Bagging a Northern Saskatchewan black bear is an adrenaline-pumping challenge. The following five steps amp up your odds of seeing heart-pounding action as you enjoy this Canadian hunt.
Get Creative with Baiting
What you choose for baiting black bear is entirely up to you, as long as you’re within local laws. Some hunters like to custom mix a blend of sweets, like doughnuts, sorghum, and vanilla products. Others prefer to keep their bait meat-based with a blend of various fishes and red meats at its core. Still, others find a mixture of all the above items that makes the best attractant for a Northern Saskatchewan black bear.
There’s no true right or wrong when it comes to choosing your bear bait. Just be sure there are no wrappers left on food items and all litter is removed from the area. The Saskatchewan wilderness is far too beautiful to leave man-made debris behind after your hunt.
It’s best to keep your bait fresh to avoid attracting unsavoury critters like flies and worms. However, even bait that’s several days old can still draw a black bear in for the kill. When it comes to baiting, the options are entirely up to you.
Keep Human Scent at Bay
Black bear have a keen sense of smell that helps them search out food sources. This sense of smell also warns them of predators or potential dangers in the area. Using scent control products will keep your human scent low and increase your odds of having a black bear enter your firing radius. When it comes to controlling your scent, start at the base and work your way up. Bathe with scent-eliminating soap and shampoo. Wash your hunting clothes, if possible, in scent eliminating detergent.
Hang your clothes to dry in an outdoor area or toss them in the dryer with a scent eliminating dryer sheet. Store your scent-free clothing in an airtight or charcoal-lined bag. Spritz the interior of your truck with scent-killing spray and let it dry before you enter it to head to the woods.
As a final touch, spray yourself with a generous layer of spray before you step into your hunting territory. When done properly, a scent-elimination routine will minimize your human smell so wildlife will be comfortable with coming in close.
Strategize Your Stand Location
Even with all the scent control in the world, you’re still human and you’re going to emit certain scents that bears’ may be alarmed by. It’s important that your quarry not wind you before you get an opportunity to make your harvest. When possible, set up your hunting stand or blind downwind of your baiting station.
If you have a ridge or stream behind you, your set-up is even better. A bit of an obstacle behind you will encourage incoming bears to enter your territory from the front of your blind, eliminating most of the possibility of being scented downwind.
In addition to taking air circulation into consideration, you’ll need to set up in an area that naturally attracts bear traffic. Natural woodland funnels and old logging roads make enticing travel paths for wandering Northern Saskatchewan black bear. Set up your stand in an area that naturally draws bears to your baiting station.
Aim with Precision
It doesn’t matter how accurate your rifle or bow was when you practiced at home. If you’ve travelled any distance at all for your hunting trip, you’ll need to test your weapon to be sure it’s still on target. As delicately as you handled your gear during travel, there’s still a chance one of your sights was bumped and your gun is no longer set up to fire accurately. Take the day before your hunt to do a little target practice and realign your sights if needed. The last thing you want is to have a black bear step up to your bait and run away wounded or spooked by a faulty shot.
Dress for Success
Northern Saskatchewan black bear hunting occurs during spring and autumn, times of year that can experience both frigid and warm temperatures in a single day. Dressing for your black bear hunt requires breathable layers that can be easily peeled off as temperatures transition from brisk, frosty mornings into warm, sunny afternoons. You’ll also want clothing that dries quickly after a rain shower in the event your hunt turns out to be damp.
Amp up the potential of your Northern Saskatchewan black bear hunting experience by following these five basic steps. Create your own customized bait that will draw in black bear from miles around. Eliminate as much of your human scent as possible to prevent spooking your bear before it gets a chance to sample your bait.
Set up your stand in a location that’s downwind of your bait and within sight of natural funnels that bears like to travel. Be sure your rifle or bow is accurately sighted in before you head out for your hunt, and dress for changing weather conditions. This handful of simple tips can make all the difference in the world when it comes to hitting the woods and enjoying the hunt.