View Full Version : Spring Bear Hunt

February 17, 2000, 05:14 PM
I'm in the process of booking a spring bear hunt for May 21st - 26th in Quebec, Canada. There's a lot of stuff I'm needing to know, as this will be my first hunt for black bear and first hunt in Canada.

Here's what I know so far.

The hunt will be over bait (No preaching please, it will be legal).

It will be semi-guided as we'll just be shown where to go.

Lodging included - with no running water - shower house about 10 minutes away.

Now onto some questions.

What can I do now so that "Customs" won't be such a hassle?

I plan of bringing my Marlin 1895 .45-70 govt., which has been cut down to 16.5 inches. I've heard different answers to being allowed to bring this because of the barrel length.

I'm thinking along the lines of a 300gr flat-nosed bullet. Any suggestions pro/con on this pick for bullet?

The Black flies, anything I can do to avoid them (with the exception of not going).

Being that time of year, what can I expect with the temperatures? What's the mornings/evenings like?

What stuff do I need to pack for bear? I've never been so I have no idea if my whitetail gear would be enough.

What would be a standard tip for the guide, providing we both get bears?

I'll be flying into Buffalo, N.Y. on the 21st and then renting a car to drive the rest of the way. I'll be going to the Danford Lake area, near Quebec Canada.

There's alot more questions, some I can't think of right now, but any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated!



No King is saved by the size of his army, No warrior excapes by his great strength alone.

February 18, 2000, 12:23 AM
I went to Sask., Canada in May 98 for a bear hunt and fishing trip, and then May 99 for a fishing trip to Ontario. Cannot help you on the specifics as far as the barrel length, only that make sure that it is legal by checking with the proper authorities. What I have always been told is to look the agent right in the eye, and make sure all people in your party are on the same page. You don't want cousin Eddy "heming and hawing" when the border agent asks how much booze you have in the back. Also, they will try to rile you by being condesending, don't fall for it. Use "sir" or "ma'm", and be polite and direct. Also, don't cross at a port of entry that isn't used alot. A bored border agent will make you empty every bag you have.

In regards to the black flies, be sure and have a head net or they will drive you crazy during your hours sitting in the tree stand (let alone the mosquitoes!)

Prepare for cold weather, and it's nice if you are pleasantly surprised.

Have fun. My Trip in 98 (first time hunting bears) was a blast! You have to get initiated somehow. I can still feel the hair raise on the back of my neck the first time a bear came in. After I killed, spent at least 20 more hours in different stands videotaping bears coming in. What a rush!

February 18, 2000, 12:29 AM
One huge thing I forgot to mention. Be sure and stop at the U.S. side and declare your guns before you cross. There is a form that you fill out that states you had the guns at the U.S. side first. This is to keep you from buying rifles in Canada ( at a cheap exchange rate, at least it was in 98), and then bringing them back home with you. I think in 99 Canada started charging $35 (?) for every gun you brought across the border.

Randy Garrett
February 18, 2000, 01:39 AM
They've got some pretty big black bears in Canada, so you might consider a heavier bullet for your 45-70 than a 300-grainer. Check out what we offer at http://www.garrettcartridges.com/products.htm Our 415-grainer at 1850-fps will shoot lengthwise through any black bear, even the heaviest, and will give you all your fine 45-70 can deliver.

Good hunting, Randy Garrett www.garrettcartridges.com (http://www.garrettcartridges.com)

Al Thompson
February 18, 2000, 06:56 PM
The advice mentioned is very good. I would add that when some frineds went on a spring hunt they used duct (duck) tape to seal their cuffs. I was in Canada last year and did not experiance the $35 fee. Might have gotten lucky though.

Do call and check the barrel length question. I will try to post the number or URL this weekend.

I can't think of anything you would need on a bear hunt that wouldn't be used on a deer hunt.

Do get the customs forms filled out ahead of time. Need'em on any equipment you take - binos, scope - any high dollar stuff.


February 19, 2000, 07:00 AM
Thanks for the replies, I haven't confirmed the barrel length issue as of yet, but hopefully can soon.

Gizmo, yes a number would be a great help.

Thanks again everyone.


Karl Kahmann
February 21, 2000, 10:21 PM
I use to guide bear hunters in Ontario before we lost our Spring Hunt. It's not a big deal crossing the border--just answer the questions honestly and you will be alright, ocasionally you will be hasseled, it can't be helped or prepared for, you're not doing anything wrong. If you try to bring in a weapon that is illegal they won't allow it entry so ask them to hold it for you and you will pick it up on your way home. Handguns are considered restricted weapons and not allowed into the country, also any rifle with a barrel length of 18 inches or less is a restricted weapon. Leave the 45-70 at home. I recommend the Headnet for bugs and use the duct tape trick.
Anythingelse drop me an e-mail--I once hunted around Temiskaming and had a great hunt.

Al Thompson
February 21, 2000, 10:26 PM
Hi Karl! Do you have a link or phone number for firearms info in Canada?