Manitoba Black Bear Hunting
Bear Hunting- "It is unexplainably exciting, instantly causing adrenaline rush induced mind and body chaos!"
We have grown our bear business again!
Each year we are improving and increasing the quality of what we offer. We are proud to announce that we have expanded our Bear hunting allocation and available tags. We purchased 2 more excellent bear hunting areas exclusively for Riverside Lodge guests. Combined our 4 huge areas have over 50 active baits to hunt plus we add more baits every year!
Did you miss out on booking a trip with us?
We were sold out but we now have:
-more available hunts for 2023/24
-more excellent baits!
-more areas, all connected together forming one huge area of over 3 million acres!
More for us means more for you!
Riverside Lodge is now booking bear hunts for the 2023-24 Manitoba bear hunting season.
Attention bear hunters!! Our area of Manitoba is going through a very high population of bears to the point where livestock, honey, and grain producers are calling on the government to do something about it. Big game damage claims are doubling each year with a payout from the province to producers of over $4 million in 2017 alone!! This is a great opportunity for us hunters and believe me we are at the front line of forming great relationships with the industry affected by this "problem". With our help, the bears can be managed and damage claims can be reduced. Stay tuned for more info on this matter but in the meantime, get up here and hunt the best bear habitation in the world!!
Fall & Spring Baited Bear Hunts
It is a well know fact that Manitoba Canada has the best Black Bear hunting in North America. That is for good reason as we have some big bears here and lots of them. Now if you look into Manitoba bear hunting hot spots. You will find we are located in the area with the best variety and consistent natural food sources. Add water and abundant shelter, you found the makings of World Class Black Bear Hunting! To top it all off, throughout our massive bear hunting areas, there is some major grain land where bears will be drawn to oats, corn, barley, and more irresistible grains. It's no wonder they grow very big and raise a lot more young. By my rough calculations, our area is over 3000 sq. miles of some of the best black bear hunting in Manitoba Canada. We are proud to be a Manitoba bear outfitter and work very hard to ensure our bear hunting trips are a fun adventure.
The Bears in Manitoba
We average 300 lb bears consistently, with bruins well over 500 and 600 lbs each year. Very Big Black bears with a consistent 40-65% opportunity on color phase also. We see all the color phase bears, such as blonde, cinnamon, and chocolate as well as different shades of black, and the new quest is multi-colored bears! Our bears get the chance to grow big with plentiful food and cover and huge wilderness areas to roam. Some will die of old age as proven by our Annual Biological Sampling studies that gather information on the age of bears killed. We have age reports showing many in the teens and even up to 24 years old, so our population is doing fine. Not sure if you would like to try our spring black bear hunts or fall bear hunt? Contact me and I can explain all the differences.
The Bear Hunts
Our bear hunts take place over baits, many of which are established for 20 years or more! The bears habitually take advantage of the fresh feed every spring and fall. We diligently keep the baits full of high-quality feed, not just candy and garbage, however, we do give them some sweet stuff to keep them happy. We spend the time to ensure our baits are active, with attention given to location, quality of bait, wind direction, and concealment. We use only the best bait and lots of it, barrels full not pails, (We generally put out 80,000 lbs of bear bait per year!!) And we also use a lot of what is the absolute best bear bait on the planet, I keep freezers full of it. can you guess what it is?
We hunt from 10 ft high tree stands with shooting lanes cut to the baits with the typical distance of 40-60 yards to bait for rifle hunting. We use natural vegetation to build our stand blinds and our tree stands are large custom-built for ample room and Safety. Bowhunting stands are typically 15 yds on avg however we do set up closer for the few Traditional bowhunters we host. We can also put you in a ground blind if you prefer. Bottom line, we take our job seriously and do it very well. The bears are very plentiful and our bear hunting area is one of the best in the province. We hunt spring and fall every year.
What makes Riverside Lodge different?
- We work hard, all year, and never quit improving in all areas of our operation.
- Our staff is some of the best people you will ever meet. Professionals who truly care about your experience and will give you no excuses.
- We are in Manitoba which is absolutely one of the very best bear hunting locations in North America.
- Honesty is our foundation, and we have a proven track record with all of our past guests.
- The bears, big ones, colored ones, and plenty of them!
- Our particular hunting area is very diverse. In the middle, there are thousands of acres of different cropland, while on the south is Riding Mountain Federal Park (hunting has never been allowed in there, grows big bears). On the west is Duck Mountain Provincial Park, which is the highest peak in Manitoba, and grows a lot of big bears.
- We do this full time, not on the side, it's our livelihood and we do it right. We employ a great staff that along with us really enjoy the job. We all plan to be here for many years as we are granted and we want to be outfitting hunters in this pristine piece of Canada the whole time. We want all of our guests to want to come back.
There is much more I should list here. We can send the info and details if you would choose to contact us for more info.
Hunting Pressure at Riverside Lodge
Riverside Lodge guests are the only Bear hunters you will see. We have hunting rights to thousands of square miles of wilderness, swamps, river bottoms, and grain fields. It is not an easy task preparing/maintaining our bait sites and stands, but we put in a lot of effort to give each guest a hunt of a lifetime.
Our equipment is also in very good condition and diligently maintained to ensure a Safe experience. With a fleet of 12 boats of all sizes and many types of off-road vehicles, we always have a way to hunt.
We are all experienced professional guides who are very proud of our work. We know the area and the bears.
We accommodate rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader, and archery hunters.
Bowhunters: We ask that archery hunters take their time and place the arrow true of course, but also we advise to carry a rifle for protection. We have had close calls with angry bears which required a quick response from a loaded firearm.
