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Location: La Grange, Kentucky
Joined: 08/19/2007
Posts: 13
Going to Espanola, Ontario in Sept for Black bear

I am new to this forum. I am from KY and mainly hunt whitetails and turkey. What can I expect from this area in Ontario? My outfitter runs a great camp from what I have seen and I will be going with a bow.

It is a combo hunting and fishing trip. I will be hunting over bait.

Thanks!!!

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Location: ontario
Joined: 07/07/2006
Posts: 237
Going to Espanola, Ontario in Sept for Black bear

Espanola is only 50 miles west of where I am and I'm quite familiar with the area. Not sure if you're hunting north or south of the town though. I've spent a number of years fishing north of there in some of the large trout waters but never hunted. The terrain is identical to my area however. So, not sure of what you want to know exactly about your hunt? Weather, clothing, bugs, fishing tackle, numbers of bears, stores?
Fill me in and I'll do what I can. Who you with? I know a few of the guys so PM me if you prefer.

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Location: La Grange, Kentucky
Joined: 08/19/2007
Posts: 13
Going to Espanola, Ontario in Sept for Black bear
sawbill wrote:
Espanola is only 50 miles west of where I am and I'm quite familiar with the area. Not sure if you're hunting north or south of the town though. I've spent a number of years fishing north of there in some of the large trout waters but never hunted. The terrain is identical to my area however. So, not sure of what you want to know exactly about your hunt? Weather, clothing, bugs, fishing tackle, numbers of bears, stores?
Fill me in and I'll do what I can. Who you with? I know a few of the guys so PM me if you prefer.

South of Espanola, about 6 miles. We will be near Killarney Prov. Park.

What can I expect as far as numbers of bears, sizes of bears in the area, should I kill the first one I see, or be patient?
What do you see????

I have been doing tons of research on bears and their sizes and what to expect, but hearing tips/advice from a local hunter in my opinion, is priceless, especially for a newbie black bear hunter.

I do know the largest bear this outfitter has taken in his camp is 587 lbs. 2 pope and young bears were taken in 2006 and one B&C.

i will be fishing a lot too...mainly smallies, largemouth, walleye, and pike. And hopefully a laker if I can figure out where they are staging in September.

What can I expect at the border crossing...Sault Ste Marie??? My outfitter has gone through extensive work preparing us but...like I said hearing what a local hunter sees would greatly help!

Thanks for all the advise and tips!

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Location: ontario
Joined: 07/07/2006
Posts: 237
Going to Espanola, Ontario in Sept for Black bear

Ok, lets see what I can do. Killarney area itself is on the south side of the LaCloche Mtn range. Likely you'll be hunting on the north side of the range and its far better bear area I think. Just the same, theres lots of bears in that whole area. In any black bear population anywhere the average size female will be 140ish pounds while the males are larger, about 180. Hopefully you'll be set up on a fresh baitsite, something that someone else hasn't already hunted this season. If thats the case and your bait is being hit daily, then I'd suggest you hold out for a large animal. Any bear over 250 is a very nice animal. The coat should be shiny, not flat. You should be about 15 - 20 yds distance from the bait, maybe 15 ft up in the tree. You have to picture a bear not from a broadside perspective but from high up, looking down. You'll see a lot of back and shoulder but little side. And its the side you have to hit. Concentrate on that small spot just behind the shoulder, and picture where your arrow should exit on the other side. Take a shot quartering away or broadside, nothing else. Your goal is to double lung him.
I can't emphasize this enough. Wait for your bear to settle into the bait. Your baits should be thawed so he can only carry away small pieces at a time. He'll pick up a chunk then leave, return again and take some more. Bring some maple syrup, jam, chocolate syrup, caramel or the like and spread in near your bait. That will keep him there giving you more shot opportunity. Remember this if you deer hunt: a deer doesn't give you much time to pick a shot but they're easy to kill. A bear is tough to kill but gives you numerous opportunities for a kill shot. So be patient. If you don't connect one night, he'll likely be back next night.
Size. A large bear moves slowly, methodically. They appear to have no neck, thick heavy legs with little ground clearance. The ears are smallish, more to the side of his head. A small or average bear may come in with little caution, they have long obvious necks, long gangly legs, and big ears that sit directly on top of their head. Don't be surprised if they come in and look directly at you. Just sit still, move slowly when they're looking away and concentrate on that spot behind the shoulder. If your legs or arms start dancing, let up and start your draw over when you settle down.
Last bit of advice, listen to your guide.
As for the border, my guys come across without difficulty. If you have an ATV, wash any chunks of mud off it. Have a helmet and hunter orange. That can be removed once in the stand. You're not supposed to bring over fresh produce but my guys do it all the time. Have any paperwork ready, ID, firearms forms if you have any rifles or shotguns. Leave handguns at home. Be polite with the customs people. When you return to the States, read the above. It applies going back as well. If you have a past DUI or like offence, I hope you've resolved that before you hit the border--rehabilitation for example. Have a State hunting licence with you. You'll need it to purchase an Ontario Non-res bear lic.
Thats about it. Anything else, just fire away. Better to have answers than questions before you leave home.

