this. You might also consider brushing up on retrieving drills or introducing your dog to pigeons or game farm forays prior to the season. Some advanced training, such as steadying to wing and shot (where a dog sits down automatically at each flush) might require the help of a professional dog trainer. If that’s what you want, the off-season is the time to do it.

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Pointing dogs have their own set of training needs, which might include bolstering staunchness, retrieving, hunting range and finding dead birds. Whatever your canine hunting partner’s flaw is, the off-season is the time to address it.

The idea is to learn to handle your dog so that you perform as a well-oiled team during the hunting season. There are plenty of great dog training books and videos — the off-season is when you should benefit from them most.

Follow the Food
Grouse eat hundreds of types of food and each provides a clue as to where the birds are hanging out. That’s why it’s a good idea to check the crop of every bird you shoot. Knowing what grouse are eating helps you understand their habits and tells you where you should focus your hunting efforts. If the last three birds you shot were full of blackberries, for instance, it’s definitely time to hunt any of your covers that hold these shrubs.

Against the Wind
A dog relies on his nose to find birds. So why would you hunt with the wind at its back? We all know that there isn’t any good reason for doing so, but it’s one of the first things excited dog handlers forget when approaching good cover.

If you hunt into the wind, your dog will work closer, scent more game and, hopefully, find more birds. It’s a simple but often overlooked strategy that can make the difference between a full and empty game bag. This is also an important consideration when looking for a lost bird. Take your dog downwind from where you think it fell and let it start hunting from there.

Stop and Start
A good grouse hunting dog provides opportunities that you might not have otherwise had, but that’s not to say that a dog less hunter can’t do well. The key, for a dog less hunter, is to stop and start through likely cover and change direction often. These unpredictable patterns unnerve grouse and invariably pressure them into flushing. Another added bonus is that when you stop you can sometimes hear the put-put-put of a grouse moving just ahead of you. If that’s the case, get the gun up and rush it.

Don’t Hesitate
A good upland shot doesn’t hesitate. He takes the first available shot, even if it’s not a great one.

If you wait for a better chance you’ll rarely get it. Similarly, if you are leading a bird that disappears behind a screen of leaves, follow through, and shoot anyway. You’ll be surprised how often you connect. If not, shells are cheap.

While we’re on the subject of shooting, be ready for the second flush. Often, especially, early in the season when birds are still in their family groups, multiple flushes do occur. If you keep this in mind, they won’t catch you flat-footed — or with an empty gun.

Follow Up
Whenever you flush a bird and don’t fold it, mark where you last saw it. Most times they won’t fly much further than 150 yards. If you marked it well and follow up immediately, you have a good chance of forcing a second flush.

 

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Another advantage of following up on grouse is that they sometimes lead you to new covers. If that’s the case, don’t forget to mark it.

Lastly, never assume that you missed any grouse that you shot at. After the shot, keep quiet and listen. Sometimes you’ll hear a mortally wounded grouse doing its death dance against the ground — that’s the one that you thought you missed.

The Right Tools
A fast-handling 12, 16 or 20 gauge shotgun is ideal for birds. Most gunners like double guns. Some happen to prefer a pump because that’s what they shoot best with.  However, don’t discount the light weight, easy to carry .410 shotgun.  Nice little gun with ever growing in popularity in our neck of the woods.

Whatever, your preference, you can’t go wrong using 2 3/4-inch shells filled with 7.5 shot. Grouse aren’t tough birds and it doesn’t take much to bring them down. Since most shots are within 15 yards, the more open-choked your barrels are, the better.

Other essential grouse hunting tools include a quality blaze orange upland hunting vest with a lined game pouch; brush pants; comfortable, well-supported hunting boots; and a compass and/or GPS. If you are hunting with a dog, a whistle, water bottle, portable dog dish, dog first aid kit, and lead are important too. When working heavy, thorny cover, a pair of shooting glasses that protect your eyes are worth their weight in gold.

Conclusion
No one ever said grouse hunting was complicated. But it does take some planning, know-how and skill. Over the last few years, these strategies have made many a much better grouse hunter. Hopefully, they’ll do the same for you.

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An adrenaline filled archery moose hunt!

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Sometimes the thrill of the hunt gets escalated that much more!  This is one of the most adrenaline filled hunts we have seen in years.  This hunt was filmed in the Yukon and was executed with great skill…while we promote hunting, we suggest unless you have the skill necessary, do not try this out in the field 🙂

Are you an Ontario resident with a tag for 15A or 15B?  We have centrally located accommodations.  Book early to avoid disappointment!

 

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Bear Facts to Success

imagesS12UAEG6Simple Fact: The more effort you put into masking your scent, the bigger the Black Bears coming into your target zone will be.

All experienced Black Bear Outfitters have their little tricks to make their bear hunters hunt more enjoyable and also help with their success. If you are new to bear hunting you should know what you are up against. Every hunter wants a big trophy bear and this article should bring you a little closer to that goal, but remember, to thoroughly follow the advice of your outfitter, if you’ve chosen one, and, above all else:  DO NOT DEVIATE from the routine they have already established.

