Bear Hunting in Alberta:
A generous two bear limit in most areas of the province makes Alberta one of the top destinations for bear hunting. Paul offers bear hunters spring and fall hunts for trophy bears. Black bear numbers are healthy in the Northern Alberta and plentiful.
The black bear's long fur varies in colour including; cinnamon, chocolate brown, honey, blond and shiny black. A brown bear may often be mistaken for a grizzly, but is smaller in size. Adult males or boars weigh from 100 to 200 kg (220 to 440 lb.), and adult females or sows weigh from 45 to 140 kg (100 to 310 1b.)
In contrast with the grizzly, the facial profile is a straight line and black bears lack a shoulder hump. The claws of the feet are shorter than the grizzly's and make less of an imprint in tracks.
Black bears usually reach breeding maturity by the age of 3 1/2 years. Mating takes place in June and July. However, development of the embryo is delayed until the fall. One to four cubs are born in February while the sow is in the winter den.
The diet of black bears may include berries, leaves and roots, as well as fish, ground squirrels, mice, young deer, ants, honey bee grubs and honey.
Natural Resources Service estimates the provincial population (in Sept.) to be about 36,000 animals. This estimate is based on population counts in selected areas and hunter harvest information.
Most Alberta trophy black bear hunts take place in the spring of the year soon after the bears first emerge from their long hibernation. At this time of year bruins are on the move for food and are relatively easy to spot as the vegetation is just beginning grow. Their fur is in its prime in early spring as they have had little time to rub and damage the long thick coats that they are valued for.
Several methods are used to hunt trophy bears. The regulation change to allow the baiting of bears in many areas has resulted in the taking of many trophy black bears across Alberta’s boreal region. Although baiting is the most popular form of hunting bears, other methods Paul uses include spot & stalk, tree stands and blinds.
Archery hunters seeking trophies have entered several bears in the trophy books in recent years as baiting is relatively new to the province and the vast tracts of wilderness have been left largely undisturbed.