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Best week to hunt BlackBear Northern AB?
Hi Guys im a avid whitetail hunter from the Midwest. In my area it’s all about the rut and pre rut which is best Nov1-15 almost every year like clockwork. I’m not a bear hunter but will be going on a black bear hunt in northern Alberta. Does anyone recommend which week to go from the May 5 to June7 . I know some people say it’s better to get on the baits early because the big boars are more patternable on the baits and lack of bears out but some say later in early June is better because of the rut. I’m more worried about quality versus quantity. Which do you recommend and why?
I use to feel I had to be there and get first crack the first week..
Since I’ve become older/smarter I’ve learned that later is better IMO the bears are more active and are eating better and the rut is on.
People often are concerned with rubbed hides on later hunts but it’s also my opinion that the bigger older bears hold their hides longer. As for a date...Anymore if I was going on a guided B.B. hunt I wouldn’t go before June 1
That would depend on if I knew I had a big bear on the bait early then I’d say hunt early. If I didn’t I’d be looking forward to the rut to see who shows up. Sorry if that answer does t help you, but you’re right it’s kind of like whitetails. If you’ve got a big buck hitting beans in daylight it’s easier to kill HIM in September. But during the rut who knows what happens.
My outfitter in Manitoba last year said the last week of May was a good week as the rut was on and boars are trolling for sows. I can vouch for the rut as I have some great footage of a small sow being terrified to come into the bait and two different boars were in the area. Got one vid of a boar passing right by the bait following the sow. The 2nd boar was teeth popping and wuffing but came into the bait. Take it for what it's worth.
Ask your outfitter how many baits they run and how many hunters they will be taking. I hunted Manitoba this past spring June 3rd thru 8th. Thru the season they ran 17 hunters for 10 baits. I felt by the last week the baits had been overhunted. Although one giant was killed amongst the 6 of us the rest of the bears were mostly immature seen or killed. I would consider going back first week only. My buddy had hunted there before so I took his word on the hunt. If your outfitter has a better hunter to bait ratio go anytime. Others may disagree just my two cents.
Earlier you will see less bears but maybe the best bear hide wise....later....more bears, more movement but maybe iffy hides. Remember too just like whitetails, when rutting food is not the key thing on their mind. If your sitting on a bait site that might work against you. Sows are just like does....they don`t tolerate getting harassed by the males if they`re not ready and might not come to the baits either. Then you have nothing attracting the boars in. Things to think about.
map1, who did you hunt with?
When is a heck of a lot less important than with whom are you hunting.
In manitoba mid may to late may seems to be the best time, if I were booking a hunt it would be in that time!
At our camp in manitoba we have killed big bear first week of May and the last week of May , some guys will kill a couple or more 400 plus in there life time and some won’t get one. Good luck.
If your going to Alberta and it’s with Mikes Outfitting it probably doesn’t matter he targets only big bears for all his clients from the first week to the last week. His pictures of bear on the baits and successful clients proof enough.
Thanks Everyone. It’s nice to hear others opinions on this. I’m the guy in the group that talked everyone into going on this trip. We’re going May 19-24th.
Good call on Mikes Outfitting in Alberta. Just view his posting on how he sets up his baits, stands and how to tell the sex of the bear. Well thought out and very well run organization. An outfitter that sets trophy standards vs some of the high volume outfitters you see in Manitoba. Stick with Alberta.
God bless u guys, have a great day.
There are big bears in both Manitoba and Alberta. It's all about having the patience to wait for them. I've been fortunate enough to take several "once in a lifetime" bears hunting with Alexis Desjardins and his brother in law Alan MacCarthy in Manitoba. I generally hunt the 2nd week of May. Here is one taken last day, last hour of my hunt in 2017. Weighed 450 legit on the scale.