Black Bear hunting to the outfitter is about luring bears to a target zone for their hunting guests by baiting with food the bears like such as high-carbohydrate foods. Bread, pasta and other high starch content foods are rare in nature but it’s what the bears want most so they can quickly store fat for the winter. It’s also about setting up stands at strategic spots where big bears have been scouted. Black Bear hunting for the hunter is all about stealth, with the two biggest factors being sound and most of all, smell.

Black Bear’s Sense of Smell: Olfactory Receptors

imagesN9DAOG1VThe Black Bear has the best sense on smell of any land walking mammal on Earth. It’s really hard for a human to comprehend how well a bear can smell as we basically have to stick our nose in the pot to smell the sauce. Comparing the amount of Olfactory Receptors between a human and a Black Bear is mind boggling.

Olfactory Receptors are microscopic bulbs on the end of nerves in a mammal’s nose. The more you have the better your sense of smell is.

  • Humans:
    6,000,000 Olfactory Receptors (6 million)
  • Blood Hounds:
    1,800,000,000 Olfactory Receptors (1.8 billion)
  • Black Bear:
    12,600,000,000,000 Olfactory Receptors (12.6 Trillion)

A Black Bear can smell 2100 times better than a human. In addition the Jacobson’s organ in their mouth can taste the air, adding to their brains perception. A mature Black Bear can smell your breakfast from 20 miles away if the wind is right. Big mature bears can smell better than smaller younger bears as their noses are larger and more developed. Bears also know what unnatural smells are and associate them with a human presence. This can explain why Black Bear hunters that are not fanatical about the way they smell rarely see big trophy bears. There are procedures you can do to minimize unnatural smells to keep the bears concentrating on the bait that the outfitter has put out for them.  It is wise to check with your outfitter before applying anything new to the bait station that they normally don’t use.

1) Before your bear hunting trip; pick a couple of sets of clothes that you will only wear at the tree stand while hunting. Wash your clothes with scent-free detergent and when done, run them though the wash twice again with no detergent so they are well rinsed. This will ensure your clothes are scent free. If you live in the city and have chlorinated city water then go to a pet store and buy a small bottle of Aquarium Water Conditioner and add ½ oz. to the last rinse cycle you do with your clothes. The water conditioner will neutralize the chlorine in the water and keep the chlorine smell out of your clothes. Remember, they can smell 2100 times better than you so don’t feel silly getting fanatical. Then pack the clothes in a plastic bag to keep them scent free. If you consistently use fabric softener in your clothes dryer it’s best to hang your clothes up to dry because residual clothes softener might go on your clothes. If you are a smoker, do not smoke while wearing your hunting clothes.

Before we go to the next points you should be aware that Black Bears love the smell of mint. If you go on a camping trip in any of Ontario’s provincial parks the wardens will tell you not to keep mint toothpaste or mint gum in your tent because the bears will smell it and go after it. The bears craving for mint can be used to your advantage.

2) Think Mint: Go to one of those hippy tree-hugger heath stores and buy mint soap. The morning before the hunt take a shower using the mint soap. Brush your teeth with mint toothpaste. Chew mint gum while in the tree stand and if you really want to go all the way, have a glass of mint tea before the hunt and even keep a few bags of mint tea in your pockets. This will help cover up any scent.

3) Smoking: If you are a smoker and you smoke in the tree stand you are basically wasting your time if you expect a big trophy bear to come within sight. Wind direction can give you a little luck but it’s not something you should count on. It’s best to wear a nicotine patch while in the tree stand and if you need to; chew mint gum to keep your mind off smoking. Remember to brush your teeth and wash your hands and stop smoking before you put your scent free hunting clothes on.   This would also apply to cigars and chewing tobacco as well.

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Black Bear Hearing:

The shape of Black Bear’s ears is mainly responsible for their great hearing. When detecting sound based on volume a bear’s hearing is about four times that of a human. However, a bear can hear a much broader frequency range; both higher and lower frequencies. Rubbing of cloth or twisting of your tree stand can produce sounds that the bear can hear and the hunter cannot. Big old male bears develop a crowned head and their ears move out to the sides giving them stereoscopic hearing, which allows them to pinpoint the origin of the sounds they hear. This is another reason why big old bears are harder to get.

With this in mind try to stay absolutely still. If you have to move; move very slowly. Take some nose drops before the hunt and if you have a cold or allergies. If your throat is dry and itchy bring some mint flavored lozenges with you. You can also oil the joints of your tree stand to make them a little quieter.

Black Bear Sight:

During the day a Black Bear basically has the same site as a human but older bears tend to be near sighted. As a result they cannot focus on things from a long distance. When one of an animal’s senses becomes diminished their brain rewires itself to compensate by making other senses more acute. This is known as neural placidity. As a bear gets older they become near sighted so the brain compensates by being more sensitive to color differentiation. If the bear sees colors it thinks are unnatural and he sees those colors move the game is up. Bears cannot see the same range of colors as a human. Hunter orange looks gray to them. But they can see dull reds and yellows as well into the blue/green cool color spectrum. This is why there are many different forms of camouflage clothing.