What we don't have- black flies, nor no-seeums. Just mosquitoes.....but lots of them. (Thermacell works great!)
Visit our page about what to expect on your Manitoba bear hunt. Everything from what to bring on your hunt, to details on the hunt itself.
What is the difference between Spring and Fall Bear hunting?
There are several differences between the two hunting seasons and it all comes down to their natural habits and needs for survival. Below is my best attempt to provide an answer based on all my experience. Remember it’s a University we never graduate from though!
In the spring bears emerge from their den and contrary to belief they do not go straight to eating. Before they entered their den in the fall they had eaten some roughage like coarse thistles and other plants that have a tough stalk. This helps form the "Plug" or "Cord" that develops in their digestive tract to aid in not defecating in the den during the long 4-5 month-long hibernation. (They are not really sleeping just very docile and all their systems slow down). When they come out of the den in spring they are not foolish like domestic animals, in the sense that they won't gorge themselves and eat themselves to death like a cow will if it finds an open grain bin. Bears wait until they expel the "plug" and kick-start their digestive system. They are obviously hungry as they visit the baits and lick some of the bait but they refrain from eating any amount. To kick start their digestive system they must eat a lot of fresh greens that start to show up once the ground and air temperatures are warm enough. Often we see small bears way up in the south-facing treetops eating the first buds. A very good indicator that the bears are well on their way to full-blown eating is when we see dandelions bloom. This is what we look for every spring, and once they bloom it's game on, the bears will be hitting the baits hard within a day or two. In the fall bears are all about food and particularly carbs and fats. They will make a trustworthy bait part of their daily schedule and will stick around this easy food source until it runs out or they are forced to make their way to the den. Some believe it is hard to compete with all the natural foods in the fall. I disagree. If you place your bait in those natural food areas and use great bait as we do, it will work FOR you instead of against you. They will naturally be attracted to those spots and will relish the ample variety of different abundant foods.
The Rut as it is called is the same as any breeding season in the wild but occurs only in the spring, late May, and early June. The boars will really put on miles looking for hot sows, therefore you can't count on seeing the same bear twice. On the other hand, you will see many other bears visiting the baits as they also travel in search of sows. It is the most exciting time to hunt bears if you ask me because of all the marking and territorial behaviors going on. The boars rub on "marking" trees, and bite them to show their size. They will also bend a small sapling over a well-used trail to grab the scent of bears coming and going. It's very interesting if you pay attention while out in the woods.
Rubs generally occur in late spring but depending on the spring temperatures, and I believe the number of wood ticks, the time and severity each spring varies. Some years are worse than others and it may be due to many factors that we aren't aware of. But once you take a close look at that big heavy winter coat they are sporting it becomes obviously uncomfortable once the temperature rises. Something to be aware of is that although a taxidermist cannot fix a rubbed hide, depending on the severity and size it can be mitigated with a few tricks they employ. Most rubs are on the rear half of the bear and many hunters have had front shoulder mounts done on badly butt rubbed bears. It pays to look a bear over closely before you shoot. That is another reason we like to have both bow and gun hunters quite close to the baits so they can look a bear over closely for rubs and size, but that is another topic for another day.
Spring coat vs fall coat is quite different. In spring they have a very thick and long coat of winter hair, that's what helped them get through the long cold winter. We have measured the long guard hairs on their backs as long as 6 inches! In fall they have a thick coat also but their hair is much shorter. It is usually very shiny due to the high-quality food they are eating. Some ask which is nicer and it really comes down to personal preference. In my opinion, they are both beautiful and really good reason to have a variety of both spring and fall rugs/mounts on display.
A spring bear can still be very big, especially here in Manitoba as their habitat is ideal and genetics are the best in the world. But a fall bear will be fat, big and round and fat.
Spring bear hunts are very popular for the simple reason that there are not many other open hunting seasons. In the fall there are many other critters to hunt across the country. The opportunity is equal for both the spring and fall seasons. Especially here where we have so many bears and very diverse habitats. So that is my best explanation of the two different bear hunting seasons. I hope it may help you decide which season may work best for your trip planning. If you have any comments on this please feel free to post them below and we can discuss them.
Manitoba Black Bear Facts
Our Snake Lake Camp boasts the 8th biggest Black Bear in the World, year 2000!! Over 8-foot square, 22 1/16 skull.
Did you know? -The biggest black bear in the world was killed only a few miles south of our Lodge in Riding Mountain National Park, but it was poached! It weighed over 1000 lbs but his cousin which wasn`t killed weighed over 1150 Lbs!!! Yes, we have some great bears here.
- Manitoba is one of the first and few places in North America that has kept records of collected samples from killed bears such as tooth and reproductive tracts for study. These are used for research to determine ages, sex, health, and many more aspects of the bears. Useful information is gathered from such studies but what it has proven is that by baiting bears we can maintain a very healthy population by selective harvesting. With the use of bait, we are able to harvest certain bears with quick clean kills. It is also a very useful strategy to eliminate the accidental killing of a Sow with cubs. The hunter has plenty of time to observe the bear to determine if she has cubs around. Also by allowing such a select harvest, most hunters take the time to kill big boars, which inevitably will kill cubs.
Contact Gildas at Riverside Lodge and request more information on our Manitoba Canada bear hunts.
Color phase black bear hunting
Looking for color, we got lots of them!
We have the following open dates.
May 7th -2 spots
May 28th - 2 spots
June 11th - see more...
Trouble finding a vehicle rental to get to your outfitter?
Top 5 Questions About Hunting Black Bears in Manitoba
There are several differences between hunting black bears in spring and fall in Manitoba.
Another monster Manitoba black bear
Manitoba bear hunting can't be beat!