Two Seasons to Choose
Saskatchewan offers two black bear hunting seasons, spring and fall. Some consider the spring the easier season. Black bears have recently come out of hibernation and are ravenously putting back on the body weight they lost over winter. That can make these very cautious animals a little less cautious around the bait barrels. It can also make confrontations between bears more common as they compete for access to the free food supply. The later in the season that you hunt, the less these situations are present, and bears have had more time to gain back the lost pounds and get back to their normal routines.
Opportunities to be Patient
Every good hunter has learned the value of patience. That usually comes along with temptation. Sitting for hour after hour, waiting for the right bear. Maybe it is shear size you are waiting for or maybe that particular color phase bear you are looking for. Black Bear outfitters in Saskatchewan have been doing this for a long time. They have learned where to places their hunting stands are and many track the game in the area with trail cams. They put hunters in the best locations for a successful hunt. With forests that are abundant in Black Bear, the right opportunity is just a matter of waiting, and recognizing the right time to pull the trigger. But, before then, you are likely to see many bear crossing your sight lines. Some sows, some cubs, some young boars, some good quality boars. When “the one” stops broadside, you will know what to do. Hopefully you have been patient enough for “the one”.
Make sure you are well accustomed to your weapon of choice before you set out on your hunt. When your trophy comes along, you will want to be able to end it at the best opportunity. In the forest, you rarely will have a shooting distance of more than 200 yards, often ½ of that distance. Make sure you have practiced at all the incremental distances. Knowing the trajectory of your ammo will help you to properly place that shot at the moment of truth. If you miss, it is highly unlikely that bear will return to the same stand area this season and your chance at the trophy bear is lost.
Northern Saskatchewan is wilderness in the truest sense of the word. If you haven’t been here, you will have a tough time understanding and even if you live here, you will have a tough time describing the rugged, tough, beautiful, never-ending scenery of Saskatchewan. You are likely to see more animals than people. Make sure you have plenty of memory on your phone or camera. You’re going to use it up.
People who are familiar with southern Saskatchewan are familiar with our wide-open spaces, endless views of endless horizons. For bear hunters, your destination is further north, after the wide-open fields transition to the boreal forest of the northern half of our province. The land is covered with trees, brush, rocks, and over 90% of our 100,000 lakes and rivers. But good news, your guides know this country, every dirt road, every pathway, every trail. When out hunting, you may be the only human around for miles in any direction. No worries, your guide knows where you are.
Multiple Seasons in a Day
If you don’t like the weather, just wait an hour. A day in the outdoors in Saskatchewan can require a suitcase full of clothing. We recommend you start off wearing too much, too many layers, with a wind proof layer on top. (Also pay attention to the high visibility color requirements for your hunting season and make sure that outer layer fits overtop your under layers.) Your day starting at hunting camp can begin in temperatures below freezing, 0 degrees Celsius (32 Fahrenheit) with some snow to deal with at times. Add a little wind and even the windbreak of the surrounding trees wont help much. Fortunately, most outfitters offer a heater of some type inside your enclosed hunting stand. That same day, starting around freezing, can climb to low teens in temperatures in the afternoon, seemingly like a pleasant spring day. But late afternoon, in the shade of the trees, can see temperatures drop quickly again. Your can leave your sunscreen at home, but don’t forget the bug spray. It will seem as if you have been through multiple seasons in a single day.
We couldn’t talk about coming to Saskatchewan without talking about the rest of the animals wandering around in the forest. Along with black bear, northern Saskatchewan is known for foxes, whitetail deer, wolves, coyotes, moose, beavers, eagles, hawks, and many smaller animals.
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