Picking the right Camouflage:

You need to talk to the outfitter when you book your hunt and ask what kind of plants will be at the tree stands. If the hunt is taking place in the southern range of Ontario’s bear hunting country during the fall you may have a mix of coniferous and deciduous trees, thus you will need a camouflage that represents pine needles, pine bark and colored fall foliage. If you are father north in an area with only pine trees you will need a camouflage that represents pine bark and pine needles, which means dark brown and green. You need to blend into the scenery so their bear cannot see any unnatural color pattern.

Black Bears are nocturnal. They have a reflective layer in the back of the eye called the tarpetum lucidum. Just because you can’t see them does not mean they cannot see you. Since dusk is the hottest bear hunting time it’s also when you should concentrate the most on being quiet and motionless.

Bear Size:

In most cases, big ears mean a smaller bear. A small ear is usually a bigger bear. Once a bear reaches three years old (approx. 100 lbs.), the bear starts to grow into its ears. The ears and eyes don’t grow as much as they do in the first three years. Sometimes if a bear has a hard year with food, the ears will look bigger because the bear is thinner. Read our article:  How to Size a Black Bear

Cubs:

When a sow is with cubs, 90% of the time the cubs are in the lead. The cubs will make more noise than a single bear. Most of the time, adult bears make little or no noise.

Sow:

You can’t shoot a sow with cubs in the Ontario spring hunt, and in the fall we continue this policy on our BMA – DO NOT SHOOT SOWS with cubs.. So make 100% sure you know what you are shooting at. Take a really good look around to make sure there are no cubs. A sow’s ears are usually closer together, as a male bear’s cranium grows wider on top and the ears look farther apart. They also look smaller, which is really an illusion.

These tips and techniques are just a guide line for some things to consider and think about. Ultimately the outfitter is the person you need to discuss the different factors with. Bear hunting can be quite different in different regions.

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Grouse Hunting at Wawang Lake

Join us in NW Ontario CANADA for some exciting and thrilling grouse hunting

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Grouse Season:  September 15th to Oct 31st

Grouse hunting is a relaxing pastime that is getting more and more popular every year.  In our area bird hunting can be an adventure in itself!  Driving down the back roads & trails in your truck or on your ATV can not only be thrilling but breathtaking as well as you wander down roads that are in full color deserving of natures fall foliage. Just taking in these magnificent fall colors, peaceful wilderness & the wildlife that you’ll encounter will make you feel like you are definitely “North of the Tension Zone”.

The bush trails with the rise of the birds, singing of the guns, the smell of the pines along with friendly comraderie back at the camp will not long be forgotten.

Surrounding Wawang Lake are hundreds of miles of ATV trails, old logging road, game animal trails and hiking trails. The bush is just stuffed with these upland game birds and on a sunny fall afternoon you will see hoards of them. Many of our guests choose a fishing / grouse hunting combination package and spend half the their time taking advantage of the awesome northern pike and walleye fishing and spend the rest of their time enjoying the clean fall area and exploring the many trails where birds are plentiful.

There are three species of grouse found in Ontario.

Ruffed Grouse  –  Spruce Grouse  –  Sharptail Grouse

Ruffed Grouse is the most common and comprises of 80% of what you will encounter during your hunt.

The limit for grouse in Ontario is 5 birds per day in any combination of species with a total of 15 in your possession and you will be surprised at the number of grouse we do have and how fast you’ll bag those limits.

Compared to other areas the grouse cycle in our area has remained consistently high over the years and we credit this because of less human population that other places are known for.  In a nutshell what you’ll experience at Wawang Lake is a vast area of complete privacy during your hunt.

The most popular guns for grouse hunting are .410 or 20 gauge shot gun and some hunters use a 12 as well.   Quickly becoming more popular is BOW HUNTING for birds.  To increase the thrill and excitement of your hunt give your bow a try and the challenge alone is sure to thrill you.

Blaze orange hat & vest is required and must be worn out in the field

Canadian Firearms Regulations
All Firearms (does NOT include bows) being brought into Canada must be registered at the Canadian Customs at the time of entry into Canada. A one-year permit costs $50.00 Canadian, or there is a long term permit as well. If you would like further information, you can visit the Canadian Firearms Website through the link on our website or call toll free, 1-800-731-4000.

Canadian Customs
You should be aware of special customs and immigration issues whenever traveling to another country. For people with prior legal issues (including DWI’s) you need to find out what restrictions may be placed on your travel. Visit the Border Crossing Link and/or the Canada Citizenship & Immigration.

DEPOSIT REQUIREMENTS
A $150.00 non-refundable deposit is required at the time of reservation to guarantee a hunt. Balance to be paid in full upon arrival at the resort.  Hunting deposits and installments are non-refundable. Consideration may be given to date transfers if vacancy can be filled.

There are a limited number of spaces available for our hunts. Often there are more guests interested in hunting than there are available spaces, and hunts are often booked a year or more in advance. It is extremely difficult to fill spaces that become available due to cancellation. For these reasons we ask that our guests do not book hunts lightly

For further information, or, to book your next bear hunt please contact us at:
1-888-534-9217 or EMAIL

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