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Joined: 08/27/2004
Posts: 1964
Going to Espanola, Ontario in Sept for Black bear

The bear hunting out here is great this year. Im not sure what guide service your using but Im sure they have bears hitting because our wild berry crops have been getting killed off from the sun so the bears are looking for free meals everywhere Im about 30 mins from espanola.Whatever you do remember your hunter orange sawbill covered pretty much everything if you do all those things he said you should be fine. Deffinetly make sure your bait is fresh meat and like bill said bring some goody I seemed to have alot of bears comming to my bait this year and they loved the chocolate and caramel syrop for icecream and scrap meat.Good luck on your hunt and Good luck fishing. Bring some chartruce jigs and tails and white jigs and tails if Im right you should be catching them on that probably with minnows, leeches or worms all should work.

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Location: La Grange, Kentucky
Joined: 08/19/2007
Posts: 13
Going to Espanola, Ontario in Sept for Black bear

One tip my outfitter told us was to save up maple bacon grease in a coffee can and spread it on logs, trees, and the ground around the bait site. He uses a sweet feed formula that is mixed with vanilla, donuts, caramel, and other goodies.

I have been looking at bear anatomy photos and I picture everyday where to aim. I know that bear have a big shoulder bone, so aiming right behind the shoulder when the near front leg is forward, is ideal right?

We will be boating in from Lang Lake. No roads, atv's.

What about walking in to the stand? My guide says to be in by 1pm. Can there be bears already at the bait site waiting on me to bait it???

Stands will be 10-15ft and ranges will be 20 yards or so, so I am packing my Nikon rangefinder too.

What about bugs? I am packing a thermocell just in case.

Thanks guys!

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Location: La Grange, Kentucky
Joined: 08/19/2007
Posts: 13
Going to Espanola, Ontario in Sept for Black bear

my guide did say that the berriers were almost non-existanant this year so bears have been hitting his baits hard and even venturing into town.

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Joined: 08/27/2004
Posts: 1964
Going to Espanola, Ontario in Sept for Black bear

A thermo cell will work fine for one person and I always do a morning hunt so I can see if anything is hitting in the morning I got my bear as the sun was comming up this year. Right behind the shoulder will drop him and there could be one there but they will hear you comming you never know where they are you just know they are close.

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Location: La Grange, Kentucky
Joined: 08/19/2007
Posts: 13
Going to Espanola, Ontario in Sept for Black bear

So I should always pack my rifle into the stand when i am bowhunting? Seems likeI will be packing bow, gun, gear, camcorder, bait bucket, and what ever else the guide says to bring in!

Any other advice would be great, if you think of anything. thanks guys!

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Location: ontario
Joined: 07/07/2006
Posts: 237
Going to Espanola, Ontario in Sept for Black bear

Lighten your load--take only a squeeze bottle of chocolate syrup and spread enough of it directly on the logs or pail (whatever is covering the bait pile) to keep the bear hanging around where you want him to be. Grease is way too sticky and dirty to handle so don't bother with crap like that. Carry just a pint size bottle of the syrup--thats more than enough for each sitting. A gallon jug is cheaper in the long run but too heavy to lug around.
The bugs are just about done so a roll of tape on your pants cuffs and sleeves will work. Something for your neck might be needed as thats where much of your body heat is lost and that draws skeeters. As far as I'm concerned, that eliminates any need for a thermocell.
Hopefully you won't be carrying in a treestand as well. If so you do have a load. And last thing you want is to work up a sweat getting into the stand.
Carry something to drink--water is good.
I will say this time and time again. Don't hurry your shot. Wait til the bear settles into your bait. Wait for the right angle--broadside or quartering away. Let him come in and if he leaves, don't panic. He will come back.
Best weather is calm, maybe a fine rain; worst weather is pounding rain and wind--sounds just like deer hunting, doesn't it?

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Location: La Grange, Kentucky
Joined: 08/19/2007
Posts: 13
Going to Espanola, Ontario in Sept for Black bear

Anyone ever have a bear climb your tree? I am not trying to psych myself out but I have heard stories of bears doing this....

What do you all do to protect your scent? I am loaded on scent-lok clothing and deodorizing soaps, sprays, etc.

anything else about odor I should worry about